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You may notice a slight difference in the way Kill Your Darlings now rests in your hands, a little slimmer and a little wider. Our commitment to quality writing and design remains, but as we race into our fourth year (time really does fly when you’re having fun!) we thought it was time for a shake-up.

This issue also features our first editorial handover. I am saying goodbye to the role of editor of Kill Your Darlings, replaced by my effortlessly talented deputy, Brigid Mullane, who you will get to know in the issues ahead. I am very excited about how she will steer Kill Your Darlings in the future. I’m not going anywhere, though – I now take on the role of publishing director (along with Hannah Kent) and assume the broader role of editor-in-chief. So with this, along with our new digs in Footscray, I’m thrilled to welcome in the new year, our sixteenth issue and Brigid’s first issue as editor.

And what an issue it is. James Purtill’s lead feature ‘Easy Surface Gold: Protesting and Prospecting in the Godforsaken Lucky Country’ takes us to Kalgoorlie, to the annual mining conference Diggers and Dealers. Here the glitz and showmanship of the conference blurs the reality of life in a place where the fortunes of all are tied to the rise and fall of the price of gold.

It seems fitting that much of the content of this issue focuses on origins and redirections. In other Commentary Walter Mason revisits his youth as an awkward teenager in Far North Queensland and recalls how Boy George made freakishness fabulous. Jenny Ackland investigates nostalgia and unrequited loves as she recalls a journey to Lake Eyre, while Angie Hart shares with us her most embarrassing encounters with the musicians that have influenced her. Rochelle Siemienowicz examines the rise of Indigenous filmmaking in Australia; Tim Robertson travels to North Korea; S.A. Jones discovers an abandoned castle in Cairns; and Carody Culver explores the perils of working from home.

In Fiction we have new work from Romy Ash. We also have an extract Diego Marani’s new novel, God’s Dog. This hard-boiled detective tale follows Salazar, a Haitian orphan and Vatican secret agent.

In Interviews Sam Rutter talks with Junot Díaz about laziness, living in the shadow of New York City and writing for readers not writers. In Reviews Sian Campbell examines the cross-cultural appeal of Lena Dunham’s Girls and Margot McGovern goes in to bat for Donna Tartt, arguing that her novels are worth the (often decade-long) wait.

We also have some new additions to the KYD family. We’re excited to introduce sales and marketing manager, Claire Hielscher, and our new editorial assistant, Hop Dac. And returning to KYD is Bethanie Blanchard in the newly created role of interviews editor. We’re all looking forward to working together to bring you more great writing in 2014.