Letters and comments policy
Australian Book Review welcomes discussion and debate through its Letters and Comments facility. We encourage readers to comment on reviews and articles published in ABR. When doing so please bear the following in mind:
- Comments are pre-moderated by staff before publication
- We encourage commenters to state their full name, in the interest of openness
- Please keep comments reasonably brief and pertinent to the topic
- We do not publish comments that incite hatred or violence
- We do not publish comments that are legally dubious, i.e. those that contain defamatory material or that infringe copyright laws
- Gratuitous abuse of authors, critics or commentators is not acceptable
- Do not use our comments section for spam or commercial purposes
- Comments may be published in the print edition, subject to editing
- The letters and comments received and published by ABR are the opinions of the named contributor and ABR does not represent that it shares, or endorses, the opinions expressed.
The ABR Podcast
The first series of the The ABR Podcast featured a range of literary highlights, such as reviews, poetry, fiction, interviews, and commentary. There is currently a new series of The ABR Podcast.
Poem of the Week
Poem of the Week was a weekly podcast in which a poet reflected on and read a new poem.
To read all the short stories published by Australian Book Review, including those shortlisted for the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, please click here.
ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
Since it began in 2010, the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize has attracted thousands of new entries and grown in stature both here and overseas. Now international, the Jolley Prize is worth a total of $12,500 (thanks to the remarkable generosity of ABR Patron Ian Dickson). The Jolley Prize honours the work of the great Australian writer Elizabeth Jolley (1923–2007). More information about the Jolley Prize can be found here. To read all the winning and shortlisted Jolley Prize stories please click here.
Australian Book Review publishes a number of short stories separately to those shortlisted for the Jolley Prize, as part of ABR Fiction. To read these short stories, please click here.
When was Australian Book Review founded?
Australian Book Review, edited by Max Harris and Rosemary Wighton, was founded in 1961. The first series folded in 1974. The magazine was revived in 1978.
How often does it appear?
Eleven times a year.
Who is the Editor?
Do you pay your writers?
ABR pays for everything it publishes.
Do you have a digital edition?
We do – ABR Online.
Does the magazine only review Australian books?
No. About a quarter of books reviewed in ABR are published overseas.
Does ABR only publish book reviews?
No. We also publish essays, commentaries, Q&As, travel writing, new creative writing, podcasts, and arts reviews.
Are you open to new writers?
Definitely. Each year about a quarter of our writers are new to the magazine. We encourage writers and reviewers to approach us.
Do you edit reviews and articles?
ABR edits and proofreads thoroughly. Contributors are shown our edits. We will also send them proofs on request.
How should I go about seeking freelance work at ABR?
First, consult our guidelines for reviewers and arts journalists. We encourage new writers to acquaint themselves with ABR before approaching us. ABR looks for writers who are familiar with our content, our style, our mission.
How can I subscribe to ABR?
Via our Subscriptions page.
If I’m not ready or able to subscribe yet, how can I keep up with your programs?
How can I make a donation to ABR?
Via our Donations page.
Do you review film and theatre and music, etc.?
We do. Our arts content has soared in recent years, and we are actively looking for assured arts journalists.
Do you offer prizes?
I am not Australian? May I enter these prizes?
Anyone writing in English can enter our prizes, regardless of where they live.
Does ABR offer a manuscript assessment service?
Do you publish letters to the editor?
Do you accept review copies of new books?
Yes. Please consult our Submissions page.
Thank you for your interest in subscribing to Australian Book Review. If you are accessing ABR Online through a Library or Institutional subscription, you will not be able to purchase a personal subscription through the website due to the institutional subscription settings.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope you enjoy reading ABR Online.
What is ABR Online?
ABR Online is the digital version of Australian Book Review. It is published ten times a year to coincide with the publication of the print edition. It also includes a growing archive of digital editions of the magazine which are accessible to subscribers.
How do I subscribe?
How do I login to ABR Online?
You can log in to your ABR Online individual subscription by clicking on the ‘Log in’ button in the top right-hand corner of the website and entering your username and password. Alternatively, you can log in by clicking on the link that appears when you try to read an article that is behind a paywall.
I bought a $10 30-day subscription – what can I access?
Purchasing a $10 30-day subscription entitles you to read the current issue of ABR Online. If you purchase a $10 subscription in the middle of March (for example), you will thus be able to read the March issue until the April issue is published and then you will be able to read the April issue until your 30-day subscription runs out. You will not be able to access archive material unless you purchase a subscription plan that includes archive access.
I want to comment on an article but I’m having trouble. What can I do?
If you are (or have been) an ABR Online subscriber or a contributor to the magazine, you may receive the following message when attempting to comment on an article: ‘The Name or Email Address you typed is already in use!’ In order to comment, you will need to log in to ABR Online (see above), even if your subscription is no longer current.
I want to renew my personal subscription to ABR Online, but I am accessing ABR Online at an institution with an ABR Online institutional subscription – what do I do?
I subscribe to the print magazine – am I entitled to access ABR Online for free?
I subscribe to e-News but when I click on the articles to read them they are often behind a paywall. Why can’t I read them?
A subscription to e-News is not the same as a subscription to ABR Online. ABR Arts and e-News are our two free e-bulletins. ABR Arts is sent out every two weeks and includes links to open-access arts reviews published on the website in ABR Arts. e-News is sent out to coincide with the launch of each new issue of the magazine and includes links to some open-access content and some restricted content.
