A new literary journal of the Northern Territory, Borderlands, launched an online pilot edition in 2019 and an online print edition in 2020. The publication comes twenty years after its predecessor, Northern Perspectives, ceased publishing due to losing its Australia Council funding and support from Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University). As the editors of the journal, in this article we analyse how we funded and published the journal’s pilot editions against the backdrop of precarious arts funding and a ravaged arts sector, due in part to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We provide a cost breakdown of publishing the journal and analyse our approach and processes in order to offer some insight and transparency to stakeholders, patrons and others contemplating literary journal publishing. Despite the challenging landscape of arts funding in Australia, ultimately the benefits of pursuing literary publishing in the regions to foster regional writing as part of Australian literature are worth the obstacles encountered on the path to publication. Our research suggests there are four key pillars integral to a journal’s success and sustainability in an underfunded sector: a flexible approach, community support and engagement, early stakeholder consultation, and transparency surrounding the costs of literary journal publishing.