News from the Editor's Desk

June–July 2014, no. 362

News from the Editor's Desk

June–July 2014, no. 362


We last redesigned our website in March 2013, and the increase in usage was immediate. But all websites need to evolve, and we realise that the delivery of ABR Online has not been ideal. We have heeded your comments and in June we will launch the new ABR Online.

Happily, the revamped website now hosts a speedier ABR Online. It features a newsy homepage and the contents pages are quicker to load. Logging on to ABR Online is more intuitive for subscribers, and Arts Update has greater prominence.

To mark this new upgrade, we have revived the free introductory offer. Check out ABR Online and enjoy complimentary access for three days. Meanwhile, many thanks for your interest and feedback.


Those who missed our Evening with David Malouf on 23 April – when he was in conversation with Lisa Gorton – now have a chance to watch the video of this absorbing discussion, courtesy of ABC TV’s Big Ideas. All you have to do is visit their website.


Jessica L. Wilkinson is the winner of the tenth Peter Porter Poetry Prize. ‘Arrival Platform Humlet’, her poem about Percy Grainger, was named the winner at a ceremony on 7 May. This followed readings by three of the shortlisted poets. US-based poet Paul Kane, the fourth, was represented by Alex Miller. We also heard several poems by the great Peter Porter: a feature of these lively annual functions.

Our winner told Advances: ‘For anyone in attendance, my shock at winning the prize was apparent. I entered a state of speechlessness! But I am truly honoured that my poem was recognised in this way and immensely grateful to the judges, Lisa Gorton and Felicity Plunkett.’

Because the shortlist was smaller this year, we were able to increase the payments to Elizabeth Allen, Nathan Curnow, and Paul Kane, who each received $833. The Porter will be back – more lucrative than ever – later this year.


Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel dominated the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards on 19 May, as it has done in so many other literary competitions. De Kretser’s 2012 novel won the highly coveted Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, shared the prize with the longest title in the world (the Community Relations Commission Award for a Multicultural NSW Award) – and won the overall Book of the Year.

Rodney Hall – no stranger to prizes himself, having twice won the Miles Franklin Award, among others – received the Special Award, worth $10,000. He writes for us in this issue, reviewing a new edition of J.P. McKinney’s Great War novel, Crucible.


Last month Jane Sullivan reviewed a book about the slightly improbable epistolary friendship between Iris Murdoch and the Flinders University philosopher Brian Medlin. ABR regular Gillian Dooley co-edited Never Mind about the Bourgeoisie: The Correspondence between Iris Murdoch and Brian Medlin 1976–1995 (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) with Graham Nerlich. The book will be formally launched at Flinders University on Thursday, 12 June.

First, though, another ABR (and Flinders) stalwart, Brian Matthews, will deliver the Brian Medlin Memor-ial Lecture, his subject being ‘The Preciousness of Everything: Remembering Brian Medlin’. Both these events are free and will take place in the Central Library, Flinders University, 5.30 for a 6 pm start. RSVP to (08) 8201 5841 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Gillian Dooley, who seems to wear many hats, also edits Transnational Literature, Flinders’ free online journal. Jay Daniel Thompson reviews the current issue.


There was much interest in our fifth paid editorial internship. We received eighty applications from a host of bright young graduates and editors. In the end, Samuel Zifchak was appointed; he has now started work at ABR. Samuel has Master’s degrees in Creative Writing (East Anglia) and Editing & Publishing (University of Melbourne).

This internship will run for a year, unlike previous ones, which were six-month appointments. We expect to be able to offer more of them in future, so we encourage young graduates to keep an eye on our website.


Express Media is once again presenting the Young Writers Innovation Prize, funded by Copyright Agency Limited. Young writers and/or publishers residing in Australia are eligible. A total of $6,500 is on offer. Applications close on 13 June. See their website for further details.


This is one of two double issues we produce each year, the next being due in January–February 2015. We’ll be back in August.

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