Black Opal Arts was formed in late 2014, conceived when two strangers discovered their mutual fascination for all things horror, as well as a desire to work with local and international writers and artists. We decided to host an event which would feature work submitted by writers and artists keen to explore the genre we loved so much (in fact, Billie wrote her undergraduate degree on the relationship between cannibalism and female roles in horror cinema). Neither of us had ever done anything of the sort, and once we had established an online presence and set our guidelines, we had no idea what kind of response to expect from the faceless public. We just hoped we would receive enough submissions to fill an hour’s worth of reading. We needn’t have worried. As the Facebook likes crept up and as each submission slithered in, we became more and more excited. Look what people want to give us! we giggled together in the university library in the small hours. We were grateful for every person who contacted us, who had something to say about the world and wanted to say it with us. After three months of reading, editing, and organising, our night arrived. It was a wonderful and somewhat surprising success, and over the following months we would intermittently mention our desire to work together on something creative again.
The idea of doing freelance work was quickly taken up, as it would allow us to use our passion and skills for editing on a broader scale than before. As well as correcting proofs and making sure it all flows and makes sense, we love being involved with writing at a structural level and ensuring that a piece of work is as good as it can be. That is our goal — to help our clients deliver the best piece of writing they can.