Voiceworks are excited to partner with the National Young Writers Festival to present the second Digital Writing Jam of 2021. The jam will be a shared space to engage with and respond to this year's festival theme, MOBILISE, through the creation of digital writing and art, and will run from Thursday 30 September to Thursday 7 October.

The Voiceworks x NYWF Digital Writing Jam will feature:

  • a discord channel to connect with other participating writers and NYWF and Voiceworks staff, editors and artists
  • daily warm ups
  • daily live sessions with guest hosts to chat about NYWF events, digital tools, form and craft
  • technical experts available to answer qns
  • new friends and colleagues in the digital arts

What is a jam?
Historically speaking, a jam (usually a game jam) is an event that combines the free-flow experimentation of a music jam, with the focus and direction employed when developing a tangible piece of art (usually a video game). It's basically a shared space where you're free to play around with different digital technologies and build out your own interactive stories/articles/comics/whatever you want!

Who can participate?
While Voiceworks only publish writers under 25 living in (or with a connection to) Australia, this jam is open to anybody that’s interested in it.

What can I do with the piece I create?
That depends! If you are in Voiceworks’ publishing demographic (under 25, connection to Australia), you could submit your piece to Voiceworks online. If not, we’ve got a list of other journals that publish exciting digital work that we’ll be sharing during the jam. That said, you don’t have to have fancy publisher to share your piece with the world. Platforms like itch.io are also great ways to publish digitally experimental work.

Students in Years 10–11 are invited to submit a short piece of fiction (up to 300 words) on the theme of Landscape.

Australian fiction captures our everyday lives and dreams. It holds up a mirror to the nation, reflecting the good and the bad.

In response to the anticipated new ABC series, Books That Made Us, ABC Education has teamed up with ABC Radio National's Big Weekend of Books, The Wheeler Centre and Voiceworks to nurture the talent of young writers with a national competition.

You can reflect on people, power and place in any landscape, whether it's environmental, political, emotional or imaginative.

Eight–ten winners will have the opportunity to develop their stories for publication in a series of in-person and online workshops lead by experienced facilitators and Australian authors before sharing it with Voiceworks and ABC readers.

Theme: Landscape

The last 18 months have changed the way you look at the world—not in some pretentious political way (although obviously that too), but in a literal sense—what you notice, where your eyes rest. Everything feels more significant, or at least more intentional—the illegible tag on the wall of the milkbar, the cracks in the concrete, the cricket bat left in the still-dewy grass.

You attend a career fair via Zoom (or some other group video call software that wasn’t named in such an easily verb-able way) and are randomly placed in smaller group calls with adults whose careers vaguely align with your favourite subjects, or the subjects you are taking because your teachers have advised you it will maximise your ATAR. A man—older than you, but younger than your parents—describes how his job has changed over the past year. ‘It’s actually been great! My job was reporting state parliament, which no one really cared about before. But now everybody’s watching the pressers and knows half the ministers. It makes the job so exciting!’

Your biology teacher distributes links to pre-recorded guided meditations to listen to the night before exams. ‘Don’t stay up late studying, sleep is more important to your knowledge retention than last-minute study’. You breathe in and out when the voice tells you to, trying to keep track of the rhythm of your thoughts, paying attention to where they rest. The recording ends, and you blink yourself back into reality. You pick up your diary and write.


Submissions Open: 27 August 2021, 9am (AEST)

Submissions Close: 4 October 2021, 5pm (AEDT)


Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions of this prize can be found here—the judges will reference these to accept qualifying entries.


Presubmission checklist:

1. You are in Year 10–11 and live in Australia

2. Your piece is under 300 words

These 300 words can be an excerpt from a longer piece, and if there’s key information about the direction, content, or references of the piece you would like our judges to know, this can be included outside of the 300 words.

3. Your piece is your own work

Make sure what you send us is your own writing. If it quotes other material, cite it (this won't be included in your wordcount). It's more than fine for a friend, teacher or family member to have helped you edit your piece, or to help you submit, but the final product should be your writing.

4. You would like to share your work

The goal of this prize is to share your voice, so don't send us work that you would be uncomfortable publishing. This doesn't mean you have to be 100% happy with your piece, or that your work will be shared in its current state without your permission, but it should be something you can see reaching a state you are excited to publish. You will have the opportunity to develop and edit your work with workshops from Australian writers and the help of a Voiceworks editor. Ensure this is work that wouldn’t be hurtful to others if it was published.

