Review: Highway Bodies by Alison Evans, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Title: Highway Bodies Author: Alison Evans Published: 2019 Genre: YA, horror Publisher: Echo Publishing Highway Bodies (2019) is a debut novel by Alison Evans that follows the stories of three groups of queer teens as they fight for survival in and around Melbourne as the city becomes overrun by zombies. The actual cause of the zombification…

Opportunities for Writers December 2019

Image from Canva free stock images Aerogramme Writer’s Studio also has a list of 31 Writing competitions to enter before the end of the year, including opportunities for prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction from all over the world. Seeking Youth Curators at Scribblers Festival ‘Scribblers is seeking Youth Curators to help shape a day-long program dedicated…

Review: Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard, by Jess Rae

Trigger Warnings: This book contains suicide, abuse, homophobia and alcohol. If any of these topics are a potential hazard to you this might not be a book for you. Favourite quote: “I run down the hotel corridor, each day of the past week flashing before my eyes, a whole row of tombstones in the cemetery…

Review: The Orange Grove by Kate Murdoch, by Shelley Carter

Title: The Orange Grove Author: Kate Murdoch Publisher: Regal House Publishing Genre: historical fiction The Orange Grove follows an extensive cast of characters within an affluent French chateau in the 1700s. When the duc takes a new mistress, Letitia, and brings her to live in the chateau, tensions flare within the household. Fellow mistress Henriette…

7 Australian Literary Magazines You Should Read & Submit To, by Jess Gately

Publishing your writing in literary magazines is one way authors and poets give themselves credibility when submitting longer works to publishers. Having a publishing record means that you not only have experience working with editors and publishers but that you are likely to already have a following of readers who recognise your name. To give…

Review: Fabulous Lives by Bindy Pritchard

Fabulous Lives (2019) by Bindy Pritchard From Margaret River Press comes the short story anthology Fabulous Lives by debut author Bindy Pritchard. Each pocket of story speaks to the marginalised sorts that exist on the periphery—almost out of sight—if not for the surreal and whimsical characters they are or situations that they find themselves in….

Issue 28: Invitation

Cover art by Frank Candilaro ‘Invitation’ is special because, apart from being our 28th issue, it is being released on the 10th birthday of Underground’s conception in a coffee shop in Perth, way back in 2009. We’re incredibly proud of the work we do at Underground, and we look forward to growing, reaching new audiences,…

Writing Opportunities for November 2019

Image from Canva free stock images Words on Water, Mandurah, 6-7th November ‘For the very first time, Confluence Festival of Indian Arts in Australia comes to Mandurah for two days in November, bringing a rich tapestry of Indian arts, Bollywood film, dance, yoga, guided meditation and much more. At the heart of Confluence will be the…

Underground Writers 10 Years On

On Friday, November 1st 2019, Underground Writers held a birthday party at PICABar in Perth to celebrate 10 years supporting Australian emerging writers. Our full team of editors were in attendance, and we were joined by a large crowd of supporters. What follows is the speech given on the night by our Editor-in-Chief, Jemimah Halbert…

Review: Two new Australian children’s titles, by Kate Lomas Glendenning

Editor Kate Lomas Glendenning reviews two recent children’s book releases from Fremantle Press and Magabala Books. Rodney by Kelly Canby Rodney is another children’s masterpiece by Kelly Canby (who wrote and illustrated the recently published book.) The story follows Rodney, a small tortoise, who dreams to know a life among the treetops. Rodney’s journey is…

I’ve got a story to tell; now what? By Jess Gately

‘I’ve got a story to tell, but I don’t know how to go about it?’ As writers, it’s not uncommon for us to have friends come to us and ask us for advice. Usually, some variation of these words is where it starts. It can be difficult to answer that question; there are so many…

Underground Turns 10

We’re turning 10 and we want to celebrate with you! Our editor-in-chief is flying in from Melbourne to help us get the party started at this special birthday celebration. We’ll be launching our 28th issue ‘Invitation’ and we’ll have hard copies of previous issues available too. If that wasn’t enough, Underground Books will have a…

Freelance Writing Series Part 15: A word from the professionals

Article by Jess GatelyImage from Canva Free Stock Images Everyone works differently. The way we manage our time, our admin, our marketing and our work is a matter of personal taste. While the Freelance Writing Series aims to give you a starting point, let’s check in with our resident professional freelancers Ruth Dawkins, Lindy Alexander and…

Review: On The Sunday, She Created God by Gerii Pleitez, by Shelley Carter

Title: On The Sunday, She Created God Author: Gerii Pleitez Publisher: Kara Sevda Press (2019) Genre: Literary Fiction Novella THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS On The Sunday, She Created God is a gritty, unapologetic glimpse into the lives of urban outcasts. It paints a picture of life in the underbelly of the city, fuelled by…

Writing Opportunities for October 2019

Image from Canva free stock images The Correspondent is currently accepting pitches ‘As conversation leaders, our expectation is that a freelancer who works with us will not just deliver exceptional journalism, but will also join the discussion their journalism sparks. For journalists who produce multiple pieces for us, we will also talk about how we can make…

Review: Alt-Ctrl by Rebecca Freeman, by Jemimah Brewster

Title: Alt-Ctrl Author: Rebecca Freeman Publisher: Thea Press Genre: YA Dystopian Fiction Alt-Ctrl is a YA dystopian novella by West Australian freelance writer and editor Rebecca Freeman. It is set in a not-too-distant future Australia in which climate collapse has forced most citizens into domed cities run by the international corporation PlanetRescue. Governments are at…

7 Journaling Activities to Improve Your Writing by Jess Gately

Image from Canva Free Stock Images Journaling is a popular way for writers to improve their skills and practise their craft on a daily or regular basis. The concept is simple enough; it’s like writing a diary—you write in it every day (or near enough), and you only write as much or as little as you want….

