Sam Cooney runs The Lifted Brow, a not-for-profit publishing organisation with a large all-volunteer team who together produce a quarterly literary magazine (also titled The Lifted Brow), publish books, post new pieces of commentary and criticism online every week, stage events, award writing prizes, and do a whole lot more. He is most interested in acts of publishing that are artistically daring and culturally critical – especially works produced by those from the literary and/or demographic margins.
Sam is the official 'publisher-in-residence' at RMIT University, and teaches sessionally creative writing and publishing subjects at RMIT and University of Melbourne. He has also taught subjects at Deakin University and Victoria University. He holds a bachelor's degree in writing from Deakin University, and a master's degree in writing from Western Sydney University.
He is a freelance writer, with past work appearing in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Saturday Paper, Meanjin, Island, Going Down Swinging, Seizure, Australian Book Review, The Rumpus, a Sleepers Almanac, and as a founding member of the McSweeney’s Silent History geofiction project. He is also a freelance editor, having commissioned and/or edited work for a variety of other publishing houses and publications in the past, including journals Overland and Griffith Review, and Australian publishers Giramondo, Sleepers Publishing and Momentum Books.
He sits on a couple of advisory boards, recently undertook a residency with McSweeney's Publishing in San Francisco, and sometimes helps kids make literary magazines at 100 Story Building in Footscray. He has hosted events and chaired panels at the Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Emerging, National Young, and Ubud writers’ festivals, as well as at The Wheeler Centre and at various writers' centres around the country. He has been a judge of the Victorian Premier’s Unpublished Manuscript Prize, the Victorian Premier’s Non-Fiction Prize, and the Lord Mayor’s Narrative Non-Fiction Prize.
He is forever indebted to Voiceworks magazine for revealing to him a path, and loves that he gets to continue doing work with Express Media to this day. He's also beholden to others who gave him tremendous opportunities along the way, including Ronnie Scott (founder of The Lifted Brow), Kalinda Ashton at Overland (for allowing him to guest-edit fiction for an issue of the journal), Ivor Indyk at Giramondo, Louise Swinn and Zoe Dattner at Sleepers Publishing, among so so so many others.
In 2017 he is editing a bunch of new books that The Lifted Brow will publish, is benefiting from the Small Press Network’s inaugural mentorship program, is partnered up with SWEATSHOP Writer’s Collective in Western Sydney for several collaborative projects, and is working with the team at Footscray Community Arts Centre to assemble their Women of the World program. He’ll be travelling to Reykjavik for the NonfictioNow conference in June, and spending the year immersed in the Australia Council's 'Future Leaders' professional development program.