Australian writing has always engaged with ethical and social issues. There was, however, a marked resurgence in the decade following the mid 1990s of writing interested in the relationship between texts and their social, political and ethical contexts and meanings. 

The rationale for Just Words?: Australian Authors Writing for Justice was that after many years of conservative federal government, of more concentrated and controlled media ownership and of ever-shrinking arts funding, increasing numbers of Australian writers seemed to be taking it upon themselves to encourage imaginative, constructive understanding of issues to do with moral, social, political and legal justice. I wanted to explore that phenomenon. 

The contributors to this collection include poets, playwrights, fiction and nonfiction writers and a film critic. Each was given the same brief: to write an essay on the theme of writing and justice. Taken as a whole, they deal with a cluster of issues that centre around Indigenous rights, asylum-seekers, freedom of speech, accountability and truth in media, unionism, Australian history and the rich, complex relationship between language and justice.