Time is a funny thing. Back in June 2008 the idea of Popshot pinged into life after reading an article written by the editor of an established poetry title in an edition of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook. Considering the book is supposed to advise and inspire, it was a surprisingly downbeat piece that called for writers to limit their expectations and understand their place in the writing hierarchy. The indignation that ensued became the launch pad for Popshot, and after we had deluded ourselves that this would allow an early retirement, the first issue launched on April 24th 2009.
Since then a lot has changed, and some things haven't. The burning desire to change poetry forever has since lessened in favour of publishing some words that give our minds the chance to wander. The magazine has been lauded in a few newspapers, a few magazines, and is now sold in the bookshops of more than 20 countries. Some of the relatively unknown poets that we published in the early issues have gone on to become reputable names in the literary world. A few have been picked up by major publishing houses - Chelsey Flood being one such example from our first issue. We've had the pleasure of working with over 200 illustrators, most of whom were utterly delightful. We've gained a new logo, redesigned the magazine, relaunched the website countless times, and even made it possible to read Popshot on an iPhone. A few abusive emails have been received ('trolls' being the most bizarre insult) but generally, most of the stuff written about us has been of a kind nature that has made all the late nights totally worthwhile. Thanks to the generosity of our fantastic contributors, a few open-minded employers, and of course, our much-loved readers and subscribers, we've remained unfunded the whole time. We've not yet printed a single advert in the magazine.
It's been a truly sublime 5 years and we want to thank every single person who has had any impact on us in any way, shape or form. If you like the magazine and want to see it here in another 5 years' time, consider supporting Popshot by buying a copy, subscribing or writing something complimentary on a social network somewhere.
BOXEDIN AT BOXPARK: AN EVENING OF SPOKEN WORD
April 21st 2014
Anyone who is familiar with Boxpark in Shoreditch will be more aware of its capacity for selling fine threads from niche retailers than its spoken word nights. However, with a couple of said nights under their belt in the past few months, Boxpark's very own spoken word event is returning to the village of shipping containers on April 29th. The event is totally free and more details can be found at their website or at their event page on Facebook.
LONDON SHORT STORY FESTIVAL
April 14th 2014
Whether it's the 'sitting in a field and getting drunk on cider' type or otherwise, we're suckers for a good festival. So we were rather enthused to discover that the literary development organisation, Spread The Word, are gearing up for their inaugural London Short Story Festival this June. The festival will include talks, workshops, masterclasses, author Q&A’s and readings from a number of reputable writers, many of whom are still to be announced. We'll keep you posted on more details closer to the time but in the interim, you can find out more over at Spread The Word.
ISSUE 11 IS OUT NOW
April 1st 2014
After months of careful curation, The Journeys Issue has slipped off the printing presses and is now officially out in the world.
From escaping the rat race to explore the planet, to mapping out our lives in jars of memories, to watching a baby's lungs billow into action for the first time; the new issue features 24 short stories and poems that allow us to travel into the curious minds that stipple today's literary and illustration scene.
If you want to voyage through a few of the spreads, you can do so here before ordering the real thing at our single issues page, or subscribing from just £10 a year. Alternatively, you can read the new issue on your tablet or phone by downloading the Popshot app. It's all so 21st century...
THE (NEW) POETRY REVIEW
March 28th 2014
Back in November we wrote about the revitalised Ambit Magazine, which was turning a new leaf with a new editorial team and a complete redesign of the magazine. A few months on, and one of the stalwarts of poetry magazines, The Poetry Review (formerly known as just Poetry Review) has followed suit, announcing its first redesign in over ten years.
As one of the most widely read poetry magazines in the UK, it's great to see it scrubbing up its image, not only for its own benefit but for the benefit of poetry as a whole. The disconnect between literary substance and visual style has always been something we've been fascinated by - in fact, if that disconnect didn't exist, Popshot probably wouldn't either - so it's a real joy to see a closing of the chasm. Note the illustrated cover as well, created by Alessandro Gottardo, also known as Shout.
Well done The Poetry Review, very well done.
ISSUE 11 IS IMMINENT
March 26th 2014
In just five days' time, our eleventh issue will embark on its journey towards the bookshops and the subscriber's doormats of this world. To be one of the first to find it in your hands, pre-order your copy or subscribe from just £10 a year.
POEMS THAT MAKE GROWN MEN CRY
March 25th 2014
This should probably win an award for having one of the most unambiguous book titles known to modern society. A new poetry anthology published by Simon & Schuster, entitled Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, with contributions from Daniel Radcliffe, Nick Cave, and John le Carré amongst others. Found on The Guardian.
