TEXT Review

Writer's guide makes for easier homecoming

review by Valerie Jeremijenko


The Australian Writer's Marketplace: 2007/08 edition
Compiled and edited by Queensland Writers Centre
Queensland Writers Centre, Brisbane, 2006
ISBN 0-646-45994-5
790 pp. Pb. AUD 49.95

When I was a graduate student in an MFA program in the States my teacher insisted that by the second semester we were submitting our final stories with evidence of having sent them to at least 50 different journals. To help us on our way she opened her little black file box of contacts and, lingering over each card, telling stories of rejection with each of them, she presented us with ten she thought would work for our pieces. We were on our own for the other 40. So referring to the early 1990s edition of the US-based Writer's Market I combed through the close to 7000 entries, checking submission guidelines, deadlines and the dream possibility of pay, to identify a possible home for my story. That first semester I got 49 rejection letters, but even without the one acceptance that finally came this requirement to submit was perhaps the most valuable lesson of my studies. Not only did it make me write, rewrite, and rework each piece in preparation for publication, but it taught me to drain my bank account if necessary for postage, to treat checking my mailbox as the highlight of my day, to identify a rejection letter from the thickness and smell of the envelope and, mostly, to own, treasure and keep current my edition of the Marketplace.

Now as I start my slow but inevitable return to Australia, finding and studying The Australian Writer's Marketplace has been invaluable. Not only do the articles included reinforce and reiterate all the lessons that I learnt in 'grad school' (write, never stop, submit) but the over 2200 listings reinforce the growth, dynamism and potential in the Australian market. Subtitled Every contact you will ever need to succeed in the writing business, the Australian Writer's Marketplace includes listings for magazines, journals, newspapers, publishers, literary agents, and writing services. It includes information on industry organizations, script markets and (new this year) a section on publishing services. For the emerging writer there are lists of literary courses. For the established writer, a comprehensive calendar of competitions, fellowships, grants, and literary events. All the sections are tabbed and all the listings are indexed, making it relatively easy to find the type of training, event, or home you are seeking for your piece.

The Australian Writer's Marketplace is also available online at www.awmonline.com.au for a minimum subscription rate of AUD19.95. In addition to the listings and articles found in the book, the on-line version includes blogs, downloadable templates, fora with writers and publishers, live updates on the contacts and many valuable links.

To be honest, as a writer who began my admittedly still limited publishing career in the States, moving back to Australia has been edged with trepidation, but becoming familiar with the Australian Writer's Marketplace and a member of the online Australian Writer's Marketplace has convinced me that the opportunities are there. I just have to keep on with the lessons I learnt way back when - writing, submitting, and smelling the rejection in my email headers.


Valerie Jeremijenko is currently pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing Fiction at Griffith University as a distant learning student. She is the editor of How We Live Our Yoga: Personal Stories (Beacon Press, 2002) winner of a Virginia Commission on the Arts Fellowship, and her short stories have been published in several literary journals. She currently lives in Doha, Qatar, but is returning to Australia soon.


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Vol 11 No 1 April 2007
Editors: Nigel Krauth & Jen Webb