We ask writers what they read online.
Founded in 2014 by Zoya Patel, Feminartsy isn’t quite a household name on the Australian lit scene yet, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite online reading corners. The journal’s title is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a slur used by online Men’s Rights Activists, and captures the spirit of the publication: feminist, arty, mutable, and fresh. It’s a spirit shared by Lip Magazine, of which Patel was formerly editor-in-chief; whereas Lip tends to focus on commentary and reviews, Feminartsy is heavier on creative content, with new fiction and memoir appearing every couple of weeks. The pieces are on the shorter side but long enough to be immersive—perfect for a tram trip or work break—and are varied in content and style, with the main commonality being a young feminist authorship. This goes hand-in-hand with another feature of Feminartsy, which is its profiles of local feminists: writers, non-profit founders, musicians, professors, and more.
It’s no secret that flash fiction is a form that lends itself well to online publication. It’s also no secret that the number of online journals dedicated to flash fiction can be overwhelming, whether you’re a reader looking for something new or a writer scouting for places to submit. The Wigleaf Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions is an annual list compiled by a guest editor featuring fiction under 500 words from all over the web. This year’s editor is Roxane Gay, and she introduces her selections with a simple incantation: ‘I want to think. I want to feel. I want to remember. I want to forget. I want to be held in place. I want to be transported. I want to be turned on. I want to be repulsed.’ What’s great about this list is that every piece feels like it’s coming from a different place, and there’s a matryoshka-like sense of discovery—every story opening up to showcase another publication and another writer. If you want to get a feel for the kind of writing that’s current online, as well as what can be done in under 500 words, this list is an ideal place to start.
With so many online publications celebrating ‘short’ fiction, it’s refreshing to find a place that’s entirely devoted to long-form works— including the most amorphous thing of all, the ‘Work-In-Progress’. Curated by Californian writer-editor Roland Goity, WIPs manages to make works-in-progress accessible through a combination of stellar writing and ingenious presentation: namely, 2000-7000 word excerpts published every month or two, accompanied by in-depth author profiles and interviews. Though all featured works could be said to fall under the umbrella of ‘literary fiction’, they’re stylistically diverse, from Carmen Lau’s fairytale-like The Girl Wakes to Harold Jaffe’s punchy docufiction Brando Bleeds to the swarming lyricism of Stephanie Dickinson’s Love Highway. Goity has fantastic taste and, what’s more, seems to have a deep investment in all the works that are showcased. This is apparent in his interviews, which are remarkably detailed and have a way of revealing the individual processes and preoccupations of each author.
Laura Elizabeth Woollett is a Perth-born, Melbourne-based author and editor. Her first novel The Wood of Suicides was published in early 2014 and her short story collection The Love of a Bad Man is forthcoming with Scribe Publications. From 2012 to early 2015 she was a fiction editor for Voiceworks. More recently, she appeared as one of Melbourne Writers Festival’s ’30 Under 30′. She is currently working on her second novel Beautiful Revolutionary.