Tag Archives: Anthology

Local Literature: #HumanityWashedAshore

Inspired by the media outcry regarding the death of Aylan Kurdi and his family, this piece interrogates Britain’s response to the world’s immigration crisis. Specifically it questions why David Cameron only acknowledged the situation after it was too late

 Last night on the shore
harsh realities washed up with their sons,
some say they got lost on the way to Canada,
others say Cameron drove them there.
A Daily Mail poll reads “SHOULD BRITAIN AGREE TO TAKE MORE REFUGEES?”
YES:NO
1:3
ALIVE:DEAD,
three quarters of a family taken whilst
gasping for hope:

1:3
Father: Abdullah, servant of God;
forsaken by a godless nation
forced to suffer by politicians
who’d rather play god than help Him save them.

3:1 Mother: Rehan, a flower;
desperate for a chance to bloom in
safe nations,
safe havens.
Places to take refuge with those who condemn:
modern day colonialists not ready to pay their
overdue overdraft
with added interest.

Son: Galip, the winner;
maybe he was trying to win the race,
someone should have told him
in England, the only race worth winning is White.

And then there lies Aylan,
face down in the sand,
becoming a national symbol for change
because Cameron couldn’t stomach it.

3:1 NO:YES
David, the beloved,
beloved assailant of those who
made his Britain great.
How much more will he take
leaving innocents to pay the price?

He raises Aylan as a promise for change.
The Metro tells us
“as a father,
he felt deeply moved by the sight”
well David,
as a human, I felt disgusted by your Conservative resilience.

When will you let it wear down?

by Alex Webb

Do you have something to share about our current global situation? why not submit a literary piece and share your feelings to: them20press@gmail.com

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Local Literature: ‘List of Lists’

Allegorical piece by Fandango Hack; a list of the weird, the beautiful and the atrocious things that make up the world

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The bath, the stainless shovel, the mask, the cat, the bastard and the brothel

The sloth, the slowly sinking, the dogman in the doghouse drunk and slowly drinking

The cot, the dripping tap, the cobra and the Bearn with cradle cap

The nag, the reigns of brass, the hands retracting from the chance to clasp

The mole, the focal point, the oil slick and dripped drawn to anoint.

The eldest, dead and dying, the trier God would love giving up trying

The prayer, the prongs of forks, the damsel in distress popping the cork

The window, the tubby fucker, the golden punishment for copper suckers.

The world, and all its raging wrong, the sorrow in the truth of every song.

The tape, the worm escaping, the lacerated shapes, the plates that Greeks be breaking

The sand, the flooded earth, the man, the battle and the bloody birth

The heart, the tumour clock, the startled pecker pecking and the strangled cock

The news, the bloated leader, the reader of bad blues, the filthy minded bleeder

The grass, the meadow strung with deaths own tinsel, the tooth, the biter of the bitten pencil

The fruit, the guardian of all unknown, the beauty bought and battered cloaks a clone

The worms, the worms that guide us to the core, the claws that burrow, the bully come a bore.

The gas, the flame, the poisoned budgies feather, the world that went to war over the weather.

The world and all its rarest rights, the joy found in the truth of every fight.

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read more at:www.fandangohack.tumblr.com

Comma Press Writing Competition: Redefine The Spy Genre

Edward Snowden, CCTV cameras, the partner that checks your phone… what is modern-day spying? Comma Press seeks short stories redefining the spy genre

Espionage: The practice of spying or of using spies

The next Comma Press New Writers Anthology will present a new kind of challenge to emerging and previously unpublished writers. We want you to write a short story which centres on espionage. This is your chance to breathe new, contemporary life in to a genre which has is increasingly blighted by clichés and stereotypes. Comma Press have spearheaded a new wave of genre writing in the short story form; from updating the grand old tradition of the horror story with The Uncanny to putting the science back in to science fiction by partnering writers with scientists in Beta-LifeLitmus and Bio PunkNow, in partnership with Creative Industries Trafford and ACE, we think it’s time to tackle the spy story with fresh new writers.

