Archive for the ‘Succour’ Category

Icons events in London and Manchester

October 28, 2008

The new Succour issue is out in November and there will be launch events in two cities. On November 26 there will be a launch at the Betsey Trotwood pub in Clerkenwell; and in Manchester there will be a launch on November 28 at the Briton’s Protection. There’ll be readings, drinking and general conviviality: all welcome to attend or read. Email me on if you have any questions.

Succour Fantasies

October 17, 2008

Yes, Succour magazine is open to submissions again:

The theme for issue 9 of Succour will be Fantasies. The deadline for submissions is Friday 20 February 2009, and the issue will be out on 1 May 2009.

There are two main areas we’re interested in exploring with this theme. The first is the importance of the fantasy or the reverie to the creative process, and the ways in which such fantasies can be expressed in literature and art. The second is the distinction between what is called ‘fantasy’ and what is called ‘literary’ writing, and how this distinction can be played with or proved illusory (as in, for example, the work of Borges, Casares, Ballard, Poe and many others). Long time Succour-watchers will recognise that this is a long-running interest of the journal, having been raised in issue 3, Radio Eye, and issue 6, The Future.

But, as ever, the theme is open to limitless interpretation and we’re looking forward to seeing how you might respond.

Send to the general address at or to me at


August 21, 2008

…and submissions to Succour 8: Icons have now closed.

Succour Icons: just one week left

August 13, 2008

Just a reminder to writers and poets that there are now just seven days in which to submit to Succour 8.

The theme is Icons: this can be interpreted as broadly or strictly as you like. 3500 words prose, 250 lines poetry.

The deadline is August 20.

Submissions can be sent to the general address at or to me at


August 2, 2008

The August issue of Beat the Dust is devoted entirely to the work of Straight from the Fridge editor, Brutalist writer and current Succour contributor Adelle Stripe.

Here she talks about art and commerce.

I think the simple fact is – you need money to live and you might as well earn it from something you are interested in. To get paid for your art is the ultimate goal for most of my friends, who are penniless artists, musicians and writers. It’s no fun when you can’t even afford a loaf of bread, yet you still have to pay out £600 a month in rent for some fleapit room in a shared house in Dalston. If you can sell your art and get by then I think you’ve achieved the perfect balance. I’ve been a student for two years now; by the time I graduate in 2009 I will owe the government £22,000 for my BA. And that’s after bursaries for being a mature student. There’s no wonder people don’t want to go to university!

In an ideal world I would write books, sell enough copies to pay the rent and eat, whilst sticking to my guns in terms of style and content. The hard thing is finding a publisher who will facilitate that without interfering with your writing. One of things I’ve liked the most about working with Geraint at Blackheath Books (for Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid) is that he makes really beautiful books, yet has given me the freedom to choose my own poems and front cover. He has hand made every copy himself, in his own house and I think it really shows. There is so much love within his books, so much effort, that book buyers can smell the authenticity a mile off. If I could work with someone like Geraint for every book I put out then I’d happily set up my own cottage industry of publishing DIY poetry books. It would be great to think that you can sell enough chapbooks to live off but that’s not going to happen in my lifetime. I think you need to sell 300 copies to be the best selling poet in Britain. It sucks! So, my point is, I’m under no illusion that I’ll ever make a penny from my writing but if someone offered me half a million for my obscure collection of northern poems, or even to get my tits out for Playboy, I would, most definitely sell out.

And while we’re doing ‘Friends of Succour’ my colleague Jay has lined up a couple more of his Tight Lip nights featuring Joolz Denby and David L Hayles.

Succour Icons: one month left!

July 20, 2008

Okay, all you writers and poets who read this blog (if any) – just a reminder that you’ve got until August 20 to get submissions of fiction and poetry in for Succour’s eighth issue.
Theme is ‘Icons’ with a word limit of 3,500 for fiction, or a line limit of 250 for poetry – more details on the website; subs can be sent to me at or the standard address on the site.

We hope you have fun with this theme, and look forward to reading your work.

New York Alcoholic Anxiety Attack

July 15, 2008

This is a fantastic band fronted by author, poet and Succour contributor Joolz Denby. The band want to spread the word, but can’t afford to buy a Facebook ad – so I’m plugging them on here.

While we’re doing ‘Friends of Succour,’  I note that Joe Dunthorne has been nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize. And Cathi Unsworth does a fascinating interview with 3am, in which she talks about her time at the NME:


Do you share the commonly held view that things have very much declined under Conor McNicholas’ watch at the NME, compared to that era, then?


One of the funniest things I ever heard was a radio encounter between Neil Spencer and Conor McNicholas as a sort of NME Editor ‘Clash of the Titans’. Only of course there only was one Titan and Spencer totally destroyed McNicholas, mainly by deploying the one argument that no one can deny, that in his day it was the music that mattered, and your love and knowledge of music that really counted, not the machinations of press, marketing and advertising departments. Someone who works in the music business once told me that when interviewed for the job as NME editor, McNicholas said that his favourite ALBUM was ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana. Even more shocking than him not even knowing that the most important album of the nineties was actually called Nevermind was the fact that the publishers still gave him the job. If this is true, of course, but if it isn’t, it shows you what people think about McNicholas within that community.

When I used to read Sounds and NME as a teenager, I used to learn a lot – I even used to have to get a dictionary out to understand some of the NME features. I can also remember the very powerful front cover the NME did in 1984 by X-Moore of The Redskins covering the miners’ strike from the front line of Orgreave, Britain falling apart into a civil war between Thatcher’s militia and the society she was so thirsty to destroy. Can you imagine anything like that happening now? Readers just aren’t treated like intelligent, sentient, enquiring human beings in the way that they were by all three of those old music papers between the 70s and even up to 1995, when Britpop killed everything, including Melody Maker.

The problem is, advertising, marketing and PR became more important than creativity, culture, intelligence and non-conformity. Like Peter Cook and Bill Hicks I firmly believe that Advertising is the Devil’s tool. God is Art, Advertising is Satan. Seriously. McNicholas isn’t saying: ‘Here’s three chords, go form a band’. He’s saying: ‘Buy this, be a happy consumer!’

Succour London event

June 24, 2008

Yeah, there’s a London launch – at the Poetry Cafe, Betterton Street, on Saturday July 5, 8pm.

A line-up featuring some of the UK’s most talented writers read their work from ‘Animals’, the new issue of Succour.

With Joe Dunthorne, Isobel Dixon, Lee Rourke and special guests.

Free entry!

How to get there.

More info.

And thanks to everyone who came to the Briton’s Protection launch on Friday – you made it a great night.

Tireless cross-promotion

June 23, 2008

Succour contributor Joe Dunthorne has a story in the Hamish Hamilton litmag, Five Dials.

Still plugged in

June 20, 2008

Succour contributor Ray Robinson has a new short story up on the Picador website. You can pre-order his novel, The Man Without – exclusively previewed in Succour 6 – at Amazon.