History

Spellbinder is an international nonprofit quarterly literary and art magazine which celebrates and offers a platform to artists, dramatists and poets, as well as writers of fiction and nonfiction.

Spellbinder’s Story

Spellbinder was founded in 2020 by a group of students based in England, who had first met at the Durham University Creative Writing Society. The team has now grown to proudly include editors based in UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, all generously devoting their time to providing this literary and artistic platform, at the same time as pursuing their own careers, studies and other commitments and interests. The two remaining original co-founders, Amber and Linda, operate as the central management committee of the magazine, and are indebted to all of the volunteers who join the Spellbinder team.

Their first issue was the Winter 2021 Issue which was published in January 2021, just three months after they were established in October 2020.

Since then, they have published writers who have gone on to win Second Prize in the JLPP International Translation Competition (Douglas Jern); become a finalist in the Colorado Book Award (Morgan Liphart); and win Best New Voice: Fiction in the Benjamin Franklin Awards (Jason Zeitler).

A few of their writers have also been published by Alien Buddha Press (Anna Nguyen; Candice M. Kelsey); Cranthorpe Millner (R. N. Cogley); Penteract Press (Teo Eve); Brigids Gate Press (SJ Townend; Richard Leise); Red Hen Press (Joanne Skerrett); Polyphony Press (Jason Zeitler); Silver Bow (Matt Thomas); Boats Against the Current (Candice M. Kelsey); and Ellipsis Imprints (LJ Ireton).

One of their dramatists’ work has been performed at the Q.E.D. Astoria arts venue in New York City (Christopher Woods); another’s has been shortlisted for the Shelagh Delaney New Writing Award (Quigley CB); another was one of six national winners for the New Play Fest 2024 hosted by the American Association of Community Theatre (Richard Manley); and another was a finalist in the Del Shores Foundation Writer’s Search 2023 (Kaylon Willoughby).

The work of their artists has been exhibited at The Alchemy Experiment in Glasgow (RUNA); The Box Gallery in Jersey City (DARKRECONSTRUCTION); and the ANCA Gallery in Canberra (henry hu).

Spellbinder regularly promotes their past contributors’ achievements in Celebrate Success pages in each of the Spellbinder issues.

Spellbinder’s Prize Nominees

Committed to supporting their past contributors beyond publication in the magazine, Spellbinder nominates contributors for the Pushcart Prize.

Pushcart Prize 2022 (Aimee Lowenstern; Jocelyne Lamarche; Rishika Pandit).

Pushcart Prize 2023 (Danielle Gilmour; Douglas Jern; Oliver Brooks).

Spellbinder’s Ethos

Inclusivity and diversity are at the core of Spellbinder‘s ethos. They strongly value being able to provide a platform for an international range of voices from many different backgrounds and cultural experiences.

Spellbinder’s Mission

The editorial team is particularly keen to promote the works of those who are at the beginning of their literary careers. However, they also welcome submissions from writers and artists who have been published before and feature widely-known creatives in each issue as well.

Spellbinder’s Style

The magazine seeks to capture originality and innovation as it arises in the artistic and literary worlds. Spellbinder is looking for work which tests and experiments with the boundaries of media, form and convention whilst also entering into a dialogue with and engaging with textual and visual artistic history and traditions. The editorial team have particularly enjoyed receiving submissions with interesting and unusual themes, as well as insightful and original ideas.

Spellbinder’s Events

The Spellbinder anniversary party celebrates the achievements of contributors by giving an award to the most successful submission within each genre category. Spellbinder hosts a number of other events throughout the year including Spoken Word Showcases and Writer’s Workshops, often in collaboration with other magazines and different creative groups.

Spellbinder’s Platforms

Spellbinder produces online content through its blog, Spellnotes, available on Medium, and its podcast, Spellchats, available on Spotify. Spellbinder also publishes regularly on its social media pages: