An introduction to the eighth edition

Welcome to edition eight

Can you feel it?

Spring is in the air, and not a moment too chuffing soon. The weather’s changing, and soon it’ll be T-shirt tans, BBQs, and beer gardens.

But one thing that’s not changing is Northern Gravy, bringing you the absolute cream of the crop of best new writing. We’re back, and we’ve brought 12 of the very best pieces of poetry, fiction, and Kid Lit for your reading pleasure.

Don’t forget to follow along on twitter (@northgravy) where we’ll be showcasing a new selection throughout the day. Let us know your thoughts, your responses, and your reactions. And share them with everyone you know whether they’re a writer or not. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the joy of new writing is in the reading.

Well, now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s a quick intro from each of our editors:

A word from our Poetry Editor, Ralph Dartford

The poems I have selected for this edition do not gently hold your hands. They grip hard and show a world of rage, defiance and fear. Here are poems rooted in experience and knowledge, poems that demand to be read and read again, both aloud in company and quietly in private. They should be shared, discussed and maybe acted upon.

A word from our Fiction Editor, Nick Jones

For this edition, you may notice a rather prominent theme, or at least genre to the work. I’ve always been very keen on how Ralph curates each edition, choosing poems that sit with and converse with each other. I’ve dabbled a little in that previously, but for this edition I decided it was finally time to stop wishing I got more genre fiction and do something about it, so from the very best submissions I’ve opted for four horror, or horror adjacent, pieces. There’s everything from jumpscares to subtle creepiness, ghosts to (my personal favourite) Weird Fiction, and I can’t wait to hear your responses to the pieces I’ve chosen.

A word from our Kid Lit Editor, Jonny Syer

The pieces I have chosen this edition aim to stretch and build upon the possibilities that come with the tagline “Kid Lit”. They are fun, tragic, questioning, creepy, mythical, witty, caring, and of course, sprinkled with just a touch of adventure. No two stories are the same, showing the power and reach of writing for children and young adults.

Guest Article

We have a fantastic blog from Booker Prize longlisted novelist, columnist, and futurist Ned Beauman. He’s written about the research process that went into his latest novel, Venomous Lumpsucker, which we can’t recommend highly enough.

We hope you enjoy reading our eighth edition as much as we have enjoyed curating it. Northern Gravy continues to break down barriers by paying every writer we feature.

As ever, we would like to thank our friends and advisors: Arts Council EnglandSheffield Hallam UniversityNew Writing NorthWriting on the WallSpread the WordHarper NorthWriting East Midlands and Bradford Literature Festival.

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