Welcome to 2014 Visible Ink!

Hello from the new Visible Ink team,

After the handover period from 2013 team we faced the looming task of creating an anthology that lives up to all the beautiful editions from past years. Following weeks of paperwork, pondering and trying to find a meeting space, we can announce the theme for 2014 is ‘encounters’. Submissions open Monday, 14th of April and the guidelines for submitting will be posted soon. 

On the ledge of the world…

Well folks, it’s finally happened. A terrifying book has fallen from the heavens to grace your imaginations. It promises to be the quirkiest, most incorrigible read on your bookshelf.

Buy it. Go on. I dare you.



On the ledge of the world is an exercise in evolution. It begins with the survival of the fittest, and ends on a boat on a lake. In between, there are op shops, prison visits and house parties, old loves, old furniture and tear gas.

Discover new and emerging voices from all over Australia, bringing you new stories, new poetry, new photography and new illustration.

Buy it online now or at the following bookshops:

Hares & Hyenas, Fitzroy

Polyester, Fitzroy

Readings, Carlton

Brunswick Bound, Brunswick

WheelBarrow Books, Brunswick East

Title, Brunswick

On the ledge of the world features….

Sarah Allen, Bella Anderson, Davide Angelo, Ender Baskan, Alice Bishop, Broede Carmody, Katherine Collete, AJ Collins, Tanya Davies, Sian Dunn, Charles Finn, Clare Fleming, Andrei Ghoukassian, Paul Heppell, Alexandra Hotchin, Miguel Jacq, Sarah Krasnostein, Jo Lane, Alena Lodkina, Melissa Manning, Aleksander Markovic, Heather Marsh, Simon McInerney, Vuong Pham, Angela Smith, Hannah Story, Rachel Tatti, Scott Woodard & Bell Woods.

Should I be getting paid?

It’s a question many writers ask themselves when they begin writing for publications and start getting “exposure”.

But when do you take a stand? Once you’ve made the effort and spent time working on a piece, you hopefully can get paid for it …right? There are freelance writers who solely make a living from their writing, but even they are sometimes not offered payments for their work.

A perfect example of this was experienced by published writer Jennifer Mills, who is also the current Fiction Editor at Overland Literary Journal. A newspaper asked to publish one of her short stories and openly admitted that she wouldn’t be paid. But Jennifer held her ground and asked for a payment, which she did receive. She wrote about this experience for Overland. But this success story isn’t common and many writers will just accept the “no payment” and will take the exposure. At the Emerging Writers’ Festival this year, Jennifer spoke about this issue:

‘The world is full of people who will ask to use your work for free. Some of them will be non-profits, some billion-dollar media corporations. Some will be friends or shoestring creative startups. Most of them will tell you it’s good exposure. We all work for free some of the time, and sharing is awesome, but we also have to fight against the erosion of the value of creative work …Learn early that your work has value, and it’s your right to ask to be paid. People will respect you for it in the long run. This means you need to have a sense of your own self-worth, too. The only way you will learn the value of your work is by doing your best work. Focus on making something good and true and beautiful and the rest will fall into place.’

You can read the rest of the speech on her blog.

The conversation about writers getting paid has been going strong for a while and there have been many provocative articles published lately. I highly recommend that you read these:

Island Magazine has interestingly addressed the issue by deciding to enforce contributors to pay for a subscription in order to be published. Simply put, if you’re not a subscriber to Island (or refuse to become one) then your work will not be published by them. The concept aims to raise their funds in order to pay their writers to a professional standard. Matthew Lamb, the current editor of Island, has written a comprehensive article on this topic.

As an emerging creative writer myself, I’m quite happy not being paid as I’m still learning the craft of writing and perfecting it. But if I poured a lot of time into researching, fact checking, interviewing and writing a non fiction piece—I think I would definitely be upset if I wasn’t being paid for my work (if it was going to be published). Although, at the moment, I would probably cave in to the publisher and be happy with just the exposure.

