Twitch Tuesdays: an evening with Ben Walter

By Arianne James


The first Twitch Tuesday of the year was held on April 19, and began by discussing the world of publishing with Ben Walter. An experienced and prolific writer, Ben gave the room an insight into the Australian publishing industry, noting some valuable tips and tricks to increase the chances of young writers’ work finding a published home.

Some of the most useful aspects of the workshop included Ben’s discussion about the different avenues and ways to have your work published. He discussed the pros and cons of submitting to competitions, journals and magazines, as well as sharing some pointers on how to handle rejection – something every writer experiences at some stage in their career.

When deciding where to submit work, he explained the importance of reading the particular magazine or journal you wish to submit to – or at least having a basic knowledge of the genres they publish – before submitting your work. He also highlighted the simple but vital point of reading the submission guidelines carefully, and following them to the letter. This will help ensure you make no careless errors that could enhance the chance of your work being rejected for something trivial.

Having experience as a part-time editor of Overland, Ben also discussed what editors look for when going through the slush pile. He said that, at the most basic level, editors want to see outstanding work. Work that is polished, unique, beautiful and above all, never boring. This evening was a wonderful start to the Twitch year. The atmosphere was warm and inspiring, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who left feeling inspired to start sending their work out into the world.

Check out more about Twitch Tuesdays.