Issue 1 Call for Submissions

The first edition of the Australian Multilingual Writing Project will feature only poetry. Submissions are now open and will close on Friday 17 August 2018 at 11:59pm AEST.

Submissions are open to all multilingual people living in Australia regardless of visa status or citizenship. Multilingual Australians living abroad are also welcome to contribute.

We particularly want work from Indigenous writers and writers from marginalised and minoritised communities.

Once you have read the submission guidelines below, please send your cover letter, poetry, and, if possible, an audio recording to: submissions [@] (take out the spaces and square brackets).

We are looking for poetry that mixes English with at least one other language*. There is no set rule regarding how much linguistic mixing makes a poem ‘multilingual’, nor an upper limit on the number of languages that can be used. The most important thing is that the languages be used with intention and purpose. You can look at some examples here.

Poets will be paid $35 per published poem. This is a nominal fee as this project is completely unfunded at the moment. As we grow, we hope to be able to pay more per piece.

All work published by the Australian Multilingual Writing project will remain the property of the named author and may not be reproduced without their permission. Samples of work published on this site may be used to promote the edition in which it is published and the project as a whole.

We are unable to offer feedback on individual submissions.

Please note that we will not publish work that is racist, misogynistic, queerphobic, transphobic, ableist, appropriative, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, or defamatory.

*For the purposes of this project, English dialects and vernaculars unique to specific ethnic groups will be considered as separate from Australian Standard English. As many of these are often not documented or formalised, it is up to the writer to claim them.

Submission guidelines:

1. Poems

  • Submissions of up to three poems incorporating English and any number of other languages are welcome as Word, RTF, or PDF files. Do not paste poems directly into your email to us.
  • Poems must be your own work and previously unpublished.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know asap if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Each poem should be no more than 50 lines. However, if you have a longer poem you really want to send us, don’t butcher it for submission. Get in touch via email (editor [@] australianmultilingualwriting[ . ]org) and we’ll talk.
  • There is no restriction on the font size or line spacing. Please use the page however you need to.
  • Please include a transliteration/pronunciation guide and glossary for the editors to review. This glossary and guide will only be published if you want it to be.
  • Please include a translation of the poem if there are entire lines and stanzas in languages other than English. This is to help out the editors and will also only be published if you want it to be.
  • For languages that use a non-Roman script, please try to use a free and downloadable font wherever possible. We will be using the Noto font family to publish in, but are open to using your preferred font if it is freely available, so do include a note about your preferences in your cover letter. If all else fails, we can publish it as an image.

2. Cover Letter

  • The ‘cover letter’ can appear in the body of the email and must include:
    1. Your name
    2. Your pseudonym, if you happen to be using one
    3. The title of your poem(s)
    4. The languages you are using and what your connection with them is
    5. A brief bio (no more than 100 words)
    6. Optional: A link to your author blog or site
    7. Optional: Links to any social media profiles that you would like shared with our readers

3. Audio Recording

  • If possible, please also send us a link to an audio recording of yourself* reading the poem in full (please include the title) in a clear voice. Use whatever recording device you have on hand – your phone, your laptop mic, anything and save the file as an MP3 (or AAC/M4A if you use an iPhone) – and don’t worry about audio quality. It just needs to be audible to the editors so that we can get a sense of the cadences involved. If we decide to publish your poem, we will work out a new recording that will appear on the website.

*If you prefer to have someone else to read the poem for you, you are welcome to do so. Just please secure their permission to use their voice if your piece is published. If this is not possible, get in touch.

What to expect after you have submitted your work:

  • You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your submission.
  • 1-4 weeks after the submission closing date, you will be contacted by the editor regarding the success of your submission.
  • If your work is accepted, we will work with you on any edits we think might be needed. While the aim of editing work is to hone its vision and most edits are optional, you are always at liberty to withdraw your work if you do not agree with the edits or with being edited at all.
  • Once the poem is finalised and if the recording needs to be created or updated, we will advise you of the easiest way to get it done.
  • When the poem and issue are ready to go, we will ask you to invoice us for the relevant amount and we will pay you.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the above, please get in touch at editor [@] australianmultilingualwriting [.] org (take out the spaces and square brackets).