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  • Oliver Mills

One door closes, another opens.

Sometimes things don't pan out the way you think they will.

Earlier this year I entered two poems into the Westerly Magazine: DisAbility special online edition. The Westerly Magazine is a prestigious publication, printing works from writers all around Australia. 

I wasn’t successful in having my work selected. The entries were highly competitive and they received many submissions, with many deserving authors missing out. Including me 😉

But with disappointment comes opportunity. Dr Josephine Taylor who is the Associate Editor for the magazine noticed my artworks on my website, which she found through my submission. She felt that my work might make a good fit for the cover of the Westerly: DisAbility edition and wondered if I would be interested. 

It didn't take long for my answer. It was a shoulder hunch with a big clear “huh” for a yes.

The process of selection started, and their designer loved my artworks so much that they wanted to commission two of my artworks for the magazine, adding one for the cover of the July print publication. Wow! 

For the Westerly: DisAbility special online edition, the editing team decided on a photo of my hands that is on my website, covered in splatters of colourful paint. This was taken by Mum in 2014, after I had been working on ‘Walking on Air’ for my friends at Future Footprints. This edition was released in May. 

The editor then selected the ‘Walking on Air’ painting for the cover of the Westerly Magazine 64.1 print edition. They loved the story and the link between the two images of my hands, and of the painting. The print edition was released in July this year. 

Having my work recognized and selected for the Westerly publications made me feel excited and successful. 

I would like to thank Josephine and the team at the Westerly Magazine for supporting and championing my ability and my artwork. Not only for the Westerly: DisAbility edition, but also including an artwork for the cover of a mainstream edition. This felt like a big win for inclusion. 

I would also like to thank Sharon, my poetry teacher and mentor. Without her encouragement to enter the poetry competition this opportunity to have my artwork on the cover of a magazine would never have happened.

And lastly, a special thanks to Hans Kreiner my art teacher and mentor for helping me to create the 'Walking on Air' artwork.

You can purchase a copy of the Westerly 64.1 print magazine here

You can download a copy of the online publication Westerly: DisAbility edition to read here

With Eszter from Future Footprints, who I originally created the Walking on Air artwork for.

Feeling very proud of myself.

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