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UC students share creative work in annual anthology

Amanda Jones

2 November 2017: A group of aspiring writers at the University of Canberra have become published authors for the first time with their work featured in the annual FIRST anthology.

FIRST is a collection of creative writing produced by students studying at the University. The 24th edition, released last week is entitled Voyages, and includes 27 original stories, poems and screenplays by 19 authors.

“FIRST is produced by a team of editing and writing students from the University, who get to experience the process of putting a publication together,” 2017 FIRST managing editor Esther Packard-Hill said.

“It’s a great opportunity for writing students to put the skills they’ve learned in the classroom into practice.”

The pieces selected for Voyages explore a range of topics including space opera, love and loss, with the FIRST Editorial Committee, made up of current students, given the difficult task of selecting the top works from 120 submissions.

Susie Ellis, whose screenplay Read Receipt Requested was published in Voyages said it felt wonderful to see her work in print.

The 23-year-old is studying a Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing and wrote the screenplay as an assignment in her screenwriting course.

“I drew on some of my favourite comedies for inspiration, mainly The IT Crowd and Miranda. The screenplay itself took about a semester to write including all the planning and editing stages,” she said.

Voyages was launched by Ryan K Lindsay last week with the local author highlighting Ms Ellis’ work as one of the strongest pieces in the collection.

“It meant a great deal,” she said. “It was really inspiring for someone so successful to say I'm on the right track, and it has definitely spurred me on to continue writing.”

Voyages is available for purchase at the Co-op Bookshop for $15.