Melbourne is famous in writing and reading communities for both the sheer number and wide variety of literary publications that call the city home. Overland and Meanjin are arguably Australia’s most established journals, each with more than 50 years of publishing history, though publications like The Lifted Brow, Going Down Swinging and Kill Your Darlings have thoroughly established themselves. Voiceworks is created by and filled with persons under the age of 25, and poetry-focused periodicals such as Cordite, Rabbit and Australian Poetry Journal champion and critique the most interesting Australian poetry. Newer magazines like Archer, Canary Press, Maggie Journal and The Suburban Review have also found their feet, while more mainstream glossy magazines like The Monthly and The Big Issue regularly publish the best Australian writers, particularly in yearly fiction editions. And socially conscious publishing collectives like Right Now and Chart share work in both print and digital form.
Australian Book Review does exactly what it says on the box and then some, Dumbo Feather is all about longform profiling of beguiling people, and the film-centric magazines Fireflies and Filmme Fatales continually unearth new ways to discuss the silver screen. Newcomers like Funny Ha Ha, Sovereign Apocalypse and Alien She Zine look to fill a distinct gap, while arguments could be made that Melbourne is making claims on Brisbane-based publications Stilts and Scum Mag. Lastly, most Melbourne universities house magazines (Farrago, Catalyst, Lot’s Wife, Rabelais, The Swine) as well as publishing annual anthologies (Offset, Verge, Antithesis, Verandah, Visible Ink, Above Water).
These magazine and journals listed above together publish a vast array of Australian literary work — you won’t find a genre or style or form of writing that isn’t represented. But outside of the publication of writing, what all these magazines and journals really succeed at doing is creating tight-knit and inclusive communities, centred around live events, creative offshoot projects, and other initiatives. In Melbourne there is a magazine or journal for every type of reader.