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New Australian Fiction 2022 is now available to read on the KYD website, exclusively for KYD MembersFind all the stories here.

A big thank you to all the readers that supported New Australian Fiction 2022—the print edition has sold out. New Australian Fiction 2023 will be released on 1 September 2023. Purchase yours from our website, bundle it with a KYD Membership, or order from your local independent bookseller.

Introduction—July 2022

We live in a time of narrative tension. Viruses, climate change, global catastrophes—will that person text me back? What will happen next? Who really knows. The plot thickens, storylines are unfolding as you read this.

In April 2020, the writer Arundhati Roy argued that the pandemic is ‘a portal, a gateway between one world and the next’. The fourteen writers in this collection are, like all of us, making their way through. The limbo between the past and the future is a common theme. Characters try to escape history, or are consumed by it; others fight for a different tomorrow. Each of these stories, in their own unique way, grapples with uncertainty—the uncertainty of change, the uncertainty of staying the same—taking readers into weird, wonderful and brave new worlds.

Change is no stranger to us here at Kill Your Darlings. We have been through a journey of our own—this is my first year as series editor of this anthology. Launched in 2019 by publishing director Rebecca Starford, the New Australian Fiction series has been a home for literary experimentation and excellence. To oversee this edition in these ‘uncertain times’ has been a blessing. I give a special thank you to Rebecca for her guidance at every stage of producing this anthology. Every success of this book is a testament to the space that she created for new voices, and the generosity of her mentorship.

Here, in New Australian Fiction 2022, these writers have travelled light, carrying only their imaginations, showing us that we can only keep moving ahead.

I am very excited to be showcasing more talented writers from across this continent. And it has been a big team effort: many amazing people have been involved in putting this together, in addition to the writers whose brilliant creativity fills these pages. Big thanks in particular to my Kill Your Darlings colleagues (gems all of you, Alan, Alice, Bec and Maddy), to our cover designer Alissa Dinallo, to our editorial consultants Jennifer Nguyen, Anna Thwaites and Bianca Valentino, and to Katherine Matthews, Caitlin McGregor, Clare Millar and Shivani Prabhu, who assisted in the reading of the over 300 submissions we received for this year’s edition.

As Roy eloquently expressed, there are different ways to make our way through a portal: we can be dragged, carrying our ‘dead ideas’ behind us, ‘or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world’. Here, in New Australian Fiction 2022, these writers have travelled light, carrying only their imaginations, showing us that we can only keep moving ahead.

We hope you enjoy their stories.

Featuring: Kavita Bedford, Whitney Chen, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Will Cox, Jacqui Davies, A E Macleod, Jasmin McGaughey, Nina Newcombe, Raeden Richardson, Melanie Saward, Bobuq Sayed, Elizabeth Tan, Jack Vening and Chloe Wilson.