Independent presses represent our hope for the future. First the independent bookstores will feel the pinch; next it will be the independent publishers whose books are less likely to be stocked in the major bricks and mortar stores; writers will feel the crunch coming on their already low incomes; finally readers will miss out because the range of books available will be hugely diminished. Not only that, but marginal stories – and Australia is a marginal story in the global culture – will rarely be heard. If you are a reader, you might want to consider which books you buy and where. You might want to consider what will be left for your children to read. Will it be limited to mass-market American celebrity and violence stories? Or do you want something more?

Susan Hawthorne, The Guardian, 8th December 2017



Issue forty-four of Otoliths has hit the hustings. Included in this issue are Eileen R. Tabios, Sheila E. Murphy, Steve Dalachinsky, Andrew Topel, Brandon Nakasato, Cecelia Chapman, David Lohrey, C. R. E. Wells, Norman M. Gendelman, Texas Fontanella, Philip Byron Oakes, Caitlin Rose Doyle, Keith Walker, John Xero, David Dick, Kyle Hemmings, Mary Claire Garcia, Jesse Glass, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Philip Elliott, Sanjeev Sethi, sean burn, Kirk Robinson & Garin Cycholl & William Allegrezza, Bill Wolak, Pete Spence, Jim Leftwich, John M. Bennett, Thomas M. Cassidy, osvaldo cibils, Kelly J. Powell, harry k stammer, Raymond Farr, John Amen, Lucianna Chixaro Ramos, a.j. carruthers, Olivier Schopfer, Joel Chace, Carol Stetser, Les Wicks, Volodymyr Bilyk, Lana Bella, Diana Magallón, Clara B. Jones, Laurent Grison & Yvon Guillou, Meeah Williams, Michael Berton, Michael Farrell, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Charles Borkhuis & John McCluskey, Lakey Comess, John Martone, Evan Gray, Willie Smith, Allen Forrest, M. Leland Oroquieta, hiromi suzuki, Jack Galmitz, Mason Keys, Joe Balaz, Luisa-Evelina Stifii, Howie Good, Matina L. Stamatakis, George Moore, Drew B. David, Adam Levon Brown, Márton Koppány, Michael Caylo-Baradi, Carlyle Baker, J. Crouse, Richard Kostelanetz, Heath Brougher, Anwer Ghani, J. Ray Paradiso, AG Davis, Joanna Thomas, Kasy Long, Heller Levenson, Tom Snarsky, Dawn Nelson Wardrope, cathy aragon, Jeff Harrison, Marco Giovenale, John W. Sexton, Eugenia Hepworth Petty, bruno neiva, Stu Hatton, Ian Gibbins, dan raphael, Alberto Vitacchio, Douglas Penick, Nika & Jim McKinniss, Alan Summers, Jeff Bagato, Mariapia Fanna Roncoroni, Michael O’Brien, M.J. Iuppa, Carla Bertola, Andrew Galan, Katrinka Moore, Thom Sullivan, Joseph Veronneau, Marcia Arrieta, Sean Negus, Shloka Shankar, Seth Howard, Paul T. Lambert, John Pursch, Ella Skilbeck-Porter, Linda M. Walker, Tony Beyer, Edward Kulemin, PT Davidson, Michael Brandonisio, Adam Fieled, Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Angad Arora, Bob Heman, Carol Ciavonne, Sheila Windsor & Brendan Slater, Stephen J. Williams, Marilyn Stablein, Felino A. Soriano, Louie Crew Clay, Peter Bakowski, David Heg & Nicolette Wong, Francesca Jurate Sasnaitis, J. D. Nelson, & Marilyn R. Rosenberg & Ann R. Shapiro.

There’s also an interview at Thomas Fink’s new interview site, Dichtung Yammer, where editor Mark Wright speaks with Tim Wright about the Otoliths journey.



StylusLit is a new bi-annual online literary journal, publishing poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, interviews and reviews, and the first issue will go live in March 2017.

Only previously unpublished work is accepted, that is, the work has not appeared on radio or TV, and has not been published digitally (any website) or in print. Copyright remains with the author. Acknowledgment by the poet of any work first published in StylusLit would be appreciated.

StylusLit is accepting submissions for poetry, short stories and creative non-fiction. Submissions for first issue will be accepted from 14th November 2016 to 14th January 2017. Send to Interviews and reviews are commissioned by the editor.


In the subject header of your email include the genre and the title of your piece, for example, ‘Short Story: The Girl in the Photograph’, and a 40 word bio in your email.


Please submit up to three (3) poems at a time,
Please cut and paste poems into the body of the email,
Use font: Times New Roman 12px, and 1.5 spacing.
Short story or creative non-fiction:

Please submit not more than one (1) short story or creative non-fiction piece per submission period,
Please include title, word count and your name in the header of your attached document,
Maximum word length is 5,000 words,
Submit as .doc or .docx file,
Use font: Times New Roman 12px, and 1.5 spacing.
StylusLit is a non-profit organisation and is unable to pay contributors.

The StylusLit Team

Poetry Editor and publisher:
Rosanna Licari was the publisher and founding editor of Stylus Poetry Journal from 2002 to 2010. She was also a co-director of the Queensland Poetry Festival from 2002 to 2003. She completed her Master in Philosophy in creative writing (poetry) at the University of Queensland. Her collection, An Absence of Saints won the 2009 Thomas Shapcott Prize, the Anne Elder Poetry Prize and the 2011 Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the 2010/211 Mary Gilmore Prize. In 2015, she won the inaugural Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Poetry Prize for her poem, ‘The Wait’. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies.

