Founded and first published in 1997, UNSWeetened, the first Australian student written and run literary journal, is celebrating 20 years – 20 years of poetry, prose, and whole lot of passion.
Over the last two decades, much has changed for UNSWeetened. The handing of the reigns from the Union to Arc, saw the move from a magazine structure with a print size from B5 to A5. While format and style has changed, literary excellence has always prevailed.
2017 Editor-in-Chief, Haya Saboor, credits the growth and success of UNSWeetened to the diversity seen at UNSW, “When you’ve got a uni that is so inclusive… the works of art coming from that uni also represent that.”
Haya notes that the unique experience and influence of each year’s editor brings a diverse and interesting style to each edition of the journal. In making her point, she says that the same submissions have succeeded in different years.
“Writing is a tangible expression of feeling, memory and creativity. We all feel and see the world in different ways,” 2016 Editor-in-Chief, Carla Zuniga agrees.
In celebration of 20 years, Haya aims to pay homage to the classics by bringing the two worlds of the present and past together. Throwing it back to the first edition, the only comic ever to be published in UNSWeetened will also be included in the journal this year.
This cream paper and red and black colour scheme will be a stark contrast to the clean-cut and bright blue design of last year’s edition.
Not to be mistaken for something old fashioned, this edition of UNSWeetened will also include experimental pieces that delve into darker topics of suicide and domestic violence, leading the journal to have content warnings for the first time.
Incorporating the influence of diversity, Haya has also selected translation pieces, recognising the shared experiences of UNSW students in relation to migration, belonging, relationships and celebrating differences.
This inclusivity builds on the Indigenous voices that were introduced to UNSWeetened by Carla, last year.
Along with the comprehensive subject areas and mediums covered in the journal, Haya advocates objectivity, stating that she relied greatly on the opinions of her sub-editors.
“It is a team effort,” Haya says, “[the editors] are the spine of UNSWeetened.”
Despite the effort to be inclusive, the limitations of print simply does not allow the spotlight to be shine on everyone. This year, selected pieces which did not make the journal will be getting a second chance, being published in a wall magazine (keep your eyes peeled around campus). The 2017 shortlist will also be uploaded onto the online.
“No idea is too big,” Haya says. “The world is your oyster – UNSWeetened is your oyster.”