News from the Editor's Desk

The Editors

Jolley Prize

This year’s ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize attracted about 1200 entries. They kept busy our three judges: Tony Birch, Terri-ann White, and Maria Takolander, whose new collection of short stories, The Double (Text Publishing) – which Patrick Allington reviewed in our September issue – was commissioned on the strength of her own Jolley Prize win in 2010.

We have much pleasure in publishing the three shortlisted stories. They are Rebekah Clarkson’s ‘The Five Truths of Manhood’, Kim Mahood’s ‘The Accident’, and Michelle Michau-Crawford’s ‘Leaving Elvis’.

The overall winner (who will receive $5000) will be named at Gleebooks on Monday, 28 October (6 pm). This is a free public event, and we hope you will join us. All three writers will read from their stories. See our full list of events for more details.


Readers’ Choice Award

To celebrate the Jolley Prize (which is generously supported by Mr Ian Dickson) and to find out which story our readers like most, we are also presenting the Readers’ Choice Award.

You will have until Friday, 1 November (5 pm) to nominate your favourite. To do so please email us with the title of the story, a comment if you wish, and your full name, address, and telephone number: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are offering three special prizes: first up, a wonderful library of fifty Text Classics, courtesy of our friends at Text Publishing for a lucky voter (living in Australia). We also have two three-year print or ABR Online subscriptions to give away.


ABR in Adelaide

Adelaideans will have a chance to hear Rebekah Clarkson read from her shortlisted story when SA Writers Centre presents ‘ABR in Adelaide’ on Friday, 11 October (6.30 pm). Peter Rose will also discuss publishing options in the magazine sector and what he looks for in new contributors. Apropos of which, writers seeking review work at ABR might like to consult the Editor’s desideratum on the website.

This is a free event, but reservations are essential: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We look forward to seeing you there.


Fact or fiction?

Bring Dennis Altman and Christos Tsiolkas together for a conversation about ‘The End of the Homosexual: Fact or Fiction?’ and you are guaranteed a capacity audience. They will be in conversation on Wednesday, 9 October (7.30 pm) at Hares & Hyenas, in Fitzroy – (03) 9495 6589.

Robert Reynolds reviewed Dennis Altman’s new study of homosexuality in the September issue. Rosemary Sorensen will review Christos Tsiolkas’s new novel, Barracuda, in the November issue.


Godfather Gore

Gore-VidalGore Vidal at age 23, 1948 (photo: Carl Van Vechten)

Gore Vidal – novelist, memoirist, scriptwriter, actor, provocateur, essayist par excellence – was surely the most quotable of modern writers. We all know his four favourite words in the English language: ‘I told you so.’ And his three saddest? ‘Joyce Carol Oates.’

Vidal, who died in July 2012, lived to be eighty-six despite bad emphysema and the execrations of the American right. Much will be written about him in coming years, but meanwhile we have a neat little book of interviews to enjoy: I Told You So: Gore Vidal Talks Politics: Interviews with John Wiener (Counterpoint [NewSouth Books], $17.99 pb, 9781619021747). Advances enjoyed this anecdote. Wiener asked Vidal what he said when actors Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins asked him to stand godfather to their son. ‘Always a godfather, never a god,’ quipped Vidal.


$250,000 n.o.

Since 2005 ABR has distributed more than $250,000 to the winners of our three literary prizes, our Patrons’ Fellows, and our editorial interns. This is in addition to payments to contributors. Such largesse is only possible because of the generosity of our Patrons, our donors, various philanthropic foundations, and Copyright Agency. We look forward to dispersing another quarter of a million dollars in coming years. And we are always keen to hear from prospective Patrons!


In conversation

Early next year we will have a new international open-access online literary journal devoted to interviews. Editors Gillian Dooley (a frequent contributor to ABR) and Nick Turner (from the University of Central Lancashire) are seeking interviews with ‘writers of all kinds’ for their first issue of Writers in Conversation, which is due to be published in February 2014. Prospective interviewers should contact Dr Dooley (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), who is a librarian at Flinders University and editor of another online journal, Transnational Literature.

Cassandra Atherton, who is one of the new journal’s editorial advisers, is undertaking a series of interviews with major publishers for ABR. We look forward to publishing her interview with Random House’s Nikki Christer. This will be an occasional series.


Give a free gift subscription to ABR

We’re feeling generous again! For the next three months, those subscribers who renew their subscriptions will be eligible to give a free six-month subscription to a friend or colleague. Renew your current subscription at any stage (even before it lapses) to qualify for this special offer. Renew for two years and give away two free subs, etc. Introduce ABR to younger readers in your family or circle.

All you have to do is fill in the back of the flysheet that accompanies this issue, call (03) 9699 8822 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (quoting your subscriber number). We will contact your nominated recipient to establish whether he or she wants the print edition or ABR Online.

This special offer, perfect for Christmas, lapses on 31 December and is open only to current print and online subscribers who renew before the end of the year.

Published in October 2013 no. 355

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