On Friday, November 1st 2019, Underground Writers held a birthday party at PICABar in Perth to celebrate 10 years supporting Australian emerging writers. Our full team of editors were in attendance, and we were joined by a large crowd of supporters. What follows is the speech given on the night by our Editor-in-Chief, Jemimah Halbert Brewster.
Welcome everyone and thank you so much for coming to Underground’s 10th Birthday celebration. My name is Jemimah Halbert Brewster and I am the Operations Manager and Editor-in-Chief at Underground.
Tonight, we are launching Issue 28 of Underground which is aptly titled ‘Invitation’. In the ten years since Underground started, our aim has always been to invite; to invite writers to share their work, to invite readers to explore new names, and to invite everyone to support the Australian literary community.
We’ve come a long way since the days of printing an A3 newsletter and leaving it in cafes and local bookshops for people to read. Since 2009, we have expanded to include a website which shares book reviews, writing tips and tricks, and interviews with industry professionals. We have a solid social media network which promotes the work of Australian debut authors. We can now pay the writers who contribute to our zine thanks to our fabulous Patreon supporters. And, we now have our own bookshop which only stocks debut Australian books.
One thing that hasn’t changed is our dedication to providing support and feedback to everyone who submits to us. At this point, I’d like to thank our editorial team who put in endless hours of reading and discussion to ensure writers receive rounded and thoughtful feedback on their work. Shelley Carter, Dylan Dartnell, Jess Gately, Kate Lomas Glendenning, and Jess Rae are our volunteer editors. Not only do they provide support to our contributors, but they also provide all the content on our website; the reviews, the blog posts, the images, the interviews, all come from this team of dedicated professionals.
There are so many people who have been involved with this project over the years and so let me just quickly thank the following people. Chris Hocking, one of our founding members, who until recently had still been funding our website, providing us with technical support and still to this day is a sounding board for us. All of our previous editors, I will not name them all here, but their names remain on our website [and are listed below] and we thank them for their contributions in the past. To our Patreon supporters, without whom we would be unable to pay our contributors. They are the real MVPs! And finally, I’d like to thank all of you for coming. Your support and your dedication to this industry is vital and it is a pleasure to work amongst you.
Thank you to our past editors:
If you would like to support emerging Australian writers, please consider giving to our Patreon page to help pay contributors to the zine. If you have another way you’d like to support our project, please contact Media and Marketing Manager Jess Gately through our contact form to discuss your idea in further detail.