The team at Underground Writers would like to respectfully acknowledge that we work and operate on the traditional lands of the Wadjuk people of the Nyoongar nation, and also on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. As an internationally-reaching zine and organisation, we also pay our respects to the traditional custodians of all the lands from which the content of this website and our zine are sourced.
Who we are
Underground Writers is a not for profit organisation made up of a passionate team of volunteers who exist to support emerging writers in Australia.
We are primarily known for Underground, our free creative writing zine, in which we gather and curate creative writing from talented authors to be released in quarterly online issues. We offer in-depth feedback to all submitters and payment for published contributions.
We seek to teach new writers the basics of submitting, publishing, and writing professionally whilst also providing an outlet for their work.
In addition to the zine, Underground Writers release interviews with industry professionals, a monthly list of writing opportunities such as competitions, prizes & callouts for submissions, tips & tricks for improving your writing, reviews of debut Australian work, and various other events and topics of interest to our followers.
Underground Writers exists as a first base for emerging Australian writers. The zine was established to be a less intimidating submission process that offers feedback and advice as well as a way to boost the confidence of writers in their first steps of seeking publication. Our focus is on developing the skills and confidence of emerging writers.
In addition, Underground Writers also aim to spread the work of local writers to the general public and seek to increase public awareness of local talent. Over the years, Underground has expanded on this aim by refining our reviews to debut and self published novels by Australian writers, making a conscious effort to support Australian writers breaking into their respective markets.
About the Zine
Underground is a free quarterly online collection of short stories, poetry, flash fiction and reviews. We don’t believe that a person’s financial situation should impede their ability to access local content and support emerging writers which is why Underground is always released free-of-charge in an online format for easy download.
The zine promises to have all editors review all submissions to minimise bias towards certain styles, content, or themes, and to provide in depth feedback on all submissions whether they are accepted or not. The bottom line is that we want to publish a writer’s work so we will work with our writers until a piece really shines and is ready to be published.
Having said that, we also have restrictions on content and it is at the discretion of the Underground staff to refuse to publish a piece that we believe is offensive, inappropriate or otherwise not suitable for our publication. For a full break down of what we accept and how to submit, see out Submissions page.
How we got here
The Underground zine was started by a group of students who were studying together at Edith Cowan University, Perth in 2009. Our founders were ‘just a little’ intimidated by the submissions process to big publications and literary journals when they first started out and figured that there were probably loads of other writers out there like them. With that in mind, they decided to create Underground as a way to ease new writers into the process.
There’s been several teams of editors since then, only one of the original founders is still involved, and the zine has changed considerably but the idea and the passion remains. You can still see all the original issues over on the Issues page where you may notice a three-year gap between July 2010 and June 2015. When our founding members moved overseas Underground took a bit of a break. Luckily for us Jemimah Halbert, a former editor for Underground and Creative Writing Honours student, stepped up to revive the zine in 2014 and has been passionate about it ever since. She recruited a new team and developed a new vision for Underground.
Since the revival, Underground Writers have become more than just a zine: we are now a writing community. We review debut Australian novels, speak with industry professionals, run writing challenges, and release regular posts with tips and tricks for improving your writing. With each year we grow and expand in the hopes that we can reach and help even more aspiring writers.
A Quick History of Underground
- Underground was founded in 2009 by Chris, Pauli, Lauren, Jess G, and Mark, who were all studying together at Edith Cowan University in Perth
- As their degrees finished and their lives moved on, only Chris and Jess G were left at Underground so they recruited a new team of editors to help with the zine: Jemimah, Kia, Rob and E.
- At the end of 2012, Chris moved to South Korea to pursue teaching and Jess G moved to London to travel as the other editors dispersed to explore various different things; Underground was left for several years.
- In late 2014 Jemimah revived Underground, updating Facebook, Twitter and the website to let the world know Underground was back!
- She then recruited several writing students and after a few shuffles there are now six of us: Dylan, Shelley, Jess G, Jess Rae, Kate, and our Editor-in-Chief Jemimah