What To Do Before You Start Writing

The piece of advice given out most often to budding writers is “Just write!”. This is important advice; writing is a craft, and most of the time, you learn by doing. A lot of the time, your first few projects will be more like practice projects anyway, or they’ll undergo a serious overhaul before you submit them.

However, there are a couple of things you might want to do before investing a large amount of time into a project. It’s always good to be as prepared as possible, and to make sure there won’t be any unexpected obstacles once you’re underway.

Research The Publishing Process

The first thing you want to check out is how what you are writing gets published. You’re not gearing up to get it published right away, but you want to make sure that you’re not going to pour months of effort into something, only to find that you haven’t followed industry protocol.

If you are writing a fiction novel, then yes, most of the time it’s best to write the whole thing before even thinking about approaching anyone. Once you’ve written the full manuscript, typically you’ll get feedback from writing friends, an editor or a mansucript assessment, you’ll rewrite and edit for a while, and then you’ll submit.

However, if it’s a different kind of form, there could be a different process. Nonfiction books, in particular, are often sold via book proposal, as publishers like to have input into the manuscript as it’s being developed. You will need to write sample chapters and a brief, but you won’t necessarily need to write the whole thing. Memoir can be an exception to this rule, as many publishers like it to be treated like a fiction manuscript, but not always.

Often articles and short stories are pitched to publications, though it is possible to submit them once they’ve been written. Entering competitions are also a great option for shorter works (and occasionally longer ones).

Check For Any Legal Issues

For most people, this isn’t something that you need to think about. But just in case, it’s good to go into your project aware of any risks. Things you might need to double check include:

  • Using real people, especially if they might be offended by your depiction of them or if anything you’re saying is untrue.
  • Anything from another piece of pop culture, including characters, plots, settings (such as fantasy worlds–don’t worry if it’s a real place!) or anything else that is identifiable, especially if it’s not in the public domain.
  • Including any and all quotes or other copyrighted material, including poetry, song lyrics, lines from books, and scripts. Again, this is one is especially important to look for if the source isn’t in the public domain.
  • Any information, even if true, that you’re not supposed to disclose for legal reasons, especially if you’ve signed a nondisclosure agreement or if it’s from a place you’ve worked.
  • Anything else you’re unsure about.

Most of the time referencing things like this will be okay, but it really depends how you do it. Of course, we can’t give you legal advice, but ArtsLaw have lots of great information on their site as well as a free legal advice service. You can also contact other writing support organisations.

Understand Your Publishing Rights

Another thing to be aware of is that if you post your writing online, you’ve given away your first publication rights. Basically, if you sell a manuscript or article to a publisher, most of the time they’ll pay for the rights to publish your manuscript for the first time. If it’s already been out there for free (such as on the internet) or for money (if you’ve self-published it), you’ll have already used these rights.

This doesn’t mean you’ve given away the rights to your writing, and no one else can sell or publish your writing without your permission. It does mean that it might make it a bit harder to sell your work to a publisher, even if you end up reworking the piece later.

This isn’t always a bad thing–lots of people have earned publishing deals through gaining a following by posting their writing online or self-publishing it. What is important is making sure you have all the knowledge you need to make a decision. You should also read the terms and conditions of any sites you upload your work to, to make sure they include anything that might

Of course, especially when you’re first starting out, this might not even matter to you. Places where you can post your work online for feedback can be really helpful as you’re learning your craft, so don’t feel pressured to save your work for publication.

Decide if You Want to Join Social Media

This one’s a bit more fun than the others on this list, but most publishers will really appreciate if you get on social media sooner rather than later. There are lots of writing communities online, and plenty of places to make friends and network. Joining now gives you time to experiment with the platforms and share the writing experience with the internet.

Take some time to look at the different platforms, and see where you might fit. For interaction and networking, writers might like Twitter as both a social and networking tool, and there are tons of tools and hashtags for writers. If Twitter’s not your thing, check out Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, or any others—more are popping up all the time.

