Since the demise of Sidewalk and Vernacular a couple of years back, South Australia has sadly been the only state without a quality magazine regularly publishing new writing. I am pleased to say that Wet Ink more than adequately fills the void.
There is something very healthy looking about this first issue of Wet Ink. You get the impression that the people behind the publication haven’t had to sell their car and mortgage the house to put this into print, as is often the case with many of these ‘little’ magazines. There is an impressive list of sponsors, advisors and editors, as well as evidence that they’ve worked hard to attract advertisers.
The production and design is first class, with generous space given to each piece of writing, and black and white illustrations throughout.
The contents of this first issue are also mostly impressive. The highlights include an interview with Frank Moorhouse about the state of Australian publishing, and a mouth-watering appreciation of Adelaide’s food by Tom Shapcott.
The short stories are a mixed bag. Angela Rotger’s ‘Spilt Salt’ is particularly good – beautifully written, full of rich detail and emotion. I also enjoyed Tom Morton’s ‘In Luminous Darkness’, despite its over-reliance on pop culture references, and Peter Barry’s ‘Palace of Justice’, an Orwellian tale of the not-too-distant future.
I would have liked more poetry, although the poetry here is good, especially Amelia Walker’s ‘Genus Unknown’ and the aforementioned Tom Shapcott piece.
There are also a handful of short pieces that are hard to classify. Not quite short stories, but definitely not poetry. A couple worthy of mention are James Roberts humorous ‘The Death Of Danny Boy’ and Sonja Dechian’s darkly funny review of last year’s flu epidemic.
All in all, it’s an accessible and highly readable first volume. My only gripe is the length – only 56 pages. But these are early days, and there is plenty of room to expand once the magazine has become established.
So subscribe, submit and support. Let’s make sure Wet Ink stays in print for a good many years.
For more information and submission guidelines visit the Wet Ink website at: http://www.wetink.com.au/