Announcing the Big Issue Fiction Edition for 2018

30 July 2018 Magazine

Announcing the Big Issue Fiction Edition for 2018

We’re excited to announce The Big Issue Fiction Edition 2018 will hit the streets on 10 August, featuring short stories from 13 brilliant writers, both established and emerging.

The magazine includes the work of award-winning authors Garth Nix, Marija Peričić, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Melanie Cheng and Tony Birch.

Eight gifted writers were also selected through the Fiction Edition’s open submission process this year: Atul Joshi, Dasha Maiorova, Eleanor Limprecht, Elizabeth Flux, James Hughes, Laura Elvery, Melissa Manning and Natasha Buzzacott. (See below for author bios.)

The Big Issue received more than 400 submissions and the final group were chosen through a blind reading, with no names attached.

Submissions were open to all writers, covering any genre – the only stipulation was that the stories had to be previously unpublished.  

Graeme Simsion, author of bestseller The Rosie Project, was guest judge, along with Big Issue Books Editor Thuy On and writer and editor Nicola Redhouse.

Together they helped The Big Issue editorial team select the stories. Some tough decisions had to be made as the quality of submissions was incredibly high.

Above: Nicola Redhouse, Graeme Simsion and Amy Hetherington judging submissions. 

Captivating themes emerged this year, including race, identity, body transformation, forbidden love and coming of age.

The bumper edition is 16 pages longer thanks to the generous support of the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and features beautiful illustrations by Paul Vizzari.

First published in 2005, The Fiction Edition has become an important part of Australia’s literary landscape and is one of the biggest-selling fiction magazines in the country.

Over the years, the magazine has featured some of the leading names in Australian and international literature, including Charlotte Wood, Christos Tsiolkas, John Marsden, Paulo Coelho and Peggy Frew.

It’s also an opportunity for emerging writers to gain national recognition. The magazine has helped to launch the careers of writers including AS Patric (The Butcherbird in Fiction Edition 2014) who won the Miles Franklin in 2016 and Emily O’Grady (Blue India in 2017) who earlier this year won the Vogel Literary Award.

Jane Harper (Spiders and Flies in 2014) says she was inspired to write her international bestseller and debut novel The Dry after her short story was published in The Big Issue.

The full list of 2018 Fiction Edition writers 

Atul Joshi has had short fiction published in Seizure Online and Ricepaper Magazine (Canada). A former classical musician, he is studying Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS. Born in Myanmar of Indian parents, Atul migrated to Australia in 1971.

Dasha Maiorova is a Belarus-born emerging writer and visual artist. She is currently working on her first novel, a contemporary Russian gothic set in Saint Petersburg.

Eleanor Limprecht is the author of The Passengers (2018), Long Bay (2015) and What Was Left (2013), which was shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal. Eleanor has a Doctorate of Creative Arts from UTS where she teaches creative writing.

Elizabeth Flux has been published in The Guardian, The Saturday Paper and Best Australian Stories. She won the inaugural Feminartsy Fiction Prize, received a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship and is an editor for Melbourne City of Literature’s Reading Victoria series.

Garth Nix is a New York Times bestselling novelist who specialises in young adult fantasy. More than six million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into 42 languages.

James Hughes has won and been shortlisted in writing contests in Australia and overseas. His collection of stories, Understanding Almost Nothing of the World, will be on offer to publishers this year.

Laura Elvery is the author of Trick of the Light (2018). She has a PhD in Creative Writing from QUT and recently won the Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize. 

Marija Peričić is a writer and English language teacher at Deakin University. Her first novel, The Lost Pages (2017), won the Vogel's Literary Award 2017. Marija was named as a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian novelist in 2018.

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of the ABIA-award winning short fiction collection Foreign Soil (2014), the critically acclaimed memoir The Hate Race (2016) and the award-winning poetry collection Carrying the World (2016).

Melanie Cheng is a writer and general practitioner. Her debut short story collection, Australia Day (2017), won the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction.

Melissa Manning has been published in Award Winning Australian Writing, Best Small Fictions (US), Overland and Tasmania 40°South, and won the 2015 Overland Story Wine Prize. She is working on a short story collection with support from ASA and the Wheeler Centre.

Natasha Buzzacott is a mum, partner, scientist, traveller, motorcycle race official and cat lover who has previously published online movie reviews. This is her first published fictional work.

Tony Birch is the author of Ghost River (2015), winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, Blood (2011), shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, and Shadowboxing (2006). Tony is a Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University.


The Fiction Edition will be on the streets from 10 August, pick up a copy from your Big Issue street vendor.

For media enquiries and review copies please contact Ellie Cooper – or 0418 124 190.


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