Monday, 26 December 2011

Winter editorial

Editing Prole is normally a long distance affair. Tomorrow, it's the prose ed's turn to journey to Wales. Tuesday and Wednesday we are meeting at one of the Prole offices to plan the coming year. As the office is only open for Proley business every few weeks, anyone near The George and Dragon in Abergele is welcome to pop in. We'll be there for two days. (If not, try The Bee.) It's your round.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Merry Christmas

An early Merry Christmas from the Proles,
and thanks to all of you who've bought and sold
this treasure trove of poetry and prose.
Contributors, you are the Proley gears
and as we shift towards another year
Brett and Phil salute you with their beers.

All the best

Monday, 12 December 2011

Suggestions please...

Prole is looking to partner with three charities: one for each of our issues in a year. We already have two in mind. We're asking for suggestions from Prole followers for our third charity. If you'd rather not post here, you can email us at admin(at)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Read our competition winners

The winning entries to the Prolitzer Prize can now be read here:
We had some terrific pices to choose from; these three really hit the spot.
Our second Prole Laureate poetry competition is now receiving entries. Details are here: There are cash prizes and publication on offer.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Competition winners

The winners of the Prolitzer Prize prose writing competition have been announced on our website here. Thank you to all who entered. The standard was fantastic. Thanks also to our judge, Stephen Ross.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Stuck for a Christmas gift?

If you'd like to give a subscription or single issue of Prole as a Christmas gift (And who wouldn't want to receive one?) you can include a message in the 'instructions to merchant' box in PayPal and we'll send your subscription gift wrapped along with your message in a festive card. Orders must be placed by Wednesday 14th to arrive in time for the big day.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Prole # 6

It's Out! Prole issue six is now available from our website
This issue is a real rollercoaster of quality fiction, memoir and poetry.
A three issue subscription to Prole is a Christmas present that would last all year!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Inbox, letterbox behold!
Watch for issue 6 of Prole.
Though in this electronic age
you have the choice of screen or page
from which to read our writers' flare,
one thing is writ so be aware
that by the (c)licking of your thumbs
something wicked your way comes.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Review for Merlin's Lane

Robert Nisbet's Merlin's Lane has received an excellent review from Pembrokeshire Life Magazine.  
Merlin's Lane is published by Prolebooks and can be purchased here.

Merlin's Lane : A Review of Robert Nisbet's new poetry collection

By Phil Carradice

Poetry autobiographies rarely seem to work. Betjeman's “Summoned By Bells” and “The Angry Summer” by Idris Davies are rare examples of two that do – but now, I think, you can add another volume to that list. Robert Nisbet's “Merlin's Lane” is a vivid and compelling account of childhood, adolescence and early adulthood in Haverfordwest.

The poetry is excellently conceived, well written and full of beautiful and striking images. But for Pembrokeshire readers it is the descriptions of the county – Haverfordwest and Milford Haven in particular – that will strike a chord. Nisbet catches the bygone days of the 40s and 50's, even the early 1960s, and presents them in a vivid series of word pictures that are not sentimental but which are certain to bring a catch to the voice or raise up the hairs on the back of your neck.

There are some wonderful moments here. I loved “King George the Sixth is Dead”  and the nonchalant way the news about the demise of this distant and obscure figure, previously glimpsed by the boys only on the backs of pennies or on newsreel shots, is given:-

“At the classroom door a lank-hired boy,
the errand runner, blushed and blurted,
Please sir, the King's dead.”

There are poems here about a striptease show at Portfield fair, about trips down places like Pembroke Main Street to play Monkton Swifts or Angle at football. There are poems about vacation jobs when the writer returns from University to work “behind the scenes” in the local butcher's shop and about the town carnivals that used to hold such an important position in Pembrokeshire life.

Naturally, with a story teller like Robert Nisbet, these are poems about place and people. They are the stuff of his literary life – he has, after all, spent thirty years capturing their every move and thought. Previously he has done it in prose, in a series of tightly woven short stories. This is his first poetry collection and it is one that is memorable for many reasons – mostly the writer's ability to take a small moment or incident and develop it into something significant and telling. People will read these poems and say “Why didn't I think of that?” And that is the true poet's art.

As someone who spent his early teaching career in Milford, the poems brought back many memories for me. Take this one, “A Postcard from Milford Haven,” as an example:-

“'Oh hear us when we pray to thee
for those in peril on the sea.'

