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,…

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: Not Bad People by Brandy Scott, by Jess Rae

Title: Not Bad People Author: Brandy Scott Publisher: HarperCollins Genre: Thriller/mystery Isn’t it funny that the books we’re drawn to read reflect a little in what’s going on in our own life? This book came to me when I was trying to figure out some of my own friend-related troubles; mind you mine don’t involve…

How To Create a Compelling Villain, by Jess Rae

Image from the Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive I recently re-watched all the Harry Potter films and whilst doing so found myself rolling my eyes at “he-who-shall-not-be-named.” I found Voldemort to be, quite frankly, rather boring, with boring motives; his followers were far more interesting. It got me thinking about villains I do enjoy in series…

Kate & Jess Rae on Aussie Women Authors

Kate Lomas Glendenning and Jess Rae recently appeared on Six Minutes For Me’s #ReadingWomenMonth Camera Flip series to help viewers fill in the ‘Aussie Author’ section of their bingo cards. You can watch the full video below. The bingo board (pictured below) was provided by the Reading Women Podcast. You can play along on your…

Perth Independent Book Tour, by Jess Rae

When you don’t drink alcohol or coffee, what could possibly be your vice? Bookstores—duh! At least in my case that’s exactly what it is. It’s true, loyal Underground readers: I took one for the team, went on a bookstore tour and spent a lot of money, but shhh. Don’t tell anyone. It’s for research, I…

Review: The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale, by Jess Rae

Trigger warning: this review discusses a book that contains themes of abusive relationships, drug-abuse, and sexual assault. WARNING: This is the kind of book that requires a comfy couch, a good hot beverage and maybe some snacks too because once this book gets going you’re not going to want to stop. I saw this book…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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: Neverland by Margot McGovern, by Jess Rae

Issue 23’s review Neverland (2018) Margot McGovern  Review by Jess Rae (this review can also be read in the Underground zine, issue 23: Cast) Title: Neverland Author: Margot McGovern Genre: YA Mental health/fantasy Favourite Quote: “Never yield.” Trigger warning: This book review deals with the subject of depression, anxiety and self harm. Please be aware…

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: Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein, by Jess Rae

Title: Small Spaces Author: Sarah Epstein Genre: YA Psychological Thriller Favourite Quote: “But different is okay. Different will feel normal after a while.” I came across this book on one of my many peruses through bookshops. There’s a small sense of accomplishment when you come across a newly-released book that no one else around you…

21 Things I Learnt from Books, by Jess Rae

In mid-April I turn 21 (I know: I’m such a baby) and so of course I’m having a 21st birthday party. In true book nerd fashion, my 21st is book-themed and so I’ve spent the last month or so reflecting on what books changed my life throughout my 21 years. I thought to celebrate my…

Jess Rae’s TBR – round 2

A new year and a new pile of books! Christmas and New Year’s made my bedside table look particularly healthy. Christmas brought me book subscription boxes and January brought me bookshop adventures in both Perth and Melbourne. Suffice to say I have quite a collection to talk about, but I’ll only mention the ones that…

Review: My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier, reviewed by Jess Rae

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier A review by Jess Rae 17-year-old Che only wants 4 things: to go back home to Australia, to be allowed to spar, to get a girlfriend and most importantly to keep his little sister Rosa under control. Angelic, intelligent and only 10, Rosa seems like the perfect, talented little…

Gift Guide for Writers & Book Lovers, by Jess Rae

‘Tis the season my sweets, and I don’t know about you but I love Christmas, especially giving gifts. Maybe it’s a sign that I’ve grown up and I’m truly adulting, because I think I love giving gifts more then receiving them; I’ve been told I’m a stellar gift-giver. However I imagine I am not the…

How to Start World Building, by Jess Rae

If you’ve read my To Be Read or my last book recommendation you’ll know I’m a bit of a fantasy nut and as such it’s my dream to create my own fantasy series that resonates with me the way Richelle Mead’s, Sarah J Maas’ or Maria V Snyder’s series do. While you can start with…

Jess Rae’s TBR list

I feel like asking a writer and avid reader what they want to read next is like asking an artist what they want to paint next; the answer is everything. However due to the amount space I have allocated I can’t simply write a list of every book written in the fiction world so here…

8 Tips for Starting a Blog, by Jess Rae

8 Tips for Starting a Blog by editor Jessica Rae Wilson-Smith Last month, in an effort to build my freelance business, I started writing a beauty blog. If anything it’s become a creative outlet of mine and I have been enjoying it so far. However, the Internet is forever, and with so many blogs out…

Review: The Other Woman by Kylie Jones, reviewed by Kate, Shelley & Jess Rae

Issue 17’s Review The Other Woman by Kylie Jones (self-published) A collaborative review between Shelley Timms, Jessica Wilson-Smith, and Kate Lomas Glendenning (this review can be found in issue 17: The Hitchhiker) The Other Woman is the heart-wrenching true story of a woman coming to terms with her husband transitioning into a woman, and subsequent…

Issue 16’s Review: Am I normal Yet? by Jess Rae

Issue 16’s Review Am I Normal Yet? By Holly Bourne A review by editor Jessica Wilson-Smith (this review can be found in issue 16: Normal?) Am I Normal Yet? is a contemporary look at what it’s like to struggle with a mental illnesses and being a young girl in today’s society. As Book 1 of…

Issue 17: The Hitchhiker is here

Issue 17: The Hitchhiker is here! Featuring poetry from Jan Price and short stories from Jane Downing, Kerri Turner, Daniel Campbell, Carmenn Alexander King Koczur, Aline Mwezi-Niyonsenga, Cindy Tomamichel, feature piece from Sarah Giles, and our first collaborative review, by editors Kate Lomas Glendenning, Shelley Timms and Jessica Wilson-Smith, ofåÊKylie Jones’ autobiographical workåÊThe Other Woman….

December’s review: The Book Thief (book), by Jess Rae

December’s Review The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak A review by editor Jessica Wilson-Smith Despite classified as a “young adult” novel, Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief is anything but that. Set in WWII Germany, the novel is painstakingly structured to cause as much heart-ache in the reader as possible and still be a work of…