Call for Papers: The Long Apprenticeship

Southerly calls for papers for their new issue, 77.2 The Long Apprenticeship.For this issue, Southerly seeks writing from students from secondary and tertiary students, as well as established writers.

The techno-driven, identity- and flag-obsessed, post-modern, post-human, post-capitalist, post-truth world fissures thinking from making, craft from responsibility. Writing is the time to think deeply upon world and language, the fusing of thinking and making.

The journey from fledgling writer to author is often long, beset by hardships, both existential and economic, and too often only ends with death, or defeat (not mutually exclusive). Yet Creative Writing is the growing discipline of universities, and writing is the very stuff of blogs, fan-fiction, e-book profusions. Why, when the myth that the cultural capital of education and artistic merit will buy entry into the wealth-ever-more-concentrated into the hands-of-the-ever fewer is increasingly evident as myth, why then this continued turn to writing, to the long apprenticeship?

Philosopher Richard Sennett says that ‘slow craft time enables the work of reflection and imagination—which the push for quick results cannot’  (295). The slowness of writing transforms individuals; the body of work and the body of self. Writing, in its own way, in its own time, penetrates a culture, a politics.

The swiftness of writing-flow instantiates possibility.

Southerly is looking for essays on all aspects of the idea of writing and the writing subject. Fiction, memoir and poetry need not be themed. This issue seeks a snapshot of Australian writing today, from those beginning their long apprenticeship to those whose work is well-known, loved and acclaimed. We welcome submissions from secondary school students, undergraduates and other young writers. Themes include but are not limited to:


  • Essays that explore trajectories of Australian writing, including juvenilia, and literary forms, such as Bildungsroman and Künstlerroman
  • The tensions of tradition and innovation
  • The changing nature, model and imperatives of writing today
  • Universities as the new Medieval Master’s House
  • Cognitive poetics


With academic essays, please keep in mind that Southerly is a journal devoted to Australian literature. Please submit only one story, one personal essay, or up to 5 poems, at a time. Short fiction and literary non-fiction texts should be no more than 5000 words. Please submit your texts online to:  “The Long Apprenticeship” category in Submittable. You can refer to Southerly’s guidelines here.

Submissions due: 1st September 2017

The issue will be published in October 2017

Richard Sennett, The Craftsman, Penguin Books: 2008.