Monthly Archives: January 2013

Issue nine launch do

The reason we had the launch

Photo by Catherine Mottram (CC BY 2.0)

Issue nine was welcomed into the world on Sunday the 27th at The Albion Beatnik in Oxford. This is the second time we’ve had a launch at the Beatnik, and the night served as a reminder of why it remains one of our favourite venues.

Poets' corner

Photo by Catherine Mottram (CC BY 2.0)

We were lucky enough to have four readings over the course of an evening punctuated with interesting people, wine and — perhaps most importantly — cake. Mark Poole read a section from his issue nine story ‘Ham, Egg and Chips’, a tale of what happens when the habits of one man’s life are disrupted. Oxford-based Canadian poet Stephanie Young, despite the uncooperative weather, followed this with a selection of snow-related poetry from her collection Both Boys Climb Trees They Can’t Climb Down.

Stephen Beechinor

Photo by Catherine Mottram (CC BY 2.0)

After a cake/wine break, Stephen Beechinor performed his story ‘Realm of the meek’, also from the new issue. And perform is definitely the word. We’re working on getting a recording so more people can hear what we heard that night. Proceedings were ably brought to a close with poetry from April Pierce, a California native reading English at Oxford. April is also the chair of the University’s Poetry Society, who run many poetry events of their own in the city.

My thanks to everyone who came out to make it such a great night.  You can see more of Catherine’s photos from the launch over here.

— Euan


The Incidental: Notes from a Small Editor (Part 1)

Red Pen

Photo: Jenny Kaczorowski (CC BY-NC-SA)

‘For Your Consideration’ is scrawled in blood red lettering on the manila envelope in front of the editor. He feels dread as he pulls the sheets from it, but there is excitement too. A sip of coffee, a chunk of muffin, a glance around at the other coffee shop patrons – he can’t put it off any longer. He glances at the title… Oh Jesus.

 There are a couple of things that you should know about Structo. The first is something we perhaps don’t say enough but which I hope is now evident. We are just a bunch of guys and girls with day jobs and a dream. We make no profit (it’s a good day when we break even), we are not from the world of publishing, and most of us are struggling writers just like you.

When you send a piece to Structo, there is a group of eight people who will read your work, independent of your name and cover letter. We read blind. At the end of this process, the votes are tallied up, and some stuff makes it and some doesn’t. It’s achingly fair and democratic. You could be a fourteen-year-old from Scunthorpe and make it or a Booker Prize longlister and not. Most of us have no idea who you are, what you have done in the past or what you intend for the future. It all comes down to the quality of your submission.

I have come to realise over time that this is the main selling point for Structo. As the magazine has grown and we have had the opportunity to delve a bit deeper into the world of literature, both authors and readers have praised the high quality of the work we publish. Now of course, we only have our authors to thank for that, but the process of sifting this work is tricky. We’re on issue nine now, I have read more than 700 pieces of work, and I’d like to think that I’ve picked up a thing or two about how to make a good submission in the process. But I’m not going to bang on about the usual tips and rules. I personally couldn’t care less about font or line spacing or whether you put the word count in the top right-hand corner. If your story is good enough, we’ll probably want it anyway. (That said, your read-through would not be off to a good start if we see you’ve completely disregarded all the submission guidelines.)

There are plenty of articles out there already about the dos and don’ts of submitting, we don’t need another one. This column is slightly different. It’s about what might turn your story from something that’s just okay into a piece we can’t ignore.

Continue reading

Issue nine launch in Oxford

The Albion Beatnik

Photo courtesy of The Oxonion Review

In less than a week, on Sunday the 27th of January, we will be launching Structo issue nine at The Albion Beatnik bookshop in Oxford.

The launch will run from 5pm for an hour and a half or so, and will feature readings from issue nine from Stephen Beechinor and Mark Poole as well as poetry from local Oxford poets, including Stephanie Yorke and April Pierce. There will be drinks and such, and as usual there’s no fee to get in.

Those of you who came to the issue six launch at the Beatnik will know that it’s one of our favourite venues. The owner has an excellent taste in stock though, so don’t blame us if you end up walking out of there with a book or two under your arm…

Facebook event page / Google Map for The Albion Beatnik