Of course, if social media’s just not for you, that’s totally fine! It’s way more important that you work on the writing part, and now that you’ve checked off all the things on this list, you should feel totally free to go ahead and do just that.

Free Tools to Improve Your Writing

There’s no shortage of apps and programs on the internet to run every aspect of your writing career, from social media to productivity to organising research to cataloguing the books you’ve read. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all these sparkly tools, and totally forget that your writing needs attention too.

So we scavenged for the best tools to improve what actually matters: your writing. All of the below tools are free or have a free version, because we don’t think writing should be restricted to those who can afford fancy tools.

Way of Life

While this app won’t touch your words or sentences, it will get you to write every day! Writing is a craft and a skill, and you can’t get better at it if you don’t do it. This app focuses on building habits so you can live the life that you want to.

Set yourself a goal and then check off each day as you meet it to build pretty graphs. It’s up to you whether you want to set goals in time-specific (e.g. write for 30 minutes every day) or task-specific (e.g. write two pages a day) formats. Before long, writing every day will be so natural that the graphs won’t matter so much any more.

This app is super flexible as well. If you’ve got the writing-every-day thing down, but you struggle to do other tasks, this can help you keep track. Other writing-related tasks you could track would include working on a specific project, editing your work, reading or studying.


One of the most exciting things about writing is coming up with lots of ideas, and starting to link them together to form a story. Good mindmapping software can really help you get your ideas out of your head, and fit them together in a way that makes sense.

There are countless mindmapping tools out there, but this is an old open-source favourite. It’s easy to use, scalable for bigger projects, and of course, it’s totally free to download.

It’s also a good idea to go back and re-mindmap your plot and characters during the editing process. This can be a great way to check continuity, and making sure that no characters or plot points disappear.

The Writers Bloc / The Pen Factor

If you’re looking for feedback on your writing and connect with other writers, online writing and feedback communities like The Writers Bloc and The Pen Factor work to provide just that. By reviewing the work of other writers, you earn feedback on yours. These resources are great, especially if you’re just starting out and experimenting with your writing.

Of course, there are other sites where you can share your writing like Wattpad or on a blog, but these sites are specifically engineered to get you feedback and connect you with other writers. On other sites, you may receive opinions from readers, but not measured critique. You can also report reviews that aren’t helpful to the site.

Do be careful, though—some publishers and publications may not want work that’s already been posted online for free. If you’re working on something you’d like to submit, it might be best to keep that specific piece offline.

Hemingway Editor

Once you’ve written a thing, this tool is great for editing your work—especially if your chosen style is clear and concise, like Hemingway himself. Hemingway is an app that highlights all the bits you might want to eliminate, including adverbs, lengthy sentences, passive voice, and complicated words.

Of course, this might not be the style you’re going for. Plenty of authors write wonderful books with lyrical prose and long sentences galore; this app makes sure that all of those choices are deliberate. We also wouldn’t recommend writing inside of this app, especially if you struggle to turn off your inner editor.

PDF Escape

Another great tool for the editing process, this is a free online PDF editor that will let you annotate, highlight, white-out, and add images and links to your manuscript. All you need to do is save your writing as a PDF, and upload it to the site.

The key here is to look at the manuscript in a different way—consider changing the font or colour of the text, or read it in a different order. Making the writing look different will help you to see it in a fresh way, and pick up on mistakes you may have otherwise missed.

Of course, some writers may prefer editing via pen and paper, but this is a good option for those that like to keep it digital. Whether you’re going through your own work, or adding notes to a critique partner’s writing, this is a great tool for working “on top” of your document.

10 More Magazines That Pay Writers & Accept Submissions

Submitting to magazines can be a great career move for any writer—you can get paid for your work, build a publication history, and it’s just a great confidence boost to see your name in print. Earlier, we posted a list of 10 Australian magazines you can submit to for pay, and today we’re following up with 10 more.

