The Lifted Brow is a not-for-profit literary publishing organisation. Our flagship publication is a quarterly print literary / arts / culture magazine, likewise titled The Lifted Brow. We also publish this magazine digitally in monthly instalments, and post new and different work on our website too. We publish books, we stage events, and we do a few other things too.


Firstly: those wishing to submit material are very strongly urged to first read The Lifted Brow. It's the truest truth that the best way to understand what we like is to read what we publish. And please: it's very obvious to us if you aren't familiar with the Brow. Anyway, if you've created something you'd like to see published, you want the best shot, yes? Well, your best shot comes only from reading us. See, when you read the Brow, a magical process of osmosis occurs, in that you absorb exactly what it takes to be a Brow contributor. We had it proved by scientists in a laboratory, with bunsen burners and beakers and protective goggles. Also, if you support us by buying and reading the Brow, chances are we'll still be around to publish your work in the weeks and months after you submit it. You can pick up back issues very cheaply—singly or in bundles—or subscribe to the Brow, all at our store.

Jokes aside, the Brow relies on sales for survival, especially those lovely people who subscribe. For that reason, we prioritise submissions by subscribers. Please mention in your cover letter that you are a subscriber, and if your name is on our list: booyah.

Anyone who submits work to the Brow is added to our mailing list, because we assume you are probably interested in the magazine. We write letters to this mailing list once every two months or so, and it’s easy and non-embarrassing to unsubscribe.

Nothing you submit can have been previously published in any form.


We pay contributors.


Sometimes we can take a while (a few weeks) to respond even to those we would like to discuss publishing, but we are always mostly doing our best. If you haven't heard from us within three months of submitting, please assume that we couldn't find room for your work, and know that we thank you for allowing us to read and consider it. No feedback can be given on unsuccessful submissions due to time constraints.

Entries are welcome from writers anywhere in the world. We particularly encourage people who identify as queer and/or trans and/or of any colour, religion, or gender, and/or have a disability, and/or are rad and excellent and canny, to apply. There is no age limit.

If we publish your work, you agree to license to us the first publication rights of the stated work for a period of three months from the date of first publication. You retain permanent copyright of the work. Full licence to use your work reverts to you at a period of three months from the initial publication date. 

Thanks very much for thinking of us for your work!


(NOTE: Only certain submission categories are open at certain times, due to an overwhelming amount of submissions.)


(NOTE: We accept internship applications from the 1st-10th of the month before the internship begins. So for example, for the April-May-June internship, we open for applications from 1st-10th of March.)


What we can consider

The Lifted Brow is always a publisher of work that can be classified as 'literary', and we seek to champion work that pushes boundaries and challenges assumptions. We cannot recommend strongly enough that before you consider submitting a manuscript you read our previously published books and/or our magazine, as it'll give you the best possible indication whether your manuscript is suited to us.

Like everything we do, our book publishing will largely focus on authors from the margins: people who live and write from demographic margins, and/or writers whose work sits in the literary margins. (If you're not quite sure if you fit within these descriptions, please don't let it discourage you from submitting – and feel free to get in contact for clarification.)

Below are some books that we love – and if your writing/manuscript is close to any/some of these, then we are definitely interested in hearing from you: 

  • Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts
  • Claudia Rankine's Citizen
  • Fiona Wright's Small Acts of Disappearance
  • Eula Biss' On Immunity
  • Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams
  • Ellen van Neerven's Heat and Light
  • László Krasznahorkai's Seiobo There Below
  • Luke Carman's An Elegant Young Man
  • Hilton Als' White Girls
  • Melissa Lucaschenko's Steam Pigs
  • Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk
  • Thomas Bernhard's Correction
  • Tom Cho's Looks Who's Morphing
  • Eileen Myles' Chelsea Girls
  • Vanessa Berry's Ninety9
  • Chris Kraus' I Love Dick
  • Alexis Wright's Carpentaria
  • Wayne Koestenbaum's Humiliation
  • Helen Dewitt's Lightning Rods
  • Michael Mohammed Ahmad's The Tribe
  • Peter Carey's The Fat Man in History
  • Steven Amsterdam's Things We Didn't See Coming
  • Sophie Calle's The Address Book
  • Gerald Murnane's Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs
  • Wayne Macauley's Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe
  • Sheila Heti's How Should A Person Be?