5. The parent, teacher or guardian whose email you’ve attached to this is happy for you to share their contact information with us


Check out Voiceworks

To get a better idea of what kind of work Voiceworks publish, check out our website here.

Submission Guidelines

 Please make sure you read the following guidelines closely. If you’re unsure about any of the guidelines, please contact Voiceworks editor Adalya Nash Hussein at editor@expressmedia.org.au.

 We are only able to publish work by writers and artists who are under twenty-five at the time of submission. Please also keep in mind that because of our funding arrangements, we are only able to publish writers living in Australia or Australian writers living overseas.

Voiceworks only considers previously unpublished work (which includes personal websites and blogs). We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere.

 If your submission is unsuccessful, we will notify you as soon as we can and then provide you with detailed feedback a little later. Feedback is written by a small group of volunteers and we receive a lot of submissions, so we appreciate your patience. If you think something’s gone wrong, or you haven’t heard from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.

Fiction Guidelines

Send no more than two fiction pieces, each no more than 3000 words. If you are submitting two stories, please upload them both in this submission (as two separate documents), rather than creating a second fiction submission.

We encourage you to submit across genres, but please send us no more than four submissions in total (excluding visual art).

Those seeking to submit nonfiction, poetry or visual art, please see the separate submission categories.

Deadline: Sunday 10 October, 11:59 AEDT
Theme: Spectre
It is difficult to sleep at night sometimes, with the hazy apparitions that dance like revellers around your bed. Spindly fingers close around your wrist and you are woken by a cold breath on your neck. In the stillness and dark, you fumble for your phone and send a few anxious messages. You are left on read at 4:41 am.

You want to wait until it is five am to do something. Sleep, scream—it doesn’t matter. Sunlight begins to suggest itself, but we are not done yet.

In a room down the hallway comes the hum of a haunting melody. Hands pull white thread through a loom. In a photograph on the wall, angry clouds creep through a sepia-toned sky. You notice strange fingerprints in the corner of the image. A face like a glass of red wine hastens towards you. I am a puppet master of sorts, but you will see no strings, only endless spider webs as you try to find me.

Drink up your tea as you tell me your deepest fears and most precious childhood memories. Describe to me the shadowy figures that follow you through the mirrors in your house. Tell me about the child you saw on the street that day who seemed so very familiar. The almost-friends you ghosted, whose lives you silently surveil through your cracked screen.

I’ve already read your diary. What else do you have to show me?

~Thanks to EdCommers Annie Zhang and Clare Millar for the blurb~

Remember, you don't have to stick to the theme. Most of all, we want good writing!

Rates of Pay
$100 per published piece.

Terms of Publication
Express Media publishes work in Voiceworks on a non-exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free basis. We require writers who will be published in Voiceworks to sign a licence deed granting us permission to publish work in the printed Voiceworks magazine, on the Express Media and Voiceworks websites, and for use in promoting our magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work and are free to use in whatever way they’d like in the future. Please only submit your work if you are satisfied with these terms. For more information about this, please contact us.

Subscribe

 To get a better idea of what kind of work we publish in the magazine, and to help us continue to support young writers, you can subscribe* to Voiceworks here.

   *Choosing not to subscribe will not impact your submission.

Submission Guidelines

Please make sure you read the following guidelines closely. If you’re unsure about any of the guidelines, please contact Voiceworks editor Adalya Nash Hussein at editor@expressmedia.org.au.

 We are only able to publish work by writers and artists who are under twenty-five at the time of submission. Please also keep in mind that because of our funding arrangements, we are only able to publish writers living in Australia or Australian writers living overseas.

Voiceworks only considers previously unpublished work (which includes personal websites and blogs). We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere.

 If your submission is unsuccessful, we will notify you as soon as we can and then provide you with detailed feedback a little later. Feedback is written by a small group of volunteers and we receive a lot of submissions, so we appreciate your patience. If you think something’s gone wrong, or you haven’t heard from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.



Poetry Guidelines

Please send no more than three poems, each no more than 100 lines in total, and combine all poems into one document. Check out some tips for strengthening your poetry submission here.

We encourage you to submit across genres, but please send us no more than four submissions in total (excluding visual art).

Those seeking to submit fiction, nonfiction and visual art, please see the separate submission categories.


