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…

Opportunities for Writers February 2020

For lists of opportunities for writers, check out Aerogramme Studio’s Residencies for Writers in 2020 and A Guide to Short Story Contests in 2020, writingWA’s Opportunities page, and Writers Bloc’s Opportunities page Australian Multilingual Writing Project seeking editors and readers The AMWP is is looking for editors and readers fluent in/confident with a language other…

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:…

Perth Fringe Festival for Literary Nerds, by Jess Rae

Perth Fringe Festival is in full swing and if you’re anything like me you adore the arts and like to take full advantage of the shows. This year there are a tonne of shows on for us bookish nerds so I thought I’d compile them all in a list for you: For the grammar-nerd… Comma…

Review: The Lost Summers of Driftwood by Vanessa McCausland, by Shelley Carter

Title: The Lost Summers of Driftwood Author: Vanessa McCausland Genre: Fiction Publisher: HarperCollins Australia (2020) This book was provided by NetGalley and HarperCollins Australia in exchange for an honest review. From the outside, it seems as though Phoebe has it all. A successful job at luxury champagne company Joet et Halo, a relationship heading for…

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…

Underground is Seeking Junior Editors

Due to the increasing number of requests we’ve received from emerging editors looking for opportunities to learn, in 2020 Underground will be trialing 6-month rotations of Junior Editors to help emerging editors gain experience. Every six months, two editors will be invited to join the editorial team to edit issues and produce content for our…

Bittersweet Farewells: Dylan Dartnell

It is with great sadness that the beginning of 2020 also rings the farewell of the wonderful Dylan Dartnell, who is moving on to pursue his career and other passions. While we’re hoping Dylan may be able to rejoin us at some point in the future, we are extremely excited for him and can’t wait…

Review: What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Title: What the Woods Keep Author: Katya de Becarra Published: 2018 Genre:  YA thriller fantasy Katya de Becerra’s debut YA fantasy novel What the Woods Keep follows the story of Hayden Bellatrix Holland, who is bequeathed her deceased mother’s family estate on her eighteenth birthday. But she can only receive the bequest if she adheres to…

Review: A Constant Hum by Alice Bishop, by Shelley Carter

Title: A Constant Hum Author: Alice Bishop Format: Short stories Genre: Fiction Published: 2019 A Constant Hum is a collection of short stories all relating to the Black Saturday bushfires that tore through the Victorian bush in 2009. Split into three sections, Prevailing, Southerly and Northerly, the book brings the reader increasingly closer to the…

Opportunities for Writers January 2020

Image from Canva free stock images You can also find listings of international publications open for submission, residency opportunities, and writing competitions at Aerogramme Studio Voiceworks 118: As If! Voiceworks issue 118, theme As if! is currently open for submissions. It’s free to submit and only eligible for Australian writers and artists under the age of 25…

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…

Take your Nonfiction to the Next Level by Shelley Carter

Image from Canva Free Stock Images Writing long-form nonfiction can be difficult; there is a fine line between cramming as much interesting information into a book or article, and the resulting work coming out drier than a Gingernut biscuit. Originally, my field of study was journalism, and my lecturers often shared bits of advice that have stayed with me up…

Review: I Am Change by Suzy Zail, by Shelley Carter

Title: I Am Change Author: Suzy Zail Published: 2019 Publisher: Walker Books Australia Genre: Young adult fiction Lillian wants so much more out of life than what is expected of her. Growing up in rural Uganda, her life is destined to follow the same path as her sisters, mother, and so many women before her:…

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…

The Year That Was… by Dylan Dartnell

Image from Canva free stock images The year that was—that still is. You have done so well… but I need just a little more from you. It’s not quite over yet. It’s time to recalibrate. It’s time to reassess those goals you made in January, forgot about well before June but picked up again when the panic…

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….