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Welcome to Issue 18 of Kill Your Darlings. In this issue we are looking locally – at the laws that affect our political system, at the state of our independent theatre scene, at the food in our backyard and at the things that inspire us.

David Donaldson’s lead feature, ‘Dirty Money: How Political Donations Undermine Our Democracy’, is an insightful examination of the laws that govern political party donations, which can change the shape of politics in Australia. In this important feature, he looks at how money can be used to influence political decisions and what can be done to ensure that money doesn’t buy power in this country.

Elsewhere in Commentary, several authors are ruminating on their inspirations: Ambelin Kwaymullina reflects on the Indigenous influences of her novels The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf and The Disappearance of Ember Crow; Lee Kofman examines the role of muses in literature and in her own work; and Ashley Hay ponders the fine line between fact and fiction.

Also in Commentary, we have an extract from Luke Ryan’s hilarious new memoir, Annie Raser-Rowland celebrates the generosity of weeds, while Tim Byrne considers the future of independent theatre in Melbourne and Elizabeth Bryer investigates our relationship to tools, and why we are both so reliant and so afraid of them.

In Fiction, the issue features a new story from Ruby J Murray, entitled ‘After the Fires’ and an extract from Jesse Ball’s new work Silence Once Begun, while in Interviews Bethanie Blanchard chats with renowned satirist Gary Shteyngart about his recent memoir, the death of long-form and writing for cheese.

In Review, Briohny Doyle revisits the Australian classic Wake in Fright, examining her own uncomfortable relationship to the Australian landscape; Danielle Binks looks at the lack of LGBTQI characters in young adult fiction; and Caroline Hamilton – in light of the recent controversy surrounding Melbourne designers PAM’s use of African textiles – looks at Hilton Als’ ground-breaking new book, White Girls.

We’re delighted to announce that Meaghan Dew will be joining the KYD team as an editorial assistant. Meaghan is also the producer of the Kill Your Darlings podcast and we are thrilled to have her as part of the journal team.

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