Starting a Poetry Magazine #1: Technicolor or Joining The Monochrome Set

It strikes me that starting a poetry magazine is something that, perhaps, a number of people would like to do, and that in doing it, it is a good chance to talk about what is involved. I’m sure we will make plenty many lots of mistakes along the way, but if nothing else making a prat of yourself in public is entertaining for the casual spectator.

Of course we have already decided a few things. The name,  ‘A Restricted View From Under The Hedge’ actually came really early for some reason, and with it a certain perspective on what a poetry magazine is. Ours will have plenty of poems, but we want it to be a little ‘meta’ too, mainly because I’m one of those annoying people who always ask ‘why?’ when the ‘what’ is really what matters.

Other than that, making it a quarterly was an easy decision as, basically,  I am ultimately lazy in my default state. And printed over pixels came down to the fact that I tend to have a pile of poetry books on my bedside table, and I’m always concerned that I’ll get electrocuted if I drop a Kindle in the bath. (I know I won’t, but you never know.)

One thing that I am pondering today, is about how the magazine will look. On the outside we obviously have an idea about design already, and I think matte lamination is the way to go too. But it is on the inside I am going around in circles, and I’m trying to decide whether it should be colour or monochrome.

Now to cover the obvious, there is a cost implication to consider. Colour costs more as you need posher papers and more inks, or something.

Technically speaking.

But in reality, for a book or magazine the size of a poetry magazine it may mean a £1 on the cover price, and if my old Economics ‘O’ level taught me anything, it was that sitting with all the other boys was no way to get a girlfriend.

The other thing, of course, was that when it comes to things like books and music, and maybe even poetry magazines, demand is inelastic in that if people really want it they will pay the price and if they don’t, it doesn’t matter how cheap it is, they wouldn’t spit on it if it were on fire.

I failed the exam, clearly.

So in many ways, the colour or monochrome decision is strictly aesthetic, and you may think that it would be easy – colour all the way, as that is how ‘normal’ magazines work, isn’t it?

But in truth, I really think poetry works better in monochrome, there are no distractions from the work and I can’t help but feel that colour poetry books remind me of those piles of cheap hardbacks you get in motorway services and garden centres, the visitor shop books with curling gold-foil rosettes shouting ‘Three for a Tenner,’ all very  ‘Mary Berry Cooks Dallas’ and ‘Steam Engines From Hackney Wick.’

And yes, we could use beautiful photographs, or have an ‘art’ section, which admittedly I’ve thought about, but would it really add anything to the words?

I don’t think so, and ultimately that is the interesting part, the part we wanted to immerse ourselves in from the start and isn’t it better to avoid distractions?

So I think that is what we will do, and if that seems a little old fashioned, well I can only apologise, and perhaps we’ll keep digging out pretty photos of hedgehogs for the web site by way of an apology.

And yes I realise that it has nothing to do with anything at all, but to celebrate the unlikely event of my making a decision, here is a song from the Monochrome Set.

Covering Up

ArfurIt was an interesting day today as we finally got our first look at the covers we are planning to use for the ‘Road To Clevedon Pier’ Anthology, and the first issue of our (rather spiffy looking) magazine ‘A Restricted View From Under The Hedge.’

These are apparently known as ‘Scamps’ or ‘Mockups’ or ‘Dollies’ (I made one of the three up there as I am a little bored with the buzzwords) but I would imagine that they will be somewhere close to the finished article come next year.

Road o Clevedon Pier AnthologyBoth photographs were taken by our in-house snapper in Clevedon where we are based, as indeed are all of the landscapes on the web site and we are rather pleased with how they are working so far.

Smug Are We, as the saying goes.

I have to say that despite us not really trying to spread the word just yet we are starting to get a few submissions for the magazine (I’m calling it ‘Arfur’ from here on in to save typing-time) and already they are looking pretty good.

We have humble hopes, but they are rising already.

One thing – if you want to keep up-to-date about all of our goings-on, you can sign-up for our free (like anybody charges for such things) newsletter, using the form below all of this rambling.

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We Started Something

It is only a week since we silently launched The Hedgehog Poetry Press with vague promises of this and of that, but I have to say it is starting to be ‘something.’

Initially, it struck us that we may as well let people start to submit their work for possible inclusion in our first issue of ‘A Restricted View From Under The Hedge’, and I have to say we were really surprised when somebody did.

How did they know?

We certainly hadn’t told anybody.

It is even odder still today as we have launched two competitions, ‘The Road To Clevedon Pier’ our first anthology competition, and ‘A Slim Volume Of One’s Own’ our first single poet collection competition.

Somebody has already entered those too.

It isn’t even the same somebody, in fact it is three discrete somebodies.

