Mayhem (ISSN 2382-0322) is an annual literary journal showcasing creative writing from contributors in and from Aotearoa New Zealand. Edited by Dr Tracey Slaughter, Mayhem's goal is to publish dynamic writing, celebrate and reward local creatives, and print consciously. 

In 2021, we established an office at Never Project Space, and combined forces to create a new organisation. The Never Press Project – and Mayhem – are operated by Dr Tracey Slaughter and Dave Taylor, now working in collaboration with the good people at Never to expand our reach and impact.

Our goal is to create the most celebrated print works from emerging voices in Aotearoa New Zealand – with Mayhem as our flagship annual work.


Mayhem Literary Journal emerged from Tracey Slaughter and Catherine Chidgey's creative writing programme. What started as an extracurricular writing group soon evolved into an opportunity to develop and showcase local creatives. 

In March 2014, the first issue of Mayhem exploded onto the literary scene.

Mayhem has since become a feature of Aotearoa New Zealand's literary scene, and a place for new and established literary presences to explore and establish their voices.

In 2018, we went bigger. Having divested from Waikato Uni, we re-launched the new Mayhem brand at our current home, and celebrated our 6th issue with a simultaneous online and print journal. Print is where we've stayed, and publishing is our future.

In 2021, we created The Never Press Project (in collaboration with Never Project Space), to up our impact and publish more exciting work from emerging voices in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

We love writing that is alive, urgent, dynamic, risky, human, informed. Something that celebrates the mayhem in all of us.

Mayhem acknowledges the Maaori people as the traditional guardians of Aotearoa, and recognise their continuing connection to the land, sea, sky and culture.

Reach Mayhem at editor@mayhemjournal.co.nz

editor in chief: Dr Tracey Slaughter

Tracey Slaughter's latest works are the short fiction collection Devil’s Trumpet (VUP, 2021) and the novella if there is no shelter (Ad Hoc UK, 2020). She teaches creative writing at the University of Waikato and is the editor of Poetry New Zealand.

Photo by Catherine Chidgey

guest co-editor 2021: Stephanie Christie

Stephanie Christie creates poetry in the form of page poems, text art, installations, theatre, video and sound works. She shared 3D poems in the Mesoverse and in the Kotahitanga project. She’s published three books of poetry. She’s currently obsessed with anything to do with Colours, so if you see her, please feel free to bring this up.

guest co-editor 2021: Mark Prisco

Mark Prisco is currently working on his PhD in English Literature (the poetry of T.S Eliot and D.H Lawrence), and writing hundreds of poems, some of which are good.

His poems have appeared in literary journals in New Zealand (Mayhem; Minarets; Poetry New Zealand) — and overseas BlazeVox (U.S.A). Also, he has had two book reviews accepted for publication in Poetry New Zealand, due out early next year. Now he says he wants a book of poetry published.

He lives in Hamilton.

managing editor: D.A. Taylor

D.A. (Dave) Taylor is a full-time writer and editor with Intelligent Ink, and a graduate of Tracey Slaughter and Catherine Chidgey's creative writing programme at the University of Waikato. He lives between Auckland and the Waikato.


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