Going Down Swinging

going down swinging

Since 1979, Going Down Swinging has been fostering a community of writers and artists around stories worth sharing. They host live events, publish print and audio anthologies, and regularly publish content both online and in their journal. Their recent issues have been published in app form, which has allowed them to be open to more experimental content, including animation, interactive text and short films.



Forms: Fiction, nonfiction, essays, poetry, photo essays, art spreads.
Frequency: Ongoing

An online feminist literature and arts journal, this publication has a bit of everything. From live events to fellowships to a podcast in the works, it’s been upping its game since it started in 2014. This publication was built purely on passion, and as such, the amount they pay their contributors may fluctuate—but they always pay something.

Australian Book Review


Forms: Book reviews, poetry.
Frequency: Bimonthly

Australian Book Review is an independent nonprofit and a bimonthly magazine, and while they are selective, they are totally open to new reviewers. They pay every writer they publish—whether that’s in print or online—and they also publish poetry.



Forms: Art works, prose, poetry, non-fiction, essays, blog posts.
Frequency: Ongoing

Peril publishes diverse art from diverse people, as long as it has a relationship with issues of Asian-Australian interest. They prioritise submissions from Asian-Australians and other diverse backgrounds, but they’re open to art from all people. This is an online publication which has been around for 10 years—and thanks to generous funding bodies, they pay all contributors.



Forms: Essays, creative nonfiction, short stories, reviews, poetry.

This is one of Australia’s oldest literary journals, and it’s highly respected. Each issue has a theme, and submissions are open for several themes at a time. Southerly accepts many different types of submissions, which makes it a great suggestion for almost any kind of writer, but read a back issue or two to grasp the tone of the journal before submitting.



Forms: Poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction.
Frequency: Quarterly.

If you like your journals a little less structured, take a look at this one. There is no thematic focus, and it’s published as an ebook rather than a physical magazine. This journal commits to publish a diverse range of voices, and pays everyone they publish.



Forms: Nonfiction, fiction, poetry, reviews, criticism.
Frequency: TBC

It’s always lovely to see exciting, new publications, and Antic is one of these. Its first issue isn’t even out yet, but it’s a literary journal dedicated to supporting Australian (and international) writers. Keep an eye on this one.



Forms: Articles, poetry, book reviews, short fiction.
Frequency: 10 times a year.

Ideas and debate are the heart of Quadrant, which is a publication based on essays, literature, poetry, and political and historical discussion. They’ve got both an online section and a print magazine, and both are full of intellectual and interesting content.



Forms: Nonfiction articles on fashion and lifestyle.
Frequency: Quarterly

Peppermint‘s tagline is ‘Style, sustainability, substance’. They’re eco friendly, and cover fashion, lifestyle and creativity. Many of their articles are commissioned, but they still readily accept submissions in the forms of pitches and complete articles.

Griffith Review

griffith review

Forms: Essays, memoir, reportage, short fiction, poetry, visual essays.
Frequency: Quarterly.

Published by Griffith University, Griffith Review prides itself on being the first publication for many successful writers, and encourages writers at all levels to submit. The journal itself likes to intelligently analyse current events, anticipate upcoming trends, and deliver insight into what matters most.

Scum Mag

scum mag

Forms: Fiction, poetry, column, culture, memoir, review, art.
Frequency: Ongoing

Feminist friendly and weird in the best way, Scum Mag publishes new writing several times a week. With alumni including Oliver Mol, Patrick Lenton, Krissy Kneen and Zoya Patel (founder of the aforementioned Feminartsy), this is a favourite of many in the writing industry.

Create a Writing Calendar Using Trello

Whether you’re writing short stories, a blog, a novel, articles, or anything in between, the key to writing regularly is to be organised. It can be difficult to keep track of all the opportunities you want to apply for, the magazines you want to pitch to, and any other writing assignments you have for yourself. Building a clear idea of what you want to write can really make the difference between dreaming about writing and your writing carrying you to your dreams.

This guide will show you how to find opportunities, put them on a calendar, and then write towards your goals. First, of course, it’s important to do some introspection, set your writing goals and build a habit of writing every day. I use a combination of Trello and Google Calendar for this, but you’re welcome to use any tools you’d like.

Set Your Own Writing Goals

Set a timer for 5-10 minutes, and jot down everything you want to write. Whether you want to work through the exercises in a creative writing book, you have assignments or blog posts to work on, short story or flash fiction styles you want to try, novel ideas you want to try out, or anything else you can think of. Have fun with this; the only person who is going to see any of your writing is you!

Take the time to assess how much you can write every day. How much time will you devote to writing? What time of day will you do it? How much do you usually write in that time? If you’re not sure, that’s totally fine—you’ll figure it out as you move along, but don’t be harsh with yourself if you’re a bit slower than you’d hoped.

Finding Opportunities

Regardless of your niche, there are so many writing support tools and competitions and journals and opportunities out there, just waiting for you to apply for them. I had no idea how much stuff was out there until I started looking for it.

Websites like Aerogramme Writers’ Studio, Australian Writers’ Resource, the Australian Writer’s Marketplace, Writer’s Edit and each state writers centre’s email newsletters are great sources of upcoming competitions and opportunities. Subscribe to as many free email newsletters as you can, and make a habit of going through all the opportunities once a week.

Most magazines and journals love getting submissions, and once you know your niche, it’s really easy to find magazines to submit to. Writing for publications is a great way to build your writing career, make connections, and even make a little bit of money on the side.

Use Twitter strategically! Follow (or create a list) all of the state writers centres, magazines and journals, and other major Australian writing organisations, as well as the movers and shakers in your niche. It’s very likely you’ll find a whole abundance of writing opportunities through these feeds.

The Writing Calendar

Once you’ve got a whole selection of writing goals and ideas in one place, and you know how much time you can devote to writing, it’s time to put your calendar together! I like using Trello for this, because I can have one masterlist with all of my ideas, and then another list for each week, and drag and drop the card for each individual writing task to where it fits best. Then, once I’ve got my calendar sorted, I move over to Google Calendar and pop each one.

Be careful to make sure you have variety in your week. It’s too easy to spend every day writing pitches to magazines, or to constantly get distracted by short stories and never work on the bigger projects you’re hoping to conquer. Also, make sure to give yourself a wild card day every once in awhile, where you can choose to write whatever you want to at the time.

If you’re using Trello, it’s also good to have a list at the very left with your other miscellaneous, writing-related to dos. Things like ‘follow up on magazine submission’, or ‘reformat old blog posts’ are really easy to forget about, and having them right there with all of your other plans will help you to make sure that all of those little things get done.

Twitter Tools and Hashtags for Writers

Twitter is a conglomerate of things; it is a powerful networking tool, a way to experiment with writing micro-novels, and a delightful place full of wonder and distraction. Whether your goal is to network, increase your follower count, or just to make your feed better, there are plenty of online tools and hashtags that you can use.

Jazzing Up Your Posts

The thing about Twitter is that it’s so in-the-moment; it’s essential to have a sparkling profile at all times, with lots of new and exciting content, or passerbys might wonder if you still exist. There are plenty of tools online for curating content, scheduling your posts, and for making them stand out.

It’s a myth that curating content is the hard part. The internet is such a huge playground, and there are plenty of wonderful articles, apps, sites, videos and other things (some you might not even realise exist) to explore and share with your audience. Tools like Feedly and Bloglovin’ help you to keep track of all of your favourite blogs and topics, and keeping accounts with sites like YouTube and Tumblr can help you to track the other things people are doing on those topics.

Apps like Pocket and Instapaper make it really, really easy to save links—both to read later, and to Tweet, should it take your fancy. Buffer (which has a free option) is my scheduling tool of choice, and it even has some analytics built in. Other scheduling options include Hootsuite and Social Oomph.

Identifying Influencers

Online tools can be useful for identifying who and what (at least according to what computers think) are the major influencers and hashtags are in your field. Don’t rely on these alone, but they’re fun to explore, and can help you to get a comprehensive view of your niche.

Klear is an easy and free tool to identify influencers in any niche, for both Twitter and Instagram. The paid version lets you track hashtags, and monitor your own brand. EpicBeat analyses influencers, hashtags and posts on each topic, showing you who’s doing well and why. BuzzSumo is another great tool for analysing both influencers and content.

Assessing and Increasing Your Influence

It’s hard to figure out how well you’re doing with this whole social media thing, especially when it feels like you’re just making things up as you go along. Klout gives you a score between 1-100 on your social media engagement and influence. By using its browser extension, you can see the Klout scores on every profile, and gauge where you fit. Klout also has great growth-tracking tools.

Other tools that can be helpful for increasing your engagement and following include Tweriod, which is a tool that figures out when your followers are most likely to be online, and then syncs up to Buffer to ensure that your posts go out at the best time. Twitonomy gives you a comprehensive view of your profile, your followers, your engagement and your growth.

Hashtags for Writers

Hashtags are a great way to find other writers, potential readers and communities around the genre of books you write or love. Tracking and participating in these tags can help you make friends and networks and promote your writing. Make sure to look at each tag before using it so you know that your tweet fits in the tag (noting that some tags are used more for conversation, while others are used more for promotion), and not to use too many tags in one tweet.

Publishing, Agents and Industry

  • #MSWL – This is the hashtag lots of agents use to describe their ‘manuscript wishlist’. This is a great way to find agents that might want to pick up what you’re putting down.
  • #tenqueries – Every once in a while, an agent will use this tag to comment on ten queries and why they’re requesting more or rejecting each submission. This is an interesting insight into the industry.
  • #AskAgent, #AskEditor, #AskPub, #AskAuthor – These hashtags can be used for asking people in the industry questions, and for reading the answers to questions other people have asked for you.
  • #Publishing – Great for tracking what’s going on in the publishing world, and for learning who’s who.

Writing Community

  • #Writing – The general tag, full of banter, articles, quotes, etc. Not everything here is relevant, but a lot of good content finds its way here.
  • #AmWriting, #AmEditing –  Here, people share their writing adventures (and misadventures!), and encourage each other. This is a great way to find writing buddies.
  • #WriteChat – A tag designed for all kinds of writers to chat.
  • #1k1h – This hashtag is a challenge to write 1000 words in an hour! Use this to join sprints with other writers.
  • #SpilledInk – Here, people share bits of what they have written. Usually, it’s small pieces of prose that they are particularly proud of.
  • #WriterWednesday, #WW – Every Wednesday, Twitter-ers use this tag to share something writer-related.
  • #NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month is a challenge where writers all over the world attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. The official month is November, and the spin offs, ‘Camp NaNoWriMo’, take place in April and July, but there is some activity in this tag all year round.

Readers and Book Lovers

  • #FridayReads – People on Twitter love sharing what they’re planning to read on the weekend! This is a fun hashtag – a great way to find friends and people who might be interested in your book.
  • #AmReading – This is where bookworms share what they are reading, with quotes, pictures or opinions.
  • #BookHaul – This tag is used when someone buys a bunch of books and they want to share their haul! This can range from 2 to as many books as you can fit into a photo or video.
  • #GreatReads, #MustRead – Here, people share books they really enjoyed or ones which have made it onto their favourites.
  • #BookTube – BookTube is the YouTube vlogging community for books and reading! It’s very active (especially for YA readers), and this tag is an easy to see who and what is trending.
  • #BookWorm#BookWormProblems

Form and Genre-Specific Hashtags

Are there any other writerly (or readerly) Twitter tools or hashtags you use? Leave them in the comments below!

How to Use Twitter as a Networking Tool

Twitter is a fabulous, sparkly beast, full of wonderful conversations and intelligent people. It’s a great place to spend a lazy evening, from getting distracted by all sorts of hilarious celebrity ramblings to following the minute-by-minute reactions from people all over the world to the climax of the latest Game of Thrones episode.

But the Twitter beast has claws; it is also an excellent place for meeting likeminded writerly types and ‘network’. Really, ‘networking’, especially in the creative world, is just a fancy business term for ‘making friendships that can lead to great creative things’. Through networking, you can meet your next writing buddy, people who will want to share your stuff because their audience will love it, or even find that person who might know what the best next step for your career is.

Getting Started: Follows

For a long time, I didn’t even realise writers centres existed, let alone literary collectives and experimental writing festivals and zines and indie basement journals. I didn’t even know there was a writing community I could belong to. So, if all of these magnificent future-friends are out there, how do you reach them?

Find the awesome things you already know about! Follow the magazines, organisations and people who make the stuff you love, and then go through who runs them, and who they follow. If you read blogs or mags, look for the writers of the content that you love, and then go through their networks. This network-stealing trick is a great way to build a brain-map of your niche (and every time I do it, I find awesome indie journals which I’ll submit to one day).

If you’ve got no idea where to get started, this might take a little bit of digging. Hunt for arts organisations in your area, or historical societies, or whatever floats your niche, and look for their Twitters. Search for blogs, journals or magazines in your niche (trust me, they exist), or even a subreddit. You can also go through hash tags! #amwriting, #writing, and #amreading are all popular for general reading/writing, and there are plenty of other niche hashtags.

Getting Strategic: Lists

Once you’ve followed a lot of people, you need a way to cut out the noise. Whether your Twitter is brand new or 5 years old, your feed is likely to need some cleaning up. Lists are a great way to keep track of the people in your niche, and the people you want to chat to, without getting bogged down in the rest of your feed. Choose a combination of people who have different amounts of followers—some around the same as you, some a bit more, and some with lots.

Creating these lists can be as simple or as complicated as you like. I like to split mine between ‘Friends’, for the people I know; ‘Future Friends’, for the people I want to reach out to; and ‘Opportunities’, for the magazines, journals, organisations and other collectives I want to keep track of. Then, once a month or so, I go through all the new things I’ve followed and add them to my lists.

Hint: It’s much easier to build (and keep track of) lists using an app/non-Twitter site! I use Tweetbot for Mac, but Tweetdeck is a pretty great web app with similar functionality.

Getting Markety: Your Profile

Think about your Twitter profile (as well as any other online dwelling) as your own little corner of the internet. It’s the place where you get to dazzle everyone who passes by, but it also will affect whether other people reach out to you. If your posts are old and outdated, they might assume they can’t reach you through that platform, and if it’s not clear what you’re passionate about, they might not even think you have anything in common.

This is where social media is fun and creative. Write yourself a bio: sum up the things you love in 10 words or less. Draw something or get a talented friend to create you a header, and make sure your picture looks enticing. And post! Whenever you find things that excite you, share them with your followers. The more things you post, the more chances you give other people to interact with you.

If you have a niche, try to make a good percentage of your posts related to it, but it can never hurt to sprinkle other bits of your personality through your feed. Attend online events and twitter chats, comment on any current events, share cool articles and online finds, and do promote yourself, but never too much. There are lots of theories about the right ratio, but a good rule of thumb (and karma-grabbing) is to share other people’s content at least as much as you share your own. Use a tool like Buffer to schedule and plan your posts.

Getting Social: Reach Out

Now that you’ve identified the people you want to reach out to, and you’ve jazzed up your profile, it’s time to talk to other people. An easy way to do this is to share great content the people you admire create; this is a win-win: your followers get to experience their fabulous content, you get to flesh out your social media feed, AND the creator-human gets the warm fuzzy feeling that someone loves their content.

But there are other ways to do this too. Log in regularly, even if it’s only for 5 minutes at a time, and see what the people on your lists are getting up to. Is there a comment you can reply to or something you can ask to stir up a conversation? It’s like smalltalk, but much easier because it doesn’t involve actual human contact.

Try to reach out at least 5 times a day, especially to people you’d like to collaborate with or have share your content. Don’t be scared to do this—don’t you love it when you get a surprise message from someone? Most people do! And the worst thing that can happen is that your comment goes unanswered.


10 Australian Magazines You Can Submit To (For Pay)

Every writer wants to earn money from their work. This can seem hard, but if you consider becoming a freelance writer, it isn’t as hard as you think. Most magazines accept and encourage submissions from first-time writers, as long as they read the submission guidelines and pitch to the right magazines for their genre. It’s also best to pick up an issue or two of the magazine before you submit, to get a feel for the kind of content they publish.

This is a round-up of 10 great Australian magazines which accept unsolicited submissions, and pay all published writers. Even if you’re not at the stage to send your work in, consider picking up a copy to support these fabulous magazines (and trust me—you’ll get addicted).

1. The Lifted Brow


Forms: Short fiction, nonfiction, poetry

The Lifted Brow is a super rad arts and culture magazine, full of great content. Notable past contributors include Neil Gaiman, Alice Pung, Christos Tsiolkas, Helen Garner and David Foster Wallace—pretty impressive alumni. They have a quarterly print version, and a monthly digital version which splits the print version into three.

2. Kill Your Darlings


Forms: Short stories (subscribers only), nonfiction

Run by an incredible team (including the fabulous Hannah Kent), this magazine comments on culture, politics and society through a great selection of articles and stories. The team also offers manuscript assessments and writing courses, for those interested.

3. The Canary Press


Forms: Short stories

Started in Melbourne in 2013, this is a quarterly magazine full of short stories and quirky art. Despite only being 9 issues in, contributors have included Maxine Beneba-Clarke, Margo Lanagan, Josephine Rowe and George Saunders. This magazine started with a bang, and the quality is only going up.

4. Archer Magazine


Forms: Nonfiction articles about gender, sexuality and identity

Archer is an award-winning magazine which focuses on lesser-heard voices and their experience. It’s sold in Australia, the UK and the US, and won a United Nations Media Peace Award in 2014. If there’s a story that fits the bill and you feel you’re the right person to write it, definitely give it a go.

5. Voiceworks


Forms: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry

If you’re under 25, listen up. Voiceworks encourages unsolicited submissions, and offer editorial feedback to everyone, including rejected submissions. This opportunity is a must-try.

6. Overland


Forms: Nonfiction articles, essays, short stories and poetry

Overland is a seriously long-standing magazine, having celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2014. It explores the relationship between politics and culture (and literature in particular), and is published quarterly. They also pay for their online content, which they accept pitches for.

7. Meanjin


Forms: Short stories, poetry, essays and memoir

When something has been working for 75 years, it’s usually a pretty good indicator of awesomeness. This literature and culture journal is well worth your time. Past contributors include Sophie Cunningham, Peter Carey, Dorothy Porter and Kurt Vonnegut.

8. Island


Forms: Short fiction, poetry, essays

Island is a print-only magazine which covers ideas, writing and culture, built and grown in Tassie. It’s an innovative and exciting publication which has evolved alongside Australia’s media for the last 35 years.

9. The Big Issue


Forms: Nonfiction articles

This fortnightly magazine is one you can feel good about contributing to; it is sold on the streets by homeless, marginalized and disadvantaged people, and they get to keep 50% of the selling price. It primarily covers current affairs, social issues and street culture, but is open to articles on unusual or quirky topics as well.

10. Frankie


Forms: Nonfiction articles and memoir

Yes, Frankie accepts unsolicited submissions. If you’ve somehow missed this stellar magazine, it’s a bimonthly romp through design, art, music, fashion, lifestyle and real-life.