The forbearance of those writers who entered the Australian Book Review and Reader’s Feast Short Story Competition has been as exemplary as their commitment to short fiction. I am pleased to be announce the shortlist:
Ian McFarlane: ‘A Balance of Probabilities’
Katarina Mahnic: ‘Flying Recipe’
B.E. Minifie: ‘There Has to be a Resemblance’
Carrie Tiffany: ‘Dr Darnell’s Cure’
Susan Yardley: ‘The End Is Where We Start From’
All three prizes will be announced in the December–January issue. In the same issue, we shall also publish the story that wins the first prize.
Changes continue to be rung at ABR. Later this month, we shall be moving upstairs into larger and more suitable premises. Please note that our postal address, telephone number and email addresses will be unchanged. Nor will the December–January issue be affected. Subscribers will receive their copies at the beginning of December. A new feature will be ‘The Best Books of 2001’, in which regular ABR reviewers and a range of writers, publishers and other literary figures will be invited to nominate three notable books of 2001, including the one that surprised them most.
Pleasingly, given the recent abundance of new Australian publications and the quality of material coming our way, this issue will be longer than previous ones. This is something we hope to continue in 2002, funds permitting. The theme of the December/January issue will be Reference Books, of which there have been a large number in recent months.
In previous years, the December–January issue – our summer one – has been followed by another double issue (February–March). Two issues in four months strikes us as being too infrequent. Henceforth, we will separate the two double issues. They will appear in December –January and June–July. Otherwise, ABR will appear each month.
In recent weeks, I have been a little more peripatetic than usual, because of the publication of my own new book. I also took part in the National Library of Australia’s conference ‘The Secret Self: Exploring Biography and Autobiography’. For everyone involved – the audience, but also, to an unusual degree, in my experience, the speakers – this conference proved to be absorbing and, at times, quite stirring. As in Melbourne during the Federation Lectures, the audiences were large each day, once again demonstrating the public’s desire for lively, questioning and discursive talk.
In my absence, Aviva Tuffield, the Assistant Editor, has supervised the preparation of this issue with her customary aplomb, and I am grateful to her. I should also thank Chong, Dianne Schallmeiner, Anne-Marie Thomas, and Miriam Wood, who have worked on this issue.