I’m really excited to share today’s post! Book bloggers naturally focus on published books, but I also pay a lot of attention to literary magazines and anthologies, as an emerging writer. I recently thought it would be a good idea to spotlight a few of these – ones that feature culturally diverse writing. You can often find more diversity amongst emerging writers/smaller publications, and these collections go a long way in giving these writers a voice.
Dialect is particular, personal and dynamic. A way of making words belong, both to your community and yourself. The ideal storyteller.
In these pages, writers from refugee and migrant backgrounds give you a glimpse into their own atlas. Through narrative, articles, poetry and instructions they communicate a multilingual way of life.
For those who don’t know, Express Media is an incredible Australian organisation focused on supporting young and emerging writers. I’ve followed them for a long time, always enjoyed their publication Voiceworks and hugely valued my participation in Toolkits, an online creative writing course and mentoring program (more about it and my participation here), in 2016.
Dialect, as described above, was the result of a year-long program they did with young writers from refugee and migrant backgrounds based in Melbourne. I actually remember being in high school a couple of years ago, seeing the callout for it and being so disappointed that I lived in a different city and couldn’t apply – a feeling I’ve got more and more used to the past few years, haha.
This collection is absolutely stunning, filled with short stories, flash fiction, prose and visual art. A huge variety of topics are touched on and fascinating creative structures are used in certain sections, like the ‘Instructional Manual’, to tell a range of stories. Knowing that all the stories are by young writers makes it even more special. I seriously cannot recommend this enough – it’s well worth owning.
Started by my incredible friend Yen-Rong Wong, Pencilled In is a literary magazine showcasing art by young Asian-Australians. From their About page:
Many young Asian Australians are discouraged from entering the arts industry by their parents or other family members – and instead, embark on careers in other areas. Even so, we all have that drawing hidden away in a sketchbook, an outline of a story lurking in the back of our heads, or an unfinished poem we never got the chance to revisit. Bits and pieces of art that are eternally pencilled in.
Pencilled In, then, seeks to highlight and showcase art by young Asian Australians. It is a chance for emerging artists to have their work published, and hopes to provide a platform for such artists to forge meaningful relationships. We are looking for fiction (both flash fiction and longer forms), non-fiction, poetry, graphic art, and illustration.
At the time of writing, I’ve just received and am about to start reading Issue 1. I was nonfiction subeditor for this issue so I can confirm that the nonfiction was amazing, and knowing many of the other contributors, I’m so excited to read the rest!
It’s about proliferation; of voices, aesthetics, experiences, stories. In fact, we’re actively fighting against the silencing of non-white voices in creative communities
In Vol. 7 you’ll find 85 glorious pages of work by contributors who identify as people of colour.
FICTION: Mahreen Sohail, Jov Almero, Ellen van Neerven, Bikram Sharma, Khalid Warsame, Hannah Donnelly
NON FICTION: Atong Atem, Celine Aenlle-Rocha
POETRY: Alison Whittaker, Sohini Basak, Sean Wai Keung, Stephanie Chan, Fernando Pérez, Gemma E. Mahadeo
COMICS: Lee Lai, Mengo Lee
ARTWORK: Rachel Ang
I’m yet to read this, but love that The Suburban Review created this volume specifically for Writers of Colour. Rachel Ang’s artwork is fantastic as always, and I’m keen to read more of Ellen van Neerven and Khalid Warsame’s work.
Have you read, or are you interested, in any of these? Do you have any similar recommendations?