Words || Hannah Armstrong
This past semester, forty-odd creative writing students were told that they had thirteen weeks to find a theme, write their first drafts, workshop with their peers, edit, write another draft, workshop again, write yet another draft, communicate with an editor to polish their work, and publish said work in the student-run journal The Quarry.
It was a lot to take in.
The Quarry, we learned, is Macquarie’s undergraduate creative writing journal. With nine issues of incredible writing at our back, the pressure was on. Even moreso for our student editorial team, who were just crazy enough to volunteer.
The theme we decided on was (Un)Natural Selection, and we set to work trying to come up with stories that elegantly and creatively interpreted what this meant.
So, what does (Un)Natural Selection mean to us? If you browse through the forty-odd works in Issue #10 of The Quarry, you might say that it means the future. It means humans made up more of metal and wires than skin and bones. It means progress. It means aliens and killer robots and genetically engineered babies and new worlds.
But it also means the wild and unexpected. The luridly impossible. The harrowing and the heartfelt. The odd choices we humans make and the ones we don’t, the things that just happen and can’t be explained.
For the past couple of weeks, the editorial team have been frantically making final edits, formatting our website, holding bake sales to raise funds and designing Issue #10’s print edition. It is such an honour to be a part of something wholly student-run. We felt a special kind of pressure, knowing that this year is The Quarry’s tenth birthday, to make our issue the best it could be. The work done by past students helped to pave our way, but we did our best to make the journal our own.
As of 9am, Friday November 10, The Quarry has been live for the world to see. For many of us, this is our first time being published. But it definitely won’t be the last. I, for one, can’t wait to see where the writers of Issue #10 end up, because these are sure to be names you’ll recognise.