Once upon a time Elizabeth Leonard and Kate Thomas graduated from the Creative Writing (Novels) programme at City University London. They both had a common interest: writing stories to delight audiences.
They then embarked on a journey to create Sixpenny, a digital magazine of illustrated short stories. Each issue has six stories that take six minutes to read: three are written by widely published authors, and three are by unpublished authors. They will be launching their first edition this winter and are now looking for writers and illustrators, who will get paid for their work, to join their initiative.
Meet the founders
Elizabeth: “After graduating from NYU, I joined the “real” world with a proper job, a house, a car, and a promise to write when I was a “stable” adult. I turned in my resignation for this life in exchange for one I was better at. I moved to London to study at City University and wrote my first novel. I love the sound of the Thames as the tide comes in, sunsets over the Hudson, Hemingway, walking through a new city with an old friend, and a cheap spiral-bound notebook with a good pen.”
Kate, on the other hand, attended Cornell University and Goldsmiths in London for several years but graduated from neither of these fine learning institutions. She says: “I started taking myself seriously when I became a mom and I now hold a Masters degree in Creative Writing. I am a fan of surprising punchlines, the search for life on other planets, brave truths, keen observations, and people who laugh a little too loud.”
This is the little story of how Sixpenny was born according to their founders: Long, long ago, there were magazines filled with illustrated stories. They created a market for writers and illustrators to hone their craft and make a living, and they gave readers a steady supply of stories they could truly enjoy. When these magazines began, some were called sixpenny magazines, because they cost a sixpence – affordable enough for just about everyone. But over time, all of these ‘everyman’ fiction magazines died. Luckily, while out in the woods one day, we found a single cell of a sixpenny magazine hidden away in a nugget of amber. Soon after, we discovered the emerging technology of the internet. Thanks to that little pocket computer called a mobile phone, people are reading again so we decided that now is the time to bring back the Sixpenny.
Want to contribute?
Kate and Elizabeth are looking for creative writers who can produce literary fiction short-stories that keep the reader engaged and excited from the first word to the last. Each story should be a six-minute read – 1000 words, give or take (just a little). The six stories selected for each issue will be illustrated before publication in Sixpenny.
They are also looking for illustrators who can produce GIF illustrations as well as graphic short stories. To be considered you will need to submit a portfolio. For more information and guidelines, please visit Sixpenny’s webpage.
Don’t forget that the first edition of Sixpenny will be released this winter. Don’t miss it!