Transporting Tassie Literature

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Whenever people ask me where I’m from, without hesitation, I say, “Tasmania”. I am Tasmanian first, Australian second. Not that I’m not also grateful to live in this lucky country (though, at the moment, I’m not always proud), but Tasmania has held me in thrall to its magic my entire life.

It’s why i stay here though the winters can be cruel.

It’s why I stay here though the pull of big city literary festivals is strong.

It’s why I stay here though many friends have found the excitement of “mainland” living tempting and flitted away to its bright lights.

I love it here. I love this rich, oftentimes dark history. I love the people. I love the relative slowness. I love the buildings, the wildlife, that beautiful mountain only minutes away. On days like this one, so clear and so blue, I even love its wintery times.

I’m also proud of its art. For such a tiny place, Tasmania is a heavy-hitter in the Australian arts scene. My little regional college on the North-West Coast produced, from my year alone, two nationally-famous comedians, several prominent visual artists, writers, musicians, actors …

Down here, in Hobart, the arts community is even bigger. And its talent is phenomenal.

Last week, at Fullers Bookshop, some of the shining lights of literature on this small, magical island shared their talent with an enraptured audience. I wasn’t able to be there because I needed to be with my tired darling girl, but my heart was with them. My hopes were with them. They were launching the crowdfunding campaign for an inspired new anthology – a coproduction between Tasmania and another of the world’s most captivating places – a place dear to my own heart – London.

This is from the campaign website:

“Sometime in 2013, when the sun attempted to shine in London and the dark sought to overcome Tasmania a spark of an idea began to glow. A lone Tasmanian writer in the ancient city of London and a group of Tasmanians who reside on the island began a correspondence about writing and Transportation was born.

Now a fully formed project, Transportation; islands and cities is a collection of short stories from London and Tasmania that will be published in book form in late 2014. We have invited some writers from London and Tasmania and opened submissions to everyone else in these two disparate yet similar places …

Those reading the work of Tasmanian writers know we have a rich vein of writers on the ground – not just in numbers, but in quality, diversity and creativity. This book draws on a unique international cultural exchange for both writers and readers and abundant opportunities for the writers from both sides of the world – in particular Tasmanian writers.”

I very, very, very rarely use this blog to promote a cause, or to attempt to “sell” an idea. I only do it if it’s something I believe in with my whole heart. I believe in this project. I’m not in any way invested in it, other than hoping with all my hoping powers that it gets off the ground. Some very, very fine writers (and glorious people), are involved. Adam Ouston. Ben Walter. Big names down here, beginning to be recognised more widely.

And the Tasmanian editor, Rachel Edwards, is a tireless champion of Tasmanian literature. She is also one of the best people I have ever had the privilege to know.

If you’re able to, I’d love it so much if you considered contributing to this project. If you’re unable to do so financially, at least have a squizz and tell your friends.  I come from a small island, but we can do big things if we work together. I so want this project to not only find its funding but find its audience, so our Tasmanian voices can be heard worldwide.

Here are the details. Please have a look-see.

Pozible campaign: www.pozible.com/project/182758

Project website: transportationbook.com

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