The Open Pen Anthology will provide a real backbone to Open Pen Magazine for the next few years. You can help us by pledging your support over at our Kickstarter campaign and picking up one of our rewards (priced from £3 to £50, with copies of the Anthology itself priced at £8). We’ve put out Open Pen for coming up to five years, and we’ve kept it free for all. This magazine has always been about supporting new, exciting writers and distributing their writing as far and wide as possible, whilst keeping the magazine itself free so that anyone can pick up a copy.
It’s been a joy to edit Open Pen, and of course it’s been a struggle. A delightful struggle. I’m not moaning (currently). A delightful struggle. Like eating a cheesecake in one sitting. A struggle, but one that is noble and achievable, so long as you have a sturdy cafetière (and, yeah, sure, an excellent team of Anna Harveys/minions/friends/fans who basically keep the magazine upright whilst I eat cheesecake). The point is, in order to keep doing what we’re doing with Open Pen, we need your support. We haven’t asked for it before, but we’re definitely asking for it now. We want to invest in these writers we’re putting out. Are you a writer with something to say? Willing to take a risk? Help us keep that alive. Buy our paperback. Many of the wonderful writers of the twentieth century would never have even made it to print with publishing in its current state, obsessed with marketing potential and gimmickry. But there’s little point in me indulging my frustrations with book publishing here. We just need to keep on publishing “open” literary fiction; short stories willing to take a risk; writing that is a delightful struggle.
Help us hit our Kickstarter campaign target and we’ll get this anthology out – with its collection of authors that have been an utter privilege to publish – so that we can find more new talent and continue to put their words into print and stocked in your independent bookshop.
In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera wrote of the mutual understanding and the silent bond between readers. Though I forget the exact passage (and can’t find it now), that has always struck me as an absolute truth – and I’m not usually so keen on absolutes. That feeling of absorption in books, a shared love, a shared understanding. It’s that common bond that I appeal to now.