Voiceworks is a national literary journal, featuring 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. 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 looking for it at your local or school library or one of these stockists.
Voiceworks publishes 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 we’re especially keen for more nonfiction submissions. 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.
Current Theme: Hum
You are humming beneath your breath on the walk home, hoping the streetlights hear you. The night is cold but crickets trill in trees, high a capella vibrations that the wind carries with it. At the end of the street, motel sheets scratch against hipbones and hushed conversations huddle like ghosts. Maybe you’ll even press your face against the vending machine just to hear that low, fluorescent buzz. Traffic lights flash. Car engines whir. A lawn mower waits for the world to wake up. Are you home yet? The air conditioner continues. So does the secondhand fridge. This cradlesong of comfort, like soft snoring in your bed. Would you rather listen to the humdrum soundtracks of 24-hour supermarkets? Where shift workers whistle beneath their breath. All those pop songs that stay in your head. What will you sing in the shower later? What remains unspoken, yet still reverberates in your throat? In the dark, everyone feels small, like a swarm of hummingbirds dotting the horizon. When flying loses its charm, you’ll settle for pecking at an abandoned kebab on a public bench. Hummus leaks onto the pavement. Nobody else notices.
~Thanks to Edcommers Maddie Godfrey and Claire Cao for the blurb~
Remember, you don’t have to stick to the theme! 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
Voiceworks accepts fiction, poetry, nonfiction, art and comics, but before you send your work our way, here are some rules:
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 duotone (only two colours of ink) and our page dimensions are 170 x 245 mm. We recommend you pitch your comics 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 or comics.
We encourage you to submit across genres, but please send us no more than four submissions in total (excluding comics and art).
Fiction, completed nonfiction and poetry—Sunday 15th September 11:59pm AEDT
Art, comics and comic pitches—Sunday 13th October, 11:59pm AEDT
Rates of pay
$100 for written work and art
$150 for multi-page comics or suites of art
You’ll find further details on each category by following the link below. Please read the information carefully and contactVoiceworks Editor Mira Schlosberg if you have any questions or concerns. Alrighty then, it’s time to submit!