23 June 2010

A moment of fiction #4 - zines special!

Right, my latest literary round-up has been gently gathering momentum behind the scenes, but I’m now ready to pull back the curtain and reveal the pulleys and levers behind the magic in a special zines round-up.

Nice timing is tomorrow’s Midsummer House Party, the launch event for the new adult learning and engagement programme at the Whitworth Art Gallery. The shindig runs from 7.30-10.30pm in the South Gallery (the one with floor-to-ceiling windows and ivy wallpaper by Thomas Demand), and there will be crafty goings-on with Manchester Craft Mafia, poetry readings from friends of For Folk's Sake and DJ sets from Pull Yourself Together, usually seen in the surrounds of Common on Edge Street. As well as spinning the old wheels of steel, Dan and Hannah of PYT manage to write and edit a fanzine, called Pull Yourself Together like the night, which is published every two months and available in independent record shops around the UK. Email hello@pullyourselftogetherzine.co.uk, check out the website here, peruse the online back issues or hotfoot it to the Salford Zine Library to pore over the hard copies.

Talking of SZL, Matthew and Craig have been busy compiling the now six-month-old collection into a downloadable PDF file available for browsing purposes if you can’t always make it to their Islington Mill premises. The librarians aim to offer monthly updates, so keep popping back to their online space to ch-ch-check it out. And don’t forget to keep donating your zines and self-published books as they become available.

Anyway, without further ado, here's a quick round-up of other zines on the scene. If you know of others, please keep me posted via email or the comments function.

Things Happen is a new kid on the block, which you can get hold of in The Hive, Contact Theatre and the Cornerhouse (though not in the shop as it's free). Dan, the man in charge, says he’s hoping to distribute through other places too soon; in the meantime he’ll let you email him (dandidthis@live.com) to ask it he'll pop a copy in the post for you. Dan says: “Contributions are actively encouraged, but we are only likely to include stuff that is pushing in the same direction as us... I'm sure only people enthused by what we write will be the ones likely to want to contribute anyway.” For signposting, check out the first issue of Things Happen here.

Issues of The Hare can be picked up in Centro and Night & Day in the Northern Quarter, plus Tiger Lounge on Cooper Street. As the good people behind the self-published project live at the bottom of the Snake Pass, copies can also be had in three pubs in Glossop - The Oakwood, The Beehive and The Star. Brown bread topics range from sport to history, with fashion and gossip the white bread subjects and quite a spread of satirical political pokes forming the sandwich filling. Rob and Max take submissions and the guidelines are loose (articles of 600-1,000 words in length, original artwork and the like) – just email theharenewspaper@hotmail.co.uk with your ideas. The Hare also has a Facebook group, called The Hare Newspaper. So modern, you guys.

Bilingual (German/English) b&n magazine was already on its fifth issue when I snatched a copy in the aforementioned Common. You can get in touch with editor in chief Samantha Bail (email bunmagazine@gmail.com) with words and pictures or follow @bunmagazine on that there Twitter.

Other Magazine is an exciting new online sashay into essay-writing, fiction, photography and general silliness. Follow @othermag on Twitter or visit the website for more on contributions and wotnot.

Now, I'm not saying the others aren't, but Pantheon is proper. It has proper writers contributing and everything, including Manchester’s own Nicholas Royle and Tom Fletcher. The seasonal magazine of “assorted observations and tales” describes itself as “a house for all disciplines – art, creative writing, illustration, poetry, cookery, photography, cartoons and more. There are no predetermined themes or rules”. We like the sound of that. You can follow @pantheonzine on Twitter or email pantheonmagazine@googlemail.com for information on how to go about sending in work.

Other zines that have come to our attention but haven’t yet been properly explored are the marvellously named New Wave Vomit, strange fiction (prose and poetry) collaborative quarterly Dark Lane and the mysterious arty pamphlet The Mill Press, the first issue of which I picked up in the Cornerhouse yesterday.

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