Friday, 30 December 2011

Major Australian Literary Journals and Magazines

12/08/2014 - to read an updated and expanded version of this post, please visit Error Proof Editorial Services' blogThank you for visiting!

I've been working on the following list for my 'One List to Rule Them All' for some time now, and thought I'd turn it into a post.

Below, in no particular order, are links to the major Australian literary journals and magazines currently accepting submissions, and a little information on each. I've only included those that are reasonably well-known and feature at least two pieces of unsolicited fiction per issue.

Even though most of the information is from the publications' websites and/or current issues (as of 5th of January, 2012), be sure to read their style guide and submission guidelines yourself before submitting your work. I also recommend reading a couple of recent issues to identify emerging trends and see if they've recently published a story similar to yours.

As you'll see, most don’t pay very well compared to non-fiction, and most take a while to reply to submissions, but having a story in any of these is sure to help your writing career.

If I've missed any of your favourites, please don't hesitate to say so in a comment and include a web address if possible. Thanks for reading and good luck: the short story industry is quite competitive at the moment.



Description: "Known primarily as a literary magazine, Meanjin reflect[s] the breadth of contemporary thinking, be it on literature, other art forms, or the broader issues of the times."

Submission Guidelines: "Submissions should be attached as a .doc or .docx file and emailed to with the subject heading ‘Meanjin Submission’. Please send only ONE piece, and wait for a response before submitting again. Include a very brief biographical note. We do not impose word limits on submissions, but note that we rarely publish work over 5,000 words."

Estimated Response Time: Three to four months.

Commission: "Contributors are paid a minimum $100 for prose. The total fee will be determined by the number of pages the article fills in published form ... The average fee paid is about $50 (Australian) per printed page; higher fees are sometimes paid to specially commissioned authors."


Description: "Overland, the most radical of Australia’s long-standing literary and cultural magazines, celebrated its 50th year in 2004. Publishing features, fiction, poetry, reviews, comment, artwork and opinion pieces. Overland is committed to engaging with important literary, cultural and political issues in contemporary Australia. It has a tradition of publishing dissenting articles with a political and cultural focus."

Submission Guidelines: "We prefer writers who show some consciousness of their era and the issues it presents. We encourage experiments with both form and content. We do not impose formal word limits and occasionally publish very long essays and stories, but potential contributors should be aware that space limitations make longer pieces harder to accept. We ask all authors to submit their work via an electronic submission manager."  

Estimated Response Time: "The quantity [of submissions] received means that the process can take some months." 

Commission: ???


Description: "Wet Ink is put together by a passionate team of writers and a designer who decided to do something about the lack of opportunities for writers to publish their short works and readers to access them. Inside each issue you’ll find fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction, interviews, photography, book reviews and more. It’s the place to discover some of today’s best up-and-coming talent, as well as new works by established authors." 

Submission Guidelines: "Send no more than three submissions.
• Only hard copies considered.
• Put your name on the cover sheet but NOT on the work.
• Text should be double spaced in Times New Roman 12pt.
• No word limit—although the longer a piece is, the more
outstanding it needs to be to replace two or three shorter
• Also interested in shorter pieces (to 500 words) that are
funny, snappy, experimental or thought-provoking."
(Full guide here)

Estimated Response Time: Four months.

Commission: Under 1500 words $70, above 1500 words $120.


Description: "Griffith REVIEW has a proud tradition of creating space for new and emerging writers. [It] is written with intelligent, well-informed and curious readers in mind."

Submission Guidelines: Each issue is themed. Check out the future editions page for details. The rest of the guidelines are set out in ‘For Writers’

Estimated Response Time: I couldn't find one, but when I submitted a short story to them in 2010 it only took six weeks, which (in my experience) is quite good.

Commission: "Rates will be negotiated directly with the author upon acceptance."


Description: Published three times a year, "Southerly is a journal of and for the discussion of Australian Literature and the publication of the best in new Australian writing." 

Submission Guidelines: Hard copies can be sent to Southerly, c/- Department of English, University of Sydney NSW 2006, or emailed to "Please also attach a cover letter with your submission including your name, contact details, title and page count of your work and the submission date." More submission guidelines here.

Estimated Response Time: "We attempt to acknowledge receipt of submissions within a week." Although, you may need to wait a little longer to find out if your work is accepted.

Commission: ???


Description: "The Lifted Brow is a bimonthly magazine based in Melbourne. Every two months, the Brow publishes fiction, art, comics, and commentary on everything from maths to celebrity to design. It’s just meant to be fun and smart."

Submission Guidelines: Send as an email attachment to

Estimated Response Time: The official website says they may take up to six months to respond to fiction, but are one of the rare few that encourage simultaneous submissions.

Commission: ???


Description: "A bi-annual literary journal ... particularly interested in the work of contemporary Asian, Australian and Indigenous writers."

Submission Guidelines: "Submit 1 short story up to 3,000 words, or for flash fiction no more than 1,000 words in a single Microsoft Word doc as an attachment, labelled with your name to 12 point Times New Roman, 1.5 spaced."

