I am an editor of the 2009 UTS Writers’ Anthology On the Side. This collection, from the UTS Centre for New Writing, showcases new fiction and poetry, creative non-fiction and travel writing from a diverse group of authors, all students at UTS.
Romance blossoms on a chilly Reykjavik runway; secrets surface for a foster child with the arrival of a brash stranger, a poet leaves an unexpected legacy—the most intimate and profound stories flourish, not in the centre of things, but on the side. Now in its 3rd decade, the UTS anthology has helped launch many careers, and provides readers with some of the freshest ideas in Australian writing.
The 2009 UTS Writers’ Anthology On the Side is the 23rd volume released from the University of Technology, Sydney. Produced annually by UTS students, the anthology showcases the fresh new talent emerging from one of Australia’s leading university writing programs. From the Australian bush to Beijing, from living inside a fishbowl to tears in the bath, from student life to the loss of a loved one, this diverse collection is as provocative as it is pleasurable. On the Side is published by Brandl & Schlesinger.
The UTS Writers’ Anthology is one of the longest running university collections in Australia.
The 2008 anthology was We All Need a Witness, also published by Brandl and Schlesinger. The 2007 Anthology was titled What You Do and Don’t Want and the 2006 Anthology was called Making Tracks. Both were published by ABC Books. The 2005 Anthology, published by Halstead Press, was titled Nine Tenths Below to reflect Ernest Hemingway’s comment that ‘… a good story was like an iceberg, with only a fraction visible above the surface.’ The 2004 Anthology was titled Loose Lips and the 2003 Anthology was titled In a Cool Blue Light.
In the last few years, the anthology has been launched at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, at Gleebooks, and at the Loft at UTS.
Many Australian authors have gone on to publish novels after their inclusion in the anthology. Notables include Ross Duncan, whose novel All Those Bright Crosses was published in 2007; Bernard Cohen, whose novel The Blindman’s Hat won the 1997 Australian/Vogel Literary Award and Vanessa Berry, who published Strawberry Hills Forever, a collection of work taken from her zines last year.
Pip Newling published her nonfiction memoir Knockabout Girl in 2007, and from the 2007 collection, Isabelle Li’s story ‘A Chinese Affair’ was selected from the anthology for inclusion in Best Australian Stories 2007.
Process of creating the anthology
Towards the end of each year UTS students from all faculties are invited to submit their writing. The anthology publishes all types of creative writing: short fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, and poetry. The Editorial Committee is made up of UTS students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, with varied experience in publishing and other media industries.
The editors read every submitted piece (about 300 submissions.) After discussing the merits of each piece, the editors choose about thirty, most of which will eventually be published in the anthology. This selection process is anonymous – the Editorial Committee only has access to the authors’ names after they have chosen which pieces will be included in the anthology.
The Anthology Committee doesn’t select pieces with any theme in mind – they look for “new writing” and a well-executed story. The Editorial Committee also chooses the name and cover concept for the anthology. The title for this year’s anthology was chosen from one of the submitted pieces, which the committee felt captured the unique perspective of much of this year’s fiction. The cover was designed by Emelia Simcox.
The next stage is working with the writers to make the best possible piece. Each editor collaborates with a few writers, discussing strengths and weaknesses and providing suggestions for improvement. Then, the editors copyedit and proofread the manuscript. This year, we were fortunate to have the copyediting expertise of Nina Paine.
Reviews of past anthologies can be found on the UTS website at http://www.hss.uts.edu.au/student_community/anthology/news/index.html
UTS website: http://www.uts.edu.au/
Sydney Writers’ Festival: http://www.swf.org.au/
2009 UTS Writers’ Anthology Authors
Marja Baume has had stories published in two other anthologies. Currently she is writing a crime novel set in the Netherlands. Last year she completed her Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS. And for fun she attends French conversation classes.
Craig Bingham is enrolled in the Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS.
As a scientist, Mary Blackwood worked in labs, in classrooms and then at a computer writing international tests. This last job led to a compulsion to travel. After wandering the world in 2006 she enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Writing at UTS. Two other short stories appear in Flaunt.
Cameron Brockmann is currently holed up in a cupboard, completing his Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS, and taking refuge from the cast of increasingly strange characters demanding to be written into a comedic literary novella that requires a long research trip to windy Trans-Siberian cities, and several jokes about herring.
Eleanor Campbell is completing her Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS. This is the first time her work has ventured into print.
Rosie Cintio lives in the Blue Mountains with six other people who come and go. Her waitressing job is often what keeps her coming back to UTS, where she is in her final year of a Writing and Cultural Studies degree.
John Connell is an Irish writer and documentary maker. He has lived in Sydney for the last two years wherein he completed his journalism studies at UTS. Currently John works as a freelance producer for ABC Radio National.
Amaryllis Gacioppo is undertaking a Bachelor of Arts in Writing and Cultural Studies at UTS. She is on her way to a promising career as a starving writer.
Veronica Nadine Gleeson made her foray into writing at age eight, with a volume of poetry dedicated to Spike Milligan. Later she became a film reviewer and playwright, and over the last few years she’s turned her attention to screenplays and fiction as well. She loves writing and is mostly glad she took it up. But she does sometimes regret not sending that book to Spike.
Susan Hurley is completing her Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS and working on her second novel – a contemporary crime story set in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
A. Alice Knight finally decided to stop procrastinating and became a postgraduate writing student at UTS. She no longer has any excuses and now has to keep working on the stories which torment her. She also believes she is old enough to know better, but usually doesn’t.
