Open Pen Releases Twentieth Issue

Hitting a handful of London bookshops way back in early 2011, Open Pen has just released its twentieth issue and can be found in bookshops around the country now. The free short fiction journal is stocked in over forty bookshops these days, as well as bars, pubs, cafes, universities and writers’ centres. It even has a stockist in Cuba.

Twenty issues of Open Pen has brought the magazine close to a hundred short stories from almost as many fiction writers. The red and black coloured issue sees Louisa Adjoa Parker, Dan Coxon, Jim Gibson, Jonnie McAloon, Katherine Orton, Simon Pinkerton, Elissa Soave, Dan Ayres, Gary W. Hartley, and Gerard McKeown join the fold. Their fiction is varied and yet bound together by their relevance, as has become a part of the identity of Open Pen. As always, regular contributor N Quentin Woolf is on hand to deliver the killer blow. that just leaves editor Sean Preston to deliver a nutshell report on the thrills and plentiful spills of the first twenty issues.

You can subscribe to Open Pen here, but why pay when you can get to a bookshop and get it for free? As has always been the mag’s hope, why not pick up a book whilst you’re there? Something different, something you wouldn’t usually go for. Something with bite. That’d make Open Pen happiest of all.

Three of the stories from Issue Twenty live online over on the mag’s website. Check out The Thursday Club by Elissa Soave, Handjob by Dan Ayres, and Of Course by Gary W. Hartley.

Here’s hoping there’s another twenty issues ahead.

Spelk: Open for Submissions

Hello all — Spelk is open to subs!

As usual, we’re looking for short, sharp flash fiction of around 500 words.

Send your best stuff to spelkfiction@gmx.com (subject line: SUBMISSIONS — “STORY TITLE”).

Gary Duncan

Spelk

Up Now: Bonus Free Fiction and Fantasy Sharks!

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Illustration for ‘Foot Hoof Paw’ by Mat Andrew

Whilst holdfast is a quarterly speculative fiction magazine, we also have bonus articles and fiction going up each month.

 

New and up now:

Bonus story ‘Foot Hoof Paw’ by D.B Brodie, a view of the apocalypse from three very different points of view.

And have a look at this month’s bonus article ‘The Fantasy Shark’ by Alice Sanders that explores sharks in film, from the scary to the ridiculous. Did you know shark brains strongly resemble the human uterus?!

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Join our mailing list to get updates on when we post each bonus piece.

Submissions open for our print anthology and issues 3&4 now! Deadline for anthology 15th June 2014.