26 April 2022
A heartfelt goodbye to our Voiceworks Editor Adalya Nash-Hussein!
The end of an era is nigh, as our wonderful Voiceworks Editor, Adalya Nash Hussein is finishing up her time with us, after two years of wonderful work!
As is tradition, we submitted Adalya to the mortifying ordeal of being known and asked a couple of questions of our outgoing editor.
What was the most surprising thing about being Voiceworks Editor?
Although it’s not something most Voiceworks Editors will experience in the role, it was definitely like… every single lockdown. Each of them surprised and threw me off in a new way and I never really settled into a rhythm of how to handle them.
What’s your favourite thing about working in the Wheeler Centre and Express Media office?
Haha my favourite thing was being able to come in at all, which was actually not very often given I started in 2020, but when I’m in I love getting to give a high kick to all of my other fav people and hand deliver Voiceworks issues to everybody’s desks. I also used to study at the State Library in VCE every weekend, so it feels very glamorous being able to look out of my window and see all the different people who gather on State Library lawns from up here.
What are some of the things you learnt in your time being the Voiceworks Editor?
Literally a million things every day, most of which are not really possible to put into words. Right now I’m learning how hard it is to write about the job you are about to leave!
Why did you initially apply for the role of Voiceworks editor?
I applied because I love Voiceworks, and especially what it had become under Mira’s years as editor (in fact, I loved Voiceworks under Mira so much that I almost didn’t, because I worried that anything I did would be like… a pale imitation compared to their great issues).
You were an Edcommer before you were the editor, what was that transition/journey like with Voiceworks?
I think for me, because I started right as the pandemic did, it wasn’t really something I thought about at the time. I was so focused on just getting Voiceworks through it that I didn’t have time to think about how weird it was to be in charge after years on EdComm. What I love about Voiceworks is that seniority is more about responsibility than it is about power or ownership. I didn’t feel way more responsible for the mag than I had as an EdCommer, because the EdCommers as a collective have so much ownership over what goes into the mag. What I felt more responsibility for was the tone and culture of Voiceworks, which again EdCommers are a huge part of, but it definitely flows less naturally over Zoom than it does when you’re all in a room together.
What kind of writers and writing/art and artists are you most drawn to and why?
Lately, I’ve been especially drawn to work that is playful—be it through form, voice or vibe. Especially in work that is trying to unpack harder ideas or emotions, those shocks of joy really delight me.
What has been your favourite or most memorable Voiceworks piece or issue and why?
I think I wrote in one of my editorials that whichever issue of Voiceworks is the most recent is always my favourite. I’m so excited for everybody to see how sick ‘Portrait’ is, but I am also simply unable to untangle myself from recency bias.
What is something you want to see more from Voiceworks in the future?
As corny as it sounds, I think the Voiceworks’s editorial practices kind of become the future of Australian publishing, not because other magazines and publishers are particularly looking to us for guidance, but simply because the writers and editors we work with take what they’ve gotten from Voiceworks—in terms of boring things like email templates, as well as intangible things like a culture of kindness and respect—and bring that to where they go next. So I guess I just want Voiceworks to continue pushing to always do the best by it’s writers, editors and community, and in its own little way push the rest of Australian publishing to do the same.
What were some of your highlights of the experience?
There’s this moment with each issue is right before it’s done where everything hits that final level of polish and feels transformed before your eyes from a kind of draft/idea into something finished and tangible that’s really magic.
I’ve also really loved our launches. Launching ‘Reflex’ irl and getting to celebrate that past years work was so fun, but I also loved our Animal Crossing launch of Mira’s last issue and the ‘Geist’ launch we had in the Freeplay Zone.
Our weekly meetings were complicated to navigate in and out of lockdown, but were always worth it to hear what everybody was reading and working on.
Thank you for your tireless work and dedication to Voiceworks, the Express Media team and out community Adalya, we wish you all the best with whatever adventure you take on next!