Contributing

 

Smoke is put together entirely from unsolicited submissions from complete strangers so, if you’re completely strange and have something in your head you’d like to share with the world, please feel free to send it in this direction! The only real criteria are that it has to be in some way inspired by London, and that it mustn’t already have appeared elsewhere.

SUBMITTING A PIECE

Simply email what you’ve got to submissions@smokelondon.co.uk

In the case of text, a Word email attachment is simplest. Shorter is always better and, though there’s no real upper limit, anything much over 2,500 words is going to be trickier to place, and a 10,000 word story isn’t really going to work well on a blog page.

For photos, attach a jpeg… but a low-res version (a file size of 100K should be plenty) is always better as an initial submission – we can get a high-res version later.

PAYMENT

You may have noticed the lack of a paywall or any adverts. Basically, we’re making no money out of the web side of things, so I’m afraid we can’t offer any payment at this stage, just the fame and notoriety. HOWEVER – if and when a submission appears in a book, you’ll be paid on a pro-rata system.

COPYRIGHT

Because we’re not paying for anything, the copyright of any image or piece of writing remains with you. If and when it gets used in a book, however, we’ll need to draw up some basic agreement setting out what you’re allowing us to do with it, and for what monetary reward. That said… it would be nice if you didn’t send the same piece to other websites or magazines, as it makes us feel cheap and used, and not in a good way… and clearly it would have some bearing on whether it was included in any forthcoming book. On a similar note…

EXCLUSIVITY

There’s really not a lot of point in us publishing something on our website that’s already appeared on someone else’s, any more than we’d have printed something in the magazine that had already appeared in another magazine. Personal blogs are a bit of a grey area, though – you might decide that a throwaway post could actually be the basis for a longer, differently structured piece, or your blog might genuinely be read only by you and your dog, who pretends to understand it only because you give him treats. Basically, common sense will prevail… but if it has been published elsewhere, please let us know.

WHAT WE DON’T PUBLISH

Excerpts from forthcoming books (do your own publicity!), reviews (because that’s what Time Out et al are for), blatant plugs for upcoming events (because there’s no way we can know if it’s going to be any good or not).

ADVICE TO POETS

Please make sure that your poem is actually inspired by London, not Manchester, or Los Angeles, or your parents’ (very sensible) decision to lock you in the cellar and tell everyone you’d died in a freak ballooning accident. Try to read your work back before submitting it and, if you find that it consists of nothing but adjectives and abstract nouns, or that it’s not actually possible to read it back, maybe just keep it to yourself. And remember: even if the lines don’t go all the way across the page and aren’t properly punctuated, that doesn’t mean that what you’ve written is a poem. Finally, please bear in mind that if you blatantly cc your submission to every poetry magazine in Europe and North America, giving your full biography and list of published works, but not giving the impression that you’ve ever bothered to actually read any of magazines you’re pestering, or anybody’s poetry but your own, then it doesn’t endear you, and generally just makes you look like a bit of a twat poet.