Deadline: Sunday 10 October, 11:59 AEDT
Theme: Spectre
It is difficult to sleep at night sometimes, with the hazy apparitions that dance like revellers around your bed. Spindly fingers close around your wrist and you are woken by a cold breath on your neck. In the stillness and dark, you fumble for your phone and send a few anxious messages. You are left on read at 4:41 am.

You want to wait until it is five am to do something. Sleep, scream—it doesn’t matter. Sunlight begins to suggest itself, but we are not done yet.

In a room down the hallway comes the hum of a haunting melody. Hands pull white thread through a loom. In a photograph on the wall, angry clouds creep through a sepia-toned sky. You notice strange fingerprints in the corner of the image. A face like a glass of red wine hastens towards you. I am a puppet master of sorts, but you will see no strings, only endless spider webs as you try to find me.

Drink up your tea as you tell me your deepest fears and most precious childhood memories. Describe to me the shadowy figures that follow you through the mirrors in your house. Tell me about the child you saw on the street that day who seemed so very familiar. The almost-friends you ghosted, whose lives you silently surveil through your cracked screen.

I’ve already read your diary. What else do you have to show me?

~Thanks to EdCommers Annie Zhang and Clare Millar for the blurb~
Remember, you don't have to stick to the theme. Most of all, we want good writing!

Rates of Pay
$100 per published piece.

Terms of Publication
Express Media publishes work in Voiceworks on a non-exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free basis. We require writers who will be published in Voiceworks to sign a licence deed granting us permission to publish work in the printed Voiceworks magazine, on the Express Media and Voiceworks websites, and for use in promoting our magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work and are free to use in whatever way they’d like in the future. Please only submit your work if you are satisfied with these terms. For more information about this, please contact us.

Subscribe
To get a better idea of what kind of work we publish in the magazine, and to help us continue to support young writers, you can subscribe* to Voiceworks here.

 *Choosing not to subscribe will not impact your submission.

Submission Guidelines

 Please make sure you read the following guidelines closely. If you’re unsure about any of the guidelines, please contact Voiceworks editor Adalya Nash Hussein at editor@expressmedia.org.au.

 We are only able to publish work by writers and artists who are under twenty-five at the time of submission. Please also keep in mind that because of our funding arrangements, we are only able to publish writers living in Australia or Australian writers living overseas.

Voiceworks only considers previously unpublished work (which includes personal websites and blogs). We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere.

 If your submission is unsuccessful, we will notify you as soon as we can and then provide you with detailed feedback a little later. Feedback is written by a small group of volunteers and we receive a lot of submissions, so we appreciate your patience. If you think something’s gone wrong, or you haven’t heard from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.



Pitching to Voiceworks

 Before submitting your pitch/es, we strongly recommend reading our nonfiction guide here, which has advice on what we look for in nonfiction submissions and how to write good nonfiction in general. Here's the bit on how to construct your pitch:

 The best pitches include detail! Clearly lay out your angle and argument, and provide specific examples of the research and anecdotes you’ll draw upon. Submit a document addressing the questions below, along with a 300-word sample from the start of the piece if you have one.

  • What is your key point or argument?
  • What is your particular angle?
  • What is the logical and structural progression of your piece?
  • Why are you the person to write this piece? Personal experience, willingness to research, etc.
  • If you need evidence, where did you get it from? What research have you conducted?
  • Why Voiceworks?
  • How long is the piece going to be?




If your pitch is selected

 If we think the work you pitched would be a good fit for Voiceworks, we will (ideally) get in touch around two weeks after the pitch deadline. We’ll provide advice and direction on how to approach the piece, and request a full draft to be submitted around three weeks later. This isn’t very much time! Because of the tight turnaround, we prefer pitches that demonstrate some prior research, preparation and thought, so that you’re not scrambling to research and write an entire piece from scratch in a matter of weeks.

 Just to be clear, the full drafts we request are not guaranteed publication, but responding to our suggestions early on gives your piece the best possible chance.



Nonfiction Guidelines

Send no more than two nonfiction pieces (including pitches and completed pieces). If you are submitting two pitches, please upload them both in this submission, rather than creating a second pitch submission.

We encourage you to submit across genres, but please send us no more than four submissions in total (excluding visual art).

Those seeking to submit completed nonfiction, fiction, poetry and visual art, please see the separate submission categories.

