Volume 7: Writers of Colour


vol 7


At The Suburban Review we have reams and reams of creative, fresh and engaged content freely available online, but every so often we like to showcase what the magazine is all about and release an annual print edition.


This year, it will be dedicated to artists and writers of colour.


We follow in the footsteps of Southern CrossingsMascara Literary Review, and Peril—Australian publications that already champion work by often-marginalised voices. Australia has many talented writers and artists of colour, and we want to hear them, see them, celebrate them!


In Vol. 7 we will be publishing 85 glorious pages of work by contributors who identify as people of colour. The issue is about proliferation; of voices, aesthetics, experiences, stories. We’re actively fighting against the silencing of non-white voices in creative communities. This silencing was no accident, and our response and retaliation is not accidental. This is no one-off gesture, no empty symbol. We want to demonstrate a way to change the game, and we need your help to turn this into reality. Pre-order a copy of Vol. 7 now and help us to pay our outstanding writers and artists. If you identify as a writer of colour and want to be a part of this project, submit your work here!


In anticipation of Vol. 7, we thought we’d give you a taste of what’s in store, with a month full of interviews with some of our favourite writers, artists and editors of colour.


Our resident artist for Vol. 7 is the stupendous Rachel Ang, an illustration and comics artist from Melbourne. She tells stories about the mysterious worlds which lie just beneath the surface of our own, and she’s bringing her magic to the pages of The Suburban Review. This year she has been artist-in-residence at Tolne Gjæstgivergaard in far north Denmark, and she is the recipient of the Banksia Project – a project to promote and mentor talented young female comic artists in Australia in 2016. We asked Rachel who she’d been reading lately, and she’ll be telling us about why she picked up Paper Girls, a graphic novel drawn by Cliff Chiang, full of the adventures of a punk teenage girl gang fighting a world of sexism, classism and racism.


This month we’ve asked our very own deputy editor, and the editor-in-chief of Vol. 7, Anupama Pilbrow, who she’s crushing on in a literary manner. We want to know why she can’t get the writing of Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros out of her head, and what verse/prose is keeping her up all night. Anupama’s own writing focuses on experiences of racial and ethnic marginalisation, and she recently received the Dinny O’Hearn Fellowship for her poetry manuscript the ravage space, a work dealing with Asian diasporic experience in Australia. We don’t think Vol. 7 could be in better hands!


Most people will know the inimitable Ellen Van Neerven as a writer before they know her as an editor—She’s the recent winner of the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers with her poem Expert, which will be published in Overland magazine in late June. Her novel Heat and Light (UQP) won the 2015 Dobbie Award and the 2013 David Unaipon Award, and was shortlisted for a shed-load of prizes including the Stella Prize and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Look out for her hugely anticipated collection of poetry, Comfort Food, out June this year.


Ellen is also very active as an editor: She was the editor of Writing Black: New Indigenous Writing from Australia (2014), she’s a contributing editor at The Lifted Brow and she is a judge and managing editor of the black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project. We interviewed her for our Hints&Tips section, and asked her which writers of colour she has her eye on at the moment, what kind of writing she’d like to see more of in submissions piles, and how her role as editor helps to make space for marginalised voices.


Last but not at all least! The wonderful Atong Atem is a Melbourne-based writer, photographer and artist from South Sudan, whose work explores notions of blackness, and the cultural identities of first and second-generation African immigrants in Australia. Her work has been featured in gal-dem, Salt magazine, Dazed Digital, I-D and as part of The Lifted Brow’s Umami series. We’ve asked Atong all about her creative process, what inspires her and what ideas she’d like to explore in the work we’ll be featuring in Vol. 7. We can’t wait!


If you’d like to support the Vol. 7 project, then we need you. We’re open for submissions from anyone identifying as a writer of colour—we want your fiction, your poetry and your comics. Please submit your work here. And if you are already bursting at the seams with excitement about this issue (as we are), then you might like to pre-order your copy through our Pozible campaign. By putting your deposit down now, you’re helping to make Vol. 7 a reality and helping us celebrate the voices and work of some amazing writers and artists. All money goes to printing costs and to the contributing artists: Help us to pay them for their stellar work!