I had the honour of launching Shibboleth and Other Stories, edited by my friend Laurie Steed, in Perth last night. Here’s my launch speech.
Thursday 18 August 2016, Centre for Stories, Northbridge
Laurie Steed, the editor of Shibboleth and other stories, is one of the great ambassadors for the short story in Australia today. Another great ambassador is Ryan O’Neill, who tweets about short stories as if short story writers are a persecuted minority. Which is sometimes true. Here are some of his tweets:
- “Not all awesome people write short stories, but all short story writers are awesome.”
- “Endings are tough to pull off in short stories. Too neat and they seem artificial, too open and they are unsatisfying.”
- “Before becoming a writer I analyzed the market to see what made the most money. Sadly, I’m awful at maths, so I became a short story writer.”
It’s a real achievement for Margaret River Press to bring out this fifth anthology from its competition. It shows commitment and patience, and has resulted in growing significance. This sort of stability in the literary scene is precious. There are many things writers need, but near the top of the list is opportunities to publish good work and reach an audience, hopefully beyond other writers. Congratulations to Caroline and John Wood and the rest of the team.