In these strange times, it’s good to stay connected with other writers so here is a selection of literary magazines, journals and websites that showcase writers in Australia. Some are very established, some new on the block, others aim to showcase writers on the margins.
Poetry is not a lost art. Poetry is better than ever. Of course you’ve got the usual gang of idiots (as the Mad magazine staff writers used to call themselves) hiding in the thickets, folks who have gotten pretension and genius all confused, but there are also many brilliant practitioners of the art out there. Check the literary magazines at your local bookstore, if you don’t believe me. For every six crappy poems you read, you’ll actually find one or two good ones. And that, believe me, is a very acceptable ratio of trash to treasure.
18 literary magazines and journals
Archer Magazine. Archer Magazine is an award-winning print publication about sexuality, gender and identity. It is published twice-yearly in Melbourne, Australia, with a focus on lesser-heard voices and the uniqueness of our experiences.
Griffith Review. Running since 2003, Griffith Review is a leading literary journal in Australia. Each issue is themed, presenting insights and analysis of the big issues from emerging and established Australian and international writers, featuring a mix of essays, memoirs, reportage, short fiction, poetry and visual essays.
Island. Island is a premium Australian literary magazine of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and arts features. They began in 1979 as The Tasmanian Review. They aim to produce a magazine with a national vision and audience that supports new, emerging and established writers and artists.
Kill Your Darlings (KYD). Kill Your Darlings (KYD) is an Australian arts and culture magazine. Beginning life as a print quarterly in 2010, KYD is today a vibrant and eclectic online magazine of commentary, essays, interviews, fiction and reviews.
Mascara Literary Review. Poetry, reviews, fiction, flash fiction and more.
Meanjin. It’s 80 years since the very first edition of Meanjin was published—a slim volume of poetry. Here’s the link to this Australian literary quarterly journal.
Overland. Overland’s mission is to foster new, original and progressive writing exploring the relationship between politics and culture, especially literature, and to bring that work to as many people as possible. Calling itself “Australia’s only radical literary magazine”, it has been showcasing brilliant and progressive fiction, poetry, nonfiction and art since 1954.
Pencilled In. Pencilled In seeks to highlight and showcase art by young Asian Australians. It is a chance for emerging artists to have their work published, and hopes to provide a platform for such artists to forge meaningful relationships. They are looking for fiction (both flash fiction and longer forms), non-fiction, poetry, graphic art, and illustration.
Quadrant Online. Quadrant is an Australian literary, cultural and political journal, which publishes both online and printed editions. It was founded in Sydney in 1956.
Seizure. Seizure began in 2010 as a magazine collaboration between Alice Grundy and David Henley and has grown into a flourishing website and community for writers, editors, publishers and readers. Seizure is currently made up of around a dozen volunteers who work to improve literary and publishing culture in Australia.
Southerly. Southerly is one of Australia’s oldest continuous literary journals. The journal of the English Association, Sydney, it was launched in 1939 with works by authors such as AD Hope and Kylie Tennant. Southerly continues to publish the best in new fiction and poetry, reviews and criticism, from and about Australian and New Zealand authors.
The Australian Book Review (ABR). Australian Book Review (ABR), one of Australia’s major cultural magazines, presents high-quality journalism and new writing. It engages with all the arts, not just literature.
ABR is an independent, not-for-profit monthly magazine. Created in 1961, it lapsed in 1974 and was revived in 1978
The Blue Nib. The Blue Nib is about serving the literary community with a focus on both the reader and the writer. Since 2015 they have provided a platform that features work from some of the top names in poetry, fiction, journalism and creative nonfiction.
The Canary Press. The Canary Press was founded in 2013 on the back porch of a shared apartment, in an elaborate attempt to avoid doing the dishes. The magazine has become a crusade for the short story. They have published new and local writers alongside international luminaries, yelled author’s names out of bus windows, delivered magazines on bicycles, and thrown some of the least dignified parties in the history of Australian literature.
The Lifted Brow. They are a not-for-profit literary publishing organisation based in Melbourne, Australia. The Lifted Brow focuses on finding publishing and championing work from the artistic and/or demographic margins, from Australia as well as the rest of the world. They have been around since 2007.
The Sydney Review of Books. The Sydney Review of Books is an online literary magazine established in 2013.
According to the journal’s editor James Ley it was created to address shortcomings in Australian book reviews.
Voiceworks. Voiceworks is a national literary journal that features exciting new writing and art by young Australians. Our purpose is to create a space for people under twenty-five to develop their creative and editorial skills and to publish, and be paid for, their fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art and comics.
Westerly. Since 1956, Westerly has been publishing lively fiction and poetry as well as intelligent articles.
The magazine has always sought to provide a Western Australian-based voice, although its contributors and subject matter have never been geographically exclusive. It covers literature and culture throughout the world, but maintains a special emphasis on Australia, particularly Western Australia, and the Asian region.