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. Some of our faves are The Lifted Brow, Scum Mag, Ibis House, Djed Press, Going Down Swinging, Kill Your Darlings, Rabbit, Liminal, Gusher, Overland, Swampland, Island, Lip, Mascara Literary Review, and Cordite Poetry Review.

I just turned twenty-five but I’ve already had my submission accepted! Do I have to withdraw it?

No! As long as you were under twenty-five at the time you submitted the work, that’s ok! We won’t kick anyone out of the magazine for turning twenty-five during the editing process.

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. Our motto is:

Themed work: good

Good work: better

Good themed work: best

More than any specific theme, we want to read work that is interesting, creative, and cohesive! For more tips on what we think makes good work, you can visit our handy writing guides here.

Where do I find the blurb for each theme?

Follow this 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.

Do I have to read the submission guidelines?

Yes, you really do. Please 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 that’s worthwhile learning to be mindful of...

So, I noticed you don’t accept previously published work. Does this include online content such as my blog/tumblr/website, 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?

Yes it will! Voiceworks is dedicated to helping young writers develop their skills, and knowing how to be edited is a really essential skill! Our editing process is a little longer and more involved than some other publications, because we want the process to be beneficial for you. It’s a collaborative process and you’ll have plenty of time to email back and forth with your editor to discuss changes to your work. You can read more about our editing process 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, Mira, at editor@expressmedia.org.au.

Are you going to do another illustrated issue?

Not in the near future, no. Making a fully illustrated issue is very time- and resource-intensive so we don’t have plans to do another for the next little while. However, we are always on the lookout for artists to do cover art and small internal illustrations for each issue! If you are interested in illustrating an issue or designing a cover, please send us an email! We are also always keen to receive more art and comics submissions!

Does Voiceworks or Express Media offer work experience?

Sadly, we do not. We’re a small shop (read: five staff) and run an internship program so it just isn’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 only $25 and results in monthly emails detailing all of the latest opportunities on offer, plus free access to all of Express Media’s workshops and programs and a PDF version of each new issue of Voiceworks delivered to your inbox.