If you are a current ABR Online subscriber and you don’t receive e-News or ABR Arts and would like to do so, please click here to subscribe.
If you are an e-News subscriber and you are interested in subscribing to ABR Online and having access to all the content on our website, please click here to find out more about subscribing to ABR Online.
Will you notify me when new issues are published?
You can assume that each new issue will be published in ABR Online on the first day of the month. We send out e-News, a free e-bulletin, to correspond with the publication of each new issue. You can sign up to receive this here. We also highlight each new issue on social media via Facebook and Twitter.
I want to read an older article, where do I look?
Our digital archive is growing all the time. To see which articles and issues are available, please click on the ABR Online menu tab and then select the ‘ABR Online Archive’ option. Most of the articles in our archive are behind a paywall, so you may wish to purchase an ABR Online subscription to read them.
I’ve logged in but can’t access articles – why?
When you are logged in, you can also check on the status of your subscription by clicking on any page containing ABR Online content and then scrolling down until you see the menu on the right hand side titled ‘Subscriber Info’. Clicking on the third option, ‘Your OE Subscription’ will allow you to see when your subscription will expire.
How do I change my password or update my login details?
If you are already logged in but would like to update your email, user name, or password, you can do so by going to the Online Login area in the sidebar and clicking on the link below which reads 'To update your details, click here'. You will then be directed to a page where you can edit and save your email, user name, password, and user details. Please note that if you are a print subscriber you will still need to let us know if your postal address changes as at the moment our online and print subscriber databases are not connected.
I purchased a print subscription online and I want to access ABR Online – how do I get my login details?
I work for an institution that might be interested in subscribing to ABR Online – what information is available for me?
I have a subscriber number – can I use that to login?
No. Subscriber numbers are not the same as user names and you will still need to be set up with access to ABR Online in order to log in and read complete articles.
Australian Book Review is pleased to contribute to Reading Australia, a visionary initiative of Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. Reading Australia will publish online resources for the teaching and study of Australian literature in Australian schools and universities. Distinguished Australian scholars and commentators will appraise 200 major Australian books in stylish, accessible 2000-word essays, all intended to heighten our appreciation of Australian writing.
ABR will commission and publish some of these essays (and refers our readers to the Reading Australia website for the others). Some of the ABR essays will appear in print. All of them will appear on our website. Students and general readers will learn much from these succinct essays.
Reading Australia essays commissioned and published by Australian Book Review:
We last redesigned our website in March 2013, and the increase in usage and appreciation was immediate. But all websites need to evolve, and ours is no different. We realise that the current website isn’t meeting all our high standards for ABR Online (e.g. certain pages take too long to load). We have listened to feedback from subscribers, survey respondents, and those who have emailed us or contacted us over social media. We are most grateful for your feedback.
Our trusty web developer is hard at work on a new, speedier version of ABR Online. The revamped website will feature a newsier home page and contents pages that are quicker to load and that will make it easier for you to locate the features that interest you. We will also make sure that logging in to ABR Online is more intuitive for individual subscribers. Arts Update will be much more prominent and well ordered.
The new ABR website will be launched in June – the next step in our digital expansion.
The outlook for America in Obama’s second term Morag Fraser
Fit audience of readers Bernadette Brennan
The cult of Rupert Murdoch Joel Deane
A copious biography of J.M. Coetzee Gillian Dooley
Shapes of feelings in Brian Castro Francesca Sasnaitis
When Nettie Palmer visited Henry Handel Richardson Brenda Niall
Asian Australian fiction in the Asian Century Alison Broinowski
The life of David Foster Wallace Shannon Burns
Artur Domosławski: Ryszard Kapuściński Sheila Fitzpatrick
Diana Wyndham: Norman Haire and the Study of Sex John Rickard
Sonya Hartnett (ed.): The Best Australian Stories 2012 Cassandra Atherton
Anthony Macris: Great Western Highway Patrick Allington
Graeme Simsion: The Rosie Project Jo Case
Jessie Cole: Darkness on the Edge of Town Romy Ash
Annabel Smith: Whisky Charlie Foxtrot Stephen Mansfield
Matthew Condon: The Toe Tag Quintet Simon Collinson
Ross Gibson: 26 Views of the Starburst World Andy Lloyd James
Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden (eds): The Letters of T.S. Eliot James McNamara
William Shawcross (ed.): Counting One’s Blessings Michael Shmith
Charles Rosen: Freedom and the Arts Michael Morley
Kelly Gellatly (ed.): 101 Contemporary Australian Artists Doug Hall
Lincoln Morag Fraser
Nikki Gemmell: Honestly Gillian Dooley
Jon Altman and Seán Kerins (eds): People on Country Richard J. Martin
Richard Broinowski: Fallout from Fukushima Gillian Terzis
‘Life Cycle of the Eel’ Sarah Holland-Batt
‘Fragile Pranks’ Emma Lew
Young Adult Fiction
James Roy: City Laura Elvery
Alison Croggon: Black Spring Bec Kavanagh
Glyn Maxwell: On Poetry David McCooey
Simon Armitage: Walking Home Bronwyn Lea
Don Share and Christian Wiman (eds): The Open Door Stephen Edgar
Jennifer Maiden: Liquid Nitrogen Kate Middleton
Graeme Kinross-Smith: Available Light Mike Ladd
Alan Wearne: Prepare the Cabin for Landing Peter Kenneally
Julianne Schultz (ed.): Griffith Review 38 Imogen Smith
J.H. Elliott: History in the Making Norman Etherington