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Editorial: Empty spaces

Welcome to Authora Australis Issue One: Empty Spaces.

The theme of the issue was conceived at the time of the “first lockdown” in Australia, and with what was perhaps a misplaced optimism for swift resolution. Journals around the world have raced to publish “COVID-themed” works, but as the pandemic has lingered stubbornly on, it looks increasingly as though this will become a slow walk. COVID-19 will no doubt influence art for many years. Accordingly, these are perhaps just the first of many works reflecting on isolation, distance and emptiness.

The poems and short stories in our first issue cover a range of themes, genres and feelings. To name a few, there are tender reflections on relationships during the pandemic such as Samantha Rosenfeld’s ‘Poem for my Daughter’, and Kate Maxwell’s short story ‘The Waiting Room’, to the complexity of love, sex and relationships in a world of closures and borders, such as ‘Devoid’ by Maria Issaris, and Sara Lane’s ‘Rituals’. There’s a nod to the speculative fiction thriller genre, as Claire Turton chills us with a tense transport re-enactment in ‘The Sneeze’. And Andrew Taylor carries us to the emptiness of the coast and beyond, with his poems 'Gulls on the Beach' and 'During the Pandemic'.

We were also struck by the quality and emotion shown in the artwork. The vivid colour, jagged-boundaries and gritty loneliness in Berly Perron-Feller’s surreal collages were arresting, as were the visceral paintings of Lily Turek, and photography of Marie-Claire Colyer. 

We are delighted with the great quality of submitted works. We’re sure this will form an excellent foundation with which to build the journal into the future. We are also gratified to see that the blind review system worked exactly as intended. Our contributors are a mixture of well-established authors and artists, and those publishing work for the first time. 

We would especially like to thank our Editorial Team. Their hard work in blind-reviewing the many submissions we received has made this first issue possible. A big thankyou to: Clare Roche, Michael Griffiths, Maggie Hensel-Brown, Derek Patulny, Lathalia Song, Tom Robinson, and Patrick Mountford.

We would also like to thank the Authora Australis and Silence of the Pens community writing groups here in Marrickville, Sydney. Without the energy, enthusiasm and honest appraisal about all writing great and small that they have brought into our lives, this would never have been possible. This is the journal they wanted.

You can find out about our community writing events on our Meetup and

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Finally, we would like to thank you, our readers, for supporting us and sharing this adventure.

Please enjoy Issue One: Empty Spaces

Your AA Chief Editors,

Roger Patulny, Carlo Caponecchia, Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad


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