Why a literary journal? More specifically, why a print journal?

The question arises because Overland has now become more a project than a particular format. Overland publishes online, with new content appearing most days. It hosts events and forums throughout the country, at literary festivals and elsewhere. It has produced the ebook, Women’s Work, and will soon launch an iPad app. The online fiction by emerging writers is part of Overland, as are the spoken word editions and the forthcoming edition of electronic poetry.

In the midst of all that, what role does a print journal play?

Overland will continue to publish in print for the foreseeable future for a number of reasons.

Print remains the preferred format for most poets and creative writers in Australia. That may, of course, change but for the time being most authors want a physical copy of their work.

Similarly, many people still like to read (in particular) long essays, literary fiction and poetry on paper, away from the distractions of their iPad.

Finally, the rhythms of quarterly print production allow a more intensive editorial interaction with writers, as the quality of the pieces in this edition reveal.

Overland is about ideas and so will continue to explore new methods for reaching readers. We encourage print readers to engage with the online magazine as well, taking advantages of the opportunities it offers for discussion and debate. But the Overland project still depends fundamentally on its print subscribers. We are confident that the expansion of Overland’s reach will improve rather than diminish the quarterly journal that has appeared since 1954.

Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland.

More by Jeff Sparrow ›

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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