For the past week, I’ve been debating with myself just how honest I’m going to be in this month’s recap. On one hand – there’s definitely such a thing as ‘the overshare’ on blogs, and I don’t want to submit readers (whoever you are) to that. But on the other hand, it would feel dishonest to paint my ‘writer’s life’ as constantly shiny and productive, because if you’re a writer – you’ll know that as lovely as that sounds, it’s just not the case. So instead, let’s try this: July was easily the most challenging month of the year so far…

My Book:

This has been the main source of difficulty for me in the last 30 days. Despite getting so close to victory, to the point where I was having phone chats with one of the publishers, Red Hands has been rejected. After all this time – two years of writing and rewriting, submitting and re-submitting, and the seemingly endless email chains with publishers, and I’m back where I started, sort of.

While I realise that rejection isn’t new news in the writing world, it still stings – ask anyone. In this case, I think the disappointment didn’t come from merely the rejection itself but rather just how close I felt I came. It was nearly there. I have to keep telling myself it’s going to happen, that it’s not the right time and/or hasn’t found the right pair of eyes. It’s challenging, to say the least.

At the end of the day though, all you can do is keep going and that’s what I intend to do, albeit a little more carefully. I’ve got a list of publishers that I’ve never submitted to before, so that’s something. Will keep you posted on that front.

Editing Life:

I must admit, the lack of progress on Red Hands has really affected my motivation this month. Usually, I’m a very driven and disciplined person, but that definitely suffered recently. However, as I mentioned in last month’s recap, what I love about my editing life is that it’s so fast-paced and you can see the results almost immediately – which is exactly what I need when the other half of my creative life is feeling a little stagnant…

Writer’s Edit

The best thing to come out of July for me, was getting my wonderful editorial team together for the very first time! On July 3rd, myself, Deputy Editor Kyra, Head of Tech Dave, Fiction Editor Kelly, and Editorial Assistants Bernadette and Claire, met up at a pub in Surry Hills, Sydney for some cheese, wine and book talk. We discussed everything from marketing strategies and fundraising to the shortlisted pieces in Kindling II and potential flash fiction ideas. It was incredible to finally have everyone all together and really get stuck into what we’re passionate about.



From left to right: Bernadette, Claire, Kyra, Kelly, me and Dave.

I cannot thank these wonderful people enough for giving up their Friday nights for Writer’s Edit. Our first official editorial meeting was a massive success in my eyes, and left me feeling incredibly inspired. I’m counting down til the next one!

Kindling II

We’re currently still editing the shortlisted pieces for Kindling II and have made a few last minute additions as well, but! We’re still right on schedule (touch wood). It so amazing having Kyra, Rory and Kelly more involved from the get-go this time round. We’ve really solidified as a team, and are making fantastic progress together. It really astounds me just how well these editors know our publication, our target audience and just the over all feel to what Writer’s Edit Press and the Kindling anthologies are all about.

Our lovely designer Alissa, is currently in the early stages of drafting covers for us. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. Such talent!

Kyra and Claire have done a fabulous job of reaching out to other publications to ask for support and donations. So far, we’ve received some beautiful gestures and donations from the likes of Griffith Review and the South Coast Writers Centre (who both supported Kindling Volume I) and Mascara Literary Review. So stoked to have these wonderful organisations involved.

It’s also getting to the point where I’m mulling over what I’d like to say in the foreword of the book… It’s a really exciting part of the process for me – reflecting upon how far we’ve come, the incredible stories, essays and poems we’re publishing and the reality that we’re putting another book out into the world…

Interviews and Guest Posts

Yes, somehow I’ve managed to fit in another interview this month, and a guest post for the ACT Writers Centre blog, Capital Letters.

I spoke with Kindling I author and novelist Jenny Bravo about starting Writer’s Edit, over on her blog Blots & PlotsShe asks some awesome, unconventional questions which mixes things up a little. She also refers to me as “one of (her) favorite people in the book biz” – which made my day, hands down.

Over on Capital Letters, I talk about the saturated space for online literary magazines, and why I chose to start one anyway. When I shared this bad boy on social media, it got a really wonderful and enthusiastic response. All the warm fuzzies!

What I’ve Read:

  • Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  • Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  • The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna


July and I definitely had our ups and downs, but what I have to keep telling myself is that it’s all one big, amazing learning experience. And that celebrating the little wins, and supporting other people’s dreams are simple ways to keep yourself motivated and grateful for the opportunities that come your way.

Until next time,

– Helen