This journal is the result of the passion and dedication of a group of Swinburne students and staff who were determined to add to the cultural landscape not only of their university, but of the wider literary world.
Other Terrain aims to introduce new and aspiring voices and our first issue proudly does just that.
By Matthew Jones
Her jacket was dancing in the wind. Out of time; off beat; sporadic. He thought she looked so beautiful. He exhaled slowly, trying not to get lost in his own thoughts. He must focus on the situation he had stumbled into tonight. Focus on the beautiful girl in black skinny jeans, her dark hair whipping about her face, her gaze meeting his with a sweet smile. In the snarling wind her fringe covered her eyes, but he could still make out the radiant blue which glinted underneath.
By Eloise Faichney
‘And you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams…’
By Tina Tsironis
First impressions count for a lot, even if we don’t care to admit it.
‘I don’t trust you’, I said in the taxi the night we met, my voice high-pitched and slurry.
You leaned close into my ear, your floppy boy band hair tickling my cheek.
‘Come on, don’t be like that. We don’t have to have sex or anything,’ you said.
By Tina Tsironis
Often a gap will develop between someone you thought you knew and the person they have become. A gap that widens at first gradually and subtly, and then all at once like a jet plane flying full throttle into a building. The sight of my younger brother Steven chasing my mum down our hallway last year, his face fire engine red, pushed the gap from slightly far apart to so extensive you’d have to run a marathon to reach the other side.
By Senaj Alijevski
After eighteen years in Australia, my mother decided to return to Macedonia. One evening, she dialed the number to our family overseas. It sounded like they were right in front of her. From both ends they spoke with a different accent. One that sounded both familiar and unusual to me.
By Karina Talbot
For a few months I could forget easily enough where I came from,
The old tongues and tones of Western Europe
By James Nicholson
No one could actually hear the actual sounds of intelligence, or of thought, but John Johnson knew the three animated suits before him were thinking. Considering, scanning and analysing him simultaneously; monitoring everything from his blood pressure to the dilation of his eyes, his heart rate compared against brain function. The thoughts, Johnson mused, would sound like a soft serve of static; a screen whose signal was not quite right. Thoughts would sound grey.
By Shaun Perry
‘So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back
ceaselessly into the past.’
I reread it a few times, put the book down, rolled a cigarette
and listened to the warm summer breeze.
By Arianne James
Her mother sits in the wicker chair by the bay windows, watching the snow flurries swirl in gentle tendrils, like dancers in white tulle floating around a ballroom. Baby can hear her knitting needles clickety clacking their way towards a scarf. The tiny girl lies on the sheepskin rug by the open fire—but don’t worry, there is a grate.
By Andy Goss
Backing out of the driveway, Jak checked left and right. Nothing coming, nothing parked. He twisted round; no movement. This was, Jak thought, perhaps illegal. He had thought of reversing into the drive instead, so that he could come out forwards, but of course only remembered when it was too late. Next time.
By Scherezade Siobhan
In a field of barley, you are an Andalusian horse –
light’s flaxen champagne rippling beneath the naranjo trees
I am a dilettante of wanton breeds, an artisan of the sinew’s electricity.
Together, we diagram the hunt, the pointillism of hunger brushing our backs,
our muscles speaking in the language of temples collecting memento mori
By Scherezade Siobhan
the very first thing he ever said was – i want you
to inch out the splinters i have sharpened into ribs
within the tilde of my anatomy. i want you to help
me unweave this glass wool warp of my epiphanies
By Scherezade Siobhan
snow owl, i call him –
the totem of gold-augured goddesses
through a jetlag, our twin bodies
are willed into an island dargah
By Oscar O’Neill-Pugh
Who took your measurements?
The diameter of the jugular
nestled happily in your throat.
Who was it you watched fall
as you straddled Lucifer
and rode the goat?
By Oscar O’Neill-Pugh
It was without a doubt,
That I would be forgotten, left behind.
Although I did not really pout,
As I really didn’t mind.
By Oscar O’Neill-Pugh
I am a weed,
A stray tuft of foliage that no one wants.
By Oscar O’Neill-Pugh
She keeps a cleaver,
Right next to the bedside table,
Underneath her pillow.
She has scrawled
On every inch of the blade.
By Sue Goss
Beyond the Raj – the Search for Identity in an Anglo-Indian World: a review of Umi Sinha’s first novel, Belonging.
Jac Mason is a past Sub-editor of Backstory journal. He is currently studying Professional Writing and Editing at Swinburne. He enjoys writing satirical and dark comedy pieces and if he is ever half as good as Kurt Vonnegut he will die happy. He is currently working on a manuscript for a novel, a cartoon and being a better human.
