Southerly is Australia’s oldest literary journal, founded in 1939 by R. G. Howarth and published by the Sydney branch of the English Association. Its title refers to the welcome gusty weather change that blows into Sydney after hot Summer days, known as the Southerly Buster.
After 70 years of continuous publication Southerly is a custodian of Australia’s literary heritage yet remains a dynamic forum where new writers and critics can make initial forays into publication. It is the particular relationship between these two aspects of its remit – authority and innovation - that produces the spark and the substance of Southerly.
Southerly publishes more fiction and poetry than any other journal in Australia, as well as essays of literary criticism, cultural debate and reviews. There are three issues of Southerly published each year, each print copy running to approximately 250 pages, with additional material in the online component called The Long Paddock.
The range of writing it publishes is diverse, including material that speaks to the particular theme of each issue but is not constrained by it. Themed issues provide the chance to focus upon and intensify responses to certain social questions but there is room also for writing that excites on its own terms.
Currently Southerly is co-edited by David Brooks and Elizabeth McMahon with Kate Lilley as Poetry Editor and Alan Gold as Fiction Reader. One issue each year is edited by a guest editor. This editorial structure ensures variety and provides new stimulus and perspectives that keep Southerly at the cutting edge of writing and ideas.