This article originally appeared in print in Kill Your Darlings Issue 28, January 2017. For more great articles like this one subscribe today!

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Illustration: Guy Shield

Welcome to the 28th issue of Kill Your Darlings.

We have gone to print a few days after the US election, and the aftershocks of this most troubling result are still resounding. Much is still to be written about this world-changing event, but in the meantime here at KYD we recognise the important role the arts now has to play in interpreting these events, creating pathways to change, and enabling regeneration.

In this spirit, we are pleased to remind readers about our new writing prize. Entries will soon open for the inaugural KYD Unpublished Manuscript Award, which includes a cash prize of $5000 and a mentorship with myself and KYD’s co-publishing director, Hannah Kent. The award will assist an early-career author in the development of their manuscript and is open to unpublished writers of adult fiction and adult non-fiction. For more details on this prize, including entry requirements and submission dates, please visit our website.

And now onto our Summer issue, which features Jane Caro’s insightful – and timely – commentary on the ‘Age of Anxiety’, in which she argues the historical parallels between our time and the Protestant Reformation, drawing some comfort, and some alarm. It is essential reading.

Elsewhere in Commentary, Lou Heinrich examines her own relationship to faith through the lens of the recent Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse, while Roz Bellamy takes us to a writing workshop in the French Alps where she ponders the many facets of distraction. Erin Hortle offers a reflection on sexism in women’s surfing, and wonders how a sport that began as counter-cultural has become, by virtue of these attitudes, so mainstream.

In Essays, Jerath Head travels to the Canary Islands, where a chance earlier encounter with philosopher and poet Miguel de Unamuno enables new kinds of understanding about travel and existence.

In First Person, Lauren Carroll Harris reflects on a confrontation with the paranormal, and Alice Melike Ülgezer leaves the city to walk the desert, exploring how a connection to the land can assist in overcoming trauma.

Jennifer Down’s story, ‘Pulse Points’, is a haunting tale set in country Victoria examining the edges of love and grief, while Gerard Elson talks to Man Booker Prize-nominee Madeleine Thien about Do Not Say We Have Nothing, her new novel that takes readers inside an extended family’s experience of China’s Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen Square Massacre.

In Culture Files, Jane Howard explores why queer female narratives are still so absent in theatre. Similarly, Rebecca Shaw wonders why, in this time of diversity in comedy, do some male television executives still fail to acknowledge these talents? And Susan Hurley measures the values of print books versus their audio counterparts.

Finally, just a reminder to our readers that this issue is our penultimate in print – the next issue, April 2017, will be the last of our quarterly editions. After Issue 29 KYD is going entirely digital, which will see us publishing twice as many writers than previous years on our redesigned website, increasing the scope and range of content for our readers. If you have any further questions about this transition, please drop us a line on [email protected].

And lastly we would like to thank our departing associate editor, Hop Dac, for all his incredible work with KYD these past three years. Hop has been an integral and much-valued part of our leadership team, and he will be missed by all. We wish him all the best for his writing and editing in the future!

Happy reading!