This issue of Southerly captures a snapshot of Australian writing today. Stories from writers just starting out on their long apprenticeship are placed side-by-side work from Australia’s finest essayists, writers and poets. This rich and expansive issue asks what it means to write in a contemporary Australia fraught with inequality, divisiveness, and the unrelenting exploitation of country. In a special collaboration with Sydney Story Factory, which runs workshops for young and marginalised writers, this issue of Southerly includes short stories that demonstrate the vibrancy and the vision of Australia’s up-and-coming writers. Including essays from Caroline Lefevre and John Kinsella, poetry from Kevin Hart, and much, much more, ‘The Long Apprenticeship’, is an issue comprising, as ever, the best in Australian writing.