Is Substack changing the lives of Australian writers?

Australian writers are flocking to the popular platform, which promises to centre the experience of the writer and reader.
Writers are flocking to Substack, which promises to monetise their content. Substack. Image is a red background covered in black dots. In front of it stands an older white man wearing an eye patch over his right eye, a grey suit and tie. His left hand is resting on his jacket button and he is waving with his right.

You’ve probably already heard of Substack, a platform set to overtake Facebook and X in its cultural influence. Part blogging platform and part social media experience, Substack has been embraced by writers, illustrators and even comedians to grow and speak to their audience. In 2024, countless high-profile Australian writers, including Charlotte Wood, Clementine Ford and Bri Lee joined the platform. As of March, the site was hosting more than 17,000 paid writers.

They join other high-profile international writers such as Elizabeth Gilbert, George Saunders and Salman Rushdie (who has committed to writing an entire novel on the platform). These writers can regularly communicate with their subscribers, sending emails straight to readers’ inboxes.

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David Burton is a writer from Meanjin, Brisbane. David also works as a playwright, director and author. He is the playwright of over 30 professionally produced plays. He holds a Doctorate in the Creative Industries.