‘Zine in the neighbourhood

We’ve been amazed at how far the Margate Bookie ‘zines have reached across the world, and by how many people have been inspired to write.

As well as people across the world, a number of creative writers and artists in the UK responded to our call. From Yorkshire to Guernsey, from Liverpool to London and right across Kent, the level of home-grown talent has been astounding.

With news of our latest ‘zine due to be announced, we ask Thanet local Melissa Todd, writer of Fleas (The Great Indoors) and The Carpet (Reset), her thoughts on the Margate Bookie ‘zines and her experiences writing for different publications.

Melissa Todd with her copy of the Margate Bookie's Reset Zine
Melissa Todd with her copy of the Margate Bookie’s Reset Zine

Where did you hear about the Margate Bookie ‘zine?

I really can’t remember where I first heard about the zine. I’m a member of all the local writing groups on Facebook, including Thanet Writers, Whisky & Beards and the Margate Bookie itself. I’ve submitted work for your previous ‘zine, The Great Indoors as well, so Justin might well have emailed me and suggested I contribute. I have a policy of submitting something for every opportunity I see and can feasibly attempt.

What prompted you to submit your story?

I submit my stories everywhere I see an opportunity. I want to be read more than anything.  Someone told me once that you have to submit 80-90 pieces to get one thing published. I can’t imagine how anyone would possibly work that out, but it feels like it might be true, and it’s certainly reassuring on days you feel you’re getting nowhere. It’s not personal. It’s a numbers game. There are an awful lot of talented bodies chasing the same opportunities. Having been accepted before in Confluence, Thanet Writers and Blue Nib, I enjoyed the opportunity to be included in Reset too.

Having submitted for both Bookie ‘zines, what do you think about the overall idea of the ‘zine?

The Carpet by Melissa Todd for the Margate Bookie Reset zine
The Carpet by Melissa Todd for the Margate Bookie Reset zine

Overall, I think the zine is a terrific idea. It’s great to have a local outlet, and in particular to see my words published in book form.

I think possibly I preferred the first zine, largely because I thought the story I submitted for that was better. But I also think that being in the depths of lockdown at the time made the writing more angsty and tightly focussed, with it being powered by fear, isolation and impotent rage. The one positive to come from COVID might be great art – any huge societal shift or collectively experienced catastrophe, tends to produce cracking creative surges.

Would you submit work again?

I felt that the submission process for the Margate Bookie ‘zines was a very friendly experience. The editing process was excellent, quick to respond, and I was kept well-informed throughout every step of the whole process.

I’ll certainly be submitting again should the opportunity arise because I want to be published more than anything, by anyone, on any subject. Recently I’ve been writing lots of non-fiction – columns, articles and the like – and very little fiction. It was a treat to feel a story appear in my head again. I look forward to doing more of it. Just let me know the theme and I’ll start thinking.

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To read Melissa’s great work, and all of our other amazing contributors, don’t forget to grab your FREE online copy of Reset. You can also buy your very own paperback ‘zine here.

Don’t forget to also have a read of our first ‘zine The Great Indoors.

Submissions for The Open Arms, our third ‘zine are now open.
Check out our announcement post here.

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