The team at BRAG haven't forgotten our humble beginnings, and we have no intentions on forgetting why we started the magazine in the first place (even though we are increasingly familiar with the process, it hasn't lost the edge). Despite our shout-out in the TLS and the variety of acclaim throughout our following, we know we have some room to grow before we can count ourselves amongst the established. This doesn't put us off, however. We understand that good things take time, and that hard work pays off.
It's easy to look at something like BRAG (a print literary magazine with spectacular advocates and contributors) and wonder how a group of four friends at uni got it off the ground, especially without any financial assistance. The truth is, we aren't sure either. It has something to do with something. Much in the same way you have something to do with something, or that a tree does. Simply put, it's something we really wanted, and as a unit, by putting our weight in, our talents, we got it.
BRAG doesn't pay. We do this out of love for our respective crafts, and the joy we get from seeing talented contributors grow (and helping them do so). Just this year two contributors released pamphlets, and a third is out in 2022. We've seen contributions from country-diarists to scumbags, and the variety is truly encapsulating of our ethos. If it's fantastic, if you aren't out to be a d*ck, you might just find a spot in BRAG. We have always welcomed new and established writers, and this won't change for this literary magazine. Neither will the high quality of cover art, which has seen line drawings, paintings, and photography resized and shaped for purpose.
As we look forward to Christmas, get excited for the upcoming workshops, we also look forward to announcing the winners of out inaugural poetry prize, and reopening submissions for the next issue. The next issue will be ready in the new year, and with it we want to take BRAG in a new direction. We need the magazine to evolve as we do, so that we can take it forward honestly and with a morsel of direction that makes sense to us. All the editors have worked fantastically hard the last couple of years - especially considering we've finished degrees, held down full-time jobs, parented, and even grieved. Details regarding this new direction will become more clear in the next month or so, but what we can reveal is the relinquishing of literary magazine titles (if only for the time being), due to the increased suspicion amongst editors that they may at times confuse the submitter regarding what we are looking for. Above all else, we are looking for quality. To feast on it. To gobble it up like a lovely mince pie or sample like you would a peaty whisky.
In the meantime, we hope you have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by loved ones. Chill out, freak out, and do what you need to do at a temperature that suits you (within reason). Don't be strangers.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or anything to bother us with, don't hesitate to get in touch with the team at BRAG by filling out our online enquiry form today. You can keep up to date with the latest between issues at our blog. Likewise, do get in touch with any kind comments or thoughts regarding previous issues and the work submitted. We'd love to open dialogues with our readers about the writing we love to publish.
Brandon graduated with a First Class Honours in Creative Writing from MMU, and is a digital marketer by day. Some of his latest work cam be found in the Live Canon anthology.
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© BRAG Writers Literary Magazine 2021