With a little under two weeks left until the deadline of our inaugural competition we thought we would share a few details about Elbow Room, the competition and what we do here on the Short Stops blog.
Elbow Room was inspired by a desire to muddle up the worlds neatly categorised bookshelves. To stop putting poetry over here and photography over there, fiction over here and sculpture far, far over there, music on this shelf and painting on that one and instead sit them cover-to-cover, showing and sharing inspirations, similarities and yes, differences. We wanted to create a space that celebrates art in all guises and so we made Elbow Room.
Elbow Room started life a publication. The print run for Volume One was so small we only had 15 copies. Volume Nine (our latest) is a print run of 50 copies and includes photography, mixed media embroidery, poetry and a short story. Each volume is carefully curated and thoughtfully produced, hand bound and numbered. We want to create a publication that people want to keep and collect, one that reflects and compliments the work between its covers. Every time someone takes a copy of Elbow Room home or a new bookshop agrees to stock us is a thrill. That we are on the shelves in shops as diverse as the bookartbookshop and Foyles is more than we dared hoped for when we started this journey and reflects the breadth of the work we publish.
With the Competition Anthology edition we want to show off the talent and diversity of the poets, writers and artists working today. We want to create a book of the same high quality as Elbow Room but that also a little different. A book that lives up to the submissions we are receiving and that can be read and enjoyed with ease. From the choice of paper to the printing, the cover design to the binding we intend to make every element of the publication the highest quality possible. We have already started making plans, discussing ideas, hoping and dreaming about the book we can put out to celebrate the competition and to promote the community of artists’ who make Elbow Room possible. Now all we need are your submissions.
Help us make this anthology the best it can be, share the competition among your friends and colleagues, submit your short stories to us and then let us publish and promote the book around the UK and across the world.
However Elbow Room and the competition doesn’t end with the publications. Elbow Room Live has become an integral part of what we do. Bringing art off the page and together in one space Elbow Room Live has brought poetry and music to London and Norwich.
It is with these live events in mind that we are planning a mini autumn festival of the arts for the competition. In October the winners and runners up in all three categories will be showcased in London. Somewhere (we haven’t chosen a venue yet) we will host an exhibition and a night of live readings. Short stories, poems and visual art will share a space and an audience for a weekend. Whether you live in or near London does not matter, submit your work from anywhere in world and if you are placed in the competition we will work out how to include your work in the festival.
It is truly important to us that the competition showcases as diverse a cross section of the arts as possible. That we show off the incredible work of incredible artists from across multiple disciplines. In the next few weeks it is your job to decide if you want to enter and share your work with us. It is our job to ensure that our first competition is a true celebration of art in all guises.
Let us know if you have any questions and keep the submissions coming in.
All the details on how to enter are on the website www.elbow-room.org/competition
Best Wishes and Good Luck,
Rosie, Zelda and Lauren