Submissions are CLOSED. Feel free to familiarise yourself with our guidelines for our next reading period. We also accept donations year-round (below).

What is swim meet lit mag, anyway?

Based in Meanjin (Brisbane, Australia), swim meet lit mag was founded in 2021. We have published two issues so far.

By literary, we mean poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction (think memoir and personal essay), but we’d also love to see visual art and photography. Send us hybrids, work that pushes the boundaries of creativity, that you’d be proud to see published!

What exactly are we looking for? Our mission is to provide an accessible avenue for publication, especially for emerging creatives, but we’re accepting submissions from anyone and everyone, regardless of location (as long as the work is predominantly in English). That’s why our general submissions are free, and our response time is usually very swift. We also want our publication to be easily accessible to readers, which is why we are publishing online only, and our content is always free to access.

However, because we’re a volunteer-run publication committed to paying our contributors, we offer a Tip Jar Submission option with a fee of $3.00 and an option to request detailed feedback on submissions for $12. We also accept donations all year round. Your support means we can continue paying artists.

Donations: As a volunteer-run publication, we are always open to donations that help support our operational costs and allow us to pay writers. The amount is automatically set to a one-off payment of $5.00 (AUD).

Support swim meet lit mag

Support our lit mag by contributing a one-time donation.


Our origins

Getting published is like a competition, which is what inspired the name of our lit mag. But to have a chance, everyone needs to have a lane – that’s why we will always offer free submissions. We are very selective in the submissions we choose for publication and ask that you only submit polished work of the highest quality; in other words, send us something you’d be really proud to see published.

We don’t have a strict theme, but our editor is particularly interested in submissions from swimmers (current or former), or about swimming – whatever that means to you. Swim meets bring many people together, and we hope to offer an accessible place for a diverse range of creators to share their work on swim meet lit mag. If your work has nothing to do with swimming, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see it! Above all, we want quality, even if it doesn’t respond to our themes.

As a publication based in Meanjin (Brisbane, Australia), we’d like to offer a space for local creatives, emerging and established, to share their work and build a community. However, we are happy to receive submissions from anywhere in the world.

The nitty-gritty

Who can submit? Anyone! We love supporting our local creatives, but we’ll also accept submissions from anywhere in the world.

Formatting: Please include all pieces in one document (.doc or .docx where possible) for written submissions. PDF, JPEG, and PNG files are acceptable for visual and hybrid work. If submitting multiple pieces, please include them in a single submission (i.e. don’t start a new Google Form for each submission). You will be able to upload multiple files in one submission. If these formats aren’t suitable, please upload a file with a link to your work (wherever you see fit, as long as the editor can access it – but make sure it isn’t publicly available).

Poetry: Up to 3 poems, up to 50 lines each, in one document. Please begin each poem on a new page.

Prose submissions: One piece of up to 1500 words. Flash pieces are also welcome! Please include the word count in the submitted document. If you have something longer, please email us with a pitch (it doesn’t have to be formal – just communicate how long the piece is, what it’s about, and why it might be a good fit for us).

Visual Art and Photography: Up to 10 pages/pieces in one submission. If your work doesn’t fit into this category or you have any questions, please contact us. Visual submissions may be considered for cover art use.

Multiple submissions? Just once per genre (i.e. one poetry packet, one piece of fiction, one art submission), but we ask that you wait to hear back from us before sending more work in that genre. Please don’t re-submit a piece that we have declined in that submission period (unless directly requested). If you’re requesting feedback on multiple submissions, you will need to pay the fee for each new submission.

Payment: We are committed to paying our contributors (via PayPal where possible). At this time, we are only able to pay Australian contributors. Payment is $30 for poems, flash prose, and visual art; $50 for longer prose, cover art, or multiple pieces. If you would like to support us in increasing our payment rates, please consider donating above or submitting via our paid submission options. We also promote our contributors’ work on social media.

Rights and reprints? All rights remain with the author, regardless of submission outcome. If your work has appeared in another publication (not your personal blog or social media) and you have the rights to it, we will consider it. Please make a note of where the piece has appeared previously in your cover letter if this is the case. If a piece published in swim meet lit mag is published elsewhere, we request that the author credit us with prior publication.

Simultaneous submissions? Sure! Just let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere. (Congrats, by the way!)

What happens upon acceptance? If the editor sees fit, your work may undergo an editing process – usually, just to polish any mechanical errors. The work we accept is usually of high quality already and does not require any structural or stylistic editing. The process will involve email communication and using Track Changes in Word/Pages. The process aims to retain the integrity of the work and bring out the best in each piece to help it shine. Not all accepted pieces require editing, and our aim is to accept work that is already publishable, rather than to rework pieces entirely. We always listen to the artist and want to hear your suggestions during the editing phase!

Any other questions? Send them our way over at our contact page!

Submissions are currently closed

We are not currently accepting submissions, but we leave our guidelines up year-round. Work that doesn’t meet our guidelines or ethics will be returned unread. No refund will be provided for paid submissions that fail to meet guidelines.

All submissions will be considered with equal weight, but we will move Tip Jar submissions to the top of our queue for an even quicker response!

Free General Submissions: closed

$3.00 Tip Jar Submissions: closed

$12.00 Feedback Option: closed

Thank you for supporting swim meet lit mag!

Track your submissions at Duotrope
Meet the editor
A photo of Svetlana Sterlin, the editor of swim meet lit mag, in front of a tree.

Svetlana Sterlin is based in Meanjin (Brisbane, Australia), where she contributes to Our Culture Magazine, reads for Split Rock Review, interns with The Suburban Review, edits fiction with Voiceworks, and writes across a variety of forms and genres. Her creative writing appears in Meanjin, Cordite, Voiceworks, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, HASH, Entropy Magazine, the anthology Within/Without These Walls (AndAlso Books), and elsewhere. Find more from Svetlana here.