8 Aussie Sci-Fi Authors Whose Books You Should Read, by Jess Gately

Marianne de Pierres Where better to start than with this boundary-crossing writer who has graced Australian publishing over and over again. Since 2003, Pierres has made a name for herself as the award-winning author of the Parrish Plessis, Sentients of Orion, and Peacemaker series. Also publishing under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt, she has multiple Aurealis Award nominations and…

Self-Publishing Series Part 4: Typesetting and internal design

A post by Jess Gately  Cover image by Mali Maeder on pexels.com While many authors are excited about the cover design of their book, the internal design is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a professional looking book that ensures an easy-to-read experience. Designers working on books must consider the type size and type…

Overcoming Shiny Object Syndrome, by Jess Gately

Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay We’ve all been there. You’re down to the nitty gritty bits of your manuscript. You’re not quite sure how your character gets from A to B, you’ve written yourself into a corner and don’t know how to get out, and your enthusiasm just seems to have stalled. And then, lo and…

Self-Publishing Series Part 3: Choosing how to self-publish

A post by Jess Gately Image from Realistic Shots free stock images We’ve said it already and we’ll say it again: self-publishing involves a LOT of research. It’s a long process, and choosing how you’re going to publish your book is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. As self-publishing has grown in popularity, platforms…

Review: The Salt Madonna by Catherine Noske, by Jess Gately

Title: The Salt Madonna Author: Catherine Noske Publisher: Picador Australia Genre: Thriller, literary fiction This review was first published in the Underground zine, issue 30: Thriller ‘Faith has preconditions in need and hopefulness. It doesn’t re-quire actual hope, just willingness for it, and the need for change. We all of us had need.’ Written with a…

Issue 30: Thriller is here!

For your reading pleasure we are pleased to present issue 30: Thriller, hot off the virtual press!  Interview Coordinator Shelley Carter compiled and edited the issue, which contains new original creative writing by Underground debut writers Justine McGinnis, Tara O’Brien, and Camille Booker, and we’re pleased to welcome back Esme Lee Wilmot, who was also…

Opportunities for Writers May 2020

Cover image from Pixabay free images The Bird Makers Project ‘Through the remnants of shared experience, each stitch becomes bigger than the self. Suitable for beginner and advanced sewers, you will be guided through online resources to create a single black bird made from your own donated piece of black clothing. These black birds will…

Self-Publishing Series Part 2: Beta Readers & Editors

A post by Jess Gately Image by Anne Karakash on Pixabay In the traditional publishing process, a lot of the editorial process is undertaken by the publishing house that decides to accept your manuscript. But when you decide to self-publish you need to undertake this process yourself. At different stages of your manuscript development, it’s recommended…

Self-Publishing Series Part 1: What is Self-Publishing and Why Do People Do it?

A post by Jess Gately Image by Free Photos from Pixabay Contrary to popular belief, self-publishing is not a recent phenomenon. Beatrix Potter originally self-published The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1901 and Margaret Atwood published her first book of poetry Double Persephone in 1961 to critical acclaim. Classic writers such as Mark Twain, Charles…

5 Books for Getting the Facts in Fiction Right, by Jess Gately

The art of fiction is making it believable. Whether you’re writing a crime thriller, historical fiction, or science fiction, the realistic details are what allow your readers to suspend their disbelief and follow you into your ‘make-believe’ world. While there are many ways to research for your story, including interviews with experts and using historical…

Issue 29 release!

Cover art by Liana Wright The first edition of the Underground Writers zine for 2020 is here! ‘Romance’ is special because, apart from being our 29th issue, it marks the first issue since 2015, that Jemimah has not compiled the issue, instead mentoring another editor on how to assemble it. Since Underground is about expanding…

2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge at Underground, by Jemimah Brewster

Here at Underground we’re always looking for ways to support Australian writers, particularly authors from marginalised and underrepresented groups. With that in mind, in 2020 the UW team will be undertaking the Australian Women Writers Challenge. The AWWC was started in 2012 by Elizabeth Lhuede, an Australian writer and reader. From the Challenge’s Background page:…

Should I Use a Different Author Name? by Jess G.

