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Pitch to Overland

What we’re after

Overland is always looking for nonfiction pieces, especially for its online magazine. We update the pitch page with subjects that seem interesting – though we consider pitches on any topics. Most of all, we’re looking for thoughtful, provocative and argumentative articles, pieces that will provoke discussion and debate. You can pitch to us on one of the topics below, or submit completed articles (of between 600 and 1000 words) to us via our submissions page. We pay $120 for published online pieces.

Unions: the politics, the possibilities?

We recently ran a piece that argued (amongst other things) that the laws ‘hobbling’ union power in Australia were implemented by the Labor Party, with the support of most unions themselves. The piece argued that the relationship between Labor and the unions harms the possibilities for successful Australian workers’ movements.

This position garners both a lot of sympathy and opposition. Is it just a realist assessment of a politically stale culture? Or does it let the Tories, and (cough) capitalism off the hook?

And, there’s also McManus.

Everything depends upon the Oxford comma

Never mind the unions; the lack of an ol’ Oxford in the State of Maine’s industrial laws just led to dairy workers winning some disputed overtime pay.

Okay perhaps not everything depends upon a comma, but a missing grammatical mark in one sentence will hurt and offend a reader as much as a misjudged semicolon in another. As readers we’re quick to point out the grammar that hurts us. But we also live in an age of global shedding, and contracting out, of copyediting labour. The impact of this loss of labour on the quality of writing, online and in print, is tangible.

Do our aesthetic, and grammatical, gripes overlook the workers who are really losing out in this equation?

The ‘W’ in white

Speaking of editing, a question mark lingers around the capitalisation of one particular category: White. Or white.

We well understand the need to capitalise peoples: Indigenous Australians are not indigenous; an important capital B announces the political category of Black American; malay Australian would clearly read weirdly. But then there’s white. Does the ‘W’ announce a political identity that needs to be made transparent, with its social power and particularity? Or does the ‘W’ solidify a group that should be destabilised, and one that shouldn’t be unified anyway?

This speech isn’t free

It has become a preoccupation of the right to pursue their right to free speech; the uneasy marrying of the ‘right’ to make public insidious opinions and prejudices, with the apparent political aims and goals of living in a liberal society. ‘We are liberal, ergo, should be allowed to be racist’.

There’s a problem here somewhere … it’s hard to pick … But seriously, what does a liberal conception of ‘free speech’ mean? Is this liberalism corrupted? Or, if our dominant political ethos is so easily deployed to dark ends, should we throw the baby out with the liberal bathwater?

Note, though: we are open to pitches on any subject.

If you have a completed article, follow the links on the submission page to send it to us.

How to pitch to us

If you want to pitch an article, we ask you to do so through our online submission system. Overland relies on its subscribers for support: subscribers should use this link to pitch; non-subscribers should use this one.

The submission system will ask you to explain your proposed article in around 100 words and should address the following: What will your piece be about and why are you the person to write it? How will your article be different from other writing on the subject? When will you be able to send the finished piece?

Make sure that your deadline is realistic – if we accept your pitch, we are committing to publishing the article only so long as we receive publishable copy by the specified time and date.

If you can provide links to examples of your writing (whether in other publications or on your own site), please do so.

We look forward to hearing from you!