Submissions

All submissions published in the Underground Writers zine from issue 17 onward will be paid a flat rate of AUD$50 (that’s Australian dollars), 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: all book reviews, TBR lists, interviews, blog posts and issues delivered to our supporters before anyone else!

Submissions for issue 21, Mythological Figures, are now open. Any submissions sent to us now will be considered for issue 21, due out early February 2018. 

Issue 21, Mythological Figures:

At some point in the night, Mara must have stolen into my room, to sit upon my chest as I slept. I see the city burn, buried beneath dust and rubble, and Apollo weeps; he forewarned the danger: the son of Priam would bring ruin. Kill the child; kill the child. Take the warning! Spare the city! Plunge the dagger into his soft flesh, or leave him on the rocks to die. Kill him! Kill him! “Give me the golden apple and I shall gift you the world. Let me offer you the most priceless gift of all: the love of the most beautiful woman on Earth.” With the gift of the golden apple to Aphrodite, Paris sealed his fate and that of Helen’s in one movement…

Baku drifts in to steal the nightmare away, his snout pulling away at the dream until all that remains are the fuzzy edges of fire.

The beat of the centaur’s hoofs under my window wakes me. It is Spring and they are preparing for their fertility festival; or perhaps Bacchus is harassing another wood spirit and they are coming to her aid. In the distance I hear thunder as Zeus moves across the sky in his mighty chariot, fighting Thor for dominion over the earth-shattering lightning and thunder that rocks these hills. I roll over, trying to return to sleep, wishing my fairy godmother were close to whisper a sleep spell in my ear and tell me of her life working with the fairies and the elves to keep the goblins at bay. Slowly I drift to sleep, remembering the famous stories of forbidden love: of Tristram and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere, Pyramus and Thisbe, Orpheus and Eurydice, and of my own love, the beautiful Lysander…

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
  • As the themes are quite loosely interpretive we will not reject your piece on lack of theme alone, but priority will be given to pieces that are at least obliquely to theme, and highest priority is given to pieces that are a creative interpretation of the theme; we want to see original and interesting works that take an idea and turn it into something wonderful
  • 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

Format

  • 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

Content

  • 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!

When your submission is ready email it as a .doc or .docx (Microsoft Word) or compatible format (.rtf, .txt etc.) attached to your email. Do not submit your work in the body of the email!

Send it to us at submissions [at] underground-writers.org