streetcake is an online magazine founded in 2008 and is currently open for submissions of poetry and short fiction for their writing prize. Prizes include mentoring sessions, email feedback, book bundles, and publication.
They publish little “slices” of writing prompts on their Submissions page, so check those out for some ideas to write new work. Per their home page, they “offer writers an inclusive space to share their work with the world. we don’t look at your credentials, where you’re from, where you’ve been, where you did your degree or who you know before reading your writing because we believe that we should approach your writing and voice without any preconceptions. in the words of Nirvana, ‘come as you are.'”
Of course, I needed to know more, so I asked Managing Editors Nikki Dudley and Trini Decombe some questions to find out. See my interview with them and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about street cake.
ND/TD: streetcake is an online magazine that specialises in experimental/innovative poetry, visual poetry and short fiction. The magazine is run by Trini Decombe and Nikki Dudley. We also run the streetcake experimental writing prize for 18+ UK and EU residents, which recognises writers producing experimental work and offers them development and networking, supported by the Arts Council England. It’s free to enter and we’ve had loads of positive feedback from the previous winners, who have won mentoring, feedback and books, as well as becoming part of the streetcake community. This year’s judges are Jarred McGinnis, Karenjit Sandhu, Astra Papachristodoulou and Anita Goveas.
HOPKINSON: How/why was street cake originally started?
ND/TD: We met at university, where we both did a BA and MA. We became closer on the MA especially and often went to poetry readings together. We also began submitting our work to places but found very few places accepting the kind of work we wanted to write. At one of the poetry readings we went to, run by our lecturer, we joked about starting our own magazine so we could offer people an outlet to publish writing that was a little different and more experimental in style. We started throwing names around and the one that stuck was streetcake! We let it sit for a while but eventually we decided to go for it. We’re really proud to have started it (twelve years ago now!) and proud we’ve stuck to our original ethos of reading the work before biographies, which helps us create an inclusive space for writers and focus on the quality and not ‘who we know’.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
ND/TD: We are open to anyone who wants to read what we publish! Some people seem a little confused by or afraid of the term ‘experimental’ at times but it is really just a way to say ‘non-traditional’. So you won’t see lots of rhyme and constrained forms on our site, not that we don’t appreciate those, but our preference is for writing that veers away from that and that can be presented in many different and exciting ways.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
ND/TD: We publish writing that breaks the norms, surprises us, plays with expectations and makes us think. We are passionate about experimental writing and pushing the boundaries. To give you a few ideas, we enjoy concrete writing, visual poetry, hybrid forms, unique imagery, playing with forms and presentation, non-linear writing, intermedia pieces, collage, redacted writing, asemic writing, unconventional ideas and voices. However, this doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel – we also love a strong piece of writing that speaks to us and is well-written, even if it’s not especially experimental.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
ND/TD: I think we get fewer pieces of artwork than we might like at times. Also we would love to see some even more exciting flash and short fiction that is innovative and fresh, something like Charles Yu, Eley Williams or Yoko Ogawa for instance. We are also really keen to champion more underrepresented writers who you wouldn’t normally see in the experimental writing world.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
ND/TD: We have a lot! But particular faves at the moment are Untitled Voices, Beir Bua, Coven Journal, The Abandoned Playground, Poem Atlas (online exhibitions), Fly on the Wall, Selcouth Station, Pamenar, Full House Lit Mag, Overground Underground, Babel Tower Notice Board, to name a few… We follow loads of amazing lit mags on Twitter so do join us on there to see who we share.
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with street cake?
ND/TD: Well, we are brilliant friends and we’ve known each other so long. It’s nice that we set up a magazine together and that it’s working. We love publishing great writing and seeing those writers go on to have other successes. We’ve published a lot of new writers who have gained confidence from it, while also highlighting more established writers, who seem equally pleased to have their work in there! We have seen a lot more love for experimental writing over the years and now there’s lots more outlets focusing on it, which makes us very happy. We are always adapting too–reading and writing ourselves – and sometimes the subs can inspire us!
HOPKINSON: Where can we send submissions?
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: September 20, 2021
ENTRY FEE: None
FORMS: poetry and short fiction
SUBMISSION METHOD: email
If you like this post, please share with your writerly friends and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can see all the FREE resources my site offers poets/writers on my Start Here page.