Issue #1 of Kill Your Darlings

Next year Kill Your Darlings turns 10. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the past decade – we’ve published incredible work from over 500 emerging writers, started a book club to promote debut authors, launched two nationwide writing prizes, produced a podcast, hosted events and had a lot of fun along the way.

We’re asking for your help to ensure we can continue supporting emerging writers for another 10 years. You can find more information and heaps of amazing rewards at our Pozible campaign page.

While we’re feeling nostalgic, we’d like to share some of our most popular pieces from the past 10 years with you.

2009Hunches and the Historical Novel by Hannah Kent

2010‘Shit Never Fucking Changes’: The Enduring Pleasure of The Wire by Anthony Morris

2011The Invisible Women: Carers in Australian Families by Emily Maguire

2012Dudes’ Pubes: The Virtues of Completely Hairless Tackle by Benjamin Law

2013‘Hey Girl’: How Ryan Gosling Has Become Everyone’s Fantasy Boyfriend by Estelle Tang

2014The Tunnel vs The Bridge: The ethics of TV remakes by Julia Tulloh Harper

2015Progressive to a Point: Homophobia and Gilmore Girls by Tim McGuire

2016Suburbs in the Sky: High-rise commission flats and the Melbourne imagination by Alan Vaarwerk

2017The Virtual Reformation by Jane Caro

2018If I Could Eat Avocado Toast, I’d Be Able to Afford a House By Now by Fiona Wright

And here are a few personal favourites from the KYD team…

Hannah Kent, Publishing Director

One of my favourite stories from the early years of KYD is Kalinda Ashton’s ‘Kindling. Ashton has an incredible ability to create complex, memorable characters in very few words, and ‘Kindling’ is a wonderful example of a short story where the weight of meaning is conveyed through the actions of the protagonist, rather than through her narration.

Alan Vaarwerk, Editor

I can vividly remember reading Omar Sakr’s essay ‘The Privilege of Starvation on creative writing courses and the starving artist trope – I’d just come out the other side of a long period of unemployment, a lot of which I’d spent feeling a weird sort of shame – I had so much time on my hands, why wasn’t I using it to make art? Reading Omar’s insightful unpacking of the romanticism around poverty and creativity was validating and galvanising, and has informed a lot of my thinking since.

Ash Hanson, Fiction Editor

I’m a big fan of Lauren Carroll Harris’s ‘Kangaroo and the Lie of Australian Classlessness. In addition to being beautifully written, Harris’s piece articulates the context and consequences of the class tensions that, as she rightfully points out, have only a veiled presence in our national dialogue. She uses the film as a lens to bring into focus those things of which we might have only a blurred impression. I recognised myself as part the generation of youths she referred to, beleaguered by the structural and economic odds stacked against us, taking solace in smashed avocado.

Justina Ashman, Editorial Assistant

I’ve always been incredibly invested in the issue of representation in the arts, be it in books or on screens and stages. It’s such an important aspect of our cultural landscape and as creators and critics we have to constantly reflect on what we’re doing to show the diverse reality of people’s lived experiences. Fury’s ‘Isn’t It Obvious: Queer representation in children’s television’ is an excellent piece about representation, tackling an area that lot of people shy away from. It’s a great piece to return to in 2018 to see how things have changed as more children’s shows – including Adventure Time – have begun including explicitly queer characters.

Alice Cottrell, Publication Manager

I loved ‘We Really Need You Tonight’ by Vince Ruston, a piece of memoir that depicts Ruston’s experience working as an escort. As Ruston notes, realistic representations of working in the sex industry are rare, focusing on either exploitation or titillation. This piece is an honest and nuanced look at the realities of sex work, as well as the inadequate legislation that fails to protect sex workers in Australia.