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Wednesday, 2 October, 2013

Farrago: What the heck is it?
Short answer: the best publication in the history of the galaxy.
Long answer: the official student magazine of the University of Melbourne since 1925, operated through the University of Melbourne Student Union’s media department, and edited by four current or former students. It is the oldest student newspaper in Australia, and over its nine decade history, has been home to hardnosed journalists, artistic masters, literary superstars, zany controversies, cartoonists,  comedians, photographers, nude models, caricatures, political irreverence, social impropriety—virtually anything that can fit on a page. It’s a students’ magazine filled with students’ voices. And it’s open to yours, too.

Really? I can do Farrago too?
Yes. Actually, we insist on it. If you’re a student at Melbourne Uni, no matter what you’re studying, no matter where your interests lie, you can submit to Farrago. We’re all about inclusion: we want Farrago to be a magazine for all students, and it will only turn out that way if we stuff its pages with a wide range of student voices. Architecture student with a seething hatred for the university’s drab brick buildings? Tell us about it. Engineering student who somehow transcends the stereotypes that surround that field of study? We want to hear about it. Maybe you’re studying science but are really an arts student at heart, performing chemistry pracs by day and working on your award-winning debut novel by night. If you’re not getting it by now, you can and should do Farrago.

Okay, shut up, I got it. How do I contribute?
Well, generally the first step is to get in contact with us. Flick us an email at farragomagazine2014[at]gmail.com, or call us in the office on 8344 6959. Tell us a bit about yourself, and what kind of stuff you’re interested in writing. Then we’ll probably tell you what we’re after, and how you can magically turn your ideas into printed words. Or you could take a look at our overstuffed content list on our website, which is filled with ideas we would love to see turned into articles. Or, on the other hand, if you already have a piece of writing that you think we’d be into, you can just straight up send it to us. We’re accommodating like that.

What kind of writing are you into?
How sweet of you to ask. Well, first of all, don’t send us your doctorate on the broader social implications of Jersey Shore. We don’t do academia, and we don’t do dry philosophical meditations. We like smart, well written, weird, inventive, genuine, and unpretentious writing in the following genres:

  • Long-form features (have a chat to us before you start on these)
  • News (campus-based and otherwise)
  • Politics
  • Social analysis (writing on student life, trends, sex, gender, fashion, etc.)
  • Arts commentary (analysis and reviews of film/music/books/theatre)
  • Creative writing (fiction and poetry)
  • Non-fiction and memoir
  • Science
  • And pretty much anything else you think would be of interest to Melbourne Uni students.

How do I pitch a thing?
Firstly, ask yourself a few questions. One: is this subject of interest to anyone else? If it’s not, how can I frame it so that it will be? Two: is the subject timely, or currently relevant? Three: Why do I want to write this, and why do I think it’s important? If you can provide yourself with satisfactory answers to these, then it’s something we want to hear about. Pitching an article is virtually selling us an article. Imagine you’re a used car salesman. Why should we want your article? Why is it of value to Farrago and its audience? Why would we be foolish not to publish you?

Will you accept this drawing I did on the back of a serviette?
Probably. We accept all unsolicited illustrations and artworks. We may not use them, but we will definitely take a look. Farrago has a committed team of artists and illustrators that work on commission, and they’re the ones that usually fill the pages, but if you think we’d be into your squiggles and photos, then drop us a line.

I’m not a writer, can we still be friends?
Well, sure. We have launch parties every issue cycle, and will be holding several other public events during the year for you to come and hang out. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/farragomag, and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/farragomagazine to keep up with the madness.

Okay, I think I’ve got it.
Yeah? Glad we could help. If you’ve forgotten to ask something—yep, you guessed it—send us an email. We love email!

See you around,
Zoe Efron, Kevin Hawkins, Michelle See-Tho, and Sean Watson
The Farrago Editors