Writers’ guidelines

Griffith Review is published with curious, well-informed readers in mind. It aims to enrich public discussion, to provide a platform for both established and emerging writers and thinkers to publish well-written, informed and insightful writing.


Each edition is topical, so we do not accept general, unsolicited submissions that do not fit with an upcoming theme. You can find information about our upcoming editions at griffithreview.com/submit-to-griffith-review, along with the link to our submissions management software, Submittable. Have a read of some previous editions to get a general feel for what we like to publish – our entire back catalogue is accessible at griffithreview.com/editions.

We like new and creative ideas, and we like you, the writer. Don’t be afraid to let yourself shine through in your writing. Griffith Review is not an academic journal (although academics may be able to obtain research credits for their writing), and while we often tackle complex ideas, we are committed to giving our writers space for their own voice. Give us your provocations and opinions, so long as they are considered and backed up. Pieces generally range from 2,000 to up to 5,000 words, unless previously negotiated with the editors.

For all genres except poetry, we ask that you submit no more than one piece per edition; for poetry, you can submit up to four individual poems (each no more than two pages long), so long as they are all (at least loosely) on theme.


Essays are the staple of each Griffith Review edition. Lyrical essays, researched essays, creative non-fiction, analytical pieces – we publish them all.


Personal essays and ‘a letter to’ will be published under memoir. We love the genre for the more personal element it lends to our themes – keep in mind that we do want the reader to take something from your piece in relation to the theme. Let’s say the aim is ‘subjective universality’.


This can be the most incisive way to address a topic, and we certainly encourage it. If your investigating turns up any information that might have even the most remote legal implications, we ask that you have permissions sorted before coming to us.


The beating heart of creative literature, though as a culture and ideas quarterly we tend to only publish at most three pieces of fiction per edition, with the exception of novella or fiction editions (separate guidelines are generally published for these). Good fiction writing stands out immediately – polish, proofread and repeat.


We don’t publish a lot of poetry, though we do like to publish it where possible. Consider how necessary it is for you to submit an entire suite of poems, unless they are remarkably short (though haiku aren’t high on our to-print list).

Indigenous issues

Writing about the lives and affairs of Australia’s Indigenous peoples is important for fostering conversation and understanding, but it is something that needs to be done with awareness and sensitivity. We encourage writers pursuing this area to read the ‘Guidelines for the ethical publishing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors and research from those communities’ from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, which suggest ways for ‘writers and publishers [to] create new works in ways that are culturally respectful and appreciative of the diversity and richness of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their histories and cultures’.


We only accept online submissions as editable word documents (preferably Microsoft Word). Use 12-point Times New Roman type (we don’t score on personal font preference) with 1.5 lines spacing. The piece needs to begin with your full name, a title (and for essay, memoir and reportage, a subtitle) and a word count. We do not accept hard-copy submission – it’s fine if you still prefer to write by hand or typewriter, but typesetting has long since moved into the digital realm and someone needs to transcribe your piece. Include a short bio (50–100 words) at the end.

If you use references, incorporate them into the body of the text where possible – we do not publish references or footnotes in the print edition, only online. Not in-text referencing or footnotes, but written out – that is, not (Macfarlane, 12) or 1 Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind, p. 43, but, ‘In Mountains of the Mind (Granta, 2003), Robert Macfarlane says…’. If this becomes too awkward (you have too many long references to incorporate), make your references endnotes in the Harvard style.

For spellings and grammar, Griffith Review follows the Macquarie Dictionary and our own in-house style guide (available on request). With very few exceptions, we adhere to strict Australian-English usage.


If your work is accepted for print and/or digital publication, we will acquire the rights to it for three months from the date of publication of the edition, and it will be archived on our website. The copyright is then yours, but any subsequent publication must acknowledge the work’s initial appearance in our pages. Fees are negotiated by word length, except for contributors employed by universities who, are paid a flat fee. Once we’ve agreed to publish and negotiated any editing changes, you will be sent a contract and payment will be made within twenty-one days of returning a completed version along with an invoice.

For any enquiries, please email griffithreview@griffith.edu.au.

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