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Doing It Themselves – Hand Job ZINE

Doing It Themselves – Hand Job ZINE

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As part of our month looking at lit zines making a real impact, we cast the magnifying glass over HAND JOB, a Notts based zine thick with bright ideas, such as the visual representation video they’ve produced.

Full feature, including video and interview here.

 

Video produced and directed by HAND JOB.

 

 

 

Spooked

Spooked

Phillip Clement reviews Two Dogs at the One Dog Inn, author David John Griffin’s paranormal novella.

Bond

Bond

A to Z of you and me

James Hannah’s debut novel, The A to Z of You and Me, gets evaluated by our bespectacled resident reviewist, Phillip Clement.

Paperweights

Paperweights

Editor Sean Preston catches up with Martin Appleby, the man behind Paper and Ink magazine.

Look out for more features on zines and journals throughout March on the Open Pen website.

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Memory

Memory

Dust Cover

Take a look at Paul Ostwald’s interview with Kenyan author Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, who discusses her new book and how it reflects a changing culture.

All You Read Is

All You Read Is

Open Pen Magazine will be running a series of free events this year, with out favourite up-and-coming writers performing in our favourite bookshops. This Thursday we’ve got writers previous published by Open Pen reading short fiction at All You Read Is Love, a pop-up bookshop in Leytonstone, East London. Drinks (hard and soft) will be available all night, as well as free copies of the most recent edition of Open Pen Magazine, Issue Thirteen. Get there by 7pm this Thursday, February 26th to make sure you get a good spot.

OPLIVEFEB2015

Here’s the Facebook event page, for those that want to let us know they’re coming.

Venue: All You Read is Love, 877 High Road Leytonstone, London

We’ve also got Tadhg Muller in attendance and reading from his story, The Reprieve, published recently in short story book Transportation: Islands and Cities. Here’s an excerpt from that short story:

- I think I’ve got you worked out, he remarked. I admire you, yes. Though I have you worked out, and I see you’ve drunk your coffee. That was fast. How was it?
- A little thin, I said.
- You son of a bitch, he replied. If you wanted something different you should have askedfor it. A ristretto!
This time I paused. He was an interesting man. Old and spindly, and still a long, long way from giving in, from rolling over and dying. Death would have to take him by siege. Death would have to dig under his towers and bomb his walls. Death would need to starve him of supply. Death would have to hunt him day and night, until this man was finally submerged by the sea. He neither deserved nor required my pity, good manners or false gratitude. The sooner I left the room, the sooner I could get on with life. I would be pleased to go. I would be pleased to return to my own painting. I would be pleased to leave him alone, and journey across the city, and return to my own skerry.
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Transportation: Islands and Cities will be available for purchase at £9.00.

Uncovered

Uncovered

"My Body Became an Art Piece"

Madeleine Swann writes about the body, objectification and art. Read her article, “My Body Became an Art Piece”, here.

Friday The Thirteenth

Friday The Thirteenth

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 14.10.50Open Pen Issue Thirteen is out in an in depend bookstore near you today! In its pages you will find short fiction by:

  • Max Sydney Smith
  • Mat Woolfenden
  • Benjamin Wolfe
  • David Turner
  • Leighton Critchley
  • Tomoe Hill

Plus a guest editorial from Pigeonhole founder Anna Jean Hughes, whilst N Quentin Woolf returns to tell us, in a roundabout way, a little Christmas tale. You’ll also find Open Penner Piers Pereira popped into a new bookshop in Leytonstone a few weeks back, providing the basis of our bookshop focus. Luckily, we’ll have a few of the above writers on hand at the bookshop, All You Read Is Love, on Thursday, Feb 26th. Do come and support new writing with something to say.

As usual, if you find that your bookshop is all out of Open Pens, or didn’t have them stocked in the first place, let u snow about it and we’l endeavour to get some more out.

Open Pen Issue Thirteen is grass green in colour, with cover illustration by Josh Neal.

Here’s just some of our stockists that you can pick up a copy from

EAST LONDON

NORTH LONDON

SOUTH LONDON

WEST/CENTRAL LONDON

OTHER

 

OPEN PEN LIVE THIS SUNDAY

OPEN PEN LIVE THIS SUNDAY

OPLIVEJAM

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE – £5/£3

OPEN MIC SIGN UP: info@openpen.co.uk

 

Max Sydney-Smith – Cover author of Issue Thirteen of Open Pen

Max Sydney-Smith – Cover author of Issue Thirteen of Open Pen

Advance copies of the latest edition of Open Pen can be found at this Sunday’s LIVE event at the Jamboree at Cable Street Studio, London. On the cover of Open Pen you’ll find the Max Sydney-Smith’s short ‘The Boy Who Bit His Nails’. We spoke to Max yesterday to get to know him and his writing a little better.

I think I write fiction to dramatise ideas. Writing is a way for me to order my thoughts, to try and make sense of stuff. I look for connections between things, for little symmetries and rhymes. At its best, I think fiction can change the way we see the world, even if only in some small way. At its worst, it simply draws attention to random coincidences, as meaningless as a bad pun.
I’m writing a short novel about the life and opinions of a Greek communist. This man is from a small town in the Peloponnese. He fought in the Civil War and was tortured by the police under the right wing military junta. The framework of the story is completely real: my friend is Greek and this all happened to someone she knows. But it is also only a vehicle for me to obsess around the question: is political idealism noble, or is it a form of narcissism?
OP: What are you reading at the moment?
A short story collection by Joy Williams called Taking Care. It’s brilliant, so caustic and funny and sad. Describing a big, loving dog leaping into the arms of a girl, she writes: “And he was so light, so light, containing his great weight deep within himself, like a dream of weight.” I mean, wow.
OK, Max. If you had one book in you to write, what would it be?
Well, it would probably be a first person narrative about a boy with a stammer. I have a stammer, and it radically changes the way you think about and use words. Some words start sounding like other words, some words have to be stuck onto other words to be said and some words can’t be said at all. None of this is fixed – its pinned to a number of things like tiredness, confidence, etc, many of which can fluctuate suddenly and for no apparent reason. In a way, your brain gets smart to this: you start anticipating problems, finding other ways to say what you want to say. But there are parts of it you can’t predict – you don’t know if you can say a word until you’re saying it. Anyway, all of this is to say that if I could only write one book, I would try and capture this idiosyncratic language, with its mispronounced and substituted words, its endlessly generated neurotic parallel routes through meaning and, of course, its silences (which is the only part of all this most people actually think of as a stammer).

 


Your FREE copy of Issue Thirteen is out on Friday 13th in all good bookshops, or as mentioned, can be snatched a full five days earlier at Open Pen Live this Sunday, February 8th. If nothing else, the trip to Limehouse provides an excellent opportunity to ride the Docklands Light Railway.

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