It is most perplexing.

Although, thank you to the somebodies.

So much better than being nobodies.

‘A Slim Volume Of One’s Own’ Collection Competition – CLOSED

‘A Slim Volume of One’s Own’

Here at The Hedgehog Press, we very much would like to be a publisher of great single poet collections, and after a lot of discussion have decided that the best way to find the poets and evaluate their work is to run a competition. Not a very original decision we agree, but then we can’t hide from the fact that we are often all standing on the shoulders of some quite big chaps and trying to see what is going on.

Regardless of all that, a competition we have and we are inordinately proud to say that our ‘A Slim Volume Of One’s Own’ competition will see at least one poet end-up with exactly that, the very first individual collection of poetry from The Hedgehog Press.

But to the competition and this really is the most open-minded of open poetry competitions, and whatever your topic, form or motivation, we look forward to reading your work in the form of a collection of up to forty poems.


This Competition has Closed

Once you have done that, please complete the form below and upload your poems in a single PDF document.

You may enter up to Three collections of your poetry.

These may each contain up to Forty poems each.


Prizes:

The winning poet will:

a) See a collection of their poetry published in paperback form by The Hedgehog Press.

Beautifully, I might add.

b) Be interviewed for the next issue of our magazine ‘A Restricted View From Under The Hedge’ where we will also publish a ‘Showcase’ selection of their work.

c) Receive a year’s subscription to our magazine ‘A Restricted View From The Hedge’

d) Receive 100 Copies of their finished book. We are big believers in supporting poets and feel that readings are the best way for a poet to sell books and profit from their art.

e) We will enter the collection to any awards/competitions to which it is applicable/we feel likely to do well.

f) Obviously we will send review copies to a selection of poetry journals and national media.

g) The winners collection of poetry will be published during  2018 or by agreement with the poet. We are easy going chaps but would like to see it in print sooner rather than later.


Rules:

We don’t really like rules, so we will aim to keep it simple:

a) Make sure all of the work is your own.

b) We don’t mind if poems have been published in magazines before, but poems that have previously appeared in book form in earlier collections are sadly excluded.

c) Poems entered below are classed as ‘Pending’ until the appropriate entrance fee has been paid. Until then they will not be included in the judging process.

d) We only accept poems electronically (due to the geographical locations of the judges.) If you would prefer to email your entry or pay via Bank Transfer, please get in touch using the ‘Tell The Hog‘ page.

e) No postal entries or payments by cheque or postal order are possible at the moment, unfortunately.

f) The decision of the judges is final.

g) Deadline for entries is 15th March 2018 at 11:59pm


To enter please complete the form below and upload your poems using the ‘Add File’ button in PDF format:

Please Note: We ask for poems to be provided as a PDF file as this is the best way for us to see the layout as you intended. We don’t wish this to become a problem for you though, so if you need help please do contact us Here and we will see what we can do (although please don’t leave it until 11:58pm on the deadline day to ask!)

‘The Road To Clevedon Pier’ Anthology Competition – CLOSED

‘The Road To Clevedon Pier’

Road o Clevedon Pier Anthology** THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED **

As our first anthology, we wanted to make it as accessible as possible, so in terms of the poetry itself, there really are no preconceptions.

This really is the most open-minded of open poetry competitions, and whatever your topic, form or motivation, we look forward to reading your work.

To enter our first poetry anthology competition, please visit the payment page HERE and pay the appropriate entrance fee.

Once you have done that, please complete the form below and upload your poems in a single PDF document.


Prizes:

The winning poem/poet will:

a) Receive A Prize of £150. There will additionally be two Runners-up prizes of £25 each

b) See their poem appear as the lead poem in the ‘Road To Clevedon Pier’ Anthology and obviously receive a copy of the anthology.

c) Be interviewed for the next issue of our magazine ‘A Restricted View From Under The Hedge’ where we will also publish their winning entry alongside a ‘Showcase’ of a selection of their poetry (if they so wish.)

d) Receive a year’s subscription to our magazine ‘A Restricted View From The Hedge’

All shortlisted poems will also appear in the ‘Road To Clevedon Pier’ Anthology

All shortlisted poets will of course receive a complimentary copy of the anthology.


