We promised you a transparent editorial process so here’s the round-up of our first call for submissions. Who submitted, what we saw and how we made the tough decisions.
The call opened on the 20th of July and it officially closed at midnight GMT on the 19th of September. In that time, we received 50 individual submissions from 32 artists in at least 5 forms – some of them were tough to classify and we loved that even more!
We accepted 13 of those submissions (acceptance rate of 20% calculated by piece) from 11 artists (acceptance rate of 34% calculated by artist). That’s right, a full one third of the people who submitted to us had a least one work accepted. In fact, several artists had two accepted.
From a social media poem generated by an installation of performance art, to literary fiction and visual art, we loved exploring the depth of your creativity and thinking about the ways in which these pieces could and would inspire more art. Thank you and congratulations to everyone who sent us your work and supported the experiment that is all the sins.
We set a tough challenge to artists with our theme of Roald Dahl but the art we recieved more than rose to it. Subversive and wildly creative work rolled in. Some pieces embraced the theme more literally, playing with Dahl-like language and, as you’ll see in our first edition, creating found poetry from his original text. Others took on his darker elements and made us question a world we thought we knew. Still others delved into the relationship between literature and the visual arts, using one to illuminate and add new meaning to the original artwork.
When making editorial decisions for our inaugural edition, we had several criteria in mind. This first publication will set the tone for all the sins: What do we value? Of what standard is the work we publish? What are our aims and goals? We looked for works of art that were, first and foremost, of the highest standard. This meant well structured, well edited and gripping for the audience. We also looked for work that embraced the mission of all the sins, that is, to use the possibilities offered by the internet to engage with and advance art. Finally, we looked for art that had something to say. We are particularly drawn to art that in some way challenges form, content, technique, context or a combination of these.
Reading blind was an interesting experience because it meant that, until we had hashed out our final line-up, we had no idea to whom the work belonged. We turned down some very well-established and talented artists, while some with fewer publications/showings etc. rose to the top of our pile. We had some proper arguments over a few pieces and even had to turn down some excellent work because it didn’t quite fit either with this edition or our publication. This was not a reflection on the standard of writing, but a reflection of our editorial direction.
Because we had a fairly small first submission pool, we were able to give feedback to everyone who submitted. Sometimes this took the form of suggesting a few minor edits as a condition to publication; in several instances, we encouraged the artists to rework and then resubmit; and in other cases, it was an explanation of why we either accepted or declined the piece. We hope that this individual feedback will make our thought process clearer and perhaps even be of use to artists in future submissions.
We are thrilled to bring you not only the work of some prize-winning and nominated artists, but also some excellent newer voices. We hope that what you find in our inaugural issue will encourage you to head down the rabbit hole of art, clicking through the pages, making your own connections and inspiring you to create your own art, or perhaps just to see yourself and the world we live in differently.
The first edition of all the sins will go live on Thursday 6th October in time for National Poetry Day. Look out for us then!