Three Years On…

Dear Reader,

If you’ve followed us for long, you will know that this all began in 2019 with three friends getting frustrated. We were looking at the literary world and seeing the same kinds of voices again and again – and many others being left out because their owners were “too pointy”, or they “didn’t fit” the publishing model…

We wanted to create a platform without borders, a space to celebrate the triangles! Finn the Fox, our mascot, is made entirely of triangles. When you put enough stunning, unique voices together, you end up with something truly special. You build bridges. You see the world is bigger than you thought, after all.

We especially welcome first time writers – those who have struggled to have their work published. English isn’t your first language? Wonderful! We’d love to hear from you, or see your translations.

We became accidentally international when our fantastic Prose Editor Natalie Nera moved back to Prague with her family – in the middle of Brexit, and as we were trying to become a CIC. Eek! We’ve embraced the madness though, and love that our international status means we can better connect writers and readers across the globe.

So, thank you.

Thank you for submitting your work to us – to our online magazine, published twice a week between February – May, and September – December! Thank you for being part of the conversation, and for reaching out to look at life from a different perspective.

Thank you for getting involved with our yearly Big Books – collections of poetry and prose which celebrate the wildly different experiences we go through on the face of this here rock.

Want to know something exciting?

Since we began, we’ve had over 45,000 reads of our online magazine. It’s reached over 20,000 different people, and has nearly 3000 pairs of eager eyes on it every month!

Our first Big Book The Language of Salt featured voices from around the world, including Ireland, Europe, Nigeria, the United States, and the UK. We received 1500 poems during our callout, and whittled it down to a mere 50 poets for the final collection!

Our second Big Book Heart/h was a celebration of the short form, and featured writers from the North-East of England, the rest of the UK, Iran, the United States, Germany… Again, we distilled your incredible entries down to only 40 authors, who explored what home was to them in tales of diaspora, of rushing to safety, of loss and longing.

And our third Big Book? Well, that’s this year’s Summer Callout. You’ll have to keep an eye on our social media on Wednesday 1st June!

Spoilers!

Rue

Mum (A Phenomenal Woman) by Nikola Veselá

I want to thank you for your brightest smile 
that showed me
how you sacrificed your dreams
so that I can pursue mine.
I want to apologize for calling you pretty
before calling you brave or smart
because your mind
is the most beautiful piece of art.

A Note from the Editor

I often use creative writing in my English Language classes to improve my students’ understanding and feel for the language. Needless to say, they always rise to the challenge, but every now and again, you encounter a rare talent that leaves you speechless. Nikola Veselá is such a talent. She wrote this poem last year when she was only 14.

We had planned to share this piece to wish women around the world Happy International Women’s Day and Happy Mother’s Day. Now, just a country away, Ukraine is being torn apart by war. Women and girls are being impacted. Teenagers the same age as Nikola. Women the same age as you, as your sister, mother, niece, daughter…

If you can, it would be wonderful if you could donate to the United Nations Population Fund, which is particularly focused on helping endangered women and girls in Ukraine. You can find out more (and donate!) here.

Meet the Poet

Nikola Veselá is a student at Pražské humanitní gymnázium in Prague. She is an avid reader, and her specialist subject is Jane Austen.

‘Merry it is while summer lasts’ by Natalie Nera

Miri it is while sumer i-last
With foulës song;
Oc now neghëth windës blast
And weder strong.
Ei, ei, what this night is long,
And Ich with wel michel wrong
Sorwe and murne and fast.

Medieval Poem on the cycle of the Seasons… we think.

Hello there,

What a year it has been! 

We have had a marvellous summer. This year’s Big Book – a prose anthology celebrating the short form – is in the works, after a fantastic submission period. We were blown away by the micro, flash, and short stories that poured in, and can’t wait to reveal our cover art and title in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on our book launch – we’d love to see you there!

I must confess I still struggle with the backlog of submissions caused by an insane workload during lockdown, coupled with a year of teaching my kids at home – like millions of other parents around the world. As a result of overexertion for a prolonged period of time, some of my chronic health issues flared up again, not aiding my efforts to catch up on the neverending To-Do list. As I am writing this editorial, I am beginning to tackle many of my Fragmented Voices duties now, approximately six weeks after I thought I would have done it. If you are awaiting a response to your prose submission, you’ll be receiving one soon. I’m sorry it’s so delayed!

So, what can you expect this season? 

Our online magazine will continue to publish twice weekly, bringing you the very best prose, poetry, themed translations (we have Peruvian poetry for you this autumn – facilitated by Professor Emilio Paz) and the occasional editorial. We will no longer be featuring visual artists, as we found that it wasn’t a popular submission. 

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite

Besides this year’s Big Book, an edition of ‘The Language of Salt’ is planned for Europe – post-Brexit bureaucracy permitting!

We are looking into Virtual Coffee Mornings, where writers and readers can come together to enjoy language – wherever they are in the world. We also hope to offer a summer internship next year. Let us know what you think. Would you be interested?

We love what we do. We dream of an international community of writers without borders. Let us see where the untrodden path is taking us – and take the odd detour into Middle English, just for fun!

With warmest wishes,

Nera