A New Crop of Young Editors

Workshop 1 group

It might be winter everywhere else, but at 100 Story Building it’s Early Harvest time. And that means a very special literary magazine is taking seed beneath the eagle-eyed gaze of a group of young editors. This year the Early Harvest editorial board will be mentored in producing issue three of early harvest by Melbourne literary folk including Robert Skinner from The Canary Press, Sam Cooney and Stephanie Van Schilt from The Lifted Brow; Kat Muscat, a former Voiceworks editor; Ben McKenzie of Pop Up Players, Emily Laidlaw from Kill Your Darlings and Miranda Costa, an illustrator and freelance designer.

We’re also excited to introduce Early Harvest’s first ever mentor, Darvey. Darvey was a founding editor of Early Harvest way back in its launch in 2011. Now in grade 9, Darvey will be providing insight, tips and blue hair for the editors this year.

In the first workshop, the young editors set to deciding the theme of early harvest issue 3.

We decided to think about themes as a kind of flavour for storytelling. Each story – or comic, or poem – should be unique, inventive and have its own texture and method of eating, but what is the overall taste we’re left with in our mouths after we’ve devoured Early Harvest? The ideas were fast flowing and terrific. We started out pretty friendly – clowns, love, forests – then got a bit wacky (Weird People? Or Time Travel?). But ultimately our discussion and passion narrowed down to some pretty fundamental ideas. And those ideas were more questions. Questions about love and fate, and just questions, really, about the great mysteries of the universe.  Every day mysteries, like disappearing socks, or even better, detective stories that might explore some scarier stuff.


With all this in mind the team came up with a pretty neat phrase that will be a guiding light for the look, feel and sound of Early Harvest. But I can’t tell you. I don’t know, actually. None of us do. The theme is really still… Unknown.

Volunteer Amarlie Foster is project coordinator for Early Harvest.


About Early Harvest

Early Harvest is a weekly after school program that brings together children from across Melbourne’s west to create, edit and publish a literary journal. Co-created by 100 Story Building, author and editor Davina Bell and illustrator and creative program coordinator Emma Hewitt in 2011, the program is designed to give young writers and illustrators from diverse backgrounds a platform to share their voice, and to give them confidence in their own creative output. This year we have nine students from Footscray Primary School, Footscray City Primary School and St Johns Primary School. Early Harvest 2014 is funded by donors from The Funding Network and supported by volunteer facilitators Sofia Makin and Shonelle Kent.