In his editorial for the first issue of Flame, Woolacott describes it as 'an attempt to give the Australian nation a monthly journal filled entirely with short stories from the pens of resident writers .... No overseas syndicated work, brought into the country with the connivance of our patriotic Federal Government, will appear. If Australian writers now overseas care to send us their work it will be accepted and paid for, if it be good enough, but not through any syndication agency bent on making money at the combined expense of resident writers and the Australian public. Both the writers and the public, we hope, will remember that "Flame" is the only fiction magazine published in their country without advantage being taken of the cheap syndicated stuff that may be bought by any newspaper or magazine proprietor for a few shillings. We can hardly blame the agents for selling overseas fiction while the public will read it. We believe however, that it is high time for the public, and the Federal Government, to recognise the fact that writers in this new country must be encouraged in the only practical way, namely, by giving them the opportunity to market their work at decent prices. "Flame" provides that opportunity. If a sufficient number of Australians patronise it, the deluge of overseas stuff will be lessened. If a large army of Australians supports "Flame" consistently, the magazine will make Australian literary history by forcing the Federal Government to keep out a big proportion of the stuff. What is more, if "Flame" flourishes, its writers will flourish with it. Our fees to authors will go up as our revenue increases' (Flame 1.1, 1936, p.64).
Woolacott outlines the editorial policy that Flame will follow as part of its aim of providing entertainment for a wide readership: 'a precious literary style is not demanded' and if 'a superior, sniffish tone towards people who are not "literary" is detected in any manuscript, it will be promptly rejected '; Australian settings were seen as 'desirable but not obligatory'.
The first issue also advertised competitions for readers with prize money totalling sixty-five pounds ten shillings: the entrants were required to answer questions about language used in the stories and to list stories in order of appeal.