But this attitude will change in the future and, once I am more confident with my work, I would like to be paid for my writing. That’s why I think it’s important to be aware of the conversations happening about paying writers.

Check out the Emerging Writers’ Festival post on pay rates for writers and interact with twitter account @paythewriters.

—Joshua Allen, 2013 Project Manager of visible ink

Create a stir, a drama, a buzz…

We’ve just re-opened submissions for three days: next Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Today—just to inspire you a little—our social media guru, Emma D, talks about rams, creativity and getting your buzzzz on.

I just read my horoscope.

I was flipping through Vogue magazine when page 163 caught my attention. Yep, the star sign page.

I pored over it like Tony Abbott would if it were An Idiot’s Guide to Being an Absolute Idiot.


Any who, I thought Vogue’s completely error free prediction of this month was a great way to introduce myself. Albeit, in a cringe-worthy-first-date kind of way.

‘Hey darling, I’m Emma—a Visible Ink member who likes long walks and discussing rams, because (nervous chuckle) I’m an Aries.’

I believe we can all take something from my horoscope, which went a little something like this:

Create a stir, a drama, a buzz. Create something useful or beautiful, or just get creative about the life you love.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

I want youyes YOUto create something. Anything. Just get creative, please. Put it on paper, throw it on canvas or sing it in the street like a deranged Mary Poppins, if that’s your thing.


Don’t get rammed (pun intended) in that familiar ‘what if I’m not good enough?’ corner. You know, the one many creative folk spend their lives uncomfortably wedged between.

Why? Because that corner just isn’t chic. Nor is it creative.

If you were applying correct grammar principles, for whom or what would you not be good enough? Your mother? Your teachers? Your—dare I say the word—pride? Excuse me for coming across as a self-help book, but how do you know? How will you ever know, if you, ahem, never give it a go?

Let’s pause the melodrama for just a minute. Hell, let’s lighten this deep and ever-so-meaningful mood with a very fitting quote from Dirty Dancing:

     ‘No one puts Baby in a corner!’

Yep, not only was Patrick Swayze a babe, he had brains; well, the writers of this fabulous film sure did.

So take heed in their wise words … and get out of your corner!

Oh and just quickly—I’m definitely on a self-help rant now—this ‘I’m not good enough’ babble is simply a waste of creative energy. Put your talent to better use.


So, there you have it. I’m Emma D, as in Emma Dempsey, darling. I am indeed a member of the Visible Ink team. I am not a conventional writer; I write as I would if I were chatting to you in person, hence the rambling from absurd banter (i.e. my horoscope) to deep and meaningful rubbish. Yes, my mind is as good at filtering as a blocked toilet, which explains my tendency for talking shit. Well, shit sprinkled with a few darlings, that is.

Note: I also have a shocking predisposition to take anything I read from Vogue as factual—as a wannabe fashion writer, it can only ever be my truth.

And yes, I am rather passionate about editing too, although RMIT may be responsible for this ‘enthusiasm’. But more than anything, I believe in creativity and I believe in the creators who make it happen.

Like you!

Oh and strangely, I do happen to love long walks (nervous chuckle).

It’s been a pleasure meeting you.

Get creative!

Emma D.x

Re-opening submissions… !!

Didn’t get your piece in on time?

Folks, we are having another short call for submissions NEXT WEEKEND ONLY!

The 9th till the 11th of August. That’s Friday through Sunday…

The theme is still ‘EVOLVE’ – oh and just on that – it need not be taken too literally. It is deliberately broad and can be interpreted in any way. Don’t let it scare you off. Ultimately, the quality of your work comes first.

What am I really trying to say here?  Just give us your gold. 

Short stories, poetry, creative non-fiction and artwork…..

So yeah… you know the deal, and if you don’t, re-direct your attention to the submissions page for all relevant guidelines.

Pick your pens back up.

Go tell your friends.