"Love, death, cybersex, and stretched cricket metaphors" (Bad Idea's new Writing Lab)

Sneezing, uninspired, and aching for my next cup of Theraflu, I'm having a reading-not-writing day, finally getting a chance to wade through some email I've been shuffling aside. A while back, I received this from Jack Roberts and Daniel Stacey, founding editors of Bad Idea:

Ahoy there!

I've perused your blog, and I like what you do. I think you might like what we do too!

BAD IDEA has just launched The Writer's Lab, the UK's first fully integrated online magazine submissions facility. Any aspiring writers amongst your readers can submit their short non-fiction stories to the Show and Tell section, where they will meet appraisal from other writers and the BAD IDEA editors. You can draw inspiration from other submissions, rate your favourites and leave comments and suggestions to help others along the way. The best Show and Tell stories will win a subscription to the magazine and earn themselves a chance to be published in BAD IDEA magazine.

And introducing our online exclusive… At the Butcher's Shop you can view transparent and interactive edits of our favourite pieces of writing from Show and Tell; watch as we take a knife to the best submissions, allowing prospective contributors to pick up some essential tips to improve their writing; and then hover over changes to read comments and suggestions from our Editorial team.

On the site you can also read highlights from the best of young British journalism, find out about our upcoming events, and conjure some smart opinion of your own by commenting on the BAD IDEA blog.

I'm fearful of peer editing in general, so I haven't looked at the Butcher Shop yet, but on a quick visit to Bad Idea, I did enjoy the art and got sidetracked looking at the online portfolio of German illustrator Anke Weckman. (I love this exactly right portrait of Bjork.)

I also enjoyed "What We See, We See With Our Own Eyes" by Sarah Dohrmann, who's on a Fullbright fellowship in Morocco...
I was given a hand-drawn, badly photocopied map of the New City (’Ville Nouvelle’ so named by the French who built outside of Morocco’s ‘Old Medina’ walls – ‘Old City’ – during the French Protectorate from 1912 to 1956), which was useless since there are virtually no street signs in Fez. I moved into Fez’s Old Medina, a medieval city never not described as ‘labyrinthine’, that dates back to the 8th Century, of which there is only one decent map, and even that fails.

In short, I was a tender little white furry red-eyeballed domesticated rabbit who didn’t realise how accustomed she was to her small New York City cage.

According to--well, themselves, BAD IDEA, the magazine is "the new stomping ground for ambitious young British writers, a braggadocious melting pot of tragedy, parties, love, death, cybersex and stretched cricket metaphors." The audacity of that description alone made me order BAD IDEA: The Anthology, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with their Lab.

Check it out.


boxing said…
The art is very cool, and I loved the Dohrmann excerpt.

But it makes me shudder thinking of workshopping with the anonymity of the Internet. Like Lord of the Flies meets a graduate writing workshop. I'm thinking a lot of fragile egos could be extinguished by mockery before their prose is halfway to the point of ripeness.

I haven't checked the site yet, though, so maybe it's a kinder, more helpful spot than I've guessed.

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