Those stormy mornings we'd sing that hymn.
The fathers of many of the school
were out there, trawlers taught against
the seas of Finisterre, Tiree. And
as the singing swung into the heaves
and hollows of its verse, my blunt
neck-hairs tingled with the sharing

Short, sharp words but so telling. Anybody who remembers the fishing fleet of Milford Haven will enjoy – if that is the right word -  that emotion. And certainly anyone who ever stood in a school assembly hall and bellowed out those incredibly evocative verses whenever the wind blew and rain fell, will relate to this short but powerful poem.

'Merlin's Lane' is an excellent addition to the literature, not just of Pembrokeshire but to the whole of Wales. It is one man's telling of his life in a place he truly loves and, as such, it will surely become essential reading for anyone who feels the same about the county.

Pembrokeshire Life Magazine
Swan House
Bridge Street
Newcastle Emlyn
SA68 9DX

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Will the real Nan Hardwicke please stand up?

Will the real Nan Hardwicke please stand up? Prole is proud as punch to post that Wendy Pratt's debut poetry pamphlet has had a review in the Scarborough Evening News. Click here to read.

Monday, 14 November 2011

#6 to print

Prole issue 6 has just gone to print. We believe it to be another excellent collection of short stories, memoir and poetry - are you as excited as us? Say, 'Yes, Uncle Brett. Yes, Uncle Phil.'

Monday, 7 November 2011

Christmas shopping?

Only 48 days left until Christmas. Why not let Prole take the strain with a single or three issue gift subscription for friends or family. Visit for details.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Weekend just gone saw Prole eds meeting up with poet Wendy Pratt and husband Chris in Manchester to celebrate our publishing of her pamphlet, Nan Hardwicke Turns into a Hare. We made sure we got our copies signed before too much merriment. Drinks and Chinese food enjoyed by all. Only a handful of Prole issue 5 are left if you have not yet purchased yours. Issue 6 will be out in time to make a cracking Christmas read.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Second Prole Laureate Competition

The second Prole Laureate poetry competiton is now open. The winner receives £130 and publication. There are two runners up prizes of £25. This year our competition is being judged by the celebrated poet, Andrew McMillan. Click here for full details.
Andrew McMillan

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Prole lauches two poetry pamphlets

We are very proud to announce the publication of our first two poetry pamphlets (or chapbooks, if you prefer): Nan Hardwicke Turns into a Hare by Wendy Pratt and Merlin’s Lane by Robert Nisbet. Both have already received high praise. Phil Carradice, an editor at Roundyhouse Magazine, said of Merlin’s Lane: “Merlin's Lane” is the sort of collection we would all loved to have written. Very few of us ever could. And that's what makes it a fascinating, interesting and evocative read. It is an excellent collection of poetry by an excellent writer.
In her foreword for Nan Harwicke Turns into a Hare, celebrated poet, Alison Brackenbury wrote: I was astonished by the courage and generosity of this pamphlet. Many poets, finding in their finished work a powerful story of magic, and briefer lyrics of personal loss, would have eked them out into separate publications. But poetry is a drawing together, and Wendy Pratt excels at the deft and moving assembly of her poems’ world... Its final astonishment is that such power can rest within a handful of lyrical stories, like the woman in the frail body of the hare. I left these compassionate poems with admiration and regret.
Both pamphlets can be purchased at:

Monday, 17 October 2011

Prolitzer judged - results pending!

The Prolitzer Prize for prose writing has been judged and winner and runners up chosen. There were some fantastic entries and judging wasn't easy. The winner and runners up will be announced on our website on Dec 3rd and in issue 6 of Prole which will be out in late November.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Cover art

We're very lucky and grateful to continue to receive some excellent poetry and prose submissions - it has helped Prole develop throughout our first year or so of publishing. We've also had some great covers, but have had to work very hard to find material. Submissions of cover art would be very welcome. Art for Prole covers should be in black and white and show some aspect of humanity. You can see our previous covers on our website. Submissions should be in black and white. Details on the website here:

Monday, 3 October 2011

Prolitzer competition closed

Thank you to all those who entered our competition. The entry period is now closed and your little works of art will soon be winging their way to New Zealand for judging.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Last chance...

Only five days left to enter our Prolitzer Prize competition for prose writing. Cash prizes and publication on offer. Many thanks to those who have already entered. We've enjoyed reading your efforts. Details here:

Monday, 19 September 2011

Peace One Day

Wednesday 21st September is International Day of Peace. One small act of kindness can make a difference. Visit: or to find out more.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Prolitzer Prize

Feeling the pinch and got a masterpiece hiding away on your hard drive or in a dusty notebook? There are only eighteen days left to enter the Prolitzer Prize for short prose writing. Cash prizes and publication up for grabs. Don't worry, Ernest Hemmingway is dead and E. Annie Proulx is probably busy. All details on our website here.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Where do you read yours?

