“The idea is to dissect various genres of writing, film and drama by reconstructing them from the ground up. One story at a time.” This was the spiel we threw at writers to tell them about our new project. We expected such lofty sentences to be thrown back, tied up with a derisive sneer. However, it turns out we know some rather inventive and experimental writers!
Welcome to XZ, our new online fiction project. The aim is to get inside stories and see how different writing styles can join forces to create something fresh, but recognisable. To do this, we’re taking particular genres/styles/species of fiction and breaking them down, looking under the hood and building them back up in smaller chunks.
Each story gets six writers and each writer gets one section. They are given a bare framework to work on, everything else is up to them, and they aren’t told what the other five writers are coming up with.
The first issue has worked out far more splendidly than we could have hoped, with a story rife with suspense and dangerous turns. It’s the classic tale of a hardboiled detective, employed by a mysterious woman to investigate a murder.
Click to dive straight in and enjoy the story, or feel free to download it at consume at your leisure.
A special thanks go to the six magnificent authors of this tale: Ben Gwalchmai, Komal Verma, Akiho Schilz, Jack Swain, Eley Williams and John Boursnell.
Part of the project is to invite a bit of discussion from you, the reader. If you want to comment of the project in any way – maybe you have an idea about breaking the story into chapters, or you didn’t like the characters attitude, or you find yourself in sleuth-style experiences and can relate – please leave a comment below. We want to generate an active back-and-forth about the project. The most discussed topics will be added to the issue in a month’s time.
Posted in Fiction, Poetry, Prose
Tagged Ben Gwalchmai, detective, eley williams, ezine, fiction, hardboiled, Jack Swain, John Boursnell, komal verma, Nick Murray, noir, Poetry, prose, short story, XZ, XZ and tagged Akiho Schilz, zine
Only two issues in and The Alarmist has drawn quite the following! With the kind of first-rate writing and the distinctive aesthetic style that they’ve carved out and made their own, it isn’t surprising that The Alarmist has a readership that spans the length and breadth of the country. Nick Murray met up with Gary from Leeds and Mansour Chow, the creative duo that birthed The Alarmist, on the eve of the issue two launch to talk about being less stuffy, hidden genius and nihilistic publishing techniques. Continue reading →
Posted in Interview, Magazines, Zines
Tagged creative duo, fiction, gary from leeds, illustration, interview, mansour chow, Nick Murray, Poetry, prose, short stories, the alarmist
It’s National Short Story Week and we’ve got just the thing to celebrate. A superb piece of short fiction from Akiho Schilz. I, a Stranger is a tale of a photojournalist struggling with his humanity in a post-catastrophic world.
I, a Stranger
I, a stranger and afraid/In a world I never made
Here is where the travellers come. Driven by hunger or fatigue or bladder or bowels: the same basic needs and desires and instincts. Or perhaps they just got lost. The sign says ‘Welcome Break’. Continue reading →
Continuing with the highlights of our upcoming super-celebration of stories here’s another handful of incredible acts you can look forward to. Off we go! Continue reading →
Posted in Books, Event, Illustration, Meanwhile..., Zines
Tagged Abe Christie, annexe, betsey trotwood, festival, gareth brookes, interrobang, jamie mills, Poetry, prose, Spoken word, theatre, zine fair, zines
Like a proud mum, we’re showing off our latest creation! Interrobang is our festival, put together alongside EKO and Alexander Audio, that will be heaving with head-turning spoken word, music and theatre. For a whole day and across all three floors of The Betsey Trotwood (Clerkenwell) we will be entertaining your literary senses.
We’ve got a bookmaking workshop, a whole slew of poets, a handful of brilliant storytellers, some of London’s finest bands and on top of all of that, Annexe will be launching a series of minibooks there. That’s right! our first proper book launch will be taking place at our first ever festival! It’s a lot to take in.
Read all about it at our dedicated site.
Posted in Art, Books, Comics, Et Al, Event, Fiction, Funnies, Illustration, Meanwhile..., Music, Photos, Poetry, Prose, Theatre, Zines
Tagged clerkenwell, farringdon, festival, interrobang, Poetry, prose, storytelling
Adding a bit more prose to the proceedings, we are joined by Will Conway. As part of Two Tales (the much loved sister of Two Poems) Will is reading his short story Transport, and a story by Ted Hughes called How the Cat Became.
We chatted to Will a little bit about the two stories and you can read all about it after the jump. Continue reading →
Posted in Prose, short story, Sound, Two Poems, Two Texts, Uncategorized
Tagged annexe, fiction, how the cat became, prose, short story, ted hughes, transport, Two Poems, two tales, two texts, Will Conway
Amber Massie-Blomfield draws a portrait of an urban life haunted.
The umbrellas are removed from the stand and hidden. Her sister’s picture, the one in the silver frame, shatters, and for weeks shards of glass turn up where they shouldn’t, in people’s beds, in the cutlery drawer. Her mum’s windows are left wide open in the middle of winter, her expensive perfume bottles found in pieces on the concrete far below.
Read the story after the jump. Continue reading →
Posted in Fiction, Prose, short story
Tagged Amber massie-blomfield, annexe, fiction, ghost story, haunted, prose, short story, stories, tower block, unexplained, urban
Last year, National Poetry Day came and poets were delighted. One person who wasn’t so happy was Calum Kerr, a writer, editor and self-confessed advocate of the flash fiction form. He sought to change that and thus National Flash Fiction Day was born.
Continue reading →
Posted in Books, Event, Prose, Review
Tagged 2012, flash fiction, jawbreakers, national flash fiction day, nffd, Nick Murray, prose, short story
Eleanor Perry delves into that grey space between poetry and prose.
Lately I’ve been thinking about prose poetry. It seems to me that, as a poetic form, it’s characterised by its lack of rules, which makes it both a wonderful and difficult thing to approach as a poet; wonderful because with such an absence of parameters it’s free to be explored without limit, but difficult for precisely the same reason – boundaries can be reassuring guidelines at times, and a navigating a place without them can be a daunting prospect.
Continue reading →
Our exhibition with Pigeon, Very Small Kitchen and Ladies of the Press* opened last Friday to a massive crowd. We couldn’t have hoped for a better turn-out.
A huge thanks to everyone who came along, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you’ve still got until March 4th. We’re also having an evening of talks on the nature of alternative and independent publishing on the 3rd at X Marks the Bökship.
And now, a few snaps from opening night:
Continue reading →
Posted in Event, Illustration, Photos, Poetry, Prose
Tagged alternative, annexe, design, exhibition, illustration, independent, ladies of the press, pigeon, Poetry, prose, publishing, sites of alternative publishing, very small kitchen