Is Your Idea Worth It? By Jess Rae

How to tell what story is worth writing.  I know as a writer I always have so many ideas but I never have any clue which idea to run with; I don’t know about you but I’m not usually confident in myself enough to make that decision. Well I’m here to tell you there are…

Issue 25 is here!

It’s a new year and we’re happy to be presenting issue #25 of the Underground Writers zine, featuring more fantastic work by a selection of creative writers from around Australia. Our work this issue includes poetry from Ion Corcos, Jasmin Seabrook-Benson, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, and Wendy Lichtenberg. Our short stories comes from Christos Sevastidis and Paul…

Freelance Writing series part 4: Business Set-up

Image from Canva Free Stock Images As you’ve seen in the previous posts, there’s a lot more to freelance writing than just writing. Setting up your business correctly is the first and possibly most important step to ensuring your success as you step out into the freelance world. In this post we’ll  cover the set-up of some…

How to Create Fully Developed Fictional Characters, by Kate Lomas Glendenning

Image from Canva free stock images As a reader, it is incredibly frustrating to immerse yourself within a book with underdeveloped characters; as a writer, this flop is devastating. It is with frustration I must confess that there is no exact formula to create developed characters. Advice on the subject is varied and often contradicts itself, so…

Review: Blue in the Red House by Sarah Madden, by Shelley Carter

Title: Blue in the Red House Author: Sarah Madden Genre: Magical Realism & Memoir Favourite Part: When Ms. De Beer and Me-Two meet for the first time Favourite Quote: “She had been poised to triumph, to step out into the world with new resolve and the battle won, but now she was sucked back into…

Review: Flight Risk by Michael McGuire, by Fred Woolhouse

Title: Flight Risk Author: Michael McGuire Genre: spy thriller Favourite Part: Ted finally meets the individuals behind the terror attacks Favourite Quote: “No doubt plenty of people think the work I do is a bit murky, a bit underhand, maybe even lacking in ethics and morality. But there is a certain honesty in my dishonesty”…

Writing Opportunities January 2019

Image from Canva free stock images Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize for Young Indigenous Writers The prize will be awarded to the best short story by an Indigenous writer who is 30 years or younger at the closing date of the competition. Overland ‘future sex’ edition Overland are currently seeking submissions for a special…

What We Learnt in 2018

2018 was a big year for learning, and our editors were happy to discuss and share as much as they could. This post pulls together everything we learnt over the year about writing, reading and publishing.  Take a look and check out the posts you may have missed or the ones you might want to…

Aussie Titles Reviewed in 2018

 2018 was a huge year for reviews with our editors covering a range of genres, themes and authors. Take a trip down memory lane to see all the great Aussie titles we reviewed in 2018!   Defying Doomsday edited by Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench, reviewed by Jemimah Halbert Brewster Grace Beside Me by Sue…

9 Audiobooks to add to your 2019 TBR, by Shelley Carter

Featured image from Canva free stock images As someone who spends a decent amount of time commuting to work each week, audiobooks have been my saviour when it comes to smashing out my Goodreads goal and feeling like I haven’t just wasted an hour sitting in traffic. While some people consider audiobooks to not be…

3 things to consider when choosing books for your loved ones this Christmas

Have you ever heard of Jolabokaflod, the Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve? Translated to ‘The Christmas Book Flood’, Icelanders spend months pouring over book catalogues in the lead up to Christmas before exchanging books and chocolate on Christmas Eve and spending the night reading together by a cosy fire. Ok so the…

Writing Opportunities for December 2018

Earth Island Journal – currently open for article submissions We cover the entire spectrum of environmental issues, including, wildlife and lands conservation; innovations in science and technology; public policy and the politics of environmental protection; climate and energy; animal rights; public health; environmental justice and cultural survival; and environmentally related film, music, and books. ACMI…

Kate’s Character List

Whilst I might splutter on about a book—attempting to justify my obsession with it—more often than not my intrigue lies with a particular character. These characters range from the sweet, innocent-minded to twisted, obsessive creatures. Who are these characters? Well… Ingrid, White Oleander, Janet Fitch Whilst the novel is not from Ingrid’s perspective, and she…