By Teuila Krause
Karina Machado is the Sydney-based bestselling author of three paranormal non-fiction novels – Spirit Sisters, Where Spirits Dwell and Love Never Dies. She currently works for Who magazine as a senior editor. Teuila Krause spoke to her recently about her experiences with the paranormal, her time working for magazines and plans for her next book.
By Sarah Giles
Stephanie Gray is an emerging artist from Melbourne. Entirely self-taught, Stephanie was inspired by her Grandmother’s artistic talents. After trying to cajole her loving Gran into sharing the secrets of the craft, she was encouraged instead to develop her own style. That development style has led her to the beginning of an exciting career in the art world.
By Senaj Alijevski
Responses by Jodie Goldring in regards to Book Works, an exhibition of sculptures using recycled materials, held in the foyer of the Hawthorn Arts Centre from May 23 – June 5.
Karina is a primary school teacher from Queensland, with a background in Anthropology and Creative Writing. Her recent travels to Palestine, hearing countless stories of oppression, resistance, love and fear, have reignited her passion for writing about human rights issues.
Sue Goss is a Melbourne writer, journalist and editor. Among other works, she has published an autobiography, novel, poetry, short stories and interviews as well as editing the work of new writers. She teaches creative and life story writing.
Scherezade Siobhan is a Jungian scarab moonlighting as a clinical psychologist. Her writing has been translated into multiple languages as well as featured in various digital and physical spaces and can be found in literary magazines such as DIAGRAM, Winter Tangerine, The Nervous Breakdown, tnYPress, Potluck, Mandala Journal, Queenmobs, Realpants among many others. She has been featured in anthologies, international galleries, rehab centers and in the bios of okcupid users. Her digital collection of poems “Bone Tongue” was published by Thought Catalog Books and her full length poetry book “Father, Husband” was recently released by Salopress UK, her poetry pamphlet of Sufi poems is forthcoming from Pyramid Editions. She is a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net nominee for writing. In 2016, she created and now curates a global conversation called “the Mira project” where women and women identified folks are encouraged to respond gendered violence with healing through arts.
The son of a public servant and teacher, James Nicolson was born and bred in Australia’s capital. His parents afforded him the opportunity to live in France, Brisbane and Fiji during his formative years. After finishing high school, James put off higher education to pursue an illustrious career in underwater ceramic hygiene, before returning to study at age 26.
Naive as only the youth can be – an attribute he intends to keep in an effort to age gracefully – he elected to pursue studies in Journalism, with the understanding that Journalists merely write stories for a hobby yet drink professionally. However, his studies in philosophy have led him to consider a career in something entirely unemployable, rather than merely sustain himself as part of a dying breed on the basis of ‘transferable skill-sets’.
His reading habits constitute mostly science fiction and fantasy, and he cites Robert Jordan, Peter F Hamilton and Iain M. Banks as his inspirations. He also read Game of Thrones a long time before it was cool.
Shaun Perry is a student, freelance writer and poet. He has written for various online publications such as Thick Jam and The Adept writer. With his writing, he likes to explore ideas that bewilder him in one way or another. Ideas that he’s come across on long drives, where he has to chew on them for a while.
When he’s not clouded in university assignments, you can generally find him on a beach reading Bukowski with a coffee and a burger, or cheering on his football team, the Richmond Tigers.
Arianne James is a writer of fiction and a lover of words, books, people, long conversations, eavesdropping, music, stars, cats and many other beautiful things in between. In February 2015 and 2016 Arianne spent a week at Varuna House in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. She considers these residencies some of the most rewarding and enriching experiences of her life. Arianne has recently had one of her short stories, ‘The Secret Art of Grieving’ published in the Hunter Writers Centre 2015 ‘Grieve’ Anthology. She lives on the mysterious island of Tasmania, a place shrouded in stories making it the perfect place to write. Arianne is currently studying creative writing at University and dreams of publishing a collection of short stories and a novel (or three) in the not too distant future.
Matthew Jones is a 20 year old Psychology major at Swinburne University of Technology. He has spent the past few years exploring a variety creative mediums. “High-Wasted Genes” is his first endeavour into fictional writing and he is pleased to have it published by Other Terrain journal. He feels very welcomed into the creative writing community and looks forward to further exploring fictional expression.
Senaj Alijevski is a Sub-editor of Other Terrain journal and is studying Professional Writing and Editing at Swinburne University. She is a motivated activist for organisations such as “We Are Union” and Trades Hall city council. She writes fiction in the crime and romance genres, enjoys writing creative non-fiction, and is inspired by the work of Khaled Hossieni. She aspires to continue writing and travelling around Europe.