Submissions are welcome from anyone who identifies as Australian. (For now, our focus is on unearthing Australian writers and work – sorry non-Australians!) We particularly encourage people who identify as queer and/or trans and/or intersex and/or are of any colour, religion, or gender, and/or have a disability, to submit. There are of course no age limits.

We currently accept unsolicited submissions in the categories of non-fiction and fiction (including short stories) – but we also encourage works that blend these and any other categories in the one manuscript.

We are not currently looking for unsolicited works of poetry, romance, fantasy, crime, true crime, adventure, parenting, cooking, traditional memoir, self-help, history, academic texts, YA, children's literature, and nor are we currently interested in scripts. However, if your manuscript experiments in a literary sense with combining any of the above forms, we will consider it.

We will consider books of any length, though we only can read three sample chapters, or a maximum 15,000 word sample if your work does not have chapters.

We read all manuscripts carefully but are only able to publish a very small number of those we consider.


What to include

Submissions should include three sample chapters (these do not need to be consecutive or the opening chapters), or a maximum 15,000 word sample if your work does not have chapters. Also include your author CV, one that focuses on your publishing and writing history.

In your cover letter, please include a (200 word maximum) synopsis of the work, a (100 word maximum) bio, and also please briefly answer these questions: 

In what category would you place your manuscript?

What three books would you see as a the closest comparisons titles to yours?

Why you are the right person to write this book?


What happens after you submit

When you send us your submission, you'll receive an automatic email acknowledging receipt. No other acknowledgement will be sent to you.

Should we wish to pursue your project, we will be in contact with you via email within a month. If you haven't heard from us after a month, feel free to give us a little prod. Please note that if your work is declined, no further correspondence will be entered into, and we will not provide you with reasons for our decision, because we simply do not have the time and/or resources to do so!


Queries

All questions can be directed to books@theliftedbrow.com


Note: We also would love to hear from those who haven't written a whole manuscript, or even three chapters (or the equivalent) of a manuscript, but who have an idea for a book they believe would just be so perfect for The Lifted Brow. If we deem the book idea right for us and you the person to write it, we would be keen to work with you, be it with ongoing editorial advice, mentoring, or other kinds of support. We understand that not everyone has the same access to networks and resources, and we are willing to make the investment in writing and writers who need it, in order to make sure work that deserves it can find its readers.

What we can consider

The Lifted Brow is always a publisher of work that can be classified as ‘literary’, and we seek to champion work that pushes boundaries and challenges assumptions. 

Like everything we do, our publishing of translated books will largely focus on authors from the margins: people who live and write from demographic margins, and/or writers whose work sits in the literary margins, and/or translators who interpret the translation act in surprising ways or stretch the bounds of what ‘translation’ means: your work might be cross-modal or cross-genre, might include insertions, erasure or collage. Try us.

If you are translating a work from a language that is underrepresented, we want to hear from you. If you are working on a translation of oral texts, ancestral languages, and/or some other project tied up with language and identity, get in touch. You might be translating a contemporary work, or have a case for an older work that never got the attention it deserved in English: either is fine. Self-translations are also welcome.