Let’s start with what we DON’T want: We have a rough set of guidelines for submissions and general pitfalls here. But for this project in particular, we want writers to avoid the many and well worn clichés of the genre. The era of the Cold War thriller is long gone, of course, but it isn’t just a case of re-pinning the badge of enemy or ‘other’ onto the presumed ‘bogeymen’ of the day (as defined by the media – terrorists, extremists, etc). We want stories that are more intelligent than that, more politically savvy. We are of course living in the age of Google (owning all our data), WikiLeaks (exposing government wrong-doing) and PRISM (allowing one government to spy on another), not to mention bizarre politics-culture crossovers like the North Korea/Sony debacle… the watchers and the watched no long fall into neatly partitioned groups.

What we DO want: Tension, suspense, compelling mysteries, and a redefinition of what modern spying actually is! Espionage can, of course, take many forms and we hope for a broad swathe of spying-types; from the political to the domestic, corporate to state-sponsored, private interest-led to cellular fanaticism. But remember: always avoid the clichés and well-worn tropes; if it’s been done before, ditch it. We want to meet characters we wouldn’t normally meet in a spy story, to find ourselves in settings the genre has barely visited before, and to be compelled from the first word to the last. Comma is also perennially concerned with structure: for this project we want writers to play with the different shapes a spy story can take, and to find new ones. Plot is everything in the thriller genre, so even when nothing seems to be happening, in the background, everything has to be…

Deadline: 1 July 2015

For more info and how to apply

Black & BLUE with Beckie Stewart

Ahead of the publication of REVOLUTION on Bonfire Night, we talked politics, pamphlets and people with Black & BLUE editor Beckie Stewart

It took just a few short years for Black & BLUE to establish itself as one of Manchester’s top contemporary literary exports. Founded in November 2011 by Dane Weatherman and Alex Marsh, both students of University of Manchester at the time, Black & BLUE has now grown to be a five-strong editorial team (plus designer). They host exhibitions and readings up and down the country and bring the works of artists and writers from around the world together in original, beautifully curated print publications/print journals and political pamphlets. Though the Black & BLUE founders are now based in London, there’s still a strong Manchester presence maintained through Beckie Stewart, one of the Black & BLUE editors, who has stayed in the city and continues to contribute to its creative scene.

Beckie describes the people behind Black & BLUE as “an odd handful of people, each with really diverse tastes, political views and backgrounds but with one aim: to provide a space for new writing as a counterpoint to what we view as the ‘traditional’ literary scene”. This patchwork of people and ideas is reflected in the genre-crossing nature and variety of the work they produce: annual journals of creative writing, images and art; political pamphlets; blogposts on art and words – there’s no one rule. They’re tackling as many art forms and inviting as many collaborations as possible in their attempt to re-imagine literature.

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When I asked Stewart what Black & BLUE are looking for, she noted that they are “openly political…because everything is political”. Black & BLUE believe that “no one can speak from a position of neutrality anymore” so embracing the highly political nature of society through literature is what seems natural to this group of creatives. What this means for the submissions Black & BLUE want is that they are eager for “fresh writing that speaks to everyone; we want to make it accessible and break down the walls of what surrounds poetry and creative writing” – they want to challenge people’s assumptions about literature and the forms it can take in the modern day.

Talking about how Black & BLUE want to represent themselves, Stewart referred to co-founder Weatherman who saw representing younger writers as a main focus of the magazine. They wanted to “make a break from outdated literature promulgated by archaic university lecturers” which is something I’m sure a lot of students can relate to and appreciate at least some of the time (I know I certainly can!). This focus on newness and energy is in everything they create, every issue of the Black & BLUE journal aesthetically and thematically unique.

one  fire  city

That being said, as you look at the Black & BLUE catalogue there is an underlying current that links it all. Beckie points out that the issue CITY ended on the lines “you have no idea what you are doing, that you are merely wandering the earth, no particular reason for being there, no particular place to go” (from a piece by Louis Jenkins). The Black & BLUE team felt that this could not be left on a cliffhanger – they had to pick it up in the next issue and “it was only natural the theme of REVOLUTION followed, considering pieces in CITY like Robert Montgomery’s billboards denouncing high capitalism, tweets encapsulating the rise of UKIP… it drew our attention to this shift, this un-settling.”

