Spotlight on the Best Magazine Shortlist

The spotlight on each category continues, this time with the Best Magazines. There’s a real range here, from the UK’s longest running monthly magazine to a newbie magazine. What they each have in common is that they go beyond the page to create a real community around their publications – just read the voters’ comments to see for yourself!

Bunbury magazine

So proud to be nominated for Best Magazine but now we have to get tattoos!

Issue 12 Spiral (1)

Bunbury Magazine is an arts and literature digital magazine, covering everything from writing in all forms and genres, to fine art and photography, from music to stand up comedy and everything in between. Our ethos is ‘If you love it, we’ll love it’. We work hard with new and established writers to help shape their work and have a big commitment to grass-roots creativity. Past interviews have included Jasika Nicole (TV’s Fringe), Michael R. Perry (Writer of The Voices) and Phil Jupitus.

Why voters think they should win:

The staff are hard workers, the features are interesting and I’ve seen the editorial team out and about scoping out various underground artistic endeavours that would otherwise remain underexposed.

Immediately the presentation is eye catching. The layout inside is designed perfectly.

Bunbury Magazine is an amazing collective that is run by two really lovely people in Keri-Ann and Geoff who really care about what they do. Their passion for poetry is matched only by the quality of their output; an essential read for anyone who cares about poetry or indeed the world in which we live.



We’re very proud to make the shortlist, especially since it was our first issue back in October. It’s awards like these that bring the spotlight to smaller magazine’s like ours and the others on the shortlist, so we’re all chuffed to be involved.


Funhouse is a magazine concerned with the body, created and edited by Oliver Zarandi, with Fran Marchesi designing and art directing it. The 1st issue features work from Doctor Richard Barnett and Patty Cottrell, as well as illustration by Guy Field, Viet Tran and Alex Widdowson. There is also Fresh Cuts too, Funhouse’s online journal, with short stories, interviews and a podcast which interviews medical historians, theatre producers and anybody who is interesting. The 2nd issue – out at the end of May – is focused on conflicted bodies and features short fiction, poetry, essays and comics. Most recently, the magazine was named one of the top 10 literary magazines in the English-speaking world by Stack and featured alongside big-hitters such as The White Review, All-Story: Zoetrope and other indie faves like American Chordata and Guts.

Why voters think they should win:

They have the best fiction and manage to make the magazine look beautiful at the same time.

Creative and bold with a unique approach.

Made me think differently about short story form

Open pen

It’s been our biggest year in the five years our free short fiction magazine has been in print. So we’re left pinching ourselves that on top of everything else, we’ve been nominated for two awards. Well done to our writers.

Open Pen Thirteen

Open Pen Magazine is a free short fiction magazine, based in London, stocked in independent bookshops around the country. It’s purpose is to provide up-and-coming writers with a print platform for their fiction; fiction that is willing to take a risk by writers with something to say. In being free, we hope to attract readers that either cannot afford subscriptions to literary fiction magazine, and attract casual readers to a form of literary fiction they may not have otherwise given a go. We’ve been called a “hipster rag”, and we’re fine with that. Contributor and author, N Quentin Woolf, said that our magazine is “Unpretentious, edgy, and utterly readable.”

Why voters think they should win:

This magazine has stuck it out for five years, is free and so accessible. It is also very pretty and well cared for. There is always some exciting writing in it.

This has been a great year from Open Pen, and they’re getting stronger and stronger. Love the fact that they feature so many new and ‘unknown’ voices.

Consistent high quality, very supportive of authors, and FREE!


Really excited to be shortlisted in the Saboteur Awards again this year.

19 cover

Prole publishes high quality, accessible and engaging writing. It’s all about the reader.

Why voters think they should win:

Goes from strength to strength. Consistently readable and thought-provoking prose and poetry. It practices what it preaches too – sharing profits with contributors.

Impressed by the work the editors put into it. Including the artwork, mix of poetry & fiction, and keep in touch with us on FB.

The work they publish is consistently engaging – the writing is always intelligent without being pretentious, serious without being humourless, and moving without being schmaltzy. It’s good in a deep, grown-up way – I always find something in there that stops me in my tracks, and that sticks with me for months afterwards.


Reach Poetry

Wow! 18 years of poets will be loving this! Longest UK printed monthly magazine, £10, 500 to help poets, thank you Sab Awards for the accolade. So proud.

212 nl

Reach Poetry has given so many poets their first publication. Many have gone on to great things. We publish new poets, established poets,  in a magazine that has lasted 213 issues and nearly 18 years. We give £50 each issue to winners of a readers vote. Free verse, formal verse, haiku – we look at the poetry, not the names. Our subscriber base is loyal, we’re proud of that. Join us.

Why voters think they should win:

Reach Magazine has held my attention for well over a decade. Always fresh, personal, universal and engaging.

Reach is always an enjoyable read, appealing to the less broken aspects of my personality – there is always joy in the natural world and rhyme is unapologetic! What makes Reach though is the continuity created by the readers month to month giving a sense of belonging without being cliquey – just my opinion!

One of the longest running UK mags and possibly the only monthly one. Inclusive and non arts funded and gives out £50 in prize money every month to the three most popular poems voted for by readers. Truly democratic and publishes new and established writers.