Image from Unsplash There are many reasons why writers may choose to use a different name to associate with their work. Across history, pseudonyms have been used by writers to get published, to encourage different readers to pick up their books, and to avoid confusion across genres. While we all know the stories of women…

7 Apps & Programs to Support Your Writing, by Jess Gately

Have you ever heard Underground’s motto? It was coined by one of our first editors, Mark Flower, back when we first started. It says ‘No war has ever been waged, like that between the pen and the page.’ Mark knew, as many of us do, that finding the right words, the right structure, the right…

Freelance Writing Series Part 16: Showing Your Freelance Work on a CV

Article by Jess GatelyImage from Canva Free Stock Images Freelance work is great because it’s flexible and versatile, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the only sort of work you are doing. Whether a long-term opportunity comes up or you find yourself looking at ongoing work and the client would like to see your CV, many freelancer writers struggle…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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….

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…

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…

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…

Review: My Father’s Shadow by Jannali Jones, by Jess Gately

Title: My Father’s Shadow Author: Jannali Jones Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller Favourite Part: Just when you think you’ve figured it out, Jones throws a curve ball at you! The Black&Write! Fellowship has produced some cracking reads so of course I couldn’t wait to dig into Jannali Jones’s debut. The blurb for My Father’s Shadow doesn’t give…

Freelance Writing Series Part 11: A word from the professionals

Article by Jess Gately Image from Canva Free Stock Images The last few posts have been a whirlwind of information! While it may feel daunting and overwhelming, our resident professional freelancers Ruth Dawkins, Lindy Alexander and Abby Alexander are here to help you break it all down. So, what do they have to say about portfolios, pitching, and…

Writing Opportunities July 2019

Overland speculative alternatives issue ‘Overland is seeking fiction submissions for a special online edition themed around the future(s) you would manifest, to be guest edited by Eda Gunaydin.’ Maximum length is 4,000 words. Closing 15th July KSP Little Black Dress Spooky Story Competition Free to enter, youth (8-18) short stories should be no longer than…

Writing Advice from 7 Contemporary Australian Authors, by Jess Gately

Image from Canva Free Stock Images We’ve all seen those lists of lovely quotes from classic writers telling us all we need to know about writing. But what about writing in the modern world? What about the dangers of submitting too quickly and dealing with instant feedback? What about marketing yourself and building an author platform? What…

Freelance Writing Series Part 10: Pitching

Article by Jess Gately Image from Canva Free Stock Images In our last post we discussed finding your first clients and getting your first paid gig. If you’re looking to write for magazines, blogs or newspapers, a large portion of your career is going to be spent pitching. So, what is pitching? Pitching is when you put…

Freelance Writing series part 9: Getting your first paid gigs

Article by Jess Gately Image from Canva Free Stock Images In the last post we discussed ways that you can start a portfolio of your writing by incorporating articles you may have written for university, for your personal blog or things you’ve written for former employers, or by listing previous ‘clients’ you’ve worked with for free. In this…

Review: Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte, by Jess Gately

Title: Four Dead Queens Author: Astrid Scholte Publisher: Allen & Unwin (2019) Genre: YA Fantasy Every so often a book comes along where the pacing is so perfect—the tension rises steadily  and the plot races forward—that you find yourself turning the last pages at two o’clock in the morning wondering how ‘just one more chapter’…

Freelance writing series part 8: Building a Portfolio

Article by Jess Gately Image from Canva Free Stock Images Your business is now pretty much set up and ready to go, but there’s one last thing you’ll normally need to attract clients—a portfolio. Just like in any business, people want to know that you can actually do what they’re asking you to do and the best…

8 Aussie Podcasts for Writers, by Jess Gately

Image from Canva free stock images Writing is something you can learn in many different ways and while many will tell you to learn by reading, we can also learn by listening! The rise of the podcast means that speciality shows catering to all your passions, learning and entertainment needs, are just a click away. So, of…

Freelance writing series part 7: A word from the professionals

Article by Jess Gately Image from Canva Free Stock Images We’re welcoming back Ruth Dawkins, Lindy Alexander and Abby Alexander, our resident freelancers who are discussing some of the things we’ve been talking about so far and giving us an insight into the working world of freelance writing. What was the hardest thing you had to learn…