REVOLUTION is Black & BLUE’s boldest issue to date. To be published on 5th November, the edition features poetry, prose, art and thought that is in itself revolutionary, or is inspired by what is. A dedicated Twitter feed set up during the submissions process gave people a chance to share that exciting experience of reading what revolution means for different people around the world. Beckie talks excitedly about it as “a strong collection of writers” having received phenomenal submissions – the main problem she encountered in the process of making it was finding space in the magazine for it all! “It’s a shame we can’t feature more of it, there’s a huge pool of creative writing out there and it’s so exciting to provide a platform for some of that”.

Turning to the future of Black & BLUE I asked Stewart what we could expect from the publication.

“Much like M20Collective, we’re all for collaboration in all areas of arts – Black & BLUE work with the basis that the more people involved, the more inspired we can be and the more we can accomplish”.

This has already been a key focus for Black & BLUE in 2014: in June they put on a London-based exhibition, Illuminations, showcasing textual forms of art. The success of this project has spurred on hopes for more in the future with a pop-up gallery and other collaborative plans in the pipeline. We can also expect a follow-up to the brilliantly received political pamphlets Black & BLUE released last year and Beckie revealed that the group is “hoping to do a series of lectures”.

For anyone who wants to get involved with Black & BLUE, and we can’t push this opportunity enough, Beckie is eager to find new collaborators and submissions to the Black & BLUE body of work. After all, collaboration “is how the most progressive and beautiful things in life are formed”, she says. The contemporary, collective Black & BLUE way is certainly progressive and a great platform for future developments as yet undiscovered.

Alex Webb

REVOLUTION is A NEW ANTHOLOGY OF REVOLUTIONARY CREATIVE LITERATURE IN SEVEN PARTS: FATHERS| CHILDREN|FUCKERS|WOLVES LIBERTINES MONSTERS|THE DEAD|NO PLACES|PLANTS & FLOWERS. Pre-order now to receive on bonfire night [051114]

Like Black & BLUE on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter
If you want to get involved email them at revolution@blackbluewriting.com
Read some of Beckie’s work in the creative corner…

Call for submissions: Black & BLUE

Black & BLUE is a Manchester-born arts and literary collective that shares writing and hosts exhibitions in Manchester and London. Exploring politics, poetics and all that’s inbetween, it publishes beautiful journals, pamphlets and critical writing.

They are currently open for submissions to Black & Blue #4, a new anthology of creative writing around the theme of REVOLUTION to be published 5th November.

“Revolutionary writing takes place at the limits of life, at the distant and compulsive outer edges of reason, at the painful frontier of experience. It is always at the barricades, at the boundary, playing tricks on established orders, crossing borders.”

Writers of revolutionary words of any kind should send their work to revolution@blackbluewriting.com and Tweet it to @revolution51114 

Deadline: 14th September.

For more information about Black & BLUE

For more information about submitting to Revolution

A date for your diaries: The Manchester Anthology 2014 Launch

The University of Manchester launches its 2014 anthology!

Book your tickets via Eventbrite

Collecting twenty voices from the University’s Centre for New Writing, this launch provides an exciting opportunity to discover some of the writing talent our city has to offer. The anthology is overflowing with various creative talents from all over the world who are students on the UoM MA Creative Writing course. Adding to what is already set to be a fun-filled night is an appearance from Chris Killen, an author and alumni of the Centre for New Writing, who will be reading from his upcoming novel, In Real Life.

Advanced booking is required for this event but as it is free all that means is entering in your email address. Make your way down to the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on Cambridge Street on 3rd September to bear witness to what is sure to be unforgettable night. See you all there!

Alex Webb

Doors open: 6.30pm

Event starts: 7pm

Free entry

Check out the event page for more information

Book your tickets via Eventbrite

The official page for the Centre for New Writing

An interview with Chris Killen