Shelley’s Gift Guide for Literature Lovers

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, until you have to start writing a shopping list for your book-loving friends, and are at a loss as to what to buy them. You could stalk their Goodreads To-Be-Read list, and hope that what’s on there isn’t already sitting on their shelf at home. Or…

Review: Blakwork by Alison Whittaker, by Jess Rae

Title: Blakwork Author: Alison Whittaker Genre: Poetry Look at that: the fantasy editor is reviewing poetry! Pigs really do fly after all. I actually read a lot of poetry, but my preferred written form is prose so it’s rare for me to talk about poetry on this platform, especially when we have quite a fantastic…

Freelance Writing series part 3: Freelancers in action

Image from Canva Free Stock Images Freelance writing comes in many different forms which means there are lots of different ways to approach it. This is why every so often in the Freelance Writing series we’re going to check back in with our three resident professionals. A massive thank you to Ruth Dawkins, Lindy Alexander and Abby…

Interview: Jaime Collins, literary agent at The Nash Agency

An interview with literary agent Jaime Collins of The Nash Agency, by Shelley Carter née Timms Firstly, introduce yourself! How did you find yourself in the Publishing industry? Funnily enough, I started as a writer! After having my first baby, I figured I finally had time whilst on maternity leave to write a book. I…

Issue 24 has arrived!

Issue 24 has arrived! The cover this issue was designed by WA-based artist Jonathan Park, whom you can find on Instagram at @fresh_kb Our Editors shone throughout this year, and they’ve worked hard on the short stories and poems you’ll find within the pages of issue 24. Download the issue for a fresh assortment of short…

Dylan’s Character List

I am a jealous reader. Those characters we share an affinity with, you should know, are mine, mine alone, and, no, I will not negotiate. You might argue that these manifestations of thought and feeling are to be experienced by everyone with access to language but if I could, I would selfishly hoard those scripts…

Freelance Writing series part 2: What to know before you start

Image from Canva Free Stock Images Freelancing isn’t an easy gig. There’s no job security, no sick pay, no holiday leave, and you’re in charge of literally everything to do with your business. All those departments you see in an office are now you: legal, accounts, marketing, admin… So, it’s good to know a bit…

Bedtime Story Project winners!

We are very excited to announce the winners of our Bedtime Stories competition in collaboration with the Kaleidoscope Festival! Congratulations to: Sioban Timmer with ‘It’s Hard to Hug with Wings’ Kaitlin Pradhan with ‘Finding Courage’  Chris McRae with ‘Thieving Thackeray’s Toffee Turmoil’ Sioban, Kaitlin and Chris have won a $50 book voucher each to Underground…

Review: ‘Black Cockatoo’ by Carl Merrison & Hakea Hustler, by Shelley Timms

Title: Black Cockatoo Authors: Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler Genre: Middle grade fiction Favourite part: The inclusion of words from the Jaru language throughout the book – very educational and it added to the authenticity of the story. Favourite quote: “You have his mark, Mia, between your shoulderblades. The dirrarn is your totem. Your jarriny…

Freelance Writing series part 1: Types of Freelance Writing

Image from Canva Free Stock Images One of the most common topics we get asked to cover at Underground is freelance writing. It’s never a straight up question, rather it’s a somewhat vague ‘tips on freelancing would be nice’. When someone asks about being a freelancer my first question is always: what type of freelance…

Writing Opportunities for October 2018

Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize 2018 Seeking short stories up to 2,500 words on the theme ‘Feeding Time’. Entry is $15, closing 15th October. 2018 Glen Phillips Poetry Prize – Peter Cowan Writers Centre Open theme, $10 per entry, maximum of 50 lines. Includes a Youth category for 12-17 year olds which is $5…

Jemimah’s Character List

A Character List by Jemimah Halbert Brewster Warning: this post contains some spoilers of the books and series mentioned Tiffany Aching, from several Terry Pratchett books Picture from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Imaginarium by Paul Kidby First introduced in The Wee Free Men, Tiffany Aching is a 9-year-old who has lived her whole life on the Chalk,…

