Melbourne is famous in writing and reading communities for 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 60 years of publishing history, and newer publications like The Lifted Brow, Going Down Swinging and Kill Your Darlings have made significant contributions. Voiceworks is created by and filled with writing by 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, Liminal 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. 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 Metro continually unearth new ways to discuss the silver screen. Melbourne has also played host to journals from around Australia, particularly those from Brisbane – Scum Mag, Stilts and The Lifted Brow have all temporarily or permanently made the move to the publishing hub of Melbourne. 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). Early Harvest is a unique annual children’s literary journal (produced by 100 Story Building) that is both edited and written by young editors/writers under the mentorship of publishing professionals.
These magazines and journals together publish a vast array of Australian literary work — you won’t find a genre, 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.
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