Zac Kostyrka likes to take himself very, very seriously. He has a Canadian passport, he’s allowed. Having lived in Chicago and London he returned to Sydney to study Cultural Studies and Writing at UTS. As part of his fifty-year plan to revolutionise Australian television he’s off to the States to finish his degree and make it big in New York City. If that falls through, there’s always Canada.
Isabelle Li was born in China and came to Australia in 1999. Her short stories appeared in the UTS Writers’ Anthologies 2005, 2007 and 2008, Best Australian Stories 2007 and Best Australian Stories 2008, Southerly and New Australian Stories.
Nerida Little is in her fifth year of a Writing, Cultural Studies and International Studies degree. She was born in Coffs Harbour, and is currently finishing an exchange year in India. The experience has been interesting, but she never wants to see a plate of daal again.
Brenton Lyle is in his second year of study at UTS. He believes writing is a powerful communicator of the real through an oblique medium. He writes from a philosophy of theistic Christianity, understanding belief in the God revealed in the world and the Bible to be the only reasonable ideology whose presuppositions fit with the world and people as they exist.
Georgia Middleton is currently studying a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Writing and Cultural studies at UTS. After many false starts and lost stories, her one ambition in life is to have the perfect story flow from a tangled web of thoughts in her head in order to write a novel – and finish it.
Laurie Molloy grew up in New Zealand, backpacked around the world, raised a child, collected a couple of left-brain degrees and pursued a career in IT. Now she’s unleashed her right brain, has just completed the Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS and is determined to finish at least one novel.
Emma Oberg is currently studying Writing and Cultural Studies/Bachelor of Law at UTS. Although she is living in the city, her heart still belongs in the bush. This year she hopes that it rains.
Tobias O’Hehir is studying writing at UTS. He likes to arrange and rearrange words on a page—luckily for him they sometimes make sense, or not, as the case may be.
Corinne Pentecost is about to complete her Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS. ‘Snow Angel’ was awarded the Cate Kennedy Best New Talent Prize in the 2008 Scarlet Stiletto Awards.
Justine Poon is studying a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and Law at UTS. She was published in Going Down Swinging last year. She would like to be a houseboat-dweller in the future, where she will continue to write.
Sinead Roarty tells stories. During the day she makes up all sorts of things as a copywriter and then tells tales all night. She’s got a Master of Arts in Visual Arts and is doing an Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS while trying to finish her first book. Her short story, ‘White’, appeared in last year’s anthology.
Daniel Shaw grew up in the north of England and studied English at Middlesex. He is currently studying his Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS. Pursuits: candles, pugs and Martha Wainwright.
Tyswan Slater lives in an unfashionable backwater in the Blue Mountains. She has been shortlisted for the Varuna Awards for Manuscript Development, and the Penguin/Varuna Scholarship. Her Master of Creative Arts (Research) involves a novella, a graphic novel, hypertext, a vampire, a murder and a motley crew of backpackers.
Sam Twyford-Moore completed his degree in Communications, majoring in Writing and Cultural studies, at UTS in 2008. He is currently the co-editor of Cutwater. His writing has appeared in Meanjin, The Big Issue and other places. ‘Revision’ is a sequel of sorts to an unpublished novel.
Alicia Walsh has a Masters in Creative Writing from UTS. She works as an editor of both screenplays and manuscripts, and is in the process of finishing her first novel.
Conrad Walters is studying towards a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS. He lives inside his head for fiction, and on the pages of The Sydney Morning Herald for non-fiction.
While not writing essays for her other subjects, Emma Went is studiously ignoring her undergraduate writing homework. She believes that writing would be a far more enjoyable task if she never had to commit words to the page. She’s yet to find a satisfactory way to achieve this.
Jane Wilcox is a freelance writer/journalist and TV producer. It was the only way she could indulge a passion for science, sport, film, theatre, medicine, food, current affairs and human rights. At primary school she won a special prize ‘For Trying’. She’s never won anything else. She is currently completing a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS.
J.S Woerner lives in Sydney with her two children, Kate and Harrison, and her guy, Christopher. She is studying Writing and Cultural Studies at UTS.
Amy Yang is studying Writing and Cultural Studies and International Studies at UTS. At the moment she is in Granada—Southern Spain—in a room without a door but with a view. So far she thinks travelling is hallucinatory, living is physical, and writing is the comfort which drives her exhaustion.
2009 UTS Writers’ Anthology Editors
Sophia Barnes works in publishing and is enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Editing and Publishing at UTS. She reads far too much and has been known to negotiate public transport all the way home from work without once looking up from her book.
Jenny Breukelaar is completing a Masters in Writing at UTS. Her second novel, Blue Moves, was a finalist in the 2007 Varuna HarperCollins Award and will be coming out in 2009. She is currently co-editor at Twisted Fiction Press.
Linda Daniele is a writer, editor and journalist based in Sydney. Her work has appeared in The Australian, Inner West Courier, South Sydney Herald and City Hub. She is currently studying for a Master of Arts in Journalism at UTS and expecting her first child in late May with much excitement.
Karen Hewitt is studying a Graduate Certificate in Editing and Publishing at UTS. She has previously completed a Masters in Art History and is editor of online arts magazine, Invisible City.
Emma Hines is completing her final undergraduate year of a Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Writing and Cultural Studies) at UTS. She refuses to use a red pen because the colour is too angry and demoralising, preferring to make her edits in a pleasant shade of green.
Helen Richardson is undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Editing and Publishing at UTS. She does information publications for work and creative writing for her sanity.