Interview With Fur-lined Ghettos

Fur-lined Ghettos Logo

Interview With: Sophie Essex and Andrew Hook

How did you come up with the idea for the magazine? What was the inspiration for Fur-lined Ghettos Magazine? Tell us all about how this mission started.

It began with Cora Vespertine. We woke one Saturday morning, five months pregnant, and began discussing baby names (again!), which naturally led to magazine titles. We’d talked about creating a magazine for a while but had never found the impetus to do so. Although, at halfway through a pregnancy I’m not sure why we thought it would be a good idea ! But within a few hours we had ‘Fur-Lined Ghettos’, we were online & we had our first submission.

The inspiration I think came from a love of words. I had been writing short surreal pieces but felt that I would struggle to find a home for them. I didn’t – still don’t – have a word for what they are but knew they were just as valid as anything else being published… So I created a magazine that would publish the sort of thing that I, and no doubt countless others were writing.

I now realise it’s close to alt-lit but without the internet. Alt-poetry ?

I am a huge fan of alt-lit & internet poetry but my heart lies in print. Warm fingers against cold spines is one of life’s little joys.

I love the artwork for each issue! What inspires the design of the journal? What inspired the name?

Thank you !

I knew from the outset that I wanted Fur-Lined Ghettos to have a minimal look. I don’t see the need for fuss & clutter. We’re simply about words & don’t want to detract from that.

We know we shouldn’t but we all judge books by their covers, so we choose artwork that is a statement in itself.

Out first issue cover art was provided by Jordan Pundik, of pop-punk band New Found Glory. I happened to have a bought a print as we were collating the issue, & as soon as I had it in my hands I knew it was perfect for Fur-Lined Ghettos. I never expected him to allow us to use it but he did ! For me, that first issue was perfect.

As for the name, I’m not one for ruining the fun. But I think it’s fairly obvious !

What have you gained from working for Fur-lined Ghettos Magazine? How has this experience changed your perspective of reading literature and the process of creating a literary magazine?

I went into this with no idea of how things work – thankfully, Andrew has been in the publishing industry for years so he was able to provide a huge amount of support.

But it’s hard work. I’m a shy & quiet creature so having to communicate with others online & in the real world is terrifying, & promotion is a nightmare. So my biggest gain is on a social level. I am constantly having to push myself into those uncomfortable areas to get the recognition I think Fur-Lined Ghettos deserves. I am thankful for this.

I have learnt that not everyone who calls themselves a writer can write. & I now realise that life is too short to not immerse yourself, in all ways, in the writing you enjoy.

What do you look for in a publishable piece of writing? Describe your ideal submission.

Honestly? I don’t know.
I guess if you look at your writing & believe it to be any of the following:
alternative / surreal / genius / bizarre / beautiful / cryptic / transcendental

then you should submit to Fur-Lined Ghettos.

At the end of the day the worst I can say is ‘this piece isn’t for us but please send us something else’. I’m a firm believer in the fact that we’re constantly changing as writers, so just because one piece doesn’t fit, does not mean your next won’t.

I am happy to read everything that I find in the inbox.

What advice would you give to submitters?

submit submit submit.

Read Fur-Lined Ghettos, read internet poetry, read surrealism, read whatever turns your insides fuzzy.

& be honest with yourself.

What is the next exciting thing happening at Fur-lined Ghettos?

Issue #5.

Fur-Lined Ghettos is about words. Every issue is full of them. Beautiful, charming, discordant, surreal, noir, harsh, subtle, moist, calm, cryptic, violent, crushing words.

We’re not about to change. 🙂