Hello Everyone. We’ve been full of a very nasty flu these last ten days or so here at Brittle Star. Trust us, you don’t want details, but it explains why you’ve not heard too much from us lately. We’re really sorry about that because we do like to have a good old chat with you and encourage you to submit to the magazine or get your entries in for the Poetry & Short Story Competition.
We’re on the mend now (although still a bit washed out) and we just want to let you know tomorrow is our competition deadline. If you want to get your entries in you have until at 12 Midnight to enter online, and postal entries should be postmarked 14 March. We’re manning and womanning the computers so if you have any problems do drop us a line. Click here to enter http://www.brittlestar.org.uk/competition-2/
Our judges Pascale Petit and Nicholas Royle have been brilliant helping us to spread the word, but you, our lovely writer-friends, can also help us by sharing the link with anyone you think might want to enter. As you know, we’re volunteer-based and not for profit which means money raised from the competition goes back into producing the magazine so your entries are a massive help to us. First prize is £250 + publication + a reading in London.
Click HERE to enter – it only costs £5 and you could win £250. (And don’t forget if you subscribe or become a Patron you get a free entry).
We hope you’re thinking of entering because we love to read your entries – and it’s also a massive help to the magazine because all money raised goes back into production (after we’ve paid the prizes and the main judges’ fees, of course).
As always, if you’re a subscriber you get your 2nd entry for FREE (you can even take out a new subscription today and get your 2nd entry free), but for the first time ever if you become a Brittle Star Patron you get your first entry for FREE. Visit our Patreon page to find out how you can become a Patron for as little as £1 a month, giving you access to the lovely rewards and treats that we give our Patrons as a special thanks for supporting us.
The normal cost of entry is only £5 for the 1st entry then £3.50 for any following entries – which is really good value anyway, but not as good as free!
The deadline for the competition is 14th March. The first prize in each category is £250, plus publication in the magazine, a subscription for you to keep for yourself or give to a friend, and an invitation to read at our launch and Prize-Giving at the Barbican Centre Library in London.
The judges this year are the brilliant Pascale Petit and Nicholas Royle (and our own Jacqueline Gabbitas). Pascale is an award winning poet, 4-times shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. Her most recent collection, Mama Amazonica (Bloodaxe, 2017), was a Poetry Book Society Choice. Nicholas is a novelist and short story writer. His most recent collection is Ornithology (Confingo, 2017). He is well known as the series editor of Best British Short Stories (Salt).
To find out more about the competition, including the rules and T&Cs, and to enter click on the big bright orange link HERE! Good luck and happy writing!
Brittle Star Reviews
A few issues ago, we introduced reviews into the magazine for the first time under our editorship. We did it because we wanted to give new writers the opportunity to have their first full collections reviewed by sensitive and intelligent reviewers. We also felt it was important to give these books a good amount of space so that our readers get a decent feel for the book. We were often dissatisfied reading poetry book reviews in other magazines or newspapers that gave only a hundred or so words to a book that probably took years to write – especially first collections. On the whole, it’s not the magazine’s fault the reviews have such limited space – there are so many wonderful books published each year and not enough room in the pages to review them all.
This is why we decided to focus on first, full collections only for poetry, and single-author collections of any size (no anthologies) for short fiction. It self-sifts.
And we include no more than three reviews of each form – any more than this and we’re cutting down the review space.
Round pegs, square holes…
We’ve been receiving a range of books for review recently that don’t quite fit what we offer – many of them beautiful second, third, fourth collections, lots of pamphlets, and a few story anthologies, but they’re not right for Brittle Star. Thank you for thinking of us, and we’re really sad not to be able to include them, but we’re being firm here. Unless you’re book is a first, full poetry collection or single-author short fiction collections, we won’t be able to put you forward for review. Also, we can’t review every book we receive – there are lots of first collections being published as well! We pass them onto our reviewers who make the selections of what to include.
Any review books we’ve received that aren’t right for us get included in a new LuckyBag dip we’re launching this Christmas for our Patrons and subscribers, but publishers, please do have a look at our guidelines before submitting to us.
We’ve reviewed some great collections and look forward to reviewing many more. We hope you join us in reading them and enjoy them. And hopefully go and buy the books.
Our reviewers are:
Paul Blake for poetry
Fawzia Kane for short fiction
For submission guidelines for reviews, click on the link.