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

 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Voiceworks only considers previously unpublished work (which includes personal websites and blogs).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 6 February 11:59pm AEDT

Theme: Portrait

Flash fades, edges soften; a blade of light sits beneath the curtain. Brush strokes sharpen, context unfurls as frames are carefully shattered and re-hung, windows slide open to the worlds behind your eyes. Corners suddenly rendered oblique. Familiar angles bend and break.

Hold or avert the dominant gaze, carve out space to become, to craft. The world canvasses you. Gallery view slides into a hall of mirrors, splintering portals that you reflect infinitely, intimately. How do you represent the self?

Now what we do is: we paint and paint in order to ascertain anything. For example, in my wallet I keep a picture of your future daughter, around her a cornucopia of riches, in the old style: pears mid-fall from her lap, coins mid-fall from her mouth, love mid-fall from her eyes. Do I love or fear her? All we know is that she falls from herself eternally yet witnesses us coldly and forever now, from beneath that curtain-lidded gaze.

Now this, this is a portrait of a man with a plan. Look; see how his hand is caught mid-rise in the act of pushing his glasses further up his nose, a side-eye from Horus. Look, he says: this is a portrait of hell. (in hell there are mirrors everywhere. in hell you may never function unseen). He pulls from his blazer pocket a flash card. His hat says: Q! (the numbers gyrate always slightly beyond your comprehension. someone refuses to stop painting you, yet your future wife refuses to pose for a photo. she dips, sways, and dodges, and you are thrown into this terrible forever sadness)

Now Dorian Gray was a special case; he went out of his way to sell his soul. A portrait to live, a life to fade, light morphs, water eddies, shadows pall in Mona Lisa oils. Images glisten on whale blubber film, photographs shot from the hip in an urge to record, to save face, to capture. Sontag: ‘A grammar and even more importantly, an ethics of seeing ... we can hold the whole world in our heads.’

Then the world turns and the sun swims over to the dark side. Q: What is behind a mirror? A: it turns out it resembles the sea, bodily and fluid. (and the mirror-form is tempestuous; it reaches out, out of the silver canvas and moves your floppy bangs aside to get a better look at you. These two-way streets stalk among us, the ungovernable image, as sensitive as opinion)

Now take a picture, for you never know, you may need it later.

~Thanks to EdCommers Zowie Douglas-Kinghorn and Ruby Constance 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.


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