from the editor's desk


Call for Papers: Borderlands

Submissions are now open for Northern Territory writers to contribute to Australia’s newest literary journal. Submissions will also be considered for a Northern Territory special feature in Westerly 64.2.

Westerly is thrilled to be partnering with Borderlands, a project to establish a brand new journal on the Australian literary landscape. Led from Alice Springs by Dr Glenn Morrison, the Borderlands team includes Darwin writers and researchers Dr Adelle Sefton-Rowston and Raelke Grimmer. The team aims to create a literary journal by Territorians, for Territorians. By publishing in print and online, Borderlands will expand Australia’s literary conversation in new and exciting directions, giving voice to experiences from beyond the metropolitan centres. From the Borderlands website:

In the Northern Territory, a quarter of the population were born overseas, and almost a third are Indigenous. Additionally, the Territory’s isolation from the rest of the nation and proximity to Asia contribute to the Territory’s unique lifestyle. These are stories that need to be told. Currently, writing about the Territory is often undertaken by non-Territory writers, who cannot bring the necessary insider perspective to such stories and ideas.

A core aim of the journal is to showcase storytelling not only in text, but also through photojournalism, oral storytelling, images and video. The journal will take the very best from print and digital realms to offer a unique reading experience. A dedicated Territory literary journal would benefit the local community by creating a dedicated platform to showcase Territory storytellers and the Territory to a national audience. Furthermore, Territory writers will have a local opportunity to be paid industry rates to sustain their arts practice. 

Submission is open to writers and storytellers who:

  • currently live in the Northern Territory;
  • are former residents who lived in the Northern Territory for at least two years;
  • are people with strong familial or cultural connections to the Northern Territory; or
  • are activists critically engaged with issues concerning the Northern Territory.

Borderlands acknowledges that not all storytelling traditions are written traditions, and is therefore seeking creative texts, visual, photographic, audio and video submissions, including:

  • essays
  • memoir
  • short stories
  • poetry
  • book reviews and art criticism (essays, memoir, stories, poetry, reviews, translations and multilingual writing)
  • translations
  • multilingual writing

Please note the maximum 3,500 words for text submissions, 10 images for photographic submissions and 10 minutes for audio/video submissions, and a maximum of three poems per submission. It is the responsibility of the writer to secure relevant permissions from the original authors for translation submissions.

To submit, email hello@borderlands.cdu.edu.au with ‘Borderlands submission’ in the subject line and include:

  • Your name, contact details (including address), and a 50-word bio
  • A short statement outlining your connection to the Northern Territory if you are not a current NT resident

For text submissions:

  • Your submission attached as a Word document, Times New Roman 12pt, minimum 1.5 spacing

For audio/video/ visual submissions:

  • Your submission attached as a file OR if the file is too large, as a direct link where your submission may be accessed

All submissions must be previously unpublished and not under consideration for publication elsewhere, apart from submissions to the 2019 Northern Territory Literary Awards. Submissions to the 2019 awards may also be submitted to Borderlands, but will not be considered for the Westerly feature. Please clearly state in your email if your submission has also been submitted to the awards.

Submissions close on May 31st, 11:59pm (CST).

Westerly will be working with Borderlands to include six of the best submissions in a Northern Territory special feature in Westerly 64.2. Our special feature is limited to print submissions, and any submission that fits the Westerly submission guidelines will be considered for the feature.

The first issue of the journal will be freely available online in September, and thanks to support from the Regional Arts Fund and Creative Partnerships Australia through their MATCHLab program, all selected contributors will be paid for their work. If you submit to the journal, in lieu of a subscription please consider donating to Borderlands Australian Cultural Fund (ACF) or Patreon campaigns. Creative Partnerships Australia will match all ACF donations dollar for dollar and all Patreon pledges will be multiplied by 12 and matched (up to $10,000 by May 31st) through their MATCHLab program. All donations will go directly to paying contributors.

We can’t wait to read all of the new voices from the Northern Territory. The submission guidelines are also available at the call for papers on the Borderlands website.

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