Gay Abandon, Blake Erickson

I remember thinking: surely it’s normal to expect that when you look down at your foot, it will be there. Perhaps it’s planted in a shoe, pinned on top of a gravel road, or in my case: immersed ankle- deep in a rock pool. But it’s absolutely there where you left it. And while my […]

The End as We Thought It, Briana Symons

My name is Bri. I’ve been sitting at my desk, looking at a blank page for ten minutes as I listen to my neighbour struggle to pull out of the driveway. Every scrape of tyre against pebble resonates in my chest. My neighbour always takes ages to get out of the driveway, but it feels […]

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Tightrope Walking 2020, Jacqui Greig

Michelle’s grandson has told her he’s too old to need band-aids. So now, leaping from stone to stone of the dragonfly shimmering creek, Samuel knows a fall means he will have to grit his teeth and wish away the hurt. It’s their favourite walk; eucalypt scented, dotted with yellow boronia and the jewel-red of mountain […]

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A Bed Of Roses, Isabella Ross

A Bed of Roses was awarded 3rd place in The Quarry – Future Leaders Creative Writing Prize 2020 Nestled among the flowering hedges within the grounds of a Sydney cemetery, is baby Primrose. She rests underneath a canopy of white roses, a ceramic mushroom house and a fairy figurine placed next to her grave. The […]

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Xenophobia is a Virus, Sing Tuck Jonathan Chang

Racism isn’t getting worse, it’s getting attention. From deserted Chinatown districts to plummeting sales at Chinese restaurants to the violent abuse – both verbal and physical – people of my skin-tone bear the weight of the colonial gaze in extra measure. Viral paranoia spreads faster than viral infection, and COVID-19 gives them an excuse to […]


Deadly Traffic, Jacqui Greig

The email blipped onto my phone as I boarded a flight from Diqing to Kunming in China’s south western Yunnan province. I tapped the little aeroplane icon and walked down the jet bridge. Later, as the Himalayas passed below, stereoscopic and horizon-wide, I read, ‘A mystery virus is sickening people in Wuhan. Stay away from […]

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The Beast, Amanda Midlam

The monster fire that ate Mallacoota on New Year’s Eve and spat out charred toothpicks is galloping towards us. Just a few days into 2020, the mayor of Bega Valley Shire makes a heart-quaking announcement. My town of Eden will not be defended. How can a town of 3100 people not be defended? The answer […]

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Covid-19 Diary, Sue Osborne

Date: 1 April It’s amazing how the rain can become a source of entertainment. For months we had none, so when it finally comes it brings excitement and joy. Now it is more mundane, yet still a pleasure. All of a sudden, a dripping gutter is a conversation starter. Our lives have been reduced yet at […]


The search for Lycaon pictus, the African wild dog, Keira Chrystal

Egypt, Naqada III: Cosmetic Palette Addax bulls clashed by the acacias, trampling the savanna. They gnashed and snorted, grumbling up dust, and leaving pits in the dirt. Females and non-contenders ruminated around them, as if oblivious. Giraffes observed from their troop, swishing their tails, and smacking their jaws. Before the pharaohs of Egypt, wild dogs […]

Parkland, Melissa Bartel

My lens twinkles as it takes in the unfolding scene before me. Never before had it seen such a vast array of creatures huddled so closely together in nature. A 7×20 ought to do the trick. I observe my favourite to start off my parkland excursion. Corvus coronoides – known by its English name as […]