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Welcome to the twenty-fifth issue of Kill Your Darlings. We are delighted to be back at the editorial helm in this year after spending some time behind the scenes. We’d like to thank our former editor Brigid Mullane, whose indefatigable work and enthusiasm shaped KYD into what it is today, and our readers, for your ongoing support and hunger for new Australian writing.

Many of us will have at one time or another turned our minds to working conditions and the quality of life associated with our career paths and prospects. As we head into autumn, many of you may already be experiencing fatigue and anxiety at the ever-increasing pressure to be working harder over longer hours. In an impassioned consideration of the modern-day workplace, esteemed social commentator Jane Caro alerts us to the spreading epidemic of fear among both younger and older generations threatened with competition and irrelevance, and suggests how we might regain a sustainable work-life balance for everyone. It is essential reading.

The vicissitudes of securing a home and personal stability are central to Omar Sakr’s essay, in which he relates a time when his own struggles intersected with those of his mother. It is a poetic meditation on homelessness in every sense of the word.

Elsewhere in Essays, S.A. Jones writes of the disturbing narcissism at the heart of Tony Abbott’s recent prime ministership, and how this personality trait infects conservative politics in Australia. Jocelyn Richardson contemplates the seductive power of landscape, memoirist Maggie Mackellar reflects on the practice of daily writing and its relationship to grief, Rachel Watts tells of the death of a child in a small town, and Karen Hollands reveals the disturbing history of leprosy and its treatment in Queensland.

In Commentary, Jarni Blakkery looks at the experiences of adoptive children raised in Australia, while Sarah Coles – examining an issue that too often passes under the radar – reveals how, in a country which produces, and wastes, enormous quantities of food, many can hardly afford to eat. It is both disturbing and galvanising.

Last year, KYD partnered with the Australian Crime Writers’ Association to present the SD Harvey Short Story Award, and we’re fortunate to have one of the shortlisted entries, by Aoife Clifford, in this issue, alongside chilling new fiction from Karen Bateman.

In Conversations, Gerard Elson speaks with Brazilian writer and translator Tatiana Salem Levy, while in the Culture Files, we cast an eye back across the careers of three artists who continue to influence and inspire. Michelle Cahill revisits Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea fifty years after its original publication, and Annabel Brady-Brown considers the legacy of French filmmaker and artist Agnès Varda. Many of us were deeply upset by news of David Bowie’s passing earlier this year, and in reflecting on his contribution to culture, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas writes of the first film role the star took in the years before his fame.

If you haven’t already, please visit our brand new website, which has been recently redesigned by the incredibly talented teams at The Company You Keep and Cinch. There you can read loads of additional content, listen to our monthly podcast, learn more about upcoming events and workshops, and stay in touch with all our other updates.

Happy reading!

Rebecca Starford and Hannah Kent,
Publishing Directors and Editors-in-Chief