Australian Love Stories: do you have one to share?

Inkerman and Blunt (publishers) are in love with love.Inkerman and Blunt logo

Well, so it seems, anyway.  And not just any love, but specifically, Australian love.

Last year, Donna Ward from Inkerman and Blunt published an anthology of Australian love poetry.  This year, she’s moving on to short stories – and wants to see yours.

The stories must be short – no more than 3,600 words – and for this collection, they are looking for stories of amatory love (more on this below).  For full submission details, see the information on the Inkerman and Blunt website – but don’t delay: entries must be postmarked by the 28th of February 2014 (and yes, that does mean hard-copy submissions only).

The anthology will be edited by award-winning Australian short-story writer Cate Kennedy.  Naturally, when a writer and a publisher get together with love on their minds, there must be a story that goes with it.  We’ll let Donna tell it…

How Cate Kennedy Became Involved with my Australian Love Story

The heat was the kind that makes you want to rip off your clothes and run into the river and that day the river was only a dash away. All day the river lay in my soul, stretched out and beckoning, but I was caught in the warm dark wrap of the un-air-conditioned Green Room of the 2008 Perth Writers Festival waiting for my panelists to appear.

A tall woman, her smile glazed with heat, sat down in front of me.

‘These chairs were made for winter.’ I said apologizing for the injustice of the weather in my home town.

She smiled back at me as if it was inconsequential, and in her smile I saw something I recognized.

My heart jumped. ‘Are you Cate Kennedy?’

‘Yes.’

‘I’ve been wanting to meet you for ever. I love your work. I’m the editor of indigo journal.’

Cate laughed and said a number of wonderful things about indigo, but I was deafened by the adrenaline thrumming in my ears.

My panelists, dressed in floral linens and fanning themselves moved between Cate and me and sat on the couches like a bunch of butterflies settling themselves after a long migration.

‘Would you work with me on the next issue of indigo?’ I asked bobbing my head between the summer skirts. Instantly a sweaty piece of paper with inky details on it landed in the palm of my hand and Cate and I were colleagues.

Cate Kennedy is a startling short story writer. She is also a poet, a novelist and a memoirist. Her talent for writing warmly about the tension between a person’s inner life and the social reality that insists itself upon us all is remarkable. Cate is an observer of life with an instinct for portraying eternal issues in small mundane events between ordinary humans. This ability is the essence of the short story writer.

When you read Cate’s memoir Sing, Don’t Cry: A Mexican Journal (Transit Lounge 2005) you can see she and I share an ambition: to change the world through story. Publishing a collection of love stories by Australian writers is intended to bring love into our public conversation. We Australians are very good at destructive and vitriolic rhetoric. Our journalists, shock jocks on the radio and politicians trade in hateful retorts and I want to bring out into the world an Australian dialect of love. I believe this collection will do so and Cate has joined me in the project to help make it happen.

For those wishing to join Cate and me in spreading the love, we are looking for stories of ‘amatory’ love, that is, the love between two people. We can’t take stories of the love between parent and child, or person and pet. We are up for erotica as long as it’s part of a love story and not just sex for sex’s sake. And, it almost goes without saying, we wont take porn, but you weren’t going to send anything like that in, were you…

Of course, we’re looking for the very best quality writing a writer can do. So, get your pens scribbling, your fingers tapping and your editor on the job and send us your love story by 28 February 2014.

Donna Ward Donna Ward is the publisher at Inkerman & Blunt which recently brought out Australian Love Poems 2013, ed. Mark Tredinnick. She was the founding managing editor of indigo, the journal of Western Australian creative writing and immediate past editor of Sotto Magazine an online publication of Australian Poetry. Her prose has been published in Island Magazine, Ext2012, Fish Anthology 2012 and JuteBox Anthology.

cate-kennedyCate Kennedy is an award-winning short-story writer whose work has been published widely. Her first collection, Dark Roots, was shortlisted for the Steele Rudd Award in the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and for the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal. She is author of the novel The World Beneath, which won the People’s Choice Award in the 2010 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, a travel memoir, Sing, and Don’t Cry, and the poetry collections Joyflight, Signs of Other Fires and The Taste of River Water, which won the 2011 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.

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