Contributor guidelines is an award-winning publisher dedicated to original writing that celebrates strong ideas, surprising perspectives and generous conversations.

We publish colourful, thoughtful pieces that connect everyday life to big ideas.

Submitting to Notes

A few times a year, we publish Notes – a collection of new work, supported by writing and recordings from our archive, exploring a broad idea or theme.

We value work that brings an inviting, narrative focus to a question or subject that feels unresolved or under-examined. Why are certain arguments getting stuck? How do seemingly opposed things actually intersect? We like work that is fun and entertaining too; writing that describes unique encounters with people, places, culture, moments in time, etc. Your work doesn’t have to be extremely serious to be valuable!

While writing is at the core of most of what we do, we strongly encourage submissions that play with form and media – graphically, intertextually, audibly, and otherwise.

We are not currently taking pitches for Notes.

How to pitch

Please don't waste your time by pitching without first looking at the kind of thing we've published in previous editions of Notes here.

  • In Notes, we don’t publish hard-news reporting, book/film/album reviews, inspirational pieces, straight academic essays, fiction, poetry, hot takes, profile pieces on specific artists, press releases, standalone photography or extracts from books or other publications. We have limited capacity for pieces of writing about writing.

  • We encourage first-person pieces, creative non-fiction, Q&A-style interviews and researched, feature-style culture pieces (ideally with an Australian angle) like this. We’re more interested in thoughtful/reflective pieces than straight opinion pieces that just put forward one side of an argument.

  • Broadly, we’re seeking work relating to culture, technology, society and/or the natural world.

  • Can you frame your idea as a short question? We like to publish pieces in this format, such as Can We Escape Fast Fashion? And What’s Funny?

  • Don’t take our themes too literally. As long as you keep our readers close to you, you’re invited to be as weird, playful or ambitious as you like.

  • We prefer direct, straightforward and entertaining language to overly earnest, ornate or academic writing.

  • Lighten up! We like humour and we love short, punchy and funny pieces.

  • We welcome writers of all ages, backgrounds and levels. Keep in mind that we edit all pieces thoroughly before we publish, and might need to contact you with some queries along the way.

  • Our website has the capacity to support a variety of HTML/CSS tools and widgets, and we’d love to hear ideas that intend to make use of the platform for colourful and meaningful ends.

  • Submitted work should not have been previously published elsewhere in any form.

  • As a guide, our commissions generally run 600–1200 words. We’re open to considering work beyond those boundaries at either end. Rates are agreed upon at the time of commissioning. We normally pay about 50 cents per word of the commissioned word length.

  • You can send us an outline, or a full draft. If you’re sending an outline or an idea, give us a few sample sentences so we can get a sense of the tone. We’ll also do our best to respond to pitches within 30 days or less.

  • One pitch at a time, please. We prefer Google Docs or Word format.

  • For the right proposals, we’ll happily break with these rules. If there’s something you’re dying to write about that doesn’t fit with any of our upcoming themes, pitch it anyway! Maybe we can include it in a future edition.