Issue 30: Thriller is here!

For your reading pleasure we are pleased to present issue 30: Thriller, hot off the virtual press!  Interview Coordinator Shelley Carter compiled and edited the issue, which contains new original creative writing by Underground debut writers Justine McGinnis, Tara O’Brien, and Camille Booker, and we’re pleased to welcome back Esme Lee Wilmot, who was also…

Opportunities for Writers May 2020

Cover image from Pixabay free images The Bird Makers Project ‘Through the remnants of shared experience, each stitch becomes bigger than the self. Suitable for beginner and advanced sewers, you will be guided through online resources to create a single black bird made from your own donated piece of black clothing. These black birds will…

Review: In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Title: In the Dark Spaces Author: Cally Black Genre: YA Sci-fi Thriller Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont Cally Black’s debut YA novel, In the Dark Spaces, is, in a word, intense. Teenager Tamara is a stow-away on a space freighter, living in a tiny cabin with her toddler cousin, Tamiki, while her aunt, Lazella, works as a…

Review: The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks, by Max Vos

Title: The Year the Maps Changed Author: Danielle Binks Publisher: Hachette Australia Fred has to get used to a lot in 1999—her family is changing and so is her hometown, and there are going to be growing pains. Despite being set over two decades ago, The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks provides a…

Review: The Valley by Steve Hawke, by Kate Lomas Glendenning

Title: The Valley Author: Steve Hawke Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Fremantle Press(2018) I have never quite read a mystery novel like Hawke’s before. What stood out to me was not the setting of the Kimberley, or that it is a multigenerational book, or that is was a slow-paced mystery unfolding over generations; what stood out to…

How To Support Yourself and Other Authors While Self-Isolating by Jess Rae

Image from Pixabay free images We’re in an unprecedented time. Stores, restaurants and entertainment venues are closed; people have lost their jobs; we can’t see more then one person without being fined. It is a truly scary and lonely time. I don’t know about you but I’m attempting to use this extended ‘me-time’ as a…

Review: The Fragments by Toni Jordan, by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

The Fragments by Toni Jordan is a brilliant novel incorporating themes of coming of age, taking charge of one’s destiny, and learning to love again, all centred around a fictional historical literary mystery. The fragments are seven charred pieces of text, representing the only surviving remains of a much-anticipated second novel from celebrated novelist Inga…

Self-Publishing Series Part 2: Beta Readers & Editors

A post by Jess Gately Image by Anne Karakash on Pixabay In the traditional publishing process, a lot of the editorial process is undertaken by the publishing house that decides to accept your manuscript. But when you decide to self-publish you need to undertake this process yourself. At different stages of your manuscript development, it’s recommended…

Opportunities for Writers April 2020

Cover image from Pixabay free images A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of COVID-19 “The Melbourne History Workshop in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies has launched the Melbourne node of ‘A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of COVID-19’ in collaboration with colleagues at Arizona State University, who initiated the project on…

Social Media Finally Invests in Wellbeing by Dylan Dartnell

Cover image from Pixabay free images My uncle has lived a life of first-class flights, with contacts and friends in every country around the world. He has been retired for a number of years but still has a robust calendar of luncheons and ceremonies, and holds a mentoring role for many members of his former…

Bookish Bullet Journal Spreads by Jemimah Halbert Brewster

Image from Canva free stock images Bullet Journaling has been around for a while now, and there are many niche areas you can delve into if bullet journaling is your jam: mood tracking; activity and exercise mapping; garden journaling; cooking journals; art journals; heck, even witchy journaling in a Book of Spells! But my absolute favourite spreads…

Review: The Daughter of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner, by Shelley Carter

Title: The Daughter of Victory Lights Author: Kerri Turner Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: HQ Fiction, HarperCollins Australia imprint, (2020) After serving her country proudly in World War II, Evelyn Bell is not ready to go back to a life of domestic duties. The independence she gained as a member of the all-female 93rd Searchlight Regiment introduced…

Is literature elitist? By Shelley Carter

Our taste in books is often a very personal and very unique aspect of our personality. Not only do the types of books we read depend on what stories we personally enjoy consuming, it can also depend on the access we have to those books. It is an immense privilege, financially and otherwise, to have…

Review: Challenge Accepted by R J Amos, by Shelley Carter

One of the most difficult aspects of being a writer is remaining consistent with your writing, and pushing through the all-too-common writer’s block. One of the ways that we can combat this is challenging ourselves to write every day, even if it’s just for a month at a time. That’s what author R J (Ruth)…

Opportunities for Writers March 2020

Image from Canva free stock images Parliamentary Book Club taking book nominations The Parliamentary Book Club is a new, bi-partisan initiative led by Senator Hollie Hughes and Graham Perrett MP as part of the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers group. Find your MPs by postcode and let them know your recommendation of a book by…

Meet Our New Junior Editors: Max Vos & Ebony Bryant

Underground Writers is excited to welcome Max Vos and Ebony Bryant to the team as Junior Editors for the next six months. Max and Ebony will be part of the editorial team for Issues 30 and 31 while also producing interviews with Australian authors and reviews of Aussie debut books. Get to know our new…

Self-Publishing Series Part 1: What is Self-Publishing and Why Do People Do it?

A post by Jess Gately Image by Free Photos from Pixabay Contrary to popular belief, self-publishing is not a recent phenomenon. Beatrix Potter originally self-published The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1901 and Margaret Atwood published her first book of poetry Double Persephone in 1961 to critical acclaim. Classic writers such as Mark Twain, Charles…

How to Title Your Creative Piece, by Kate Lomas Glendenning

Do you struggle with finding the perfect title for your work? After writing a poem/short story/novella/novel, do you know what you want to label your work? A title is your first opportunity to stand out from the rest. A title should hint at what the piece is about, so don’t name a sci-fi piece set…

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…

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…