The School Magazine publishes short stories, articles, plays, poems and activities that have literary and academic merit. Our readers are primary school children who respond well to texts that delight, intrigue, challenge and inspire them—texts written especially for them. Remember that our readers live in a multicultural, diverse society and that our magazines reflect this. Our readers are exploring their identities and appreciate insights into the world around them. What works best? Energetic and accessible writing that has suspense, with fast-paced action, twists, credible characters and, always, the child reader at its heart.
Please note: at the moment we are looking for very short stories, plays and nonfiction. We especially require material for our younger readers (Countdown and Blast Off).
- Stories can be realistic, fantastical or humorous genres with contemporary or historical settings.
- Stories should demonstrate clear, intriguing prose, originality of characters and fresh storylines.
- No longer than 1500 words (shorter stories are encouraged)
- Occasionally a longer story may be considered for serialisation.
- Soundly researched texts across traditional nonfiction, journalistic and creative nonfiction genres such as articles, procedural texts, reports, profiles, interviews, short features and nonfiction narratives.
- Generally articles are 800–2000 words.
- Poems can be in any contemporary or traditional genre.
- Generally, a maximum of thirty lines.
- High-quality poetry that is dynamic, evocative and original is welcomed. If using traditional metre and rhyme, ensure that the metre is consistent and the rhyme unforced.
- When punctuating, keep in mind the developing skills of the young poetry reading audience.
- Plays should be easy-to-stage scripts for large groups of students to perform, although plays for smaller casts are also welcome.
- Scripts should have literary qualities in characterisation, language and plot.
- Generally a maximum of 1500 words (fewer for younger readers).
- The majority of activities and puzzles are generated in-house, but texts are also accepted from external writers.
Editorial practice and publication
- The School Magazine endeavours to reply to submissions within 30 days. However, due to the quantity received, this means that the process can sometimes take some time.
- We require non-exclusive, ongoing print and digital rights to this material, and that you agree to give The School Magazine first right to publish. Please note that you retain copyright. Your submission of a manuscript means that you accept these terms.
- The School Magazine reserves the right to edit manuscripts according to house style and the needs of the magazine.
- The School Magazine pays on publication. We pay a repeat fee at half price, if a piece is reused in a printed version of the magazine. Writers retain copyright of their work.
- We pay $0.50c per word for fiction, articles and plays.
- We pay for poetry: 1-12 lines is $55; 13-24 lines is $105; 25-40 lines is $170, and over 40 lines is $230.
- We send two complimentary copies of the magazine to the authors of work in that magazine.
- Our mission has always been to ensure fair and equitable access to quality literature for all primary school-aged children since 1916.
Tips for writers
- Familiarise yourself with our magazines—make sure your work belongs in our magazines.
- Write for our readers: most are Australian children between the ages of 8 and 12. Remember that The School Magazine aims to reflect the diversity and inclusivity of Australian society.
- Explore a fresh voice or angle, avoid being didactic, and take the time to polish and edit your manuscript.
- Carefully consider how you portray teachers, schools and controversial topics—our magazines are often read in classrooms.