Below are some translated books that we love – and if your writing/manuscript is close to any of these, then we are definitely interested in hearing from you: 

  • The Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems, written in Zapotec and self-translated into Spanish by Natalia Toledo, translated into English by Clare Sullivan;
  • Mouth Eats Colour by Sawako Nakayusu with Chika Sagawa from and into Japanese, French and English;
  • Indigenous Species by Khairani Barokka, a poetry-braille-art book;
  • Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, translated from the French by Roland Glasser;
  • The Story of My Teeth and Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeny;
  • Seibo There Below and Santantango by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet and George Szirtes; and
  • Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman;
  • Visitation and End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky;
  • Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugrešić, translated from the Croatian by Michael Henry Heim;
  • Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi;
  • Ghosts by César Aira, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews.

Submissions are welcome from translators who identify as Australian. (For now, our focus is on unearthing Australian translators and work – sorry non-Australians!) We particularly encourage people who identify as queer and/or trans and/or intersex and/or are of any colour, religion, or gender, and/or have a disability, to submit. There are of course no age limits.

We currently accept unsolicited submissions in the categories of fiction (including short stories), poetry and non-fiction – but we also encourage works that blend these and any other categories in the one manuscript.

We read all manuscripts carefully but are only able to publish a very small number of those we consider.

What to include

Submissions should include a minimum 7,000-word translation sample alongside the source text, your translator CV, and a bio of the author. It would also be very helpful if you could include a translator’s note or similar to contextualise the work – tell us what it is about, why you are so enthusiastic about it, why it has literary merit, what the reception has been in the source culture and translation challenges you have navigated.

In your cover letter, please include a synopsis of the work, a bio, and also please briefly answer these questions: 

  • In what category would you place your translated manuscript?
  • What three books would you see as the closest comparisons titles to yours?
  • Why you are the right person to translate this book?
  • Are the English-language rights for the book available?

What happens after you submit

When you send us your submission, you'll receive an automatic email acknowledging receipt. No other acknowledgement will be sent to you.

Should we wish to pursue your project, we will be in contact with you via email within a month. If you haven't heard from us after a month, feel free to give us a little prod. Please note that if your work is declined, no further correspondence will be entered into, and we will not provide you with reasons for our decision (because we simply do not have the time and/or resources to do so!).

Queries

All questions can be directed to translations@theliftedbrow.com.

The Lifted Brow publishes work on its website that fits into two categories: commentary or TLB Review of Books, and welcomes pitches for both. This category right here is for pieces that fit under commentary; if you’d like to write about a book for us, please submit your pitch via the TLB Review of Books category.

Please send pitches only, rather than completed pieces. This saves everyone time!

We want pitches for commentary pieces that are topical but timeless, that respond to contemporary events, thinking, articles, artworks, exhibitions, and beyond. We want pieces that speak to an international audience but retain an Australian perspective; that surprise, that blend genres and push boundaries (technical, artistic, moral …), that you couldn’t get published anywhere else. We want you to be bold, to look at the big picture, to stir up controversy wherever it needs to be stirred. We want you to be as funny, incisive, and smart as you possibly can. If what you’re trying is a little odd or untested, that’s fine! Please send us your most ambitious ideas; we are forever eager to be convinced.

We’re also open to commentary in other forms: photo essays, videos, comics, visual art, and other forms we haven't heard or thought of. We’re especially interested in things that could only live online: innovative things with digital media, creative transformations of social networking tools, etc. The weirder the better!

Here are some examples of work we love:

Length: We generally publish pieces between 1,200-4,000 words, though for the right piece we will happily break all our own rules.

We pay our writers. Online pieces are paid at $100 each.

We use a Tumblr-based platform which supports a wide range of HTML and CSS. If you’re thinking of doing something playful with code (which we encourage), get in touch.

There’s no limit on the amount of pitches you can submit, but be sensible. You should only submit your best ideas at any time.

For any questions, please email online@theliftedbrow.com.

The Lifted Brow publishes work on its website that fits into two categories: TLB Review of Books or commentary, and welcomes pitches for both. This category right here is for pieces that fit under TLB Review of Books; if you’d like to write about anything other than a book for us, please submit your pitch via the commentary category.

Please send pitches only, rather than completed pieces. This saves everyone time! When pitching, please make it clear whether you a) want to pitch a review of a specific book or b) want to pitch yourself as a potential reviewer for us to contact about any titles we think might suit you.

Our aim for TLB Review of Books is to do more than publish book reviews that don’t suck. We want to see what you can do when the usual confines of book reviewing are removed. We want reviews that are weird, that break boundaries (technical, artistic, moral …), that you couldn’t get published anywhere else. We want you to be bold, to look at the big picture, to stir up controversy wherever it needs to be stirred. We want you to be as funny, incisive, and smart as you possibly can. If what you’re trying is a little odd or untested, that’s fine! Please send us your most ambitious ideas; we are forever eager to be convinced.

Here are some examples of existing TLBRB reviews that we love:

Length: We generally publish pieces between 1,200-4,000 words, though for the right piece we will happily break all our own rules.

We pay our writers. Online pieces are paid at $100 each.

We use a Tumblr-based platform which supports a wide range of HTML and CSS. If you’re thinking of doing something playful with code (which we encourage), get in touch.

There’s no limit on the amount of pitches you can submit, but be sensible. You should only submit your best ideas at any time.

For any questions, please email online@theliftedbrow.com.
Address letters of suggestion, discussion, or complaint to us because we want to hear from you, even if you're all about swearing and hate. Our letters page is also where we publish shorter, less formal nonfiction – send these pieces to the same address, and start them with “Dear Editor” or “Dear the Brow” or something. Most letters are edited for clarity and space, and if we print them you’ll receive a copy of the magazine.

____________

Before anything else, a special note: 

If you are not currently reading/have not ever read a copy of The Lifted Brow, then:

  • perhaps you are a bit too parsimonious and shortcutty for us, as it is not that difficult to get your hands on our magazine, and it is a really good magazine

and also

  • the chances are maybe a bit high that you will submit work to us that is not what we are hunting for, because how would you know what we like to publish if you don't read what we publish.

So, go on go on go on — just grab a copy and we'll post it straight to you, or even subscribe, and do yourself the favour of not wasting your own time, and do us the favour of supporting the magazine that maybe might publish you. We want you as a reader first, and as a contributor second, because do you know how beautiful a transition that is? Really beautiful is the answer.

____________


Okay, some official guidelines for comics and visual art submissions: 

We mostly publish comics and artwork that occupy full, single pages. Although: if you’re a strip-type artist or any other type of artist, rather than a page-oriented person, don’t hesitate to send us a few sample works (as always, unpublished) or pitches as we’re always excited to hear about new ways to display work.

We’re also really interested in publishing art and comics that are experimental, that are unlike anything that's in print anywhere else. The more ambitious the better. 

If you’re interested in being commissioned for editorial illustration work, please submit about five graphics (keep your file sizes down pls) that are the best examples of your work. (It’s much easier for us to keep your work on file if we have some files than if you just send us a link to your website.)

The absolute and pretty much only way for you to get a feel for the kind of comics and visual art we like to publish is by buying and reading a copy of the magazine.

We check our art submissions only periodically, when planning for future issues, so if you don’t hear back from us, do not fret! You have been counted, you do exist for us. We will respond to you if we feel we might be able to work with you.

We pay contributors.

We're always and forever most interested in work that focuses on things like gender, economics, politics, work, and sexuality — though we are indeed open to absolutely anything.

While an Australian focus will sometimes be favoured (work by Australian artists, and/or about topics relevant to Australians), because we are an Australian-based publication that is facing out to the world, we're open to work from anyone from anywhere and everywhere about everything and anything.

Thanks!

Address questions about sex and relationships meant for Benjamin Law and his mother, Jenny. If they’re able to answer them in their advice column, Law School, you’ll receive a copy of the magazine.

Submit as many questions as you can fit into a single document!

Please consider simplifying questions, especially for Ben, who was once called “a gay with comprehension issues” by Australia’s most-read newspaper columnist.