Silk + Smoke is a new literary magazine, based in Scotland, accepting submissions of odd and experimental short stories, poems, scripts, and creative nonfiction.

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Ride or Die

By Meg Mulcahy We had never seen a double coffin before. One stupid October night, emboldened by whiskey and promise, we crept into Dunboyne funeral home to take a proper look. It had been on display in the home window for weeks, the subject of Bridie and Maureen’s nattering propped up by shopping trolley bags. A double coffin. “The Padre Pio Package,” we called it. A double deal, with cheese. We’d spent the night discussing the logistics. How did it work? Did one have to die and be unearthed when the other was ready to join them? Or, did you…

Pumpkin

By Gary Henderson “Well you know how we had that packet of pregnancy tests? I was cleaning the toilet and I was going to throw them out because of what we spoke about earlier, and there was only one left in it, and I thought I might as well just use it rather than throw it out, so I just used it, and well, I went and got some more just to be sure, and they were all the same, and eh, it was positive…” She let the breathless tale dangle in the air for as long as it took…

Within the Narrative

By Nicholas Starkey Christ. What is that smell? Oh, yeah. “Oh well,” I announce, stuttering. I stand up and it hits me – my morning ritual. Or perhaps it’s my mid-day ritual. Oh well. It’s a ritual that I perform every twenty-four hours of living. I wonder when the day will come, where I won’t last the full twenty-four hours of a day – I might only live for two hours of that day. That would be a day that wouldn’t come to an end. I laugh. I’m alone. I look through my bloodshot goggles, around my living space but…

Silk + Smoke Issue 1 / Download Now

In her creative writing MasterClass series, Margaret Atwood, critically acclaimed author of The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace, and Oryx and Crake, talks about the classic fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood. To inspire her pupils to think of stories in a different way, she proposes a new opening sentence: ‘It was dark inside the wolf.’ It’s these switches in structure and experimentation with narrative voice, setting, imagery, and characterisation that turn stories on their head. From the outset, I wanted Silk + Smoke to be a haven for just that, for the stories that don’t bend to fit any one genre…

News / Silk + Smoke Issue 1 publication cycle

While we’re working through your lovely, gruesome submissions, I thought I’d give everyone some news about our plans for the publication cycle for Silk + Smoke’s first ever issue. Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who sent in their short stories, poems, scripts, and pieces of creative nonfiction for consideration. Silk + Smoke started as a small idea and has already received so much support from amazing readers and writers around the world which we are very grateful for. We were inundated with imaginative, experimental pieces and we’re so excited to release them out into the world like a (nice)…

Should I study creative writing at university?

Deciding whether or not you want to go to university, no matter what subject you’re interested in, can be tricky. The structure of a degree isn’t for everyone. We all learn and create in different ways and those differences should be celebrated and taken advantage of. If you hated school/college and you desperately want to take a different path to pursue a career in writing, go with your gut. If you are considering studying creative writing at university, but you’re unsure what to expect, keep reading! How do creative writing workshops work? Every creative writing course is different. You may…

Fact and creative nonfiction

When you snuggle down in your seat at the cinema, popcorn overflowing from the packet and trickling onto the floor, and audible slurps from Ice Blasts echoing throughout the screening before the previews start, there’s an air of anticipation. There’s something about being in a darkened theatre, waiting for a film to start, that takes us back to being giddy children. What makes watching a film on the big screen more exciting are the words: ‘Based on a true story.’ Why does ‘based on a true story’ intrigue us? ‘But why, when we go to the cinema to escape real…

9 tips for submitting to literary magazines

Submitting to literary magazines, for the first time or the 100th time, can feel like a minefield. Where should I submit to? Should I write something new just for a specific publication? What kind of magazines will want my work? Where can I find out where I should submit to? If you find yourself asking these questions every time you finish a story you want to send out into the world, you’re not the first and you won’t be the last. Here are Silk + Smoke’s 9 tips for submitting your work to literary magazines: 1) Choose the right publication…

A note from the editor

Welcome to Silk + Smoke, a new literary magazine, based in Scotland, looking for strange and absurd stories for our first online issue. There are tons of literary magazines out there. Some with specific, niche themes, some that are open to all genres and styles (as long as its good), some that welcome submissions all year round, and some that have a short submission window where countless eager writers ping work their way. Silk + Smoke will offer a home on this small corner of the internet for the oddities, the misfits, and the downright weirdos. One of the most…

5 essential podcasts and vlogs for writers

You’ve finally got it. A story idea you’re so excited about that you throw the covers off, jump out of bed in the middle of the night, and start scribbling down the words formulating in your head before they slip away. You have a clear idea of the plot, you can envision your characters, and you have the perfect ending already mapped out. But even if the first draft of your story goes that smoothly (which it rarely does), is that enough? Regularly checking-in with helpful writing resources can open your eyes to new techniques you may not have considered…