Like most good things in life, my stint as co-editor of Going Down Swinging, Australia’s finest literary magazine, was all too brief. I came on board for just one issue but the experience was fantastic: we selected over a hundred and forty pages of poetry and prose, along with a bumper eighty page comics section, making this issue one of the biggest (and, of course, best). I was flattered to be asked to be MC for the launch of the issue in December 2006. Props to my co-editors Steve Grimwade, Lisa Greenaway and Mandy Ord. To order copies or to find out more about submitting to GDS, visit the website.
This is my first issue as co-editor of Going Down Swinging.
It’s been a wild ride.
First, the submissions. I have to admit I was amazed and then slightly frightened by the sheer number (and quality) of submissions we received this year. This just confirms for me how many people are out there writing crazy poems, drawing kooky comics and coming up with surreal and interesting storylines. I hope you’ll agree that this 24th issue of Going Down Swinging is as strong, if not stronger than any issue of any magazine that’s ever been published. Anywhere.
Second, the editorial process. This is the first time I’ve ever worked closely with a group of fellow-editors and let me tell you, the GDS editorial meetings are barnstorming affairs, where the seemingly impossible task of selecting a book’s worth of content from thousands of submissions takes on epic proportions. I’d like to be able to say that these meetings were full of tears, tantrums and tie-breaks but the truth is, working with Steve and Lisa has been a fantastic experience.
Third, the comics. GDS has featured comic art before but I believe this is the biggest and best selection of comic art I’ve ever seen. Anywhere. Huge props to our comics editor Mandy Orr for her work in soliciting work from some very exciting artists. It was hugely exciting to sit down and look through the work, and while the task of selecting the best pieces was just as hard as it was for the poetry and prose, I think we’ve achieved the right balance.
Fourth, the contributors. That’s you. I know, you may not have got into this issue but the fact of the matter is that GDS would not exist were it not for the writers, the poets, the genii (you know it). The artists, cartoonists, haikunauts and rhymesters. The readers and supporters of the magazine. Yes, you. We love you all. Believe me, I have been you. I may not know you in the way Henry Rollins says he does but then who would want to, really?
Finally, the book itself. I mean, how cool is this book? From the cover to the layout and the bumper comics section (some of it in colour!), this issue oozes professionalism and quality. Quality! The world’s crying out for it! Thanks to Steve and his incredible production skills, that’s just what you get. In bucket-loads. I’m proud to have had even a small hand in bringing this issue to life. I’m left wondering how GDS can get any better.
Well, the big news is that Going Down Swinging is now bi-annual! This means you have twice as many chances to be published in Australia’s coolest, funkiest and most untold literary periodical!
So get cracking!