5 Books You Can Read in One Sitting by Shelley Carter

Life gets pretty hectic sometimes. There isn’t always time to dedicate to our hobbies or to relaxation. According to studies, reading can reduce stress up to 68%! That’s why events such as the Australian Reading Hour are so important; to remind us to take a step back from our busy schedules and indulge in some…

Visualisation Tools for Planning Your Story by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Image from Canva Free Stock Images Let’s say you have an idea for a story but you don’t know where to begin with planning the nitty gritty of character profiles, thematic influences, subplots, and so on. This is very common, particularly when starting out on a novel-writing journey, but can also apply to short stories and…

Freelance Writing Series Part 14: Marketing Yourself and Your Business

Article by Jess GatelyImage from Canva Free Stock Images To make money, you need clients who are willing to pay you for your work. In freelance writing this is often done by pitching yourself to potential clients—pitching story ideas to publications, approaching businesses you’d like to write for, replying to callouts—but there are also things you can do…

Review: Not Bad People by Brandy Scott, by Jess Rae

Title: Not Bad People Author: Brandy Scott Publisher: HarperCollins Genre: Thriller/mystery Isn’t it funny that the books we’re drawn to read reflect a little in what’s going on in our own life? This book came to me when I was trying to figure out some of my own friend-related troubles; mind you mine don’t involve…

TBR: Train-Bound Reading by Kate Lomas Glendenning

A listicle by Kate Lomas Glendenning As a student, I spend countless hours commuting on the train. Over the years, the view of the slowly changing houses and indifferent passengers became boring, so lately I’ve decided to change things up! Despite a bag full of textbooks and folders, I am still able to squeeze a…

Writing Opportunities for September 2019

Image from Canva free stock images 2019 Deborah Cass Prize  “Early career writers of migrant background are invited to apply for the 2019 Deborah Cass prize. The winner receives a cash prize of $3,000 plus a three-month mentorship with an established writer. The winning manuscript is presented to Black Inc. publishers for consideration, with the winning excerpt…

Review: Half Moon Lake by Kirsten Alexander, by Shelley Carter

Title: Half Moon Lake Author: Kirsten Alexander Publisher: Bantam (Penguin Random House); 2019 Genre: Historical Fiction/Crime When Sonny disappears without a trace in the summer of 1913, his family is thrust into the media spotlight and his case stays in the public eye for years. What is different about this case, however, is that the…

Freelance Writing Series Part 13: Admin and Time Management

Article by Jess Gately Time management is one of the most important factors of freelance work. There’s a lot to consider when you’ve got to juggle the endless need to pitch your work, find new clients, follow up, invoice, update your portfolio, produce content for your website and social media, interviews, meetings, researching, along with all…

Growing up: A tale of books read, by Dylan Dartnell

Once upon a time, in an age few can recall, lived a boy who read books upside down sitting on his Nanna’s recliner chair; his feet dangling well above the carpet floor. The couch was warm and the house still. The midday movie had just finished and Gameboys had not yet been registered into existence…

How To Create a Compelling Villain, by Jess Rae

Image from the Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive I recently re-watched all the Harry Potter films and whilst doing so found myself rolling my eyes at “he-who-shall-not-be-named.” I found Voldemort to be, quite frankly, rather boring, with boring motives; his followers were far more interesting. It got me thinking about villains I do enjoy in series…

Review: If I Tell You by Alicia Tuckerman, by Shelley Carter

Title: If I Tell You Author: Alicia Tuckerman Publisher: Pantera Press (2018) Genre: YA Contemporary If I Tell You follows the story of small-town teenager Alex Summers as she navigates her final year of high school and a budding relationship with her first love, Phoenix Stone. When Phoenix moves to the farming community of Two…

Interview: Australian YA author Lisa Walker

Interview by Shelley Carter Lisa Walker is an established Australian author with a range of works under her belt, ranging from young adult fiction to radio plays. Her latest novel, Paris Syndrome, has been likened to author John Green and features a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of Paris. Editor Shelley Carter spoke to…

The Right Way to Organise a Bookshelf by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Part One of my 2019 TBR shelf, alphabetised by author’s first name One of the greatest joys in life is organising and re-organising one’s book collection. The heady rush of excitement when you think of a new system that you can spend a whole weekend applying to every book; the joy as you take each…

Issue 27: Case

Cover by Jess Gately Issue 27: Case is here On page 6 you’ll find this issue’s book review by yours truly, then our fabulous fiction begins on page 8, continuing with our Case theme until you reach the bumper selection of opportunities for writers down on pages 22-25. We hope that this issue will help…

What to do when you receive feedback on your writing, by Jess Gately

Image from Canva Free Stock Images Receiving feedback can be a painful process. As writers, we should actively seek it, but there’s no taking away that sting when your feedback says something isn’t working. And it’s ok to feel that sting. It’s only natural when you’ve shared a project you’ve worked hard on and feel passionate about…

Freelance Writing Series Part 12: Creative Briefs

Article by Jess Gately Image from Canva Free Stock Images In our last post, we discussed pitching for those of you who are looking at article writing but this post is more useful for those of you who are looking at copywriting, real estate writing, advertising, social media management or other such roles. Jobs like these often…

Interview: Elizabeth Kuiper, author of ‘Little Stones’

An interview by Jess Gately Elizabeth Kuiper grew up in Zimbabwe before emigrating to Perth with her mother. In 2016 she graduated from the University of Melbourne with a degree in politics and philosophy and she is now a writer and law student living in Melbourne. Her debut novel Little Stones was released 1 June…