Deadline: Sunday 26 September 11:59PM AEST.


Theme: Spectre
It is difficult to sleep at night sometimes, with the hazy apparitions that dance like revellers around your bed. Spindly fingers close around your wrist and you are woken by a cold breath on your neck. In the stillness and dark, you fumble for your phone and send a few anxious messages. You are left on read at 4:41 am.

You want to wait until it is five am to do something. Sleep, scream—it doesn’t matter. Sunlight begins to suggest itself, but we are not done yet.

In a room down the hallway comes the hum of a haunting melody. Hands pull white thread through a loom. In a photograph on the wall, angry clouds creep through a sepia-toned sky. You notice strange fingerprints in the corner of the image. A face like a glass of red wine hastens towards you. I am a puppet master of sorts, but you will see no strings, only endless spider webs as you try to find me.

Drink up your tea as you tell me your deepest fears and most precious childhood memories. Describe to me the shadowy figures that follow you through the mirrors in your house. Tell me about the child you saw on the street that day who seemed so very familiar. The almost-friends you ghosted, whose lives you silently surveil through your cracked screen.

I’ve already read your diary. What else do you have to show me?

~Thanks to EdCommers Annie Zhang and Clare Millar for the blurb~
Remember, you don't have to stick to the theme. Most of all, we want good writing.

Rates of Pay
$100 per published piece.

Terms of Publication
Express Media publishes work in Voiceworks on a non-exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free basis. We require writers who will be published in Voiceworks to sign a licence deed granting us permission to publish work in the printed Voiceworks magazine, on the Express Media and Voiceworks websites, and for use in promoting our magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work and are free to use in whatever way they’d like in the future. Please only submit your work if you are satisfied with these terms. For more information about this, please contact us.

Subscribe

 To get a better idea of what kind of work we publish in the magazine, and to help us continue to support young writers, you can subscribe* to Voiceworks here.

   *Choosing not to subscribe will not impact your submission.

Submission Guidelines

 Please make sure you read the following guidelines closely. If you’re unsure about any of the guidelines, please contact Voiceworks editor Adalya Nash Hussein at editor@expressmedia.org.au.

 We are only able to publish work by writers and artists who are under twenty-five at the time of submission. Please also keep in mind that because of our funding arrangements, we are only able to publish writers living in Australia or Australian writers living overseas.

Voiceworks only considers previously unpublished work (which includes personal websites and blogs). We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere.

 If your submission is unsuccessful, we will notify you as soon as we can and then provide you with detailed feedback a little later. Feedback is written by a small group of volunteers and we receive a lot of submissions, so we appreciate your patience. If you think something’s gone wrong, or you haven’t heard from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.

Nonfiction Guidelines

 We recommend that you pitch your nonfiction work before sending it to us. For advice on how to construct your pitch, and write good nonfiction in general, check out our handy nonfiction guide here. Send no more than two nonfiction pieces (including pitches).

  • Send no more than two nonfiction pieces (including pitches and completed pieces) each no more than 3000 words. If you are submitting two completed nonfiction pieces, please upload them both in this submission (as two separate documents), rather than creating a second completed nonfiction submission. 
  • We encourage you to submit across genres, but please send us no more than four submissions in total (excluding visual art).
  • Those seeking to submit completed nonfiction, fiction, poetry and visual art, please see the separate submission categories.

Deadline: Sunday 10 October, 11:59 AEDT
Theme: Spectre
It is difficult to sleep at night sometimes, with the hazy apparitions that dance like revellers around your bed. Spindly fingers close around your wrist and you are woken by a cold breath on your neck. In the stillness and dark, you fumble for your phone and send a few anxious messages. You are left on read at 4:41 am.

You want to wait until it is five am to do something. Sleep, scream—it doesn’t matter. Sunlight begins to suggest itself, but we are not done yet.

In a room down the hallway comes the hum of a haunting melody. Hands pull white thread through a loom. In a photograph on the wall, angry clouds creep through a sepia-toned sky. You notice strange fingerprints in the corner of the image. A face like a glass of red wine hastens towards you. I am a puppet master of sorts, but you will see no strings, only endless spider webs as you try to find me.

Drink up your tea as you tell me your deepest fears and most precious childhood memories. Describe to me the shadowy figures that follow you through the mirrors in your house. Tell me about the child you saw on the street that day who seemed so very familiar. The almost-friends you ghosted, whose lives you silently surveil through your cracked screen.

