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.


SUMMARY:

Prizes: First prize is $5000 and publication in Edition 35 of The Lifted Brow (out September 2017). 
Two runners-up will each receive AU$500, and Brow editors will discuss with these runners-up the potential publication of their pieces.

Deadline for submissions: May 29th, 2017

Word limit: 5000 words (or equivalent)

Judges: Leslie Jamison, Fiona Wright, Wayne Koestenbaum, Claudia La Rocco, and Eileen Myles



The Lifted Brow & RMIT non/fictionLab Prize for Experimental Non-fiction is looking to unearth new, audacious, authentic and/or inauthentic voices from both Australia and the world.

This prize seeks work that is unlike any other. We want to hear from writers we’ve never read before, and we want writers we already know and love to challenge themselves to create work unlike any they’ve previously produced.

What is ‘experimental non-fiction’? A basic definition is that like all non-fiction it is writing based on facts, real events and real people with the aim of communicating information, truth and meaning — but that it tries to do so using unorthodox form, or style, or voice, or point-of-view, or etc. The best pieces of experimental non-fiction are those in which any unorthodox element adds to the meaning and authenticity of the subject matter.

Submissions to this prize need to be able to be read on the printed page. We applaud the current focus and fascination with boundary-pushing non-fiction that is published online, but we still believe there’s scope to further experiment on the page, using facts, maybe-facts, words from life, journals, journalism, collage, theory, photography, illustration, tricks, arguments, etc. The essay, as the end of experience, is a malleable form, and we want to celebrate that with this prize.

To further understand what this might mean by 'experimental non-fiction', we recommend reading the work of some of our favourite practitioners (apart from our judges) who write/have written in this non-genre, including:

Chris Kraus
Geoff Dyer
Hilton Als
Claudia Rankine
Michelle Tea
Eliot Weinberger
Maggie Nelson
Hannah Black
Sarah Manguso

Georges Perec
Ali Smith
Sheila Heti
Dave Hickey
Helen Macdonald

John Cage
Susana Moreira Marques
Joe Brainard
Kate Zambreno

John D'Agata
Elizabeth Hardwick


To read a few examples of pieces of experimental non-fiction, see the list of links/works here.



The Prizes

First prize: AU$5000 + publication in Edition 35 of The Lifted Brow

2 x runner-up prizes: $500 each + discussion with Brow editors about potential publication in The Lifted Brow

The Judges

Leslie Jamison is the author of The Empathy Exams, a New York Times bestselling essay collection, and a novel, The Gin Closet, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award. 

 

Fiona Wright is an Australian poet, critic, and essayist. Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays in Hunger (2015) is a collection of ten essays that detail the author’s own experience with anorexia, as well as being essays in cultural and literary criticism. 

 

Wayne Koestenbaum is a poet, critic, and artist. He has published nine books of nonfiction, on such subjects as hotels, Harpo Marx, humiliation, Jackie Onassis, opera, and Andy Warhol; his cult classic, The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. 

 

Claudia La Rocco is a poet, critic and performer who works as a columnist for ARTFORUM and writes about books and theatre for The New York Times; prior to that she worked as a dance and theatre critic for the paper from 2005-2013. She was recently named editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s publication Open Space.

 

Eileen Myles is the author of nineteen books including I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems, and a 2015 reissue of Chelsea Girls. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in non-fiction, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards, and the Shelley Prize from the PSA. In 2016 Myles received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. Currently they teach at NYU and Naropa University and live in Marfa TX and New York. 

How to Submit

You do so right here, using this Submittable page! 

Submissions must be sent by midnight AEST on Monday May 29th, 2017.

In a short cover letter, please include: your name, address, phone number, email address, the title of piece, its word count, a one-paragraph bio, and a one-paragraph synopsis of the piece.

We charge US$7 fee per entry for non-subscribers, paid during the Submittable submission process. This fee is waived for subscribers to The Lifted Brow and also for current RMIT University students and RMIT University alumni. (You can subscribe here.)

Have a question? Direct your enquiry to the guidelines below. Still have a question? You can email us at info@theliftedbrow.com

The Guidelines

  • 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.
  • Online submissions only. No hard copies.
  • Deadline is midnight AEST on Monday May 29th, 2017. Late submissions will not be accepted. 
  • In a short cover letter, please include: your name, address, phone number, email address, the title of piece, its word count, a one-paragraph bio, and a one-paragraph synopsis of the piece.
  • All submissions will be read blind, meaning that your submission will be assessed without your name or any biographical information attached to it. As such, your name must not appear anywhere in the document or in the name of the file. The file name should only include the title of the piece.
  • Each entry must be accompanied by an entry fee of US$7. All entry fees go directly to the running of the prize. This fee is waived for subscribers (print or digital) to The Lifted Brow and also for current RMIT University students and RMIT University alumni.
  • TLB staff are not eligible to enter. RMIT staff may enter as they are not in any way involved in the reading process.
  • Due to the large number of submissions, TLB editorial staff will take responsibility for the initial reading stage, during which a shortlist is decided upon. This shortlist of pieces is what the judges will read.
  • Entries must be a single piece of up to 5,000 words, written in English (any footnotes or endnotes should be included in that word count). Please make your entry legible.
  • All entries are final. No revisions are accepted. 
  • Multiple entries are permitted, each with an entry fee.
  • Entries must be original works written by an individual author or a collaboration between authors, and must not infringe upon anyone’s copyright.
  • Entries should not be on offer to other publications or prizes or anthologies for the duration of the prize.
  • Previously published, prize-winning, or broadcast work will not be accepted. (Previous online posting constitutes prior publication.) 
  • If an entrant elects to withdraw an entry, the entry fee will not be refunded.
  • Copyright remains with all entrants, including the winner.
  • A shortlist will be announced in late June, followed by the announcement of the overall winner close to the publication date of The Lifted Brow Edition 35 in September 2017.
  • The judges’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into about the judgements or the judging process.
  • Only shortlisted entrants and the winner will be notified. No feedback will be given on entries.
  • TLB reserves the right not to award a prize.

The Thanks

Thanks to both The Copyright Agency, and RMIT University’s non/fiction Lab in the School of Media and Communication, for supporting this prize. It is only through these two institutions that we can offer such a generous amount of prize money. 


Also, our very special thanks must go to all the readers and the judges.


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.