Launch of The Red Pen #1

We are very excited to launch our debut issue of The Red Pen on Monday the 4th of October at The Brunswick Hotel from 7.30PM.

A zine featuring fiction, poetry, and art, The Red Pen is a collaborative effort by a group of left wing activists engaged with radical ideas about society, and interested in exploring and expressing these through various creative mediums.

Cover for Issue One by Cipi Morgan

The first issue is the culmination of months and months of discussion, creating, workshopping, editing and tweaking and is jam-packed full of creativity work including short stories, short short stories, poetry, a novella excerpt, art and a music review.

Copies of the print edition will be available on the night with part of the profit going toward the Refugee Action Collective in Victoria and the rest to further editions.

Digital editions in PDF and EPUB will also be available free online so you can read it on your PC, Laptop, Mac, iPhone, iPad or eReader – or most other devices.

Editor, Benjamin Solah will MC the night with performances from spoken word artist Santo Cazatti, a blues and gospel band, as well as readings from Red Pen contributors.

Come have a drink with us and celebrate the launch of this new radical and creative project.

Entry is a gold coin donation to go toward the Refugee Action Collective Victoria.

The Brunswick Hotel is at 140 Sydney Rd, Brunswick VIC 3056

RSVP on Facebook.

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Issue #1 Table of Contents

I am jumping out of my skin with excitement to show you the first issue. We’re nearly done and looking at a September launch now, mainly because August is totally busy with the election and pre-election protests that many of us at The Red Pen have been involved in. And we’re trying to set a date so it doesn’t clash with all the other radical things you want to go to.

So here is a taster for you, the table of contents for the debut edition.

  • Love-tokens – Ben Coggins – poetry
  • Azadi – Cipi Morgan – fiction
  • The Internationalists – RevolutionStryker a.k.a. J.T. – art
  • Poem for Palestine – Lucais O’Neil – poetry
  • Deliverance from Exile – Jordan Humphreys – fiction
  • He always chooses the best – Dalal – fiction
  • Green Assumptions – Lori Dietrich – fiction
  • Homage to NAPLAN – Jay Ayerson – poetry
  • Status Quo – Jay Ayerson – poetry
  • Jam – Jay Ayerson – poetry
  • Colour by Numbers – Jay Ayerson – poetry
  • Ozario’s Murder – Cipi Morgan – novella excerpt
  • Unbalanced – Bec Hynek – poetry
  • The ‘Caf’ – Bec Hynek – poetry
  • Dead Sea Salt – Bec Hynek – poetry
  • The Same Place – Benjamin Solah – fiction
  • Still Standing Toe to Toe – Azlan McLennan – review
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Jordan Humphreys on Deliverance from Exile

So what will you find within The Red Pen when it finally goes up? (Hopefully soon btw)

Well you will find what is described on our about page: ‘A zine featuring fiction, poetry, and art, The Red Pen is a collaborative effort by a group of left-wing activists engaged with radical ideas about society, and interested in exploring and expressing these through various creative mediums.’ You will however find much more as well. I’ve seen most of the pieces being put together for the zine and have to say it is an intriguing collection of political fiction, prose-poetry, biting satire, engaging art and heart-felt poetry of the non prose kind.

As just one of the contributors I will leave it to the others to elaborate upon their own creative interventions and will just give a few comments about my own piece.

It’s called Deliverance from Exile which I know is rather dramatic and all but I’ve come to think it suits this fantasy short story. So yes it’s a fantasy story, drawing on the New Weird, Steampunk and Magical Realism to be exact. Never heard of any of those last three? (bar maybe the last in relation to Gabriel Garcia Marquez) Don’t worry about it neither has most of the human population, go on and give it a read anyway. Have heard of them? Well lucky you, pat yourself on the back and read the damn story.

So not all of the pieces in The Red Pen are explicitly political although quite a few are including my own. Fantasy and science fiction has had a long history of lefties just think about China Mieville’s epic fantasy political novels, George Orwell’s 1984 or Ursula le Guin’s The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness. Even Marxist Hal Draper took time out of writing and researching his multi-volume work on Karl Marx to write the science fiction story Ms Fnd in a Lbry. So I’m not alone at least.

I hope I’ve interested you and don’t worry The Red Pen is coming soon, you will be able to read it digitally or you can get a physical copy. The best option is to do both. Trust me you won’t be disappointed.

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From the Editor…

Discussion and creating of The Red Pen has been swirling around the heads of a group of us since about April this year after I pitched an idea to a group of creative people who also shared my world view.

We’re almost ready to show you what we’ve come up with.

The inspiration was essentially to see what creative impulses exist within those that are engaged with radical ideas and interested in changing the world. It isn’t an exercise in propaganda and I didn’t ask people to write political fiction, but what came out was what motivated these people personally; at various levels it was political, or their motivations that linked with their politics informed a kind of subtext to some of the pieces.

It was also intended as a medium where those contributors who did want to express their politics through their creations could do so without the pressures from other publications to restrain it or tone it down.

I think we have some really great pieces ready to be unveiled in the first issue with some great writing and some great ideas. I hope that the zine can do their pieces justice and help reach enough readers that the creations deserve.

We hope to release it both in print and digitally in early August with launches in Melbourne and Sydney. And we hope you’ll help us come along for the ride by spreading the word, reading the pieces and coming along.

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