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March 24, 2014 | by  | in Arts Books |
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A Guide to NZ Literary Journals

Yes, there are literary journals in this country! Yes, people read them. No, they’re not pretentious or dull, or only contributed to by old, white men. Yes, they’re friendly and quite wonderful. If you’re a bit of a creative writer and you want to get your short stories, memoirs, essays or poems out there into the world, think about submitting to any or all of these publications. Literary journals are most keen to publish new work that hasn’t been published before – keep in mind that some won’t even accept a piece that’s appeared on your personal blog before. Read their submission guidelines thoroughly, have a look at past issues to get an idea of what they publish, and it never hurts to get an extra pair of eyes (or two) to look over your work. And if you’re burning to read more from young, emerging New Zealand writers, there’s no better place to look.


A bedrock of new New Zealand fiction, essays and poetry. Published annually and edited by VUP’s Fergus Barrowman. Accepts contributions from new and already-published New Zealand writers, or those with “a New Zealand connection”. Sport 42, released last week, features work by Bill Manhire, Elizabeth Knox, and past Salient editor Uther Dean. Past copies are all available online through the Electronic Text Centre.

Submissions: No current deadline, though the next Sport won’t be out until early next year and submissions are welcome.


The country’s longest-running and best-known journal. It publishes fiction, poetry, biographical and critical essays, cultural commentary, and artwork. It’s published every six months by Otago University Press and also runs an annual essay competition, as well as a biannual award for an original, previously unpublished collection of poetry. Back issues are only available in print; try Arty Bees or Quilter’s.

Submissions: Next deadline 10 June. Entries for 2014 essay competition close 31 July.


An online journal published annually by VUW’s International Institute of Modern Letters, often presenting new work by creative-writing students of the IIML as well as from established writers. A great place to try if you’ve never been published before. They publish fiction, poetry and non-fiction, and all past issues are available online.

Submissions: After 1 July but before 20 October.


A copy of Hue & Cry is like a work of modern art in bound paper form. It’s based in Wellington and presents new writers and artists, published annually. You can find a few old issues at Unity Books.

Submissions: No current deadline but submissions welcome.


A wonderful hybrid of a literary-adventure-science online journal. Features stories and essays about the outdoors and all kinds of outdoorsy, adventurous pursuits. Salient inquired about submission deadlines but received no reply, presumably because everyone at Up Country is tramping. Just go for it.


“Just Another Art Movement” is a print journal founded in 1995 by a writers’ group at Vic. It publishes poetry, fiction and essays by international and established New Zealand writers, but loves the young and emerging ones. It also features photography and wants “experimental, cutting-edge work”.

Submissions: Next deadline is soon! 31 March for the 2014 issue; the theme is “shorelines”.


Not a literary journal, but a fantastic and important online space for long-form written work about New Zealand arts and culture.

Submissions: Always looking for ideas about pieces relating to arts and culture.


Yeah, we’re not a literary journal, but we are always looking for creative-writing pieces to publish. Poems, short stories, memoirs, travel writing, villanelles, love sonnets, intricate stream-of-consciousness prose poems … we want to read that shit. Email what you’ve got to


The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
By Abi Smoker

Oscar Wilde’s only novel tells the story of Dorian Gray who, at the behest of his enigmatic friend Lord Henry, indulges in an extravagant lifestyle of booze, drugs and sex. Lord Henry determines to have Dorian’s portrait taken so his Michael Fassbender–esque looks are immortalised. Obsessed with his own face, Dorian wants to be youthful forever. He has it made – he can do whatever he wants and never bear the ill effects of his antics – a gift that would be particularly handy after those tragic Saturday nights out, would it not? But aside from the superficial excesses of Mr Gray, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a relevant text that combines wit and warmth with the melancholy undertones of a life lived for the wrong reasons. The preface alone is reason enough to read it: “Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.”

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  1. Nick says:

    You sound ageist and racist.

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