Well, it's official: we've just about seen the end of 2013 and so to mark the occasion, we've put together a little tribute to celebrate our achievements, discoveries and new friends. In just six short months, we've gone from a one-woman blog to a full-blown online literary magazine with a dedicated team of contributors and readers from all around the world. What started as a musing that followed me around the literary gems of Europe, became something so much bigger and better than I could have imagined.
Interviewing Emma Donoghue, a monumental author whose novel, Room was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2010 was an amazing highlight for us very early on.
Interviewing best-selling indie author Joanna Penn was another awesome moment for us. Joanna gave our readers insight into the work and success of a self-published novelist.
Reaching new heights with our social media pages was inspiring… We went from 91 Facebook fans to over 350 in one night, thanks to a generous shout-out from Literature is My Utopia. Now we've got over 500 fans on Facebook and over 700 followers on Twitter!
Attending writers' festivals with a new purpose really got our creative juices flowing. A special mention to the first-ever UOW Writers' Festival!
Being sent manuscripts of soon-to-be-released novels from publishers like Spinifex Press to be reviewed! Currently reading Suki by Suniti Namjoshi, due out in Feb!
Our favourites from 2013…
Room by Emma Donoghue: "An insightful vision with a mastered point of view; never before has a modern literary classic captured the innocence, creativity and resilience of a child so well… Emotionally-gripping, disturbed, but with a glimmer of hope, Room will stay with you long after you put it back on your bookshelf."
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer: "The Interestings is one of those rare books that has something new on each page that hits your sore spots, that echoes your own questions and characterises your fears in people that you realise you don’t want to become. A particularly good read for those who are creatively inclined, the novel addresses questions of talent and ambition and making it in industries that are often dismissed as ‘impossible’."
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman: "We are left with no questions as to why this novel took out so many categories at the Australian Publishers Awards. A true tribute to another time and an another place with a cast of full-bodied characters charged with authentic traumas of their own, The Light Between Oceans is a harrowing, yet must-read novel for all story lovers."
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery: "The Little Prince is a perfect example of the transient nature of children’s literature… I have always suspected that children are the wisest of us all, and after reading The Little Prince I am now convinced that this is indeed the case. As children we come into the world with open minds and open hearts. We are able to appreciate things for what they truly are, without needing to question every last detail before feeling satisfied."
These are the folk our magazine is all about, and we couldn't do it without them. We've made so many wonderful new friends over the past six months and we've learnt so much from everyone. We've had over 20 talented contributors who have written about everything from killer whales and bush fires to creativity and education.
Writer’s Edit has also been lucky enough to house the work of some exceptional regular writers. Special mentions to Kyra Bandte who takes initiative unlike anyone else and who offers the most insightful observations about the writing world, Kristie Minshall who shares her personal experiences through her beautifully written book reviews and Kristin Prescott who let us be a part of her NaNoWriMo journey and continuously offers her support and enthusiasm.
2014 and Beyond
This New Year will see a revamp of the Writer’s Edit site including a new logo and some incredible new features. But what we can’t contain our excitement over is the first-ever Writer’s Edit Anthology, which will be published mid-year to celebrate our first birthday. Our anthology will contain fiction, industry-related essays, writing advice and more! We’ll be doing a call-out for submissions late-January.
Writer’s Edit would like to thank everyone who’s been involved and offered us their support over the last six months. A special thanks goes to those behind the scenes, who provide constant assistance with the tricky elements of web hosting, WordPress and SEO (we're looking at you, Dave Hickman).
And finally, where would we be without you, our loyal readers and writers? To you, goes the biggest and most heart-felt thanks. We wish you all the best for 2014, and look forward to having you stay with us on the incredible Writer’s Edit journey.
Happy New Year!
- Helen Scheuerer, Founding Editor