Discoursing Diaspora is an editing collaboration between Ivy Alvarez, Anne-Marie Te Whiu and Saba Vasefi, which strives to provide a portal for writing that engages with the diasporic experience, and highlights the struggles, challenges and rewards of displacement. We wish to support writers and artists resisting exclusion by the dominant discourse by providing a space for their narrative and a platform for works addressing issues of social justice.

For this project, we welcome submissions of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, essay, multimedia — and anything in between. We expect that many of the works will come from people whose English language skills are developing, and as such, full editorial support will be given to successful submissions. Works by those who aren’t necessarily writing from an experience of diaspora may be considered, as long as their work explores themes of social justice, cultural diversity and inclusion. However, priority will be given to works arising from a lived experience of diaspora, rather than works which are simply about it.

We welcome previously unpublished writing and original works by emerging and experienced artists and writers from anywhere in the world.

What we’re looking for:
  • Essays/Non-fiction/Interviews: Raise or debate an issue and engage us by exploring how it impacts and influences our understanding of diaspora. We are also interested in personal accounts and interviews.
  • Short fiction
  • Poetry
  • Visual and/or multimedia: We accept visual art and other media format submissions, including audio and video recordings.

For examples of work published on Discoursing Diaspora, visit our Vault.

Submissions are accepted during the months of March and September.

Submit 1 longer piece (essay/fiction/nonfiction/interview) or a max of 3 poems via Submittable. 


Discoursing Diaspora Editors:
Ivy Alvarez, Anne-Marie Te Whiu & Saba Vasefi

Ivy Alvarez is the author of The Everyday English Dictionary (London: Paekakariki Press), Hollywood Starlet (Chicago: dancing girl press), Disturbance (Wales: Seren) and Mortal. A MacDowell Fellow, and Hawthornden Fellow, her work is widely published and anthologised, including in Best Australian Poems (2009 and 2013), with several poems translated into Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. Born in the Philippines and raised in Australia, she lived in Wales for almost a decade, before arriving in New Zealand in 2014. ivyalvarez.com.

Since 2005 when Anne-Marie Te Whiu moved from a career in education settings to the arts she has primarily worked as cultural producer, most recently having Co-Directed Queensland Poetry Festival from 2015-2017. Her work within the spoken word form also includes being Co-Producer of Woodford Folk Festival’s long-running spoken word showcase WordFood (2015-2017) and State Library of QLD’s Event Coordinator for the Australian Poetry Slam – QLD (2009-2013). Annie is also an experienced theatre practitioner having studied a Double Major in Drama & Literature and winning several short play awards as a Director. Born and raised in Brisbane she is a proud descendent of the Te Rarawa tribe in Northland, Aotearoa. She currently resides on Bundjalung country where she is focusing on her writing, weaving and centering marginalised voices in the Australian arts sector.

Saba Vasefi is multi-award winning writer, academic, journalist, filmmaker, poet and post-colonial critic. She completed her thesis on Feminist Criticism Literature with High distinction, and at the age of twenty-four became one of the youngest lecturers at the prestigious Shahid Beheshti university in Tehran.  She researches her PhD on exilic feminist cinema studies and teaches at Macquarie University in Sydney. She writes for Guardian Australia about the rhetorics of displacement and narrative of detainee women and children incarcerated in Australia detention regime. Saba is a Director of the Social Justice Conference and New South Wales Parliament House recognised her success in directing this event and for her ongoing contribution to women’s rights and social justice. Saba’s poems have appeared in a variety of journals including Transnational Literature and Wasafiri Magazine of International Contemporary Writing in the UK. She has received an Honorary Brave Rising Star Award for her courageous writing on the gendered impacts of seeking asylum in The Guardian as well as The National Council of Women Award for her academic research. Saba will assist Verity La to amplify the subaltern voices of post-colonial writers. 

The Discoursing Diaspora Project was founded in 2016 by poet Ramon Loyola, who sadly passed away on 12 September, 2018. We owe a debt of gratitude to Ramon, who worked passionately to support diverse and marginalised writers. Visit Ramon’s Memorial Page to learn more about his life and work.  

Ramon Loyola was a writer, editor, legal author and lawyer. Born and raised in the Philippines, he held a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Pharmacy from the University of the Philippines, a Master of Law and Legal Practice, and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). After working in a variety of roles — including as a clinical pharmacist, public and media relations specialist, television scriptwriter, magazine editor and medical writer — Ramon came to Australia in 1995 and worked as a court clerk, court registrar and manager, before becoming a lawyer in 2005 and working full-time in various government legal agencies while also writing for legal professional publications.

In between his demanding legal practice, Ramon published two collections of poetry in 2014: not poems, just words, and I Look For You in Other Truths. not poems, just words was a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards (USA) for Poetry in 2014. In 2015 Ramon published The Heaving Pavement, an experimental memoir in poetic, prose and illustrated forms about his struggle with anxiety. Ramon’s final book, The Measure of Skin, was published by Vagabond Press in 2018. His views on writing from a diverse background were also aired on SBS Radio, paving the way for a renewed focus on diasporic writing, particularly on themes of race, gender and sexuality, and evaluations and explorations of identity. Ramon lived in the inner-Sydney suburb of Newtown.