Writing for the Quarry is the culmination of a semester of hard work, and for many it signals the end of a degree. The long road that unites us has been defined by hard work and the constant drive to improve. The first and last lesson of our journey is:

Fiction is hard.

Each fiction writer has struggled with the demands of their craft. The paradoxes of the form pull authors in every direction, and seem impossible to reconcile. Endless discussions of ‘This needs more characterisation – but what about the plot?’ or, more frequently; ‘I feel like I need more description here; yet I mustn’t tell, but show!’

I’m sure a good portion of us tore up drafts and cried into our glasses of liquor and mugs of coffee. If fiction writing is so painful, then why do we subject ourselves to this cerebral torture?

The theme of Issue #5 of the Quarry has the answer. The seeds of inspiration borne by their minds will always drive fiction writers. These seeds can be anything: a clever little joke; a profound moment; or a vivid glimpse of character or landscape. When these seeds germinate, we have no choice but to find and tell their stories, their truths. The seeds must grow.

We planted these seeds in the fertile soil of a genre or theme, and watered them with effort. Our mentors Michelle Hamadache and Rebecca Giggs helped us nurture the seedlings by trimming the branches and guiding the roots, and eventually our seeds matured and became something physical, something beyond ourselves. They were no longer seeds in our mind. Our crop has bloomed into the tight one-point-five millimetre rows you see in the Quarry.

It’s for this moment that we write. When the flash of inspiration turns into something corporeal and, with any luck, beautiful. Now that our crop has been gathered we invite you, our loved ones and treasured friends, known and unknown, to share the harvest with us

Written by Tenzin Bereny

GED - Tara Aguiar

Shading Between the Lines - Jeremy Barakat

Temporal Echo - Andrew Barker

Chilli - Tenzin Bereny

Arabica - Maxina Burnet-Darwin

Contagious - Jing Chin

The Beginning - Nicola Donovan

Black and White - Rachel Farnham

Love Again - Karina Ferrone

Never Validly Married - Kyra Geddes

Give It Time - Renata Hercok

Her Place - Joshua Hodge

Limited Space - David Ivanovic

Pyramid Dragon Hunter - Guy Lamy

The Last Last War - Holly Marsh

Red - Nicholas Mayfield

Pulsing Nightlife: A Vamp Noir Story - Matthew McAnally

A Wish Away - Lyndall McAuley

Unborn Waking - Joshua McInnes

The Pearl and The Oyster - Angela Metri

She is Yours - Johanna Miller

In Small Spaces - Rachelle Pike

Make-Shift Heart - Kristen Rinaudo

Dragon - Kathryn Robson

Kingdom Come - Nathan Ruch

The Taking Tree - Naomi Shen

Seed of Doubt - Paul Soper

A Fine Shiraz Dripping All the Way Down My Chin - Jack Cameron Stanton

The S.E.E.D Project - Maxine Sundic

Birth of the Tetrapods - Branighan Swan

The Emerald Dress - Benjamin Traynor

Against the Sun - Sarah von Bock

To Which We Build Our Pyres - William Williams

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