Overland is always looking for nonfiction pieces, especially for its online magazine. Each week, we will list particular 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 500 and 1000 words) to us via our submissions page. We pay $70 for online articles.
At the moment, these topics seem worth investigating:
No progress for women in cinema
In the recent BBC poll of the greatest films of the twenty-first century, only 12 of the top 100 films selected were directed or co-directed by women, and only two of the top 50. Film has always been a male-dominated industry, but given the poll’s chronological scope, things don’t seem to be getting any better. While both may be a factor, is this poll more of a reflection of the bias of male critics, or ongoing lack of opportunities for female directors? Where does reform start?
The progressive implications of VR
At the recent Melbourne International Film Festival, a VR program included (among other subjects), an opportunity to experience solitary confinement, immigration detention and the life of an African-Australian anti-racism campaigner. With its ability to put audiences in the shoes of marginalised people in a whole new way, could VR be a powerful tool of political progress? Or are hopes about empathy-generating art overstated?
What support there was amongst LGBQTI people and progressives for the same-sex marriage plebiscite has dwindled even further now that the government has committed to funding homophobic advertising (as well as signalling that they will allow exemptions to anti-discrimination laws). Yet, the realpolitik seems to suggest that blocking the plebiscite will see marriage inequality persist until after the next election, allowing the ultra-reactionary wing of the LNP to continue to ‘kick the issue into the long grass’.
Is there still a progressive case for supporting the plebiscite as a second-best option?
Bisexuality and discrimination
Bisexuals occupy a sometimes precarious position within the broader LGBTQI context. Bi people in long-term heterosexual relationships, for instance, can be shielded from the worst of society’s homophobia. But bisexuals can also be the subject of distrust, mockery and even contempt within both the queer community and society at large. While the ‘born gay’ discourse has often been vital in decreasing homophobia, our society sometimes seems to have a hard time accepting that bisexuality exists. Is it possible that the essentialist approach is harming bi acceptance?
Turkey and the Left post-Arab Spring
The failed military coup in Turkey has been a disaster for democracy, and Erdogan has used it to solidify his power. Elsewhere, the military coup in Egypt has led to a crackdown on human rights and the freedom of the press. Caught in the nexus between dictatorial regimes, US, European and Russian imperial interests and far-right militant groups, progressives seem to have nowhere to turn. What hope is there for Left movements in these countries?
Writing degrees and literary theory
Creative writing bachelor and postgraduate degrees are now offered at most universities. As academic degrees, these courses require that students know and apply literary theory. But interestingly, three of the novelists on the Miles Franklin shortlist studied the vocational RMIT Professional Writing and Editing Diploma (a course that does not include classes on theory). Do writers need to be familiar with literary theory? Does it make them better writers? Why/why not?
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.
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!