Estimated Response Time: Three to six months, but they accept simultaneous submissions as long as you notify them immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Commission: Seems like a flat $100 

Other publications I've yet to research in full:

29/02/2012 - Updated submission guidelines
07/01/2012 - Added more information and images for most publications

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

My experience studying at university

In case you’re visiting my blog for the first time, 

And for my French-speaking readers: je vous en prie

I’ve been studying Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing part-time at Victoria University since the middle of 2010. I’m a stay at home dad with two kids under 5—leaving just enough time to study two subjects per semester. The decreased workload and ability to study from home allows me to pursue my dream of becoming a novelist while focusing on raising my little ones and maintaining our household.

A fairly accurate dramatisation
So far I’ve completed Fiction Elements and the first semester of Editing 1 online. I’ve also studied Story Structure, Short Story, Novel, Professional Skills, Writing for Young Adults, and the second semester of Editing on campus. Next year I hope to complete Industry Overview and a second year of Novel and Editing.

Over the last eighteen months, I’ve learnt tons of stuff that didn’t sink in during VCE (oh so many years ago). I’ve gone from not knowing the difference between nouns and pronouns and verbs and adverbs to being able to pull apart sentences from my favourite books and put them back together in my own words with my own characters. It feels great calling myself a writer, and believing it!

I write short stories, poems and reviews, maintain this blog and am a few chapters into my sci-fi novel for Young Adults. I’ve been published a couple of times (three to be exact!), received Commendations and High Commendations in national writing competitions, and, most recently, won the 2011 Melton Short Story Competition.

I'd like to thank my wife and children for supporting me through the tough times and the academy for...

I couldn’t have done any of this without the skills I’ve gained at university, and the support of my tutors and fellow students. Sure I could have found a lot of the stuff on the net, or in books, but there’s a lot of rubbish out there and it’s really hard to separate fact from fiction. By the time you research the source of the information, make sure they’re a credible, active author and they’ve covered every aspect of the topic, you’ll have a massive headache and be over the whole learning process.
Is this illustrator following me around or something?

The classes at uni are fairly casual—certain topics need to be covered, but the delivery is adapted to each group. Almost all of the ideas and practices to do with writing are customisable. We discuss the relevant theories and come to our own conclusions. I don’t agree with everything the other students say, but I listen to them and make up my own mind. If something I’m initially against is repeated often, by different students or teachers, I look closely at whatever it is and adapt it to suit my way of thinking. The great thing about being a student is you don’t loose points for changing your mind.

I quite like the workshopping. Hearing what others think of my work, and giving feedback on theirs, makes the writing process a social experience. After all, I want my stories to be read by, and appeal to, as many people as possible. And it’s great learning from other people’s mistakes.

Bender, my robot friend, you are hilarious. How about some new episodes?

The tutors have a lot of experience in their fields. They teach from experience in a practical way. They are writers, too, and understand how tough it is for an emerging writer. They’re extremely approachable and many will look over your assignments the week before they’re due. Don’t expect them to correct your spelling and punctuation, but they might give you a little nudge in the right direction. If you’re really lucky, some might even read the stuff you’re trying to get published. Every bit of help counts.

If any of my tutors are reading, it’s probably best you skip the rest of this paragraph … Still here? Consider yourself forewarned ... Failing a subject is almost impossible! There, I said it. All you have to do is turn up to all the tutes on time (apart from the most exceptional of circumstances), participate in the discussions, listen to what others have to say and hand in all your assignments—no matter how crap you think they are.

The real challenge, the challenge you should set yourself, is achieving Distinctions and High Distinctions. These grades are quite elusive, especially if you have little prior experience as a writer, like me. But they are achievable.

How do I add 'And Writers Smell Bad All the Time'?

It would be nice to get 100% for everything you hand in but it’s just not realistic. The randomness of everyday life has a way of getting in the way of the best laid plans. Like your kids getting sick the day you're meant to hand in that big assignment; your hard drive getting wiped the day before, taking with it the changes you made since your last back up to USB; or, a plane crashing in your driveway, blocking your only path to uni. Two of these happened to me this year!

Make your own!
Whatever your goals, be realistic and kind to yourself and pat yourself on the back, often. Little steps like handing in assignments are just as important, if not more than, the grades you receive.

What maters most is that you learn the core principles in each subject, and how to apply them to your chosen field of writing, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, editing and publishing or a mixture of these. I’ve found that effort counts for a lot when you’re studying. If you put in the effort you won’t be able to stop yourself from being a great writer!

The most relevant piece of advice I can give a fellow student is to use all the resources available to you, especially if you’re struggling. If you’re having trouble understanding a particular idea, tell the tutor. Pardon the cliché, but some are worth their weight in gold. They’ll answer all the questions you put in emails, be available before and after most classes and may host study sessions during the week. A rare few even answer the office phone. Take advantage of all this, especially if you’re struggling—you wouldn’t be studying their subjects if you knew everything.

Merry Christmas and good luck in the new year to you and your families, and I hope you do well, whatever you choose to do.