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‘Rubric’ is one of those evocative, multivalent words beloved of university arts journals everywhere. One of those words that you’re pretty sure you could use in a sentence, but can’t quite define when asked to by a persistent nine year old.

In this spirit, Rubric was started in 2003 by Dr. Paul Dawson to provide UNSW students with a platform to publish quality creative writing which may exceed the aesthetic boundaries of established stylistic convention or the physical boundaries of the printed page.

In 2010, Rubric returns with an expanded focus which we hope will entice the reader, the recorder and the creator in you. This issue marks a transitional phase, seeing the introduction of non-fiction and graphic poetry. From Issue II, which will appear towards the end of the year, Rubric will be a fully peer-reviewed publication for local and international work in all areas of creative writing and writing theory. The About Us and Contact pages have more information about Rubric’s board members, editors and scope.

To return to defining a ‘rubric’, we are, perhaps, as yet too young and untempered to be ‘an authoritative rule of conduct or procedure’. We certainly hope to have more substance than a  ‘title or heading that is printed in red or a special type’, using our multidisciplinary platform to inscribe importance to the why and the how, as well as the what.

Perhaps if we could consider for a moment the unwieldy discourse of ‘writing’ in all its forms as one large, cohesive body, what we can provide is both an umbrella to cover that body and ‘an explanation or definition of an obscure word in [that] text’.

With thanks to past staff sponsors and managing editors Paul Dawson, Mat Wall-Smith, Brendan Winter and Andy Kissane, and current staff sponsor Stephen Muecke. We hope you enjoy this issue of Rubric and those to follow.
With best wishes,


Joshua Mei-Ling Dubrau

PS — Definitions of the word ‘rubric’ were taken from Wordnet:; an excellent point of reference for those interested in the connective tissues of the English language.