For the past ten years I’ve worked my nuts off for LeftLion for nowt because it is such an important publication in helping to change perceptions about Nottingham. The magazine was created for many reasons but mostly to offer an alternative to negative perceptions of Nottingham as ‘Shottingham’ after a spate of random shootings in the early noughties. My proudest moment was when we had the balls to run with the front cover ‘Another Shooting in Nottingham’ – referring, instead, to our thriving film industry.
As the Literature Editor I have hosted spoken word events such as Scribal Gathering (see the above video with Chester P at Gunpowder, Treason and Pot) at the Nottingham Contemporary, literature podcasts and created and developed the WriteLion brand which at present dedicates two pages to literature in its many myriad forms. With a readership of around 40,000 we easily offer more exposure to poetry than say specialist publications. We really do play a vital role in promoting your work.
Each issue I try to get a balance of reviews so that we feature a mix of genre fiction, self-published work, non-fiction as well as zines and emerging presses. We are the only publication that reviews the entire shortlist of the East Midlands Book Award as well as running interviews with all of the shortlisted authors. We also run illustrations of featured poems, have our own literary cartoon strip Readers’ Wives, and so that we don’t take ourselves too seriously, occasionally unleash Katie Half-Price, Nottingham’s orangest reviewer, onto the world.
We have been particularly keen to promote and support self-published authors, ensuring a minimum of one review every issue. Online we have run interviews as well as extracts from books. Knowing that certain bookshops refuse to even stock self-published novels and most magazines won’t even entertain reviews, we have become a vital platform for a new generation of writer prepared to go it alone.
Now we need your support. To celebrate our tenth anniversary we are running a Kickstarter campaign to help raise £10,000 so that we can go monthly. This will mean even more reviews and even more of my time given up for free. Not one penny of this campaign will go into my pocket or that of other writers. It is all for the additional cost of printing and distribution, as we aim to broaden our circulation by delivering to towns on the outskirts of the city.
This now all boils down to a very simple equation. If you support us we can support you. So put your money where your mouth is. I’d also like to thank Nicola Monaghan and Alison Moore for helping support our campaign by donating signed copies of their books.
More info on the Kickstarter campaign at LeftLion
Visit our Kickstarter page