8 July 2021
A number of Meniscus contributors have published collections of their poetry or short fiction, and we are always delighted to hear about it.
We don't publish book reviews in this journal, but will do what we can to let others know about your excellent work.
This month there are two fine books out, and we are excited to see these, and offer heartfelt congratulations to the authors.
Poet Richard James Allen is publishing his first novel, More Lies, with Interactive Press in Brisbane, Australia. This is a comic crime thriller about an author who writes themselves and their readers in and out of a series of outrageous heists, gun point confrontations, international spy scenarios and performative flourishes, before finally revealing the emotional truth that fuels their beautiful lies. Anton Enus of SBS says: "Richard James Allen takes the world of Raymond Chandler – the mysterious murder, the femme fatale, the world-weary observer – and turns it on its head. We end up with a funny, provocative novel that shakes up how we think about reality." You can secure a copy in print or e-book format at https://bit.ly/3gluUkW
Murzban F. Shroff's book, Third Eye Rising—a collection of ten full-length stories—was published earlier this year by Spuyten Duyvil, an independent house in New York. Based on Murzban's travels to the villages of India, the collection explores issues such as caste, dowry, female-exploitation, child apathy, displacement, migrant identities, and personal loss. Some of America’s leading writers, such as the Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Diaz and the NBA finalist and New York Times book reviewer Madison Smartt Bell, have endorsed the work with a glowing blurb. You can read the blurbs here: http://www.spuytenduyvil.net/third-eye-rising.html Recently, the book featured on the Esquire list of Best Books of 2021; this, along with several Nobel Prize – and Pulitzer Prize-winners. https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/g35180578/best-books-of-2021/
Volume 9, Issue 1
Thanks to all concerned, the new issue of Meniscus is now live, and we send our apologies for the slow progress of this issue. It goes live as the world continues to wrangle the coronovirus and to think about finding ways to reconnect with each other, both locally and internationally. To a significant extent it has been the contributions of creative practitioners in writing, music, dance, film et al, who have given their time and product free, that has helped so many people cope with the exigencies of lockdown and social distancing; and we are reminded of that enormous and generous effort as here in Australia we are going back into lockdown. Our imaginations, our empathy and our understanding of the affordances of word, phrase, image, line and story will continue to matter as we humans creep back into what is likely to be a new normal; but a new normal that will still consume and delight in good writing.
Volume 8, Issue 1
Contributions to this issue have been coming in during a remarkable, often catastrophic, period of history. For us in Australia, the catastrophes have included drought, fire, flood, hail; for all of us in the world, the event of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, has devastated our nations, our cities; and in some cases our social circles. The editing and production of this issue took place at a distance with editors, readers and typesetters all working from home, in social isolation. This collaborative activity helped break down loneliness; the reading of these creative expressions, many of them responding to or inflecting the external disasters, created a sense of deep empathy, vivid community. We extend deep thanks to all the writers and readers who have participated in the making of a new issue of Meniscus. There is a special section to this issue, specifically focused on the impact of the pandemic, that is produced in parallel with a special issue of the AAWP's other journal, TEXT. This is the product of the initiative, The In/Completeness of Human Experience, the brainchild of the AAWP's chair Julia Pendergast, and we commend both the Meniscus and the TEXT elements to you.
Volume 7, Issue 2
is very close to being available: we expect to invite readers to this new issue within a week. The editors for this issue have been working assiduously since submissions closed, but with over 1,000 individual works to read and consider, it has necessarily been a slow and difficult task. On a practical front, it may be that we shall have to review our policy regarding simultaneous submissions. Selecting pieces is a time-consuming process, which also involves careful editorial attention. It is therefore frustrating when choices turn out to have been placed elsewhere. We are of course sympathetic to the author’s perspective on this (being authors ourselves!), but we do need to ensure that a viable system is maintained, and it may even help authors if a stricter numerical limit were to be placed on submissions. A single, well-worked and thoroughly edited story is likely to impress more than a problematic bulk.
