On the 11th of April 2023, an online conversation hosted by The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art (ANZJA) and un Projects lead a discussion on what it means to write, edit, publish, and read arts writing. Each speaker discussed their respective editorial background and approaches, converging on building shared principles around editorial support, mentorship, and inclusive models of art criticism, art history/theory and art writing more broadly.
Below is a recording of the panel discussion (transcription forthcoming), held across unceded Gadigal, Wurundjuri, Boon Wurrung and Whadjuk Noongar Country.
- ANZJA Editor in Chief: Dr Véronica Tello
- ANZJA Editorial Committee: Dr Astrid Lorange
- un Projects General Manager: Audrey Pfister
- un Extended Editorial Manager: Paul Boyé
- Contributor to ANZJA, and Editor at MeMo Review: June Miskell
The speakers also answered questions in the Zoom chat. Excerpts are copied below:
Olga: Best lineup ever!
Verónica Tello: Hi everyone, we are also looking for people to review a show or book of your choice for the next special issue, edited by Ngarino Ellis and Heather Iglotore. Contact ANZJA’s Managing Editor, Anastasia Murney, a.murney_AT_unsw.edu.au, if you’re keen https://aaanz.info/journals/anzja-call-for-papers/
Audrey Pfister: https://coolchange.net.au/
Rebecca: RIP Semaphore 🙁
Paul Boyé: https://semaphoreart.net/
Astrid Lorange: Framework represent!!!!!
Audrey Pfister: framework to un pipeline
Verónica Tello: Un also published my first piece in 2005 (from memory)
Paul Boyé: Replying to "Un also published my…" Same! I was shocked to be accepted
sam: thanks for the insights & info, panel. I’m curious about what Veronica Tello mentioned earlier about engaging with and submitting material to scholarly publications as a writer who’s not associated with a university. Could you expand on this? Thanks kindly!
sam: thanks so much!
Bea: Hi, I've really been enjoying listening to all the speakers! Since studying art history, I've been interested in submitting to un projects and other journals. Do you have any suggestions for where to start in terms of how to stay aware of opportunities to write, or how seek them out?
Rebecca: I have a very practical question - I really struggle to finish works that I begin writing with the intention of submitting somewhere. I willl get an idea and start writing away but I either lose enthusiasm because I go into a spiral of ‘this is dumb no one is going to read/publish this’ or I struggle to find the end of the work, I get all perfectionist about it. Any tips to avoid or stop the spiral and how to know when something is ‘finished’ ?
Leah: What are the key things to get across when you are pitching a writing idea to a publication like un? How do you best communicate the potential of an idea?
Lachlan: This one is more for fun but I’m curious as to what or who inspired the panelists to take up arts writing and editing, if there’s like a core memory or value that remains important to you still
Verónica Tello : Replying to "I have a very practi…"
Hi Rebecca, great question! I suggest applying to write via CFPs/EOIs first as then you are obliged to submit! It’s hard to finish a piece if you don’t have a hard deadline. Or, you could also commit to sending it to a friend who is also into writing/editing to make yourself accountable and receive feedback to keep motivated. It’s hard to write if it’s not a social experience where you are accountable and have a community around you to show your draft to.
Audrey Pfister: Hey Olga <3
Olga: Reacted to "Hey Olga <3" with 👋🏻
Verónica Tello: Replying to "Hi, I've really been…"
Hey, I’d write a list of the journals you want to write for and make sure you follow them on insta or subscribe to their newsletter. Also feel free to ask when their next CFP is. Also look at international magazines and journals - with a lot of journals there is no CFP/EOI so I’d encourage you to email the editor expressing your interest — they might ask for a writing sample. If you don’t have anything published you could write something short as a sample — or they may just take a chance! Many journals often do especially for short texts such as reviews. Reviews are a good way to develop a writing portfolio.
Stirling: Thank you to the panel for all your insight so far! A bit of a cheeky one: some peers & I have recently launched a site where we sporadically publish short-form op-eds on exhibitions and discourse about art occurring in WA. We are very small and just starting out! We are starting to put in place editorial processes before approaching potential writers and calling out for submissions—any tips?
Astrid Lorange: Replying to "What are the key thi…"
One tip is to talk through idea first, with yourself (audio recording) or to a mate. Try to see if you can develop and articulate the idea in your own spoken voice: what do you want to say, what do you want to read/analyse/review, what questions do you want to raise or explore. Doing this first can help you to come up with a few key points to cover in the written version. Then, read aloud the written version and edit, edit, edit! Try to remember to set out the terms of the text rather than write the text itself!
Paul Boyé: Replying to "Thank you to the pan…"
I've seen something rustling on the grapevine…… I think a small but committed editorial committee is the best place to start, with clear intentions on scope and capacity of each member. A diversity of perspectives and contexts is the most important starting effort unless you want your platform to develop only along one dimension. It's okay to start in proportion to your resources and interests, but defining creative 'ownership' is a good conversation to have. Please get in touch w/ me if you ever want to chat (paul.boye_AT_uwa.edu.au)
Bea: Thanks Audrey!
Audrey Pfister: Astrid inspires us all!
sam: Replying to "Thank you to the pan…"Thanks Paul!
Stirling : Replying to "Thank you to the pan…"
Thank you Paul 😄
Astrid Lorange : <3
Leah: Where can we find this course you teach Astrid :) writing as practice?
Astrid Lorange : Leah email me (a.lorange_AT_unsw.edu.au), I have a little course pack for non-UNSW ppl
Verónica Tello: Replying to "Thank you to the pan…"
Make sure you have clear expectations around editorial work - eg distributing x number of writers to a particular editor, to ensure equal distribution of labour; also clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the editor vs the writer (eg in terms of style guide, copyediting etc). Eg, do you want editors to do more global/structural feedback, refining the argument as opposed to copyediting? Do you want to split the role of giving structural edits and copyediting. Who is leading grant writing? Do they get less editorial work as that can be time consuming? I’d just try and nut out these roles so people don’t burn out and your project can be sustainable and high quality.
Lachlan: Replying to "Leah email me (a.lor…"
I heard so much about it from my peers Astrid! I’ll have to email you 💌
Bea Brenneman: Replying to "Bea I can send you a…"
Thanks Astrid!! I'll email you about "writing as practice" and mention homework too. :)
Zach: Thanks, all. And cheers from Los Angeles. :)
scotte : Such a great space of discussion… thanks everyone for the efforts in arranging!
Terri Ann: Thanks so much for such a rich conversation ♡
Olga: Thank you so much everyone!) So good
Jac: Thank you everyone for such informative discussion.
Rebecca: This has been genuinely interesting and beneficial thankyou
Lachlan: Thankyou for organising tonight, very insightful! 💞
Yesul: Thank you~~
Orissa: Thank you. so good to hear from you all. 10:30 in Aotearoa NZ (~;
June Miskell: Thanks everyone!
sam: Thanks folks!