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UQP announce final selection of writers for Autism anthology co-edited by Clem Bastow and Jo Case
Posted 02.04.2024

UQP announce final selection of writers for Autism anthology co-edited by Clem Bastow and Jo Case

On World Autism Day 2024, UQP and co-editors Clem Bastow and Jo Case are delighted to announce the final contributors to the forthcoming anthology of personal essays by Autistic women, trans and gender-diverse writers. The selections are the result of an open callout for submissions, along with some commissioned pieces and the co-editors own contributions. The final book, due out in April 2025, will contain essays by the following writers:

Tash Agafonoff, Kai Ash, Clem Bastow, Jo Case, Ange Crawford, Khadija Gbla, Shadia Hancock, Jess Ho, Kay Kerr, Sarah Kian-Judge, Phoebe Lupton, C.B. Mako, Jerico Mandybur, Sienna Macalister, Caitlin McGregor, Lauren Metzler, L.T., Erin Riley, Alison Sampson, Danni Stewart, Cher Tan, Amanda Tink, Marlee Jane Ward, Anna Whateley & Kate Gordon, and Fiona Wright.

The co-editors were determined to pull this anthology together because they knew from firsthand experience that Autistic people are rarely considered experts in their own experiences.

Clem Bastow and Jo Case comment: ‘These 25 essays hold immense and joyous potential to move the conversation towards a more nuanced understanding of Autistic experience. Autism is often viewed through a lens of diagnosis. These experiences are represented in the anthology, by writers who powerfully critique and dismantle clinical understandings of Autism.

‘But these essays range much more widely, too. These authors explore masking, Autistic burnout, sex as an intensely felt sensory pleasure, experiences of non-speaking and AAC use, Autism and religion, the high crossover of Autism and eating disorders, and Autistic experiences like not driving and finding deep connection with animals. They dive deep into their interests, from the literary to dance to real-life romantic fixations.

‘They also ask big questions. What’s it like to be Autistic in different cultures? What about being Autistic and trans? And what are some of the specific challenges – and joys – of being Autistic? And what is the power of telling your own story?’

It is hoped that the as-yet-untitled anthology will enable Autistic readers to find community and connection – and perhaps see themselves reflected – in this chorus of 25 Autistic voices. We also hope non-Autistic readers will find illumination in the way these writers speak powerfully to the diversity of Autistic experiences.

For more information, contact Jean Smith on jean.smith@uqp.com.au