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Journal

Funded by Copyright Agency, Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries, and our Founders Circle, Journal is an online column hosted on the Centre for Stories’ website showcasing writing by local, national, and international writers in support of the writers’ sector that has been heavily hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The column includes stories of creative non-fiction about real personal experiences. Stories of migration, daily life, sexuality, labour, family, and relationships. Journal serves as an immediate response, directly or indirectly, to the pandemic, and will provide a historical snapshot of those responses.

Read Journal here.

'It was always jarring to come back; the hand-drawn ‘I Can Do It’ poster on the ceiling above the bed betraying the anxieties of the insecure teenage girl that I was claiming not to be anymore.'
'I can close my eyes and hear it still – the patter and rumbling of the dialect in the cosy kitchens of my childhood village.'
'Of course there were hills and valleys, I think I knew, but as I go slower, go over old ground, unexpected views emerge around corners in un-walked lanes, as I ascend slopes barely noticed before.'
'But her passing was so sudden that she couldn’t glimpse her ‘flag of sky’ one last time. When eyes close without warning, who can tell what moment of beauty they freeze on?'
'After nine years of trying to make sense of what plays out at our nation’s borders, I am left with more questions than answers.'
'The problem came at night, usually after I’d spent hours watching or reading the news. In that space – after dark but before bed – silence became a vacuum that worries rushed to fill.'
'I want to write my own love letter to my heritage, to show that First Nations girls, Torres Strait Islander girls and African Australian girls, can be in fiction and have adventures and be very important to Australian literature on a whole.'
'I learnt how to be lonely again, and how to be good company to myself; how to notice, how to try and enjoy every moment of solitude and bustling city noise.'
'How to invite the moment into the span of the sentence, let the light of memory wash over the paper and the elliptical light print its shadow words on the page.'
'I learn early on that no matter where I live, I will always be too far away to make it home.'
'And every time I saw her, her arms parted for an embrace and the corners of her mouth stretched to call me sister.'
'I think of all the people with “weakened immune systems” walking miles and miles to reach home, without food, shelter or water.'
'I think becoming a writer means asking yourself again and again why you write, how to keep coming up with new ideas, how to trust yourself more, and how to keep falling in love with writing.'
'It’s pretty funny, I’ll admit, for there is always something ridiculous about trying to have things in your control, only to stuff it up.'
'Seeing how Australia dealt with this outbreak by putting people before profit made me slowly and gradually fall in love with a country that had started feeling like home.'
'My Vietnamese-speaking capacities recalibrate after a few lines but if she hears my messed-up accent, she’ll assume I’m a whitewashed Asian who doesn’t care about our culture.'
'My imagined child would spout endless questions, half of the words indecipherable, and squeal when we failed to understand.'
'Everyone has a home except migrants, for it is displacement and dislocation. They build a home for everyone but can’t own it.'
'I set about writing what I thought people wanted to read about; a certain ‘Aboriginal’ experience that was expected from an Indigenous author.'
'How are women not revered for this rather than being relegated to the sidelines? How did men manage to turn the creation of life against us? We are life itself.'
'Looking forward to the future can be a worthwhile endeavour. But, I have found that it can turn into an all-consuming practice that can have a debilitating impact.'
'"You remember Bansi Lal Babu?" asks my father, frowning down at me as I sit on the floor of our lounge, back against the wall, ginger cat purring on my lap.'
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