Review: Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman, by Jess Gately

Title: Terra Nullius Author: Claire G. Coleman Genre: Fiction/Science-fiction Favourite part: Esperance reflecting on how the Settler’s colonisation methods set the Natives up for failure. Favourite quote: ‘He knew now though, that when you plant bones, nothing grows from them. Nothing but pain.’ For all the fiction in this book, it is the truths that…

TAG Hungerford Award Shortlist announced

Congratulations to this year’s TAG Hungerford Award Shortlist! These six WA writers are in the running for $12,000 and a publishing contract with Fremantle Press! Yuot Alaak, Zoe Deleuil, Alan Fyfe, Holden Sheppard, Julie Sprigg and Trish Versteegen came out on top after the award’s most competitive year ever.  Past winners and shortlistees include Gail…

5 Fantasy Cliques and How to Make Them Different, by Jess Rae

Fantasy is hands-down my favourite genre to read, and just like any genre fantasy comes with many tropes, some overused. Some of these tropes are so overused that a quick peruse of the blurb or scan of the first chapter gives me a pretty good idea of the plot of the book. Not to say…

Review: Oriental Vagabonds by Richard Regan, by Fred

Title: Oriental Vagabonds: A Tale of a Far East Tramp Author: Richard Regan Genre: Fiction Favourite part: Captain Rowden finds himself entangled with Chinese warlords. Favourite quote: “Aye, life’s tough enough tramping around these waters. But it’ll get harder, much harder if General Tojo and Herr Hitler get their way.” Oriental Vagabonds chronicles the trials…

Writing Opportunities for September 2018

Writing Opportunities for September 2018 Big Sky Publishing Big Sky Publishing is currently accepting unsolicited non-fiction manuscripts in the genres of history, military history, true crime, current affairs, self-help, health, business, autobiography and biography, humour, and lifestyle. Bloodhound Books Bloodhound Books is currently accepting submissions of crime and mystery thriller manuscripts. Manuscripts must be at…

Review: Rohypnol by Andrew Hutchinson, by Fred

Title: Rohypnol Author: Andrew Hutchinson Genre: Australian fiction Favourite part: The narrator’s revelation in the finale. Favourite quote: ‘The New Punk is not about moving towards your future. It is about your life right now, impatiently standing still.’ Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse, Sexual Predators, Rape, Sexual Assault Rohypnol by Andrew Hutchinson is the story of…

Jess Rae’s Character List

A character list by Jess Rae Choosing literary characters that have impacted me is like trying to choose among friends, because that’s what they are to a lonely bookworm: friends. Some are powerful, some are quiet, and some are ruthless, but they’re all important and have all impacted me in some way. Rose Hathaway, Vampire…

Review: ‘Alfred’s War & ‘Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean-Up’

Editor Kate Lomas Glendenning reviews two recent children’s book releases from Magabala Books. Alfred’s War by Rachel Bin Salleh, illustrated by Samantha Fry Alfred’s War is the stunning debut from Rachel Bin Salleh and Samantha Fry. The story follows Alfred, an Indigenous veteran who served in The Great War (now known as World War One),…

Interview: Maddie Godfrey, author of ‘How To Be Held’

An interview by Shelley Timms  Photo by Michael Reynolds Firstly, tell us a bit about your book! How To Be Held is my debut poetry collection. It’s pretty vulnerable, to be honest. The dedication is to my teenage self, and all the ways she was resilient without even realising it. The book is meant to not…

Issue 23 is here!

Issue 23 is here! This issue features our first ever visual storytelling piece: South Pacific by Louise Falconer. Our short stories are from Bayveen O’Connell with The Sun on the Snow Grave and Tea With a Bun by Margaret Pearce. Our poetry comes from repeat author Allan Lake with Winter Sunshine, and newcomers Wendy Lichtenberg with how beauty feels, Sara Morgillo’s Bugs Taught, and…

Review: How To Be Held by Maddie Godfrey, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Title: How To Be Held Author: Maddie Godfrey Genre: Poetry Favourite quote: ‘oh kneecaps, you equator of ankle and thigh/you who feel the breeze through torn/windows of my dungarees’ Favourite part: the poems Porcelain, Past Self, Halsey and I Shave Our Heads in the Dark, and Ode to My Kneecaps How To Be Held is the…