By Justin David and Nathan Evans

An anthology of stories from the edges by independent publisher Inkandescent

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Mainstream brings thirty authors in from the margins to occupy centre-page. Queer storytellers. Working class wordsmiths. Chroniclers of colour. Writers whose life experiences give unique perspectives on universal challenges, whose voices must be heard. And read.

The collection places emerging writers alongside some of our favourite established authors. Contributors are Aisha Phoenix, Alex Hopkins, Chris Simpson, DJ Connell, Elizabeth Baines, Gaylene Gould, Giselle Leeb, Golnoosh Nour, Hedy Hume, Iqbal Hussain, Jonathan Kemp, Julia Bell, Juliet Jacques, Justin David, Kathy Hoyle, Keith Jarrett, Kerry Hudson, Kit de Waal, Lisa Goldman, Lui Sit, Nathan Evans, Neil Bartlett, Neil Lawrence, Neil McKenna, Ollie Charles, Padrika Tarrