I just turned twenty-five. Can I still send in my work?

Sorry, but we’re unable to accept work from anyone who has crossed the quarter century mark. As soon as you have your twenty-fifth birthday it’s time to start submitting to some other kickin’ publications. Our faves are The Lifted Brow, Going Down Swinging, Kill Your Darlings, Overland, IslandLip, Scum Mag, Sleepers, Offset Journal, The Canary Press, Bumf, Stilts, Mascara Literary Review, rabbitpoetry, Award Winning Australian WritingCordite Poetry Review and Junkee.

So what’s the deal with this whole ‘theme’ business?

Don’t sweat the themes. They’re meant to act as more of a potential jumping-off point or means of getting your creative juices flowing than anything else.

It’s a little naff, but our catch-cry for years has been
Themed work: good
Good work: better
Good themed work: best

Where do I find the blurb for each theme?

Follow this here link to our Submittable page and you’ll find it (plus info on deadlines and submission guidelines). And don’t worry, they’re deliberately vague, not a riddle to be solved (even though riddles are pretty great).

Do I have to read the submission guidelines?

Yes, you really do. We’re sorry but they’re not arbitrary rules we put together to make life harder, but absolutely necessary to keep everything running smooth. And it’s not just us. Pretty much everywhere you submit ever will have their own way to go about it, so it’s something worthwhile learning to be mindful of.

I’m really more of a nonfiction writer…

That’s not really a question, but also totally fine! We’re always keen to read more nonfiction at Voiceworks. Have you read our guide to pitching nonfiction? Start there.
Generally speaking though, our favourite submissions have
1. a strong angle (or ‘hook’ that sets it a part from other articles on the same topic),
2. depth of engagement with your subject (so supporting research and recognition of complicating factors) and
3. a compelling sense of relevancy to our readership.
In case that last one sounds a little vague, all it really means is making sure your reader has a reason to invest in the topic. Avoid unsupported statements: what are the contributing factors and implications that will give your audience insight into yout chosen topic? Particularly it’s very important to balance internal/ personal experiences with external discourse. Not that we’re after academic essays, instead, this is often the best way to contextualise your piece.

So, I noticed you don’t accept previously published work. Does this include online content such as the creators’ own WordPress page/ tumblr, etc.? 

We’re more chilled out about personal blogs—it makes complete sense that writers want to both upload and submit pieces that they’re proud of. But, yeah, in the event of acceptance, we would ask you to take the work down for a month or so. And then, best-case scenario, maybe pop it back up with a link to the Voiceworks ‘where to buy’ page, if that’s something that you’re down with.

If short-listed, will my work be edited?

Hellz yeah. But less in a ‘I have a red pen, you shall submit’, and more a collaborative process of refining, shoring up structure and further developing your ideas, themes, characters, narrative and whathaveyou. Read up on the whole business here.

My piece didn’t get in. Where’s my feedback at?

A fair question! The answer to this varies quite a bit. When you can expect a response is dependent on what point during the production cycle your submission was received. As Voiceworks is a quarterly magazine, this can take up to three months. Voiceworks relies completely on contributions from our readers to make up the content of each issue, and we’re stoked that you consider us a place you’d like to be published. We’re also almost entirely run by a volunteer editorial committee and appreciate your patience.

If you have been waiting forever and think something has gone wrong, email the editor, Lucy, at editor@expressmedia.org.au.

I love spotting typos and design slip-ups. Do you do open proofreading?

Yes, yes we do—though only in Melbourne and you gotta be under twenty-five. It’s a pretty informal affair and normally only take 2-3hours. There are style manuals, house style sheets and snacks. Most of the editorial committee comes along, and we generally go for drinks after, so it’s a good chance to meet everyone. If you’re interested email Lucy at editor@expressmedia.org.au.

Does Voiceworks or Express Media offer work experience?

Sadly, we do not. We’re a small shop (read: three staff) and run a yearly internship program so it just ain’t feasible. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends! Come along to Voiceworks launches for sure, and check out other events and workshops run by Express Media.
Also, if you haven’t already, become a member of Express Media for sure. It’s free and results in monthly emails detailing all of the latest opportunities on offer.

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