The Prole poetry pooches, Remi and Rio, read theirs whilst winding down after walkies (they like their alliteration too). Share your photos of where you read yours on our Facebook page and best pic of the month wins a pdf of the Prole issue of your choice. Facebook page is here.
This one is Remi - quite a philosopher.
And here's Rio - in honesty, more of a Daily Mirror type - see the lips move?

Monday, 29 August 2011

New Prole stockists in Liverpool

Royal Mail permitting, News From Nowhere in Liverpool will be stocking Prole from Tuesday 30th August. Support Prole and your local, independent book store by popping into News From Nowhere on Bold Street.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Where do you read yours?

Prole's poetry ed reads his in the George and Dragon, Abergele. Where do you read yours?

Monday, 15 August 2011

Support your independents

The last independent bookshop in Bolton, Sweetens - stockist of Prole, has now closed down. A town already homogenised becomes an even blander place and our reading choices become dictated by Waterstones and their buyers. Lesson? Support your local, independent businesses before every town is like every other and choices are limited to those made at corporate level.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Prole, issue 5 - feedback

Initial feedback from readers of issue 5 is very positive. A special thank you to our subscribers. As we are completely independent, you are the lifeblood of Prole. Get your copy from​ge5.html

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Prole issue 5

We're very excited to be launching Prole issue 5 today. Issue five is packed with quality fiction and poetry. Thank you to our contributors for their excellent submissions and our readers for their continued support. Issue 5 can be purchased from our website.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Issue 5 - nearly here

All being well, issue five will be launched on Saturday August 6th. It's a great issue and will be available to buy at In celebration, the editors will be visiting the George and other drinking holes in Abergele for a couple of days from about Wednesday lunchtime. Feel free to join us. (Though if you do, it's your round.)
Here's a quick preview of the cover.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Where do you read yours?

Where do you read yours? Paste your photo on our wall at Facebook - here. Best one in every month wins a free PDF of Prole. Here's one to get you going.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Editorial anyone?

Prole 5 about put to bed and editors' thoughts turn to the next editorial meetings. Watch out Abergele and Bolton.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Issue 5

Content for issue five selected. All pieces already submitted will be considered for issue six - and, of course - we remain open to further submissions.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Issue 5

Issue 5 is coming together well. Look out for launch of issue in mid August.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Prolitzer Prize

Our prose competition remains open to fiction and nonfiction of less than 1500 words. Cash prizes and publication on offer. See our website at for full details.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Call for artwork

Artists may be interested in submitting work for two poetry pamphlets we are publishing in November. Any artwork accepted will attract a small payment and the artist will be credited in the publication. Contact Brett at for details.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Reader/writer blog

For those of you who have read Prole, don't forget, you can share your thoughts online with our writers here. If you haven't read it yet, there are a few copies of issue four available at

Monday, 6 June 2011


Our submissions remain healthy in terms of quantity and quality. However, we would like to see a few more pieces of creative nonfiction, well structured verse and comic verse. If you've anything lurking inside your bottom drawer that might fit the bill, give us a try. Visit the submissions page on our website for full details.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Issue 4 update

The royalty period for Prole 4 is still open and we have already met our targets to start paying our contributors for the third issue running. We've managed this with no funding. We rely solely on our paying readers. Thank you very much - especially to those readers who subscribe and our writers who donate their share of royalties back into the future success of Prole.

Monday, 23 May 2011


The next Prole editorial is next week so get your submissions in as soon as possible for a crack at publication in issue 5. Submissions will remain open after that time for issue three. Don't forget the Prolitzer Prize prose competition. As ever, all details on the website

Monday, 16 May 2011


Prole is looking for cover artwork. Details are on the website: subs page. Briefly, we’re after striking images that show some aspect of humanity. Previous covers can be viewed on the purchase page. If you are interested in providing cover art for the two poetry pamphlets we are publishing, please email us at for details. Artwork accepted for the pamphlets will earn a small one-off fee.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Poetry pamphlets

After four successful issues, Prole is branching out and publishing two poetry pamphlets. The pamphlets, due out around November, are by two well published and respected poets. We're excited to be working them. Watch this space for more details.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Highly commended from the Prole Laureate competition

Gwen Seabourne's Spectatorwatching is now available to read on our website here. Gwen was highly commended in our Prole Laureate competition.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Highly commended

David Mark Williams' Beautiful Animal is available to read on our website. David was highly commended in our Prole Laureate competition. Check it out here.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Prole on the road

Many thanks to the Orton Scribblers for their hospitality and warm welcome. Thanks for treating us gently. Hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Prole on the road

Orton Scribblers have invited us to share our experiences and read a few of our favourite pieces published in the last year. We're really looking forward to a little 'Prole on the road'. Details are the Scribbler's website:

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Issue 4, available now.

