It’s writing, it’s made in Derry, it’s SHIFT.
SHIFT, for those who haven’t heard of it, is Derry’s answer to PUSH. For those who haven’t heard of that, it’s best summed up as great, edgy, cult writing. Founded in March 2013, PUSH is the UK’s best-selling literary fanzine, with over 1,500 copies sold in less than twelve months.
It’s cutting edge literature sold on the streets and in pubs and now Derry has its very own and the people behind it are hoping to repeat the success of the PUSH concept.
In Derry, conversations first took place around the concept of producing something where local people could showcase their work during the City of Culture year.
Local woman Siobhan Curley was one of those involved in those initial conversations.
Two years later Siobhan is working alongside a number of equally passionate local writers. She and four others have put their words into action - and now back into words - and are seeking submissions for the first ever edition of SHIFT.
You’d probably sum this up as the work of ordinary working class Derry people who are sitting writing at the kitchen table.
The other behind the scenes organisers are well known local writer Jenni Doherty, teacher Monica Smallwood, theatre programmer and marketing officer Aine McCarron and writer Geraldine Quigley.
“We know for a fact that there are so many fantastic local writers out there and we would encourage them to submit their work for consideration in SHIFT,” says Siobhan. “A lot of people consider writing as something that other people do. But we know from the work we’ve seen and heard so far that the talent that exists is immense. The message we want to send people is just to take this opportunity to get their work out there.”
So who will write for SHIFT? Certainly not a bunch of out of touch lofty academics, says Siobhan.
“You’d probably sum this up as the work of ordinary working class Derry people who are sitting writing at the kitchen table. It’s probably best compared with the punk fanzines of the old days, for those of us old enough to remember that!” laughs Siobhan.
Despite the age gag, Siobhan’s quick to point out that SHIFT’s doors are open to writers old and young.
She says the idea for SHIFT moved on significantly after the recent launch of the PUSH anthology in Derry.
“We were listening to PUSH editor Joe England and he was doing everything we wanted to be doing. It was about giving new writers a voice and a place where they could really be themselves. After the recent success of our first meeting, we’re all looking forward to getting going with the first edition.”
Submissions for the first issue of SHIFT opened at midnight on April 27. Submissions will close at midnight on Thursday May 7. Those pulling the material together are happy to consider any style of writing, on any theme, fiction or non-fiction, poetry, prose, commentary - anything.
The important thing is that it is original and previously unpublished.
Submitted work must be in English. It should be no more than 1100 words, there is no minimum word limit.
It should be sent as a word document, attached to an email with the full name of the writer included.
The font is the writer’s own choice and the print size, keeping in mind that there are space limitations.
The font should be easy to read and contributors are asked to remember that if sending illustrations, the SHIFT budget is ‘black and white.’
Submissions should be sent to: shiftderry@ hotmail.com