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AUSSIE MAGS WITH MORE THAN GLOSS AND GOSSIP

Creative and insightful through to poignant and discursive, Literary Magazines Australia brings together the best new writing on offer in Australia from ten of the country’s most respected literary magazines.

These ten magazines serve up engaging, entertaining and provocative work by new and established writers. Peter Carey, Frank Moorhouse, Marion Halligan and John Birmingham have all been featured alongside the countrys newest writing talent.

Now under the banner of Literary Magazines Australia (LMA), you can find them together at www.litmags.com.au which will be launched tomorrow to provide easy access to a vital range of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, essays, factual writing, literary criticism, reviews, opinions, letters or any combination of these.

Magazines are thermometers of a society’s vitality, culture, interests and concerns, says Dennis Haskell, Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. But looking around any Australian newsagency, you might think the temperature is pretty low; many of the biggest selling magazines contain no more than trite gossip and glossy pictures.

Australia’s literary magazines provide an antidote to all that; they are a meeting place in print or pixels of imaginative explorations of our lives and our languages. They provide an opportunity for experiment that the economics of book publishing might not allow. They can stir your conscience while you stir your tea.

The ten magazines were selected by the Literature Board based on their continued high standards, their long life and their propensity to nurture new talent as well as attract highly regarded authors. They come from different parts of the country and reflect their locations even as they reach national and international audiences.

The beauty of LMA is that each magazine works in different ways, says Professor Haskell, himself a respected poet and former editor of a literary journal. They have diverse content, formats, outlooks and aims. HEAT for example is designed to be devoured in a few dedicated sittings perfect for weekend reading. Wet Ink however could be a commuters best friend dive into a short story where you meet a beautiful stranger, have a torrid affair then go your separate ways, all before you get off the bus.

As well as being an incubator for new writers, the magazines are a pivotal training ground for the publishing industry, providing incomparable experience for editors, illustrators, designers, proofreaders and a host of others.

Each magazine maintains a strong and passionate following. Indeed many of them have been running for over 50 years; Southerly has been published continuously since 1939 and Meanjin since 1940. But as ten small, independent publications, its difficult to reach a wider audience. So were bringing them together online to provide a clear entry point for anyone with an interest in reading, says Dennis Haskell.

LMA Launches 5 May. Visit www.litmags.com.au and read from the best Australian writing.

The ten magazines featured on LMA are Australian Book Review, Griffith REVIEW, HEAT, Island Magazine, Meanjin, Overland, Quadrant, Southerly, Voiceworks and Wet Ink.

Media contact: Cameron Woods, 02 9215 9030, 0412 686 548   c.woods@australiacouncil.gov.au

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