I haven’t been sharing some of my recent publishing successes here, but this one is a little special to me. Two nights ago I attended the launch of the latest volume in the series “Tales from the Upper Room“, and anthology of stories and poems written by those associated with Tabor Adelaide. This is where I completed my Master of Arts Creative Writing a few years ago.
The anthology is now in its eighth edition since first being published in 2005 by the staff and students who were the first to be involved in the creative writing course at Tabor. A new volume has appeared every year except one. My stories and poems have appeared in all but the first three volumes.
The collection of stories and poems have been submitted by students, staff and alumni and their family and friends. Each edition is an eclectic collection of the deeply moving, the curious, the quirky, the humorous and sometimes surprising. Many are confronting, all are well written and most are worthy of revisiting.
I only had one poem in this edition, but that’s okay with me. It’s great to see many new names attached to the selection; this shows that the creative writing courses are alive, thriving and raising the bar of literary excellence.
A word of explanation about the title “Tales from the Upper Room” is in order. The creative writing courses had as their home in the early days a room on the third floor, affectionately known as The Loft. It conjures up images of the writer’s garret of legend, and it was here that the first meetings of the writers’ group met and where the concept of this anthology was conceived. But the “upper room” also brings to mind the room where Jesus and his disciples met for the last supper before his crucifixion. Tabor Adelaide started as a theological college, and most people associated with it are Christians, adding an interestingly significant appropriateness to the title.
The launch also included the announcement of the winners and runners-up of the inaugural Tabor Writing Competition. It had two sections: poetry and short stories. This was a brave new venture and with 299 entries was immensely successful. Entries came from every state and territory of Australia. I should add here that I decided not to enter this time. I must set my sights high and aim to enter next time around.
I recently had some publication success. Yay!
Every year the Creative Writing department of the university where I recently completed my MA (Tabor Adelaide) publishes an anthology of poetry, short plays and short stories. The contributors are all present or former students, and a few staff members also add to the eclectic mix of writing. This anthology was the 6th edition and the quality is extremely high. The competition to be included is making it harder to be included every year, so I was pleased to have a short story and a poem in the latest issue.
I’ve read all six editions and have enjoyed all of the stories. Many of the poems could easily have found a home in any of our most prestigious literary journals. In fact, two of our regular contributors, both former students, have had stories published in a leading journal in recent months. It speaks volumes for the standard of teaching at Tabor Adelaide, and says much for the talents being nurtured.
The anthology is called Tales from the Upper Room, reflecting the theological roots of Tabor Adelaide and a direct link to the upper room where Jesus and his disciples met to celebrate the last supper. The ‘upper room’ also refers to the fact that our writers’ groups meet in The Loft, the highest room in the university.