Volume 7, Issue 1
We are very pleased to announce that new issue of Meniscus is now live, with contributions from authors from around the world, and from both regular contributors and voices that are new to us. The Cultural Fund 'Best Prose' prize has been shared between Chris Muscardin's short story ‘The Dream Dispels on Waking’, and Jenna Heller's flash fiction ‘Haere rā’; and 'Best Poem' is awarded to Kathryn Hummel’s ‘Gentillesse’.
As advised in late 2018 (see below), for the first time the editors nominated a number of the poems, short fictions and flash fictions to two highly prestigious venues: the Best Small Fictions, and Pushcart Prize. We are thrilled to announce that Heather McQuillan's 'A post-traumatic god' was selected for the Best Small Fictions 2019. After issue 2 this year, we will again selected individual works from 2019 for nomination to these prizes, so we encourage you to send us your best work for possible consideration by the judges of these two agencies.
Thanks to all contributors, both those selected and those whose works we were not able to publish on this occasion; thanks to guest editor Sandra Arnold, whose keen eye and deep knowledge of flash fiction so richly supports Meniscus; and thanks to the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund for their generous financial contribution.
We invite you to follow Meniscus on Facebook: @meniscusAU; and check our Submittable page <https://meniscusliteraryjournal.submittable.com/submit> for dates of submission to the next issue, and other publication options.
For the first time, Meniscus is nominating works to external prizes: to the Best Small Fictions 2019, and the Pushcart Prize 2019. The editors and guest editors involved combed through the 2018 issues, and have nominated the following:
Best Small Fictions:
A post-traumatic god - Heather McQuillan
Lost and found - Erica Plouffe Lazure
The taste of snow - Paul Beckman
And then the stars too did sing - Gayelene Carbis
Old woman and fox - Frances Gapper
Radon: Results of Adolescent Over-Exposure to Decay - Rebecca Barnstein
White Rabbit Obscura - Chantelle Bayes
Evridiki - Dominique Hecq
This Old Thing - Jo Morrison
The Story as We Know It - Chris Muscardin
One Sip, Then - Marco Yan
We aim to select works for these and other prizes in the coming years, so please keep your submissions rolling in.
Volume 6, Issue 2
The editors are very pleased to announced that this volume of Meniscus is now live. Our thanks to guest editor Sandra Arnold, who took carriage of the flash fiction submissions.
For this issue's Best Prose piece, the prize was shared by Heather McQuillan for ‘A post-traumatic god’, and Erica Plouffe Lazure for ‘Lost and Found’. Elanna Herbert’s ‘Aubie: Kokoda: 1988’ was selected as the best poem in this issue.
We were overwhelmed by both the number and the quality of submissions to this issue, and look forward to seeing what comes in for Volume 7, Issue 1. Next year, 2019, is the final year of the funding, generously provided by the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund, which pays the winning authors; and we are assiduously seeking funding to pay authors in 2020 and beyond.
Volume 6, Issue 1
This issue of Meniscus, guest edited by Sandra Arnold and Deb Wain, is now live. The winners of this issue's Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund are Victor Billot, 'Location, location' (for poetry) and Jo Morrison, 'This old thing' (for prose). The issue begins with these two works, and ends with Ruth Armstrong's prizewinning story, 'Paper cranes' (winner of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs / Australian Short Story Festival award. In between is a fine collection of poems and stories. Thanks to the guest editors, contributors, and readers for their constant support of this literary journal.
Volume 5, Issue 2
This volume went live in November, and contains some remarkable and exciting work.
The 'winners' of the second Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund awards for 2017 are Ella Jeffery for her poem 'Varnish'; and the judges couldn't decide between Ira McGuire's 'Life in Fragments' and Deb Wain's 'A Platter of Antipasti', so they shared the prose award.
Volume 5, Issue 1
The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has generously provided three years of funding for Meniscus, on the condition that for each issue, the editors select what they consider to be the best prose piece, and the best poem, each of which is given a fee / prize of $1,000. We are very grateful for this support; but we do regret that at present we have not been able to secure funding to pay the other contributors. Keep an eye on this page, and if we're able to find a sponsor or patron, we will swiftly make that known.
The 'winners' of the first Copyright Agency awards for 2017 are Eugen Bacon, for her story 'Honey Gone Sour', and Helen Moore for her poem ‘A Legacy, Mother’s Day’.