Rules:

We don’t really like rules, so we will aim to keep it simple:

a) Make sure all of the work is your own.

b) We don’t mind if poems have been published in magazines before, but poems that have previously appeared in book form (in collections or anthologies) are sadly excluded. There is nothing worse than buying an anthology and finding that you have read all of the poems before, so give some of your other work a chance!

c) Poems entered below are classed as ‘Pending’ until the appropriate entrance fee has been paid. Until then they will not be included in the judging process.

d) We only accept poems electronically (due to the geographical locations of the judges.) If you would prefer to email your entry or pay via Bank Transfer, please get in touch using the ‘Tell The Hog‘ page.

e) No postal entries or payments by cheque or postal order are possible at the moment, unfortunately.

f) The decision of the judges is final.

g) Deadline for entries is 15th January 2018 at 11:59pm


‘The Road To Clevedon Pier’ will be published in March 2018, and will contain work from the shortlisted poets from our competition.

To enter please complete the form below and upload your poems using the ‘Add File’ button, uploading a single PDF file.

Please Note: We ask for poems to be provided as a PDF file as this is the best way for us to see the layout as you intended. We don’t wish this to become a problem for you though, so if you need help please do contact us Here and we will see what we can do (although please don’t leave it until 11:58pm on the deadline day to ask!)

** THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED ***

Submissions are Open

I have to admit that we are all a little over-excited today as it suddenly dawned on us that there really was no good reason for us to delay submissions for Arfur (‘A Restricted View From Under The Hedge,’ our soon-to-be-real poetry magazine, keep up) any longer and so with some glitter and tickering of tape, we are pleased to cut the ribbon and declare submissions open.

So if you would like to be among the first to get their poems in front of our editor-types, just Click Here or on the handily named ‘Submissions’ link in the menu. It is all the same to me.

As we have said elsewhere, we are happy to take poetry on any topic and of any flavour.

 

 

 

‘A Restricted View From Under The Hedge’

‘A Restricted View From Under the Hedge,’ or ‘Arfur’ if like me you can’t be bothered to type such a long name, launched for the first time in March 2018 containing a selection of poetry we are proud of and all manner of interviews and reviews that we couldn’t quite believe our luck to arrange.

Like all magazines, we rely on the fact that people want to purchase the odd copy here and there for us to keep the wheels on the road, so if you would like to find out more, feel free to visit our ‘Shop’ Here.

Publication Schedule:

Arfur is to be published four times each year in March, June, September and December

Submissions:

If you wish to submit up to Five Poems for consideration for our magazine, please simply email them to poetry@hedgehogpress.co.uk.

We prefer to receive them in PDF, RTF, DOC, DOCX or TXT format if possible.

We will accept submissions at any time on the basis that work that is accepted will be placed in the next available magazine. However, we are flexible if there is a good reason.

Review Policy:

If you have a collection or anthology of poetry that you would like us to consider for review in ‘Arfur’ please email in the first instance  to poetry@hedgehogpress.co.uk.

Please note we only now review Printed Copies of Books and Pamphlets. We don’t distinguish between traditionally or self-published work.

 

The Hedgehog Poetry Press

We are probably being over-ambitious, trying to launch a poetry press that publishes books at the same time as we try and introduce a poetry journal that publishes people’s poems, but it would be a boring world if we only ever played things safe.

Ask Evel Knievel.

But safe or not, what we really want to do is to try and avoid upsetting anybody by not delivering what we promise or by allowing others to project what they think we should be doing and then failing on somebody else’s measure.

No, I’m confused now, too.

Keeping things clear and open would seem to be the best approach, and so we thought it would be good to say what we think The Hedgehog Poetry Press will be doing, at least for a start.

Things we have planned over the first year:

Competitions:

We see competitions as a good way for us to find poets who we want to publish, so to start with we will be running two competitions, one for single poems that will lead to an anthology and another where we will ask poets to submit a poetry collection for possible publication.

Single Poet Collections:

We don’t want to be the biggest poetry publisher – that sounds like a lot of work – but we would ideally like to publish four single poet poetry collections each year. Maybe not in the first year or even every year, but you never know your luck in a muddy ditch, as we often say.

As to the ‘type’ of poetry, we have no preconceptions; we like e.e cummings as much as Dylan Thomas as much as Wilfred Owen as much as Charles Bukowski as much as lots of other people too, so we can’t imagine you will ever be able to point and say ‘That is a Hedgehog Poet’. For us a collection has to pass the ‘bedside table’ test, and that is where we will be selecting what to publish. Seems rude not to when you have the chance.

Anthologies:

As with the Collections, we love reading a good anthology and as editors it is always a treat to put them together. Again, we would like to use our competitions as a way to find new voices, and so plan to run a quarterly competition, each leading to an anthology.

If you are interested in hearing more, why not join our mailing list and receive our not-very-frequent newsletter?

Join The Hedgehog Press Newsletter
For all the latest news, competitions and poetry challenges from The Hedgehog Press and A Restricted View From Under The Hedge, join our newsletter here.
We will never share your information with anybody. Ever. Hog's honour