Teuila Krause is a past Sub-editor of Other Terrain journal and third year Professional Writing and Editing student at Swinburne. With a love of storytelling, her current goal in life (other than to sing as hauntingly beautiful as Karen Carpenter, sans alcoholic beverages) is to write for screen. When not quoting films, she enjoys reading non-fiction titles and has her eyes set on writing projects involving Polynesian history and indigenous affairs in the near future.
Ana-Teona Tinc is a past Sub-editor of Backstory journal. She began writing ever since she gave up on a career in Science and Mathematics in her primary school days. Studying Professional Writing and Law, her journey through the writing scene is focused on finding the power of words and the sweet, sickening nectar that can be derived from them. Many of her publications revolve around environmental and social change with bursts of erratic and abstract thoughts – most of which don’t leave the first draft.
Oscar O’Neill-Pugh is a Sub-editor of Other Terrain journal. He has been writing stories and poetry for as long as he remembers. Thankfully, none of his earlier pieces have seen the light of day. Oscar enjoys writing both free verse and rhyming poetry. There have been many sleepless nights filled with him worrying if dead poets would like his work. His idols include Baudelaire, T.S Eliot, Hunter S. Thompson, Nabokov, Dante, Shakespeare and Nick Cave. Spotting references in some of Oscar’s work is like a game of Where’s Wally, except a little more obvious. His other interests include films, gaming, tabletop games and acting; so if you have any upcoming projects or, even better, jobs that need an actor – let him know!
James Palmer is an Editor at Other Terrain Journal. He is a Melbourne based writer, editor, and fertilizer salesman. Knee-deep in his Bachelor of Arts, James spends much of his time skulking around Swinburne University’s Hawthorn campus, fueled by banana bread and black coffee. James is occasionally credited as Jay Parker.
Jac Mason is a past Sub-editor of Other Terrain journal. He is currently studying Professional Writing and Editing at Swinburne. He enjoys writing satirical and dark comedy pieces and if he is ever half as good as Kurt Vonnegut he will die happy. He is currently working on a manuscript for a novel, a cartoon and being a better human.
Tina Tsironis is a freelance writer in her final year studying Media and Communications at Swinburne University of Technology. An ultra sarcastic, pocket-sized hot sauce lover, she has lived to write since she possessed the ability to pick up a pen. Tina has written a number of lighthearted pieces for TV news website Beamly, where her love for playful media analysis was allowed to fully flourish. She has also written a number of short stories about eating disorders, physical assault, and murderous bogan lovers. She is looking forward to seeing her piece about autism published by Other Terrain journal.
Andy Goss is a past Sub-editor of Other Terrain journal. Law school dropout, bookseller, computer programmer, advertorial writer, and now again a student, Andy Goss’ main interests these days are in early 20th Century history, maritime history, fiction and its context, the arcane, and the occult. A long time ago Andy sold a story to Overland, and more recently his fiction and non-fiction appeared in Box Hill Institute’s Avant. The years between saw more of Andy’s short ‘Careers In…’ pieces appearing in The Age advertising supplements than he cares to remember. Andy is now in the final, he hopes, year of a Professional Writing and Editing degree at Swinburne, as a ramp-up for a couple of substantial writing projects, one of which, surely, will bring him wealth and fame.
Abby Claridge is a past Sub-editor at Other Terrain journal. She has changed more than she thought possible in that last 20 years, but a constant in her life will always be writing and creativity. Now studying professional writing and editing, she has a passion for not only writing her own pieces but improving the work of others. Her over-active imagination will never stop thinking up new and crazy ideas that keep her up at night and her passion for writing will only continue to feed it.
Sarah Giles is a past Sub-editor of Other Terrain journal. A student studying Professional Writing and Editing at Swinburne University, she was recently published in ‘The Victorian Writer’ and has plans to become the next J. K Rowling.
Wendy J. Dunn is Co-Senior Editor of Other Terrain journal. She has been obsessed by Anne Boleyn and Tudor History since she was ten-years-old. She is the author of two Anne Boleyn novels: Dear Heart, How Like You This?, the winner of the 2003 Glyph Fiction Award and 2004 runner up in the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction, and The Light in the Labyrinth, her first young adult novel. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Wendy is married and the mother of three sons and one daughter – named after a certain Tudor queen, surprisingly, not Anne. She gained her Doctorate of Philosophy (Writing) from Swinburne University in 2014.
Eloise Faichney Co-senior editor of Other Terrain journal. She is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Monash University in Australia. Her thesis investigates lacunae in the life narratives of women in 1930s Britain, reinterpreting the life writing of Scottish author Naomi Mitchison and introducing the life writing of Zita Baker. Her novel brings the narratives of the two women to life in fiction. Her creative work has been published in the Medical Journal of Australia, SMUT zine, Bukker Tilibul, Stormcloud Poets Anthology and others.