Issue 9
Monday, 05 November 2018
Charles Darwin University
Borderlands literary journal research leader Dr Glenn Morrison
Borderlands literary journal research leader Dr Glenn Morrison

NT’s own literary journal starts to take shape

By Patrick Nelson

The Northern Territory is a step closer to having its own literary journal following a successful bid for the funding of a pilot edition to be published next year.

Early ruminations indicate that the journal may be a “storytelling publication”, which fosters a unique Territory voice and reflects the region’s demographic mix.

Long-time Central Australian writer and Charles Darwin University sessional lecturer Dr Glenn Morrison who heads Borderland, a strategic arts project to develop the journal, said there were many writers in the NT and a lot of good stories to tell.

“Literary journals are an important component of Australia’s literary culture and can help to foster a range of Indigenous, non-Indigenous and multicultural voices. However, we have no such platform and its lack is a significant shortfall in the artistic lives of Territorians,” he said.

“This is especially significant at a time when public interest in literature is growing rapidly and Indigenous voices are achieving greater prominence within the Territory and across the nation.

“Furthermore, with so many hopes, dreams and so much funding pinned to developing Northern Australia, Territorians remain bereft of a regular forum where creative and critical thinkers might evaluate the rhetoric that grand schemes such as ‘Develop the North’ can entail.”

Dr Morrison said the proposed journal would be for readers, writers, storytellers, artists, poets and critics.

“It would be non-academic and would offer a balancing insider perspective and nuance, which the Territory desperately needs in the writing of its portraits.

“Ultimately we foresee something that stamps us on the national and international map.”

Dr Morrison said he was optimistic that a pilot edition next year would lead to an ongoing publishing enterprise from 2020.

“We have spent this year researching and developing a sustainable business plan and format for the journal. It would need to maximise audience reach to assure the sustainability in a small and challenging market,” he said.

“Naturally we are delighted that the project has secured Creative Partnerships Australia funding through their MatchLAB program, to support the development of the pilot edition.”

Fellow researchers Dr Adelle Sefton-Rowston and Raelke Grimmer are assisting Dr Morrison with the research phase of the Borderlands project.

He said the research involved listening to Territorians about why the Territory needed its own home-grown literary journal.

“It will help us plan for the pilot edition,” he said. “Those who complete the survey will go in to a draw to win a $50 book voucher, announced 30 November.”

Link to survey: W: