EDITOR’S NOTE As a fresh BFA student last year, my mind was blown by the writing staff who were ~actually~ quite famous and successful. I imagined myself standing in H101, with the creaking seats thrumming in my ears as I launched into a tirade about Twilight and declared myself a ‘Hemingway lover’. For me, this was what made you a writer worthy of publishing. We’ve studied the old, usually fat, always white, and almost always male writers and they’ve all had one thing in common: a hatred of anything that isn't deep AF (also a lot of famous writers look like serial killers, or even are serial killers?). Hemingway was deep because he was a drunkard; Kerouac was deep because he was a bastard; Cormac McCarthy was extra deep because he was both a drunkard and a bastard; and here I am, enthralled by Stranger Things and the bargain of the $2.80 chicken chip deal at Woolies. Am I deep enough to be a successful writer? Should I be drunk more often? This thought has pounded against me every time I’ve sat in a poetry lecture or a short story critiquing session when everyone has a dark story about addiction and despair, and my story is about a shitzu and post-it notes. Would Hemingway have been as successful if he wrote stories about shitzus and post-it notes? Maybe. This is why we created the QUT Inklings Zine. It’s already difficult for an undergraduate or emerging writer to get published (made more difficult by QUT’s recent scrapping of the Undergrad and Postgrad Writing Prizes), and most publishers will strip so much of what the story is about because of themes and regulations, or in my own experience, not being “deep enough”. And when you’re starting up, all you want to do is show the world that yes, I can write an emotional, life changing story about a post-it note and still be a good writer. The stories that have been submitted to this zine are packed full of writerly passion. Some are funny, some make you think, and some just make you want to cry. It has been so much fun reading, editing and creating the designs for this zine, and I’m looking forward to repeating the process next year. And yes, I think they are all deep enough for publishing. Shitzus and post-its are better,
Kaet Edgerton QUT Inklings President
by Toby Smyth
by Toby Smyth
Circles by Nicholas Curry Tessa walked down the hallway, towards the three doors. One on the right wall, one on the left, and one dead ahead. Which one to take? She didn’t know. Might as well just go through the one straight ahead. Again. She reached the door, turned the knob and found herself standing at the top of another set of stairs. She was going around in circles. Tessa closed the door behind her, leaving the stairwell in complete darkness. She walked down, taking each step slowly. She had already done this before. She’d been doing it for an hour, maybe two even. It had all started when she stepped into an elevator in the hotel that had only two buttons: up and down. Confused, she pressed the up button and found herself in a hallway like the others she’d seen in the hotel. Only this one had just three doors at the opposite end. One on the right wall, one on the left, and one straight ahead. She went into the one on the right and found herself in the dark stairwell. But something was different this time. Last time, there had been a blue light shining through the gap underneath the door at the bottom of the stairs. When she opened the door, she discovered the blue light was coming from the various jellyfish tanks inside. It was a room filled with dozens of tanks, each one containing a large blue jellyfish. They were all glowing. And Tessa was completely alone. But this time, there wasn’t a blue light. It was red. Despite her hesitation, Tessa opened the door. She stepped through and it and found herself standing on a cliff, overlooking a range of mountains and volcanos, several of which were erupting at that very moment. Smoke was pouring into the sky. Red, hot lava was oozing down the mountains. Tessa looked over the edge of the cliff. At the bottom was a sea of lava. It was all around her. There was no escaping it. And Tessa had no choice but to go back. Taking a deep breath, Tessa went back through the door and up the dark stairwell. She was confused. When she had been in the jellyfish room, there had been another door on the other side. She had walked through it and found herself
in some kind of basement that had nothing but a bunch of empty filing cabinets. The only way out that Tessa could see was an elevator. But the elevator had only one two buttons: up and down. No levels. Just two directions. Just like the first elevator. Tessa pressed the up button, and elevator moved slowly. It took well over two minutes, but the doors finally opened. And that’s when Tessa found herself back in the hallway where she had begun. But this time, there was no escape beyond the volcanos. No doorway to the other side. Did each door just have a different stairwell behind it, one leading down to a strange and scary room, some of which having a way out and others not? If that was the case, then choosing the third and final door would be her only hope of ever getting home. Tessa opened the door and stepped into the hallway slowly. The elevator at the opposite end wasn’t there anymore. Instead, there were three doors. One on the right wall, one on the left, and one dead ahead. But how could that be? There had been an elevator there. Now there were two sets of three doors, one where Tessa was standing, and another at the other end of the hallways, where the elevator had been. Six doors in total. Six ways to escape this hell and Tessa had only tried two so far. The doors at the other end may offer something different, Tessa thought. After all, it was that end of the hallway that she had originally come from. Tessa walked down the hallway, towards the three doors. One on the right wall, one on the left, and one dead ahead. Which one to take? She didn’t know. Might as well just go through the one straight ahead. Again. She reached the door, turned the knob and found herself standing at the top of another set of stairs. She was going around in circles.