Short stories and creative non-fiction editor:
Andrew Leggett is a Brisbane writer and editor of poetry, fiction, reviews and interdisciplinary academic papers. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing (poetry) from University of Queensland and has recently completed a doctoral thesis in creative writing (a novel In Dreams and its exegesis on the place of dreams in the novel and the cinematic work of David Lynch). He edited the Australasian Journal of Psychotherapy from 2006-2011. His collections Old Time Religion and Other Poems (1998) and Dark Husk of Beauty (2006) were published by Interactive Press.

Review editor:
Alison Clifton has reviewed poetry anthologies, chapbooks, and collections for M/C Words, Cordite and the Australian Poetry Journal. She holds a First Class Honours degree in English from the University of Queensland and her thesis was a formal analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Her doctoral thesis in English Literature from the University of Queensland explored the work of the late British poet, Geoffrey Hill.


Too often I hear (usually from men) that women never did anything in history to write about. What they are generally referring to are those ‘great deeds’ of men who were able to dedicate their lives to and sustain an uninterrupted focus on their area of specialisation. Women’s yearnings were sidelined and their lives circumscribed by multiple childbirth.

A.H. Chisholm wrote a ‘complete’ biography of Elizabeth Gould in 1944. In contrast, Melissa Ashley has written a fictional biography, or biographical fiction, of her in The Birdman’s Wife, which revitalises Elizabeth, colouring in her passions, her struggles, her continual negotiation of the demands of being a working artist and a mother.

This beautifully written novel presents a ‘complete’ picture of a family unit—that one man’s crowning achievements were in fact a family enterprise. John Gould may have been able to strut about like a peacock, but his ‘story’ his more complete when put in context alongside the female of his species, their young, and the materials from which he made his nest.

(From Kali Napier’s blog at Kali Napier)

YouTube’s digital darlings harness the power of print to hijack bestseller lists

Jamie Curry is an unlikely foot soldier in the fight for the printed book’s survival.
Curry is an 18-year-old YouTube star from New Zealand who has found fame doing pratfalls in a onesie. “I HAVE A BOOK,” she tweeted recently. “TAKE THAT ENGLISH TEACHER WHO FAILED ME.”
As the benefits of writing go, giving the two-finger salute to the teacher who flunked you in year 12 English might not have the same gravitas of Joan Didion’s assertion that she writes in order to understand her wants and fears.
Connor Franta’s memoir was on The New York Times bestseller list for 16 weeks.
But Curry, whose memoir They Let Me Write a Book! was published by HarperCollins New Zealand in October, represents a growing army of YouTube stars who have become authors, giving the beleaguered printed book industry a considerable boost of late.

By Samantha Selinger-Morris; read more at The Age


What’s new at Picaro Press – April, 2015



Feeling entrepreneurial? Reckless?

Basically, I’m looking to pass Picaro Press on to an individual or a group which could build on what we’ve achieved over the last 14 years. For free.

The reasons for that are largely due to health. Eighteen months ago I was riding my motorcycle to work when a lady in a rush to pick up her kids from school pretty much cleaned me up. Basically, the impact wrecked both my knees. I’ve been blessed with a particularly good physiotherapist, and I’ve made a good recovery (sans a couple pair of anterior cruciate ligaments). There are still quite a few things I can’t do, though, or can only do slowly. My overall fitness isn’t what it was, and over the last year I’ve become vulnerable to RSI. That’s a problem for making books and chapbooks … a print run of 100 didn’t used to be particularly hard on fingers, wrists and elbow-joints. Since the accident, I have to conclude that’s changed. I’m hoping that someone will put a hand up to take it over.

I’m not looking to sell Picaro Press. Ideally, I’d like to DONATE it a good home. And I’m keen to make that as easy as possible.
I’ll be happy to pass on the computer which has the Creative Suite software for layout and printing. And, of course, all relevant files, including databases. I’ll pass on the business name, the website URL, and our stash of ISBNs. There’s a fair accumulation of consumables: papers, cover stock, staples, and suchlike which I’d be happy to pass on. And hardware: a guillotine, a printer, stapler, a trimming board … it’s a fairly long list.

And of course I’d be very happy to help the new proprietors through the print-on-demand production sequence to make sure they don’t have to re-learn what I’ve discovered the hard way since inception in 2001. It’s really a pretty straightforward process, and I’d be more than happy to walk the new proprietors through it. Obviously, it’s something one person can do while still holding down a day job (though it might help if there were a few eager pairs of hand to pitch in once in a while). Picaro Press has always been limited by the fact that there’s just one employee on the assembly line. It’s a big commitment … but the rewards are definitely worth the effort.
Picaro Press has run in the black since day one … it has to. It’s a pretty big commitment, though. We have over 325 titles in print, most of which are still selling. That’s 131 back issues of Wagtail magazine (which could be easily revived, 116 chapbooks, and 80-odd spined books. And climbing. New books from Mark O’Flynn, Gillian Telford, Geoff Page and Meg Mooney will be launched within weeks.

So … Picaro Press is definitely a going concern. While it probably won’t pay off the mortgage, it pays its own way, plus a bit. If you’re one of the many poetry-lovers in this wonderful country who’d like to make a contribution, here’s your chance. If you’re at all interested becoming the new proprietor of Picaro Press, e-mail me at Or call me on 04-3865-9868. Thanks for your consideration, and

all the best,

Rob Riel
Picaro Press