The Return of [untitled]

Guess what?

[untitled] is almost ten years old. Just on a conceptual level, it’s been around since late-2008. It wouldn’t be until early 2009 that we discussed the form it would take, and what we’d name it. And then on 10 September 2009, the first issue of [untitled] found its way into the world.

Back then, we were oblivious to what we were getting into. We wanted to personalise every rejection to authors, but then the workload grew overwhelming. (Apologies to the author who commended us for personalised rejections, only to receive a form rejection later on.) We wanted to release two issues a year … but, well, same problem.

Running an anthology is a lot of work. Often, you’ll see anthologies who do two or three issues, and then disappear. Enthusiasm fuels those early issues. When that runs out, you’re left with the realities. There’s lots and lots of reading, liaising with authors, editing, proofreading, layout, cover design, more proofreading, organising the printing, and the launch at the end of it all. Anthologies don’t make money either. They run at a loss. They’re passion projects.

In part, we used [untitled] as a training ground for interns to get practical experience in reading (and appraisal), editing, and dealing with authors. We’d always oversee what was happening, but interns were given that responsibility. This was a much better way to learn than listening to theory in class.

Our process was simple: two readers would read a story and recommend whether it should go to a content meeting. If it did, then everybody on the editing team read it and discussed its merits, and whether it would be accepted or rejected. These discussion were another fantastic forum for interns to learn the precepts of good storytelling.

And that’s what it was about: good storytelling. We didn’t care about genre. We accepted contemporary fiction, satire, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, experimental … well, it just had to be a good story – the sort where you want to read just one more page, only to stay up late and read the whole thing.

Along the way, we’ve published the likes of Ryan O’Neill (winner of the 2017 Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Their Brilliant Careers), A.S. Patrić (winner of the 2016 Miles Franklin for Black Rock, White City), acclaimed playwright Emilie Collyer, best-selling YA author George Ivanoff, best-selling poet and performance artist Koraly Dimitriadis, acclaimed short story author Laura Elvery, revered mentor and author Laurie Steed – well, this list can go on.

Did we discover these authors? Well, no, but we’d like to think we played a part in their development and journey as writers. That’s the beauty of the anthology – it offers an apprenticeship that contributes to the author’s evolution, while giving them exposure, and no doubt offering motivation and encouragement. And that was our main reason for starting [untitled]: to promote new and emerging authors.

After a two-year hiatus, [untitled] is back with issue eight, launching just two weeks shy of its tenth birthday.

Come join us for a night of merriment, celebration, and accomplishment.

Tonight, 7.00pm

29th September

Busybird Publishing
2/118 Para Road
Montmorency 3094

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