NOTICEBOARD Horne Prize
Closing date 31/10/2016 Open to all E s s a y (2,500-3000 words) about Australian life Winner: $15,000
Positive Words Mini Competition
closing date: 31/10/2016 Open to all Theme: contains the word ‘sorry’ Word limit: 100 words
City of Rockingham’s 2016 Community Christmas Poetry Competition Closing date: 28/10/2016 open to all Christmas themed poem of 24 lines Pr i z e : $ 2 0 0 a n d 2 copies of the Christmas Poster
Commonwealth Short Story Prize closing date: 01/11/2016
Open to any citizen of a commonwealth country who is over 18 no theme 2,000-5,000 word short story Prize: 5,000 Pounds
Odyssey House Victoria Short Story Competition Closing date: 06/11/2016 open to all Theme: chances 1,500 word short story $10 entry fee per entry prize: 1st: $1,000, 2nd: $100, 3rd: $50
QUT LITERARY SALON: Call for submission: November salon. Theme: ROOTS Submissions open Monday October 17, and close at midnight on Monday October 31st. Open to third years and graduates o n l y, to commemorate their time here. All and sundry are invited to the event, which will be held at the Menagerie from 5pm on November 9. for further information, check out the QUT Literary Salon’s Facebook page and website.
our writers 45 by Chloe Earles
Beautiful Until by Jess Mackay
Chloe Earles is a second year writing student at QUT. She spends her time looking for ugly Christmas sweaters and writing Australian gothic novels.
Jess Mackay is a final year fine arts student and the current editorial intern at UQP. After graduation she hopes to complete her honours year, and work as a fiction editor.
Co-Habitation by Annabelle de Paola
Tall Boy, Short Lie by Susannah O’Neill
Annabelle de Paola is a second year Creative and Professional Writing student. She is the cocreator of the collaborative zine ‘Bleeding out in the Western Suburbs’ and aspires to work as a scriptwriter for film and television.
Susannah is a Brisbane based poet with little to no personal achievements. She can be lured in with coffee, old vinyls, and abstract poetry. She writes at night. Dreamer’s Refrain by Toby Smyth
Endless Dream by Callum Lawrie Callum has the same dreams that anyone that calls themselves a writer has: write a book, earn a butt load of money, drink fancy scotch and smoke cigars. Till then he'll keep tripping over his words and hopefully stumble onto something worthwhile. Two-sided Easel by Adriana Tahir Adriana is a final-year Creative Writing student who loves any combination of matcha, cats, and/or books. She finds immense joy in cutting open perfect avocados.
Toby Smyth is a Brisbane based musician and writer with a passion for exploring the relationships between sound, text and vision. He plays guitar and sings for Brisbane band Fox Ache. Circles by Nicholas Curry Nicholas Curry is a Creative and Professional Writing student at QUT. After completing his degree, Nicholas hopes to write in as many fields as possible, including novels and magazine copy. Taxing Waxing by Sara El Sayed
Plum/ Fear by James Goldsworthy James Goldsworthy is a critically-unacclaimed young writer (and sometimes unprofessional psychic) with unhealthy appreciations for both comic-book heroines, and Wedgewood mugs decorated with snowy owls. Also aspires to be rich and a Real Housewife.
Sara El Sayed writes a lot of fiction, essays, and creative non-fiction about women of colour. She is currently the editor of her zine, Lost the Plot, which features student artwork, comics, and creative writing.
A digital-version of the QUT Inklings Zine.