All submissions published in the Underground Writers zine from issue 17 onward will be paid a flat rate of $50, regardless of length, style, or previous publishing experience. As we are a free, un-funded, not-for-profit, volunteer organisation we rely entirely on our fabulous Patreon supporters to pay our writers. The more money we make through Patreon the more writers we can afford to publish; it’s as simple and difficult as that. So if you like what we do and want us to keep doing it please consider supporting us on Patreon. There are a number of rewards, and all of our regular Patreons receive our original content first; that’s all book reviews, TBR lists, interviews, and issues delivered to our supporters before anyone else!



We are open for submissions year-round.

Currently, submissions sent to us will be considered for issue 19 of the Underground Writers zine, due out in August. All submissions published in issue 19 will be paid a flat rate of $50. The theme for issue 19 is The List:

  • The investigators note that the list has been untouched on the fridge for years. The cheery printed ‘shopping List’ heading has faded in the scorching sun, leaving the once-bright red a watery pink and curling the edges of the paper into itself: apples, bread, milk, butter, nails, new hose. Guns held aloft they step from the dazzling bright kitchen into the darkened hallway where the air is buzzing with lint in Brownian motion
    • Milk
    • Cereal
    • Crumpets
    • Toilet paper
    • Butter
    • Bleach
    • Rat poison
    • Garbage bags
    • Gloves
    • Duct tape
    • Rope
    • Weights
    • Gasoline
    • Lighter
    • Alibi
  • It was common sense, not bringing nuts to school, but she knew some parents needed reminding. She knew the list was coming, the school had said that they were preparing it after the incident
  • I’m on her hit list but the Hit List is playing and I’m listing on this laundry list of little details because the Christmas list is out of hand and all I want to do is start my bucket list but now it’s become a fuck it list because fuck it I’m sick of feeling listless and if I have to add one more item to my list of lost things I’ll lose it and by it I mean lose myself in this endless list of insignificant details one after the other and I might escape but then I’ll still be on her hit list and I can’t list the amount of times I’ve tried to escape, the list of hiding places is on the fridge but my wallet was stolen and I can’t find my list of cards so I guess I’ll work through my contacts list and try to forget my problems by listing abstractions because they’re less scary than the items that I refuse to lose on my love list
  • I’m listing
    • …listing
      • …listing

Submission guidelines

As much as we’d love to say Let Your Creativity Run Free!, we do have some rules and regulations to follow, but they’re pretty straightforward. If you’re unsure of any of the guidelines, feel free to contact us. 

Please note:

  • We do accept submissions from writers outside of Australia but priority will always be given to Australian writers
  • Priority will also be given to work that has not been accepted or published elsewhere – see note below about previously published work
  • In the body of your email please tell us where you found out about us – we’re always curious to know!
  • Please also include a brief biography about yourself and your work, e.g. your writing career so far (even if this is your first submission anywhere ever!), where you’re based, what kind of work you usually write, etc. 

Before submitting

  • All work sent to us must be the original work of the author, or the author must own the rights to have the work published
  • Submitting content to us may mean that your work is not available for publishing in other journals or in competitions. It’s best to do some research about this, and let us know if a piece is accepted somewhere else before we publish it
  • We only accept one long piece (short story, review) or two short pieces (poems, flash fiction) per author per issue – you may submit different or substantially edited work for consideration for each new issue


  • Submissions should be in DOC (Microsoft Word) or a compatible format (RTF, TXT, DOCX, etc). Do not submit work in PDF or the form of an image – you will need to re-submit it in a Microsoft Word (or compatible) format, attached to your email. Do not submit your work in the body of the email!
  • We have a limit of  40 lines for poems, 2,000 words for short stories, flash fiction and reviews
  • Submissions must be written in English
  • Please format your text in Calibri, Arial or Times News Roman, size 10-12, with line spacing of 1.5
  • Pieces with substantial spelling or grammatical errors will not be accepted. It is up to you to edit your submissions to a publishable standard – we will not copy edit them for you, we only give substantive feedback


  • We have a team of editors who will each read every submission, all of us with different tastes and in form, style and content. You can peruse our Editor profiles and our To Be Read lists if you need convincing! 
  • As this zine will be presented to the general public, please be aware of the suitability of explicit content. If a piece is deemed unsuitable it will not be included in the zine

After submitting

  • Within a week you will receive confirmation that we have received your submission. If you have not received a confirmation email after a week, please resend your submission to us until you do receive the confirmation as, although we are diligent, sometimes emails go astray and end up in the Junk folder! However, do not expect a reply regarding the state of your submission – included or not – until submissions have closed. This just means that we have not yet decided what works will be included in the ‘zine
  • We will send feedback on all submissions, whether we have accepted them for publication or not. You are free to substantially edit a piece and resubmit at the next issue, but we retain the right to refuse to include a piece until the editors deem it suitable. Please do not submit the same piece twice – all submissions must be significantly different from each other for consideration

Most importantly, just remember that we’re people as well as editors, many of us writers ourselves. If you’re having second thoughts about your submission we’re happy to discuss it with you.

And now that you’ve read through all of that, get submitting!