If you’ve been a regular reader of [untitled], then you’ll know that we started it (way back at the end of 2008) as a vehicle for mainstream and popular fiction, which doesn’t seem to get the same look-in as literary fiction throughout Australia. We do also publish literary fiction. We’ll give anything a shot. That’s what makes us proud of [untitled] – it’s eclectic.
A lot of work goes into putting together [untitled]. We have interns who plough through (hundreds of) submissions, we have regular content meetings to discuss the merit of stories, there’s editing (which will go on until we’re all satisfied – possibly, to the occasional chagrin of the author), copyediting, several rounds of proofreading, layout, cover design and printing.
[untitled] is not a (financially) profitable venture either, although it would be awesome if it did become one – not just for our benefit, but because it would mean that it’s evolved beyond being a little journal. It’s become a legitimate book anthology that’s selling to the masses.
That’s an interesting distinction between journal and book, despite their physical similarities. An author releases a collection of short stories, it’s a book. A publisher releases a themed collection of short stories from different authors, it’s also a book. But we (or any other small publisher) release an anthology of short stories garnered through a slushpile by authors who are still new and emerging, it’s a journal (or something equivalent).
Perhaps another (albeit unspoken) distinction are their target audiences. Books are released to the greater public. People who have no interest in being writers themselves and who simply enjoy reading will buy a book. But journals are largely read by other writers. Some journals will even stipulate that they only accept unsolicited submissions from subscribers, which I guess keeps them in that cycle, like the snake swallowing its own tail.
We want to be a book (also), though, damnit. That’s our goal. We want [untitled] to sit comfortably in bookstores, that the market – whether it’s other writers or simply readers – will recognise [untitled] as that little paperback that can always be relied on to contain great stories. A lofty goal, but also a worthwhile one.
We also hope [untitled] continues to give new and emerging writers exposure. There’s a lot of great writers around the country who are discouraged by rejection, or sometimes struggle to find homes for their stories. Go through most journals, and you’ll be able to identify a distinctive style as to what they’re looking for. Go through [untitled] and, hopefully, you won’t be able to identify anything thematically, or in regards to a specific type of prose, but stories that have been chosen regardless of their shape, size, intent, but but because they are great stories.
As an aside, there is also [untitled]‘s short story competition to consider, which closes 15th February (Saturday, so online submissions should be open until Sunday, and we’ll accept hardcopy of anything postmarked no later than the 15th). So, if you’re interested, the details for our competition can be found here (and that page contains details of how to submit in hardcopy) or you can go directly to submitting online by clicking here.
In any case, we celebrate the launch of [untitled] issue six on Wednesday, 19th February, beginning at 7.00pm. This also coincides with the return of Open Mic Night. So whether you just want to be a participant or a part of the audience, come along for what’s sure to be a great night.
Hope to see you there.