FOYLE YOUNG POETS 2014
March 21st 2014
There aren't a huge number of literary magazines and organisations that help support the next generation of young writers. However, of the ones that do, the Foyle Young Poets Award is one of the finest. Run by the Poetry Society (who also run Young Poets Network), the competition has helped provide a platform, and ongoing support, to some of the young writers that have gone on to become figureheads in the poetry world. This year's competition to find some of the most promising young poets aged 11-17 is now open, with judging duties taken care of by Grace Nichols and Simon Barraclough. The deadline passes on July 31st, and you can find out more about it from the Foyle Young Poets website.
ISSUE 11 - THE COVER
March 14th 2014
With our forthcoming issue of Popshot - The Journeys Issue - being sent to print this morning, we're thrilled to now release the cover artwork for it, illustrated by the sublimely talented Darren Hopes. Containing 24 short stories and poems, illustrated by a raft of fantastic contemporary illustrators, it's an issue we're very proud to be putting out.
To get hold of your copy before anyone else, you can pre-order Issue 11 through our single issues page, or subscribe from just £10. The print edition will launch on April 1st with subscriber's copies and pre-orders going out the same day. Digital subscribers will also receive the new issue onto their smartphones and tablets courtesy of the Popshot app.
March 12th 2014
Apologies for the month-long radio silence dear readers. Between putting together our brand new issue, and living out its message in the real world, we've not made an awful lot of time for much else. However, with the cover for Issue 11 being unveiled in just a couple of days' time, we thought we would give you a brief glimpse of what our eyes have been filled with over the last week. One more proofread and a layout check, and we're off to the printers!
February 13th 2014
After spending the last two months or so immersed in poems and short stories about journeys, we thought it time to embark on some journeys of our own. A couple of poems in particular from the forthcoming issue inspired us to dust off the passports and make a run for the skies, so as a result, Popshot will be on holiday for the next 2 weeks. That's not to say that everything will close down completely, we'll still be keeping on top of all correspondence, just a little slower than usual. However, all orders will be sent out upon our return so keep that in mind when subscribing or ordering single issues. If you can't bear to wait for 2 weeks for a printed edition to arrive, you can always download the Popshot app which contains every issue we've ever made.
WANTED: YOUNG SOHO WRITER IN RESIDENCE
February 5th 2014
Here's an exciting opportunity for a London-based writer aged 18-30. IdeasTap and Spread The Word are looking for an experienced short fiction writer or poet to be Soho Writer in Residence for the London-wide Cityread campaign during April of this year. The successful writer will receive a £5000 payment, a mentor, and a series of commissions based on Soho which will be arranged by Spread The Word. The deadline for applications is on February 12th at 12pm, so if you're interested in being involved, you can read more over at IdeasTap. One week and counting...
THE JOURNEYS' END
January 29th 2014
After almost 8 weeks of being open for literary submissions, and another 4 days of rigorous shortlisting, we have now selected the final 24 pieces of writing that will form our forthcoming Journeys issue. It was another blinding example of the breadth and quality of the work being written today and despite almost drowning in submissions on more than one occasion, it was a joy from start to finish.
The authors whose work has made it in will have received a note of acceptance from us by now. If you submitted but haven't received one, apologies for not being able to be more personal with you and thanks again for submitting to us. We appreciate the time and effort that goes into every submission that we receive so if you didn't make it in this time, there's always our next submissions opening which begins on June 1st. We don't yet know what the theme will be, but we'll keep you furnished with details.
In the meantime, if you would like to get a better idea of the work we publish, you can subscribe from £10 a year, or read every issue we've ever made for just £2.99 courtesy of the Popshot app.
SELLING IPADS WITH THAT SPEECH FROM DEAD POETS' SOCIETY
January 15th 2014
Only a few blog posts ago (although it was back in November) we wrote a short musing on the slight irony of poetry being used in advertising. Since then a few more examples have cropped up although none quite as overt as this one from Apple. Borrowing from one of Robin Williams' many inspirational speeches from the film, Dead Poets' Society, the words have been recycled to encourage people not to write poetry, but to invest in an iPad Air. Shameless? Probably. Nice to hear Robin Williams' dulcet tones again? Definitely. Check it out above and see what it stirs in you.
LITERARY SUBMISSIONS FOR THE JOURNEYS ISSUE (A REMINDER)
January 3rd 2014
With the frenzy of Christmas and New Year beginning to fade, we're now just 3 weeks away from submissions deadline day for our 'Journeys' issue. So if your New Year's resolution is to start getting your writing into the pages of literary magazines, and you have a journey-themed piece in your repertoire that you haven't yet sent in to us, we'd love to hear from you.
If you've already submitted your poetry or short fiction - fear not, your submissions are already under consideration. However, to those of you who haven't yet submitted but fully intend to, here's a reminder to get your writing in to us before January 25th.
A little tip: we've now received more than our fair share of poems and short stories that take place on public transport, but there has been a distinct lack of work that has looked at the theme from a more metaphorical angle. The theme leaves itself wide open for diverse interpretation so feel free to think outside the transport box! For the complete submissions guidelines, head to our submit page.
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