Interview with Lynsey May of The Edinburgh Review

Posted by Babs Melville

Can you tell us a bit about The Edinburgh Review?

The Review is Edinburgh’s oldest literary journal, with the first issue breaking ground in 1802. It’s been through quite a few incarnations since then, and lots of different editors. Each has made their mark in their own way, and the current helmsman, poet Alan Gillis is pretty keen to keep things fresh while also hanging on to some of that heritage. We have three issues a year and publish a mixture of national and international writers.

Who are your target audience?

We don’t want the Edinburgh Review to be only relevant to Scotland, but we do like to keep a fairly national focus. Hopefully, as in its very earliest days, it’s of relevance to the wider literary world. We’ve fiction and poetry, reviews and articles for folks to get their teeth into, often from well-established writers but also from some bright new stars of the literary scene.

The magazine was established in 1802. What are the fundamental ways in which it has changed since then?

The magazine has changed drastically over the years and Scotland and the literary scene is very different to back then, but these days we’d like to think it’s still a close relation to its ancestor. We’re very interested in finding contributors who want to reshape the way we think about literature and culture, if you’ve been pondering the state of books, films, art or science in Scotland and beyond, now is the time to tell us about it.

What sort of submissions are you looking for?

It all comes down to quality. We don’t have themed issues or any preferred subject matters, but we’re always on the lookout for well-crafted submissions.

What kind of events do you run, and are there any coming up?

We hold launches for each of our issues and the next one is planned as part of the Edinburgh Book Fringe 2012 at Wordpower. After that, it’ll be November before our next. You know what they say, good things come to those who wait!

What will the next issue hold?

We’re delighted to feature excellent poetic contributions from Ron Butlin, Marianne Boruch, Fred D’Aguiar and many more in issue 134. As well as fantastic fiction from Alice Thompson, Li San Xing, Anneliese MacKintosh and Allan Wilson and a selection of articles and reviews.

Where can people find out more?

Come follow us on Twitter or Facebook on on our good old fashioned website for updates about events, issues and anything else we think worth sharing.

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