For those of you who are new and may not know what Analecta is, it’s the University of Canberra’s official anthology. Anybody can enter, from first-years and PhD candidates to professors and teachers. The collection of writing is indiscriminate and requires no previous experience.

FIRST has been the name of the anthology for just over a decade, but after too many difficulties with searching and identifying the anthology online, the decision was made to change it. This year’s renaming of “Analecta” is actually a return to the original title from way back in 1994, when the book was still a little baby periodical published with the assistance of the Canberra Centre for Writing.

Every year, a new editorial committee is put together to collect and review over 100 submissions including short stories, poetry, screenplays, comics and experimental non-fiction. From that pool, between 20 and 30 pieces are published under a title that reflects an overall theme.

Thanks to the ever-evolving nature of the publication from the committee and the chosen works, that theme varies wildly from year to year; Pulse, Pulling Threads, and Voyages being some recent examples.

Analecta, for many students, has been their first ever publication. It has been their first experience of working one-on-one with an editor, or the first time they’ve seen their work in print. Several authors, such a Brooke Davis, have gone on to publish their own novels and see their names in other collections and literary journals. Think of it as the training wheels of the publication world.

For submitters who take their writing very personally and seriously, this anthology might appear to present both a promise and a mild threat. It can be intimidating to submit your work anywhere. Nobody likes being rejected, especially not when it comes to something as personal as writing. It can take a lot of courage just to hit the “send” button. It’s like showing the world a little part of your soul.

But the only thing you guarantee when you choose not to share your art with the world is that it will stay hidden. By not giving people the opportunity to reject you, you also take away their chance to accept you, and your chance to see your work in print.

Submissions are currently open and will stay open until May 27th, so find that long-neglected short story hidden somewhere in your hard drive that you’ve been meaning to do something with – you know the one – dust it off, and send it to by the due date. You can submit up to 3 pieces, so don’t be shy – as my Townsville mates say, you gotta risk it for the biscuit.

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