What do you mean by emerging writers? Is that just young people?

We exist to support all emerging writers. An emerging writer is someone who is just stepping into their writing journey. That may be a young person, it may be someone who’s recently switched careers, or it may be someone who used to be a non-fiction writer who is now writing fiction (or vice versa). Anyone who is new to whatever style of writing they are trying is an emerging writer.

What makes you different from other Australian publications?

We are not a big operation; we are run entirely by volunteers who share a passion for good writing. Our zine is free to submit and free to download, and we always offer feedback to all our submitters, something offered by no other publication we know of. We have recently been able to start paying our writers, which we’re very passionate about and have been working towards since the beginning. Our goal is to be that first step, the first place a new writer is published, and our priorities are to be approachable and supportive to anyone who wasn’t to write, no matter their format or content. We want to see our writers flourish and go on to succeed in their writing dreams. However, we don’t receive funding, grants, or advertising revenue; we pay our writers entirely through the generosity of our Patreon supporters, which often limits the number of submissions we can accept for publication.

Why don’t you charge people to read the zine?

We don’t believe that a person’s financial situation should stop them being able to enjoy and support local emerging writers which is why Underground is always available to download for free. One day we hope to be able to print copies of Underground and this would likely be something we would charge for but we will always keep the free online edition. In the meantime, if people like what we do and think it is worth paying for we encourage them to donate to us through our Patreon page.

I want to submit something, but it’s been published elsewhere. What should I do?

It depends: where is ‘elsewhere’? If it’s a blog post on your own page we may be able to look past it. If it’s another zine or journal however, that’s where it gets tricky. The best course of action would be to drop us a line explaining the situation and we’ll figure it out from there. Please be aware that submitting to us may affect your chances in other journals. We’ve contacted all the major literary journals and asked about this situation, and they gave us the same response we’ve just given. Get in touch with them and explain what’s going on, and hey, you might get lucky

Can you review my book?

Underground receives a lot of requests for book reviews. Send an email through to our Managing Director at jemimah@underground-writers.org and she’ll see if any of the editors have the time to take up your book. In your email you should include a bit about yourself, a short bio of your book, and any other relevant information. If one of the editors are free, Jemimah will get in contact with you to organise where to send the book. Of course, please only submit your book to us if you are Australian or based in Australia and this is your debut book.

Will you review/stock my self-published book?

We’re happy to review and stock self-published works, but again you must be Australian or Australian-based and it must be your debut novel. Please don’t try to sell us a whole series. Unfortunately, we just don’t have the capacity to stock like that yet.

I want to support Underground Writers. How can I help?

Firstly, thank you so much! It means a lot to us that you like what we do. There’s several ways you can support us.

Firstly, we are a not-for-profit which means we don’t make a lot of money. For years Underground was funded entirely by the volunteers who not only gave their time but their money as well. If you’ve got just a few dollars to spare each month we’d really appreciate it if you could head on over to our Patreon Page (https://www.patreon.com/UndergroundWriters) and donate what you can. Money made through Patreon goes towards funding the zine which means your money goes directly to an emerging author! How awesome is that?!

If you’re tight on money but still want to buy books, you can support us by buying books from us. All profits from the bookstore go towards expanding our programs to help emerging writers, including hosting workshops and events to help writers gain the information they need to be successful.

If you’re really tight on money and can’t buy books, then you can still help. Follow us, share what we do, tell other people about us, and if you’ve got ideas or questions or you can help us organise spaces for our events, get in touch. We’re always happy to work with local groups and businesses to help each other out.