Prole, issue 4, another collection of great poetry and prose, is now available from our website.
Just follow the purchase link.

Monday, 4 April 2011

The Prolitzer Prize

We have launched our Prose competition: The Prolitzer Prize. There's a cash prize fund and publication for the winner. Visit out competition page here for full details.
Our guest judge is Stephen Ross, a much published and Edgar nominated writer.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Prole Laureate winners

The winners and runners up of our first Prole Laureate competition have been announced. Visit our competition page here to find out more.

Thank you to Wendy Pratt, our co-judge - and all those who entered.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Creative nonfiction

We've been very lucky to receive great submissions for issue four (due soon) but we would still like to see more creative nonfiction. By creative nonfiction we mean factual pieces that contain a narrative. Sharpen that pencil, dust off the keyboard and give us a try.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Simultaneous submissions.

We decided not to accept simultaneous submissions at Prole from the start. That means we don’t want pieces that are being considered elsewhere. As both the editors here also submit work to literary publications we understand the frustrations of having to wait months to find out if our work is accepted. That is why we try to respond within two to three weeks to every piece that is sent to us. Sometimes that is a rejection; sometimes notice that the piece has been short-listed with an indication of when a final decision will be made; sometimes a quick acceptance.

Prole is a small concern but time is very valuable. We cannot afford to be let down a week or so before going to print. The print proof takes a long time to prepare.

We treat all our submissions and writers with respect and honesty. We ask them to treat us in the same way.

Monday, 21 March 2011


All the poems entered into the Prole Laureate competition are now with our co- judge, Wendy Pratt. In a short space of time Wendy has had poetry published in several well respected journals. Thank you to all who entered - and good luck. Entries will be announced on our website on April 2nd. Issue 4 will also be released on that date.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Compiling # 4

We're excited to be compiling issue 4 this week. The content is excellent. This issue will see us achieve our first birthday. A huge thank you to all who have subscribed, submitted or helped in any way over the last twelve months.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Graphic art

We are considering including graphic art in Prole - single frame cartoons or multiple frames to fill a page. If you fancy submitting, email a jpeg or PDF to The overall editorial tone of Prole doesn't change. (See submissions page - website) Any artwork accepted will be worth 2 points for royalty payments. This too is explained on our submissions page. Why not give us a try?
Website here.

Monday, 28 February 2011


Prole is now available in Sweetens independent bookshop, Deansgate, Bolton: a friendly, well stocked (and clearly forward thinking) establishment.

Monday, 21 February 2011


Mid February editorial being enjoyed by all. Catering by prose ed's wife is stupendous. Looking forward to finalising issue 4 and other Proley activities. Keep the subs coming in.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Nearly there for #4

Content is being finalised for issue 4 but there are still slots available for both poetry and prose. We are also open for submissions for issue 5.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Another review

Prole, issue 3 has been reviewed by Laura McDonald at the Neon Magazine website. We're thrilled with this one. The review can be accessed here. The Neon website is also well worth exploring while you're there.

Monday, 31 January 2011

The Prole year

At a recent editorial we mapped out the Prole year. (Subject to change – but we’re going to try to stick to this.)
Issues published in April, August, November.
Poetry competition open from November to February, winners announced in April.
Prose competition open from April to September, winners announced in November.
Open to submissions year round.
Thank you to all those who have supported us in our first year.

Monday, 24 January 2011


One of our writers, Stephen Ross (The Devil’s Piano Player and Clocks Without Hands), has been nominated for the prestigious Edgar Award for short stories. ‘Monsieur Alice is Absent’ appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine in October. Many congratulations and good luck. The winners are announced on 28th April. Stephen’s site can be accessed here:

Monday, 17 January 2011

Call for cover art

We are actively looking for artwork to use for covers. We've been thrilled with our last two covers and would like to maintain the human interest theme. Those covers and details about how to submit can be found on the website. We remain open to submissions of poetry and prose.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Prole Laureate Competition.

We have recruited the talented and up and coming poet, Wendy Pratt, to judge our competition alongside our poetry editor, Brett Evans. In a short space of time, Wendy has been published in: Acumen, The Interpreter's House, Other Poetry, Pennine Platform, Snakeskin and Prole.
Results will be announced on the website April 2nd.
On this day, we will also be launching the Prolitzer Prize competition. A prose competition to find someone to represent the editorial ambitions of Prole via prose.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to those who follow all things Prole. Issue three is available from our website and we are open to submissions for issue 4.