All submissions published in the Underground Writers zine from Issue 17 onwards will be paid a paid at a flat rate of AUD$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 as 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 Patrons receive our original content first: all book reviews, TBR lists, interviews, blog posts, and of course our issue releases are delivered to our supporters before anyone else!

Issue 24: Bars will be released to our Patreon supporters on the 1st of November, and released generally on the 5th of November. The submission period is currently closed.


The bar was set too high so all that was left was to drink, drink, drink away the night by sinking the seven deadly sins – rum, vodka, gin, tequila, schnapps, whiskey, triple sec. Drown the exam and that ever ticking clock echoing through the hall. Replace it with the hum of a hundred voices and the music sliding off the bars of a piano, marking each step as a moment. We can’t drive home so you take the pedals and I’ll ride on the handlebars, and for one brief moment we’ll pretend like our future is not determined by these days cramming knowledge into our brains if only to remember it for a mere twenty-four hours. We’ll fly through the night and land the next morning with a pack of Barocca and a muesli bar to get us through the next day when we’ll do it all again.
Wallace sat on the cushioned seat of his walker, arms crossed. “I don’t know why I need these bloody things installed, Susan.” he complained to his wife over the intermittent drone of the power drill.
“C’mon, Wall. You and I both know that you’re gonna fall ass over tit if they don’t put them in. You’ve already broken your wrist before.”
“Bullshit.” he replied petulantly.
“I survived a gunshot wound in Vietnam and did the City to Surf twenty years in a row. I don’t need these stupid bloody bars in the toilet.”
“Dad, the last thing we need is to find you dead on the floor of the loo with your pants around your ankles. I don’t want your bare ass to be the last thing I remember you by.”
Wallace paused. “Fair point. You need a hand with that drill?”

Submission guidelines

As much as we’d like 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:

  • Whilst we do accept submissions from writers outside of Australia, priority will always be given to Australian writers
  • From issue 24 onward we will only be accepting one piece per author per issue. Please don’t send us more than one piece per issue as we will not accept your submission
  • 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
  • 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 do a thorough copy edit for you. Feedback provided is predominantly substantive
  • As this zine will be presented to the general public please be aware of the suitability of explicit content such as graphic violence, excessive coarse language, and triggering themes. If a piece is deemed to be offensive, triggering, or unnecessarily and excessively crude it will be rejected

Submission Formatting

  • We have a limit of 40 lines for poems, and 2000 words for short stories, flash fiction and reviews.
  • We only accept one piece of writing per author per issue. You may submit different or substantially edited work for consideration each new issue.
  • Please format your text in Calibri, Arial or Times News Roman size 10-12, with line spacing of 1.5.
  • Submissions must be written in English
  • Submissions should be in DOC (Microsoft Word) file or compatible format attached to your email. Please do not submit work in a PDF or image format. Do not submit your work in the body of the email.

How to Submit

  • Once you’ve read the above formatting guidelines you can submit your piece by email
  • In the body of your email please 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 live and where you found out about us (we’re always curious to know)
  • Please do not include your name anywhere in the submitted document – not the header or footer, the body text, or the file name. The file name should be the title of the piece. All submissions are critiqued blind – our editors do no know who has submitted what – so this step is essential
  • Attach your DOC file to your email. DO NOT submit your work in the body of the email
  • Send your submission to submissions[at]

What Happens Next?

  • Within a week you will receive confirmation that we have received your submission. If you have not received a confirmation email after a week, check that you have met all the submission criteria above (i.e. you’ve attached your work in the correct format and included the correct information in the body of your email) and resend your submission.
  • 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 which pieces will be included in the zine.
  • Once the submission period closes your submission will be read by our editors. Only after they have read your work will they be given any details about who you are; such as whether your work has been published before or where you are based (as per note above).
  • Each one of our editors will read every submission. With all our different tastes and styles, we’ll then decide as a group which submissions we think will work best for the issue.
  • We will then send feedback on all submissions, whether we have accepted them for publication or not.
  • If we do accept your submission, you’ll then be paired with one of our editors and guided through the editorial and publication processes. The editorial process is to make any minor amendments that may be required before publication. This is the time when we check for spelling or grammar errors, or flow and syntax, or when we may have feedback that we think will make your story stronger that you may wish to incorporate.
  • If we do not accept your submission, you are free to substantially edit the piece and submit it 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, and are much more favourably looked upon if they adhere to the theme, if even obliquely.

A few reminders

  • 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.