Out of the Asylum is an independent organisation which provides a framework for all writers – and new and emerging writers in particular – to develop their creativity and reach audiences through publication or performance.
OOTA has published several anthologies of short fiction and poetry: November Light, Tidelines and Friday’s Page. The fourth anthology, developed in 2005, was a collection of poetry, The Weighing of the Heart, edited by Roland Leach, Shane McCauley and Donna Ward. It has an introduction by John Kinsella and was published by Sunline Press in 2007. Jukebox, edited by Shane McCauley (poetry) and Susan Midalia (prose) was published in 2013 and contained poetry, prose and creative non-fiction.
WHAT ELSE HAVE WE DONE?
In 2004 OOTA ran Finishing Line, an intensive mentoring course for emerging writers, funded by ArtsWA and supported by writingWA and the Fremantle Arts Centre. These workshops took place at the Fremantle Arts Centre. That year OOTA also spearheaded WA’s activities for National Poetry Week. For several years in Poetry Week we organised the Poetry Wall in conjunction with the State Library of Western Australia.
In 2005 OOTA ran two projects for members only: a prose competition Spilt Ink and The Poetry Circle, a regular meeting of members to reflect and comment on each other’s poetry.
In 2006 OOTA developed the project Pruning Prose which enabled prose writers to work with an experienced editor and learn how to critique their own, and others’, work.
In 2006 we also began hiring a space for silent writing.
A major project for OOTA happened in 2007 when we launched the new literary journal for Western Australian writers – Indigo. Six volumes in total were published.
Since then we continue to thrive as a group of enthusiastic writers who support each other towards developing our craft. We regularly come together to celebrate the launch of a member’s work, usually at the Arts Centre, where meeting for lunch has become an OOTA institution.