The Open Arms Zine Live Launch with Justin Brown

From local Zine aspirations to wide-spread international successes, the Margate Bookie Zine has exploded onto the literary map, We speak with Lead Editor Justin Brown about the amazing journey the Bookie Zine has taken and what went on at the Live Launch.


What’s The Open Arms all about?

The Open Arms Zine is the latest in a series of Zines from Margate Bookie. We started the programme when lockdowns hit back in March 2020. The idea was to give creatives in Thanet and surrounding areas a way to share their work and a platform to promote themselves

I wanted to inspire new creatives, and let them see that their work was good enough to see in print and shared with others.

The Great Indoors Zine blew us all away with the diversity and reach it achieved. We had over 35 submissions to the Zine, and we reached so much further than we originally thought possible. We got submissions from across the UK, America, Europe and Pakistan. Our online Live Launch was incredible, allowing us to connect all these socially and geographically distanced creatives in a showcase of their own creativity.








Our next Zine, Reset, spread across the globe. We reached India, Australia Israel and Lithuania. We’ve created a lasting connection with Keningau Vocational College in Malaysia. You can see our Zine Map here link to see how we crossed the globe.








I’m proud to say that The Open Arms has gone even further, receiving over 60 submissions and touching almost every continent. The Zine itself has changed so much, its mission always adapting with the sheer scale of attention and interest we’re getting, and our first in-person Live Launch at the June Bookie litfest was amazing.


Where did the idea for a Zine Live Launch come about?

We needed a platform to share the creative pieces we’d brought together in our first Zine, and as we were mid-lockdown by this point, the only avenue we had was online. It gave us all a way of reaching each other, even if it was virtually, and knowing that we were all in the same boat, but still creating and learning from each other. With our first in-person Live Launch, it was great to finally meet some of the creative people that have contributed and celebrate the Zine with them.



What went on at the Live Launch?

As host to the Live Launch, I introduced the event and gave a brief history of the Zine as well as some of the success stories we’ve achieved. We then heard the creative pieces of six of our amazing contributors as they read their submissions.


Our outstanding readers were:

Ann Lloyd

Melissa Todd

Pauline Holmes

Craig Brown

Amanda Jones

Nina Telegina



We rang in the launch of the Zine online at the end of the event, as well as unveiling the physical copies of the Zine which were on sale at the venue and in our pop-up bookshop at Turner Contemporary.


Click the images to see their amazing Live Launch performance

Or watch it all here...

Head to our Zine page for your FREE download of all our incredible Zines,
as well as getting your hands on the paperbacks for a mere fiver.

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