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Submissions Open – Australian Blog Writing 2009

10Editor Karen Andrews writes: Submissions are now open for Miscellaneous Voices: Australian Blog Writing 2009. One of the more common questions I’ve been asked about the project is: “Why publish an anthology full of content that’s already available on the Internet for free?”

I have a number of responses. There are bloggers – good ones, talented folk – who languish in obscurity. Their pieces are posted and remain on their main page for a week, perhaps more, when they are then archived and from that point on may only be seen by traffic arriving on random Google searches. This often strikes me as a waste. Second, despite its growing cultural significance, there are still people (and potential readers) who have not quite yet grasped what blogs are ‘all about’. They are still learning to negotiate the wide web and may not have the time, or inclination, to do the digging that is often required when trying to find a specific post. As readers, traditionally we like our words, our treasures, to be packaged and delivered via the book form. And some of us mightn’t like reading off our iPhones. If we own one, that is.

There is an old adage in Internetland that “Content is King.” Admittedly, there are a variety of other factors which make a successful blog and many people believe the “Content is King” phrase is noble, if idealistic. I personally don’t think that is the case. The readers amongst us seek out what’s new and interesting on the web every day. For me, good blog writing is good writing just the same as good writing is good writing. When once publishing on the Internet might have been seen as ‘settling’ or an emergency avenue to go down in order to gain exposure or credit, now there are writers who are harnessing its power and seeing substantial returns: both artistically and financially.

I want to see what Australians have written over 2009: the literary and social critiques, the poetry, the minutiae of everyday life. I’d love to see it all represented within the one book.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian author and slam poet of Afro- Caribbean descent. Her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA Award for Best Literary Fiction and the 2015 Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her memoir, The Hate Race, her poetry collection Carrying the World, and her first children’s book, The Patchwork Bike, will be published by Hachette in late 2016.

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  1. I think is a brilliant idea. In terms of sheer volume there is more good writing in blogs (often by people who don’t think of themselves as writers) than there is all in the literary journals put together. This book will be fascinating and I look forward to it hugely.

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