Submit to Voiceworks!


Voiceworks is a national, quarterly literary journal, featuring exciting new fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual art and comics by Australians under the age of 25. Voiceworks is produced entirely by people yet to hit the quarter century mark, and relies on contributions from readers to make up its content. Each selected piece goes through a collaborative editing process, and individualised feedback is provided for all unsuccessful written submissions (aside from longform fiction). All published contributors are paid for their work.

What we’re looking for

The best way to get a sense of the kinds of work we publish is to read Voiceworks! You can get yourself a copy by ordering it online, subscribing or by waltzing into one of these fine retailers.

Inside Voiceworks you’ll find a varied selection of short stories, poems, nonfiction, art and comics. We’re keen to read more experimental writing—think stylistically playful stuff, and work that blurs the boundaries between nonfiction, fiction and poetry.

We’re always on the lookout for writing in all of these forms, but what we’re chomping at the bit for is nonfiction. Just quietly, we get far more people sending us fiction and poetry than nonfiction. This means we want to read more of it, and frankly your odds of publication are better if you send us some. This doesn’t mean we compromise on the standard of nonfiction we publish—it needs to have a specific angle and offer some sort of insight, whether that’s a keen interest in researching something, expert knowledge on a topic, a unique experience or perspective, or a combination of these things. We recommend you pitch your nonfiction before sending it to us, especially if you’re not sure if your piece appropriate, or what you want to do with it. Pitching is our chance to help you out before you submit. So before you send us your work, we (strongly) urge you to read our handy nonfiction guide on how to construct your pitch and write good nonfiction in general.

The same goes for art and comics—we receive fewer art submissions than in written categories, and want to publish more of it inside Voiceworks. But before you send it our way, be sure to flip through a copy of the mag to make sure your work is suited to the page dimensions, colour limitations and design specifications of Voiceworks.

If poetry‘s your thing, read our poetry guide to get a better sense of what we look for in poetry submissions, or if you’re keen to improve your poems before sending them to us.

Theme: Sprawl (Issue #109, Spring 2017)

The theme of our spring 2017 issue is ‘Sprawl’, but you don’t have to stick to it. Our themes are a prompt more than anything else—a springboard to get the creative ideas flowing. Most of all, we just want good work. Our motto is…

—Themed work: good

—Good work: better

—Good themed work: BEST

sp         spr                    spr                    spra                  spraw                sprawl   sprawllllllllllllllllllll

Welcome to the process of suburbanisation. Join the tour of Outer (Sub)Urban Car-mmunities. When the centre is no longer the centre, watch the rise of multiple, alternate centres: the geographic centre, the second centre, the CBD, the heartland. Leapfrog development—you’ve jumped over this landlock/you’re locked out of that land. The horizon’s been chased and followed and eaten up, pushed to the sidelines, pulled back and shot off into the distance. All you can do is watch on as you move your heart outwards, mismatch your socks, dream of a tube that sprints underneath you. All limbs are akimbo, spreadeagled to catch your fall. Feel the ground push up against every part of your body, the earth pulsing, pulse quickening, fingertips that stretch apart like a boat pushed away from its dock. The reef is dying, its whiteness widening, and soon there’s only rubble seen from space. On public transport they save room for cats, knees spread apart and open backpacks spilling contents across the aisle. The afternoon plods on, minutes refusing to pass.

~Thanks to EdCommers Phoebe Paterson de Heer and Holly Friedlander Liddicoat for the blurb~


Voiceworks accepts fiction, poetry, nonfiction, art and comics, but before you send it our way, here are some rules (they help control the fun):

—We are only able to publish writers and artists who are under the age of 25 (that is, 24 and under) at the time of submission.

—We only accept work by people living in Australia (including international students) or by Australians living overseas.

—We only consider previously unpublished work.

Each category has its own submission page with specific guidelines, but here are the basics:

Fiction: send no more than two stories, each no more than 3,000 words.

Poetry: send no more than three poems, each no more than 100 lines. We recommend reading our poetry guide here before sending us your work.

Nonfiction: we recommend that you pitch your nonfiction work before sending it to us. Head here for advice on how to construct your pitch and write good nonfiction. For completed work, send no more than two pieces, each no more than 3,000 words.

Art and comics: please keep in mind, we print in black-and-white (greyscale) and our page dimensions are 170 x 245 mm. For comics, we recommend you pitch them before sending them to us. For advice on how to pitch your comics, check out our handy guide here. Please send no more than three artworks.

We encourage you to submit across genres, but please send us no more than four submissions in total (excluding visual art).


Nonfiction pitches are due Sunday 11 June, 11:59pm.

Fiction, poetry and completed nonfiction is due Sunday 25 June, 11:59pm.

Art and comics are due Sunday 23 July, 11:59pm.

Rates of pay

$100 for written work or for one image
$150 for multi-page comics or suites of images

You’ll find further details on each category by following the link below. Please read the information carefully and contact Voiceworks Editor Lucy Adams if you have any questions or concerns. Alrighty then, it’s time to submit!


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