With three weeks left in the page seventeen submission window (both general and competition), I think it’s worth having a look at what page seventeen is. What it does. What it represents, and why I think it’s worth submitting to.
I’ll try not to be too preachy.
Page seventeen has been around for nearly ten years now, since being founded by Tiggy Johnson and Kathryn Duncan in 2005. It’s always been about emerging writers, poets and artists. It’s always had a small but loyal fan base – one that is growing at a steady rate.
I wasn’t there in the beginning. My involvement only came about with the recent issues, most significantly when I took over the role of editor from Tiggy for Issue 9. It was a thankfully smooth transition, and I think it’s safe to say that page seventeen hasn’t lost anything from the passing of the torch. The content has been as strong as ever, and the presence of emerging writers in the pages has not diminished. I’m proud that I can devote so much space to aspiring authors and poets.
In the past page seventeen has been promoted as a home for new writers. That’s still 100% true. Page seventeen can be the place where careers begin – where writers struggling to make themselves heard can find a platform, and find their confidence.
Recently it’s broadened a little – partly thanks to the blossoming Busybird community, but also because page seventeen has started to find its own confidence a little. It’s not quite an emerging magazine anymore. (I mean, come on – we’re in double-digit issues now!) So the trick is to hold true to the original raison d’être – ‘a home for new writers’ – while exploring its fringes.
We love new writers. And we love new voices. We love the excitement of unexplored terrain, and the sense of embarking on a totally new adventure. More and more, we appreciate not just the raw enthusiasm of new writers and emerging talent, but the excitement that comes with a new journey – or a new stage in a long-running trek. Writers are constantly evolving, changing their approach and discovering new sources of enthusiasm and inspiration. Page seventeen recognises and encourages this sense of renewal.
We will always devote space in our issues for fresh talent. We may also devote some space to a striking new piece from a more established name, as we always have. Because if it combines enthusiasm and creativity, we want to see your work. Whether you’re fine-tuning our first narrative voice or looking to break away from your usual sense of direction, we want to share in those beginnings.
Page seventeen can’t really be called a ‘new’ magazine anymore – it can change its spots, it can restyle itself, but it now has a track record and a standard to live up to. It’s a magazine that now has a real sense of developing identity, more so than ever before.
And that identity is developed around a constant exhilaration for the new.
* * *
With all that said and done, let’s recap (there may be a quiz on this).
Who are we?
What do we do?
What do we represent?
We can apply one answer to all three questions. The new. How neat is that?
And let’s not forget the final piece of rhetoric:
Why should you submit to us?
Unfortunately symbolic expressionism can’t stretch far enough to allow me to be neat and say the new with any sense of logic. I could instead spruik the benefits: publication, a developmental editing process, a possible share in the prize pool for competition entrants. All that good stuff.
But I’ll propose a different answer, on top of said benefits. I think you should submit to us because as a result, you’ll be sharing in what we are. You’ll be embracing our raison d’être as our own. Whether you’re an emerging writer or a more established name dabbling in something unique and fresh – and whether we’re able to make space for you in the issue or not – you’ve already gained a benefit just from making the submission. You’ve joined us in our celebration of the new.
Isn’t that as good a reason as any?
Beau Hillier | Editor, page seventeen