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Voiceworks is a national quarterly magazine that features writing and art by young Australian writers. It is produced entirely by young people and relies totally on contributions from the readers to make up the content. The magazine is produced by the editor together with a group of interns and a volunteer editorial committee (EdComm), all of whom are also under twenty-five. EdComm assists the editor in reading submissions, editing content, proofreading, running launches, and writing feedback for all our contributors.
Voiceworks is published by Express Media, a not-for-profit organisation that provides support and development opportunities for young people in writing and media. These include The Under Age (in conjunction with The Age), The Signal Express (run with Signal) and The John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers. The magazine was originally a monthly newsletter of Express Media Power Workshops (which has since been renamed Express Media and remains the publisher). From around issue 12 onwards (there is no complete archive), Voiceworks began to be published as a quarterly, 80-page magazine. It is now in its 93rd issue.
While nationally--and increasingly internationally distributed--Voiceworks is based in Melbourne with The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas which is a Victorian Government initiative and the centrepiece of Melbourne’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature.
Its publisher, Express Media, a non-profit organisation that offers literary arts and media opportunities for young and emerging artists, was established in 1983 as Express Media Power Workshops. Voiceworks, (the newsletter) was launched by the then prime minister, Bob Hawke and Molly Meldrum in 1985 (International Year Of Youth) to promote the organisation's program of workshops. Since then, Express Media's operations and projects have been financed by a range of sources:
- grants from federal and state government arts funding bodies (Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Victoria)
- individuals (John Marsden)
- private philanthropic funds (Copyright Agency Ltd)
Operations are carried out by three part-time staff (General Manager, Artistic Director and Voiceworks Editor) and hundreds of volunteers. It is designed by Elwyn Murray.
John Marsden - Patron
John Marsden is Express Media's Patron, and contributor of operational funding as well as prize money for the John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers
Editorial Committee (EdComm)
A volunteer EdComm, recruited from the community of young people reached by the magazine, helps the Editor in all stages of production - from selecting content from submissions, determining issue themes, liaising with authors, editing shortlisted work, proofreading and preparing launch events.
Circulation and Readership
Though based at the Melbourne offices of Express Media, Voiceworks has gradually acquired a nationwide audience, and it receives submissions from young writers and artists from around Australia. Remote members of EdComm and regular interstate columnists help keep the journal in touch with the broader community.
Each issue of Voiceworks is subtitled according to a theme determined by the EdComm a number of issues advance. A theme blurb is written by the EdComm and distributed with calls for submissions, though potential contributors are urged to keep the Voiceworks motto in mind:
Themed work: good; Good work: better; Good, themed work: BEST