Welcome to the digital edition of Hull Scribbler Issue 8 – an issue that promises much, and delivers.
One thing before we get started: the Chief Editor traditionally does a little – ahem – ‘scribble’ to introduce the issue. And a little moderate scribble is what I’m giving you. Yet the Chief Editor I am not. At least not officially. I’ll explain….
The University of Hull English Society, which has released Scribbler yearly since 2015, started 2021–22 with a President
(me), Secretary, and one Editor. Such was Covid’s legacy: the previous team brought the Society back from oblivion during lockdown, but presided over a tough year that saw a significant lull in typical student activity. The recovery was still underway in AGM season.
As students tentatively explored the new opportunities the fresh year proffered, a successful EGM gave us our full slate of four Editors. The only outlier was Chief Editor. It’s understandable: few would throw themselves into the deep end right after joining a society.
Was I a little cavalier in offering to oversee the role and fulfil the one I already had? Probably. My plate already had things falling off the side. Am I glad? Absolutely. I live and breathe creativity – fiction, poetry, filmmaking, photography – and when I scouted universities in – gasps – 2010, Hull was one of few not to brandish a student anthology at me. So, when Hull Scribbler was conceived in late 2014, I was overjoyed. From Issue 2 onwards, several iterations bore my imprints – editing, articles, creative pieces, many photos – but were always someone else’s project.
This brings us to Emergence. If I was to do a Chief Editor’s job – something I’d never done before and may never do again – then I had to do it right. For me, a big thing was to try to have it in print. Finances and Covid have hindered us in the recent and not-so-recent past; notably, our last print issue was in 2018. I dreamt of rectifying this – and hopefully you’ve seen photographs of the result.
With a team assembled, next came the theme-choosing. The broad stroke was an early notion; the word was not. Issue 7 – which set
a new record for length – was titled Lockdown; the idea was to produce its counterpart. ‘Freedom’, ‘rebirth’ and ‘awakening’ were offered with little zeal. Then, one of my teammates cracked it: Emergence. It did all that we wanted and more. It automatically covered both areas I’d considered: the aftermath of a year or more of lockdowns, isolation, and restriction; and, of course, spring (our usual release time). Soon, more occurred to us: new jobs, new mentalities, starting university, moving house, developing, coming out….The original idea had blossomed. And I’m so pleased that our submissions lived up to this potential.
With vision and acuity, our eighteen creators write about imagination, philosophy, grief, better outlooks, travels, nature, and LGBT+ voices. There are horror, sci-fi and fantasy elements, and narrative surprises. Allow Ben, James, Levi, Lucy and Robin to take you into the stark worlds of their prose. Let yourself be captivated by the tactful verse of Casey, Elise, Gabrielle, Jaydon, Lilliana, Matt, Niamh and T.S. Drayton. Imagine, if you will, watching or listening to the drama offered by Amy, Andrew and Katie. (If you like, you can even read my work.) We sneaked some art in, too.
The things-through-or-beyond-other-things vibe of the print issue was probably anticipated by its readers. But I doubt either they or you expected quite so much photography – a nod to early Scribblers. Words are our greatest passion, but visual arts are a close second. Sheldon said it best (albeit in a different context): ‘Nothing beats a picture and a thousand words.’ With tens of thousands of photographs taken in my life, I relish the combination. Sometimes a photo and a piece are made for each other; sometimes one is just desperate to show an image to the world. The extent to which Amy, Faye, Lilliana, Sam and I share our collection is greater than that of many past Scribbler photographers.
I’ll leave you with this: despite ‘mag’ being one term for us, we are not one. We are an anthology – of all things creative. I wanted this Scribbler to be brimming; I wanted it to slap you in the face with colour and life. It’s a close-run thing, but Emergence has a higher word count, and more fiction, poetry and drama combined, than any prior issue of Hull Scribbler – so it can rightly take the crown for now! This digital edition offers you over eighty pages of creativity. Happy reading.
Acting Chief Editor.