Call for Fiction Submissions

As you may have read / heard recently Alice Furse is now on the team here occupying the Fiction desk and as the virtual submissions tray on that invisible desk is currently empty it would seem like a cracking idea to open a call.

So, dust off those manuscripts and email Alice something to read. This is what she is looking for:

Burning Eye’s love of punky performance poets and ability to find good work in unexpected places is what I think publishing is all about. I’m looking forward to reading fresh and original literary voices and helping their authors gain a platform.


I am looking for off the wall, thought-provoking fiction that has something to say about the wider world as well as a gripping story.


Novels are desirable (60k+ words) but novellas (30-40k words) would be welcome too. If you think you’ve got something we would be interested in seeing, send the first 3000 words and a brief synopsis and biography to me at fiction at burning eye dot co dot uk

Alice’s debut novel, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, was published in October last year. A dystopian novel about underemployment, it was described as “dazzling” by The Guardian and a close contender for the Reader’s Choice First Book Award.


This City Is A Garden by Rebecca Tantony

Originally called Sometimes this poem was renamed This City Is A Garden and is included in Rebecca’s forthcoming collect of poetry and short stories Talk You Round To Dusk. The book is a collaboration with Artist and Illustrator Anna Higgie and is out in March.




@HolliePoetry scoops £10,000 Arts Foundation Prize for Spoken Word


As you may know there was a £10,000 poetry prize awarded last night. Yes. £10,000. Yes. You are right that is double the Costa Poetry Prize. The Arts Foundation Award for Spoken Word 2015 was awarded to Hollie McNish, whose … Continue reading

Alice Furse & Thommie Gillow join the Burning Eye team

Alice Furse has joined the editorial team as Fiction Editor following Thommie Gillow’s arrival as co-editor for Poetry.

Alice’s debut novel, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, was published by Burning Eye in October 2014 of course. A dystopian novel about underemployment and the clash between graduate expectation and the reality of the austerity jobs market. It was a close contender for the Reader’s Choice entry for the Guardian first book award and has earned a raft of high rated reviews. Alice has also had short stories published in Litro magazine and The Squawk Back amongst others.

Alice says, “Burning Eye’s love of punky performance poets and ability to find good work in unexpected places is what I think publishing is all about. I’m looking forward to reading fresh and original voices and helping their authors gain a platform – can’t wait to get started.”

Alice is working her way through the outstanding fiction submissions and will be putting a new submissions call out any day now. More info on Alice here: 

Thommie Gillow has been onboard the pirate ship Burning Eye as co-Poetry Editor for a few months already. Her thumb prints are all over this year’s list already having assisted mightily in the selection process for the 2015 list and we are very happy to have her on the team. She is currently working with the mighty Mark Grist on his collection Rogue Teacher which which will be out in May. Thommie’s own collection My Stepmother Tried To Kill Me was of course published by Burning Eye this time last year and includes her Bridport Prize shortlisted poems alongside some of her stand up classics. 

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and My Stepmother Tried To Kill Me are available from the Burning Eye Bookstore.

“My life felt as if it didn’t match me at all, as if I’d picked up the wrong one by accident.”

It was already the start of December and I was wondering if I was the only person who noticed that although it was cold and the leaves had turned into crispy rolls and fallen to the ground, not a drop of rain had fallen since that storm. I was aware that I had been waiting for winter to arrive, but like all British seasons it had crept in without anyone realising.

The mornings were so beautiful that I looked forward to walking to the station with the ground sparkling under my office shoes. I loved the sharpness of the air in my mouth and the skeletal trees spread like veins on the clear sky.

It was such a contrast to the office with its repressive atmosphere, the grey dullness permeating me as soon as I stepped into the building so it was as if I’d never left.

It didn’t help that every morning when she got in, Kim had started singing to Young Nathan. The first one was Last Christmas, then Silent Night, then Deck the Halls. I thought of that story about a kid in a chemistry exam who poked two pens into his eyes and slammed his head against the desk.

I decided that I would steal a new pen from the box up the back for every time I had to listen to it.

The day of Santa Baby, I stole three.

I started to eat my lunch outside, amongst the blackened trees and the frosty white grass in the green space down the road. Because of the phones, I was always alone, and sitting in the office while everyone carried on typing around me didn’t feel like a break.

Sometimes when I’d finished my sandwiches but didn’t feel like reading, I’d sit with my hands in my coat pockets, waiting for time to pass until I had to go back to work.

Sometimes I decided that there had to be another life out there, waiting for me to step into it like a new shoe. My life felt as if it didn’t match me at all, as if I’d picked up the wrong one by accident. I’d arrived here by mistake, taken a wrong turning on the map. I imagined that I was a character in a video game, and there was a button for a trapdoor, to take me to the next level, somewhere else, anywhere else, and all I had to do was find it.

I looked at the cloudless sky and wondered if the season had been sent to us as a last reminder of beauty before a huge black storm gurgled out of the sea and swallowed us all whole.


Available from the Burning Eye Book store £8.99 paperback and £2.49 (until the end of Jan 15) ebook.

Downloadable Ebooks now available from the Burning Eye Bookstore

Thanks to our web-store providers Big Cartel introducing a new app we can now offer downloadable ebooks direct from the Burning Eye Bookstore (Nevada). This means we will start to build up our selection of ebooks as 2015 gets motoring.

For now we are offering Alice Furse’s debut novel Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere for ONLY £2.49 until the end of Jan 2015 to celebrate this big digital leap forward.

The Kindle edition is here

The epub edition for Apple devices with iBooks, Nook, Kobo and other epub devices here

A sample of the book is on both pages.

You can read all the good things people have said about it as Goodreads as well.


#Afterhours: a poetry project from Inua Ellams

Inua Ellams who was included in our Bang Said The Gun anthology is looking for some help with a project – care to assist?
“In October I began the #Afterhours project which is resident at the Southbank Centre’s Poetry Library. The aim of the project is to rewrite my Nigerian and immigrant childhood through British poetry; to take existing poems published by British poets and write responses to them while staying as close as possible to aspects of the original poem, form, structure, language, length or any combination. For instance, I might take a poem about climbing a hill in Devon to watch roaming deer and write about climbing a hill is Jos to watch wild elephants.

The name #Afterhours refers to three aspects of the project:

1/ In poetry, it refers to the tradition of subtitling a poem written in response to another poet with the word ‘After’ and the first author’s name. For instance something inspired by Neruda would subtitled #After Pablo Neruda. #Afterhours is entirely about writing after poets.

2/ The phrase ‘after hours’ refers to after normal working or licensed opening hours. The theme of the project is about the end of childhood, writing after the hours of youth and I will be looking to rewrite poems published between the years 1984 and 2002, when I was born to when I turned 18.

3/ It also refers rather romantically to the practice of poets ‘toiling the midnight candle’, writing after daylight hours.

The success of the project rests on discovering great poetry and thus far, the staff at The Poetry Library have been magnificent in suggesting poets and specific poems published in those years. This is where I wondered if you could help. To further the reaches of project, for greater interactivity within our poetry community and to widen the possibility of discovering great poems, I wondered if you could suggest and/or send poems by *British* poets, published between the years 1988 – 2002? (1984 – 1987 are written).”

There is some information about the project on the Poetry Library’s website here