I’ve already read your diary. What else do you have to show me?

~Thanks to EdCommers Annie Zhang and Clare Millar for the blurb~

Remember, you don't have to stick to the theme. Most of all, we want good writing!

Rates of Pay

 $100 per published piece.

Terms of Publication

Express Media publishes work in Voiceworks on a non-exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free basis. We require writers who will be published in Voiceworks to sign a licence deed granting us permission to publish work in the printed Voiceworks magazine, on the Express Media and Voiceworks websites, and for use in promoting our magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work and are free to use in whatever way they’d like in the future. Please only submit your work if you are satisfied with these terms. For more information about this, please contact us.

Subscribe

 To get a better idea of what kind of work we publish in the magazine, and to help us continue to support young writers, you can subscribe* to Voiceworks here.

*Choosing not to subscribe will not impact your submission.

Submission Guidelines

 Please make sure you read the following guidelines closely. If you’re unsure about any of the guidelines, please contact Voiceworks editor Adalya Nash Hussein at editor@expressmedia.org.au.

 We are only able to publish work by writers and artists who are under twenty-five at the time of submission. Please also keep in mind that because of our funding arrangements, we are only able to publish writers living in Australia or Australian writers living overseas.

Voiceworks only considers previously unpublished work (which includes personal websites and blogs). We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere.

 If your submission is unsuccessful, we will notify you as soon as we can and then provide you with detailed feedback a little later. Feedback is written by a small group of volunteers and we receive a lot of submissions, so we appreciate your patience. If you think something’s gone wrong, or you haven’t heard from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.


Visual Art and Comics Guidelines

Visual art submissions include comics, illustrations, drawings, graphics, etc. We recommend that you pitch your comics before sending them to us. For advice on how to construct your pitch, check out our handy guide here.

We print in duotone (two colours) and our page dimensions are 170 x 245 mm. Please supply your images in greyscale, at actual size and 300dpi. Please name your files—strings of numbers and letters are easily confused with other submissions.

Please send no more than three pieces. If you are submitting more than one piece, please upload them all in this submission, rather than creating a second visual art submission.

 We will notify you as soon as we can with news on whether your submission has been accepted. Voiceworks is largely run by a team of volunteers, so we appreciate your patience. If you think something’s gone wrong, or you haven’t heard from us three months after the submission deadline, please get in touch.

Deadline: Sunday 24 October 11:59pm AEDT

Theme: Spectre
It is difficult to sleep at night sometimes, with the hazy apparitions that dance like revellers around your bed. Spindly fingers close around your wrist and you are woken by a cold breath on your neck. In the stillness and dark, you fumble for your phone and send a few anxious messages. You are left on read at 4:41 am.

You want to wait until it is five am to do something. Sleep, scream—it doesn’t matter. Sunlight begins to suggest itself, but we are not done yet.

In a room down the hallway comes the hum of a haunting melody. Hands pull white thread through a loom. In a photograph on the wall, angry clouds creep through a sepia-toned sky. You notice strange fingerprints in the corner of the image. A face like a glass of red wine hastens towards you. I am a puppet master of sorts, but you will see no strings, only endless spider webs as you try to find me.

Drink up your tea as you tell me your deepest fears and most precious childhood memories. Describe to me the shadowy figures that follow you through the mirrors in your house. Tell me about the child you saw on the street that day who seemed so very familiar. The almost-friends you ghosted, whose lives you silently surveil through your cracked screen.

I’ve already read your diary. What else do you have to show me?

~Thanks to EdCommers Annie Zhang and Clare Millar for the blurb~

Remember, you don't have to stick to the theme. Most of all, we want good writing!

Rates of Pay: $100 for visual artworks, $150 for multi-page comics and suites of art

Terms of Publication
Express Media publishes work in Voiceworks on a non-exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free basis. We require writers who will be published in Voiceworks to sign a licence deed granting us permission to publish work in the printed Voiceworks magazine, on the Express Media and Voiceworks websites, and for use in promoting our magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work and are free to use in whatever way they’d like in the future. Please only submit your work if you are satisfied with these terms. For more information about this, please contact us.

Subscribe

To get a better idea of what kind of work we publish in the magazine, and to help us continue to support young writers, you can subscribe* to Voiceworks here.

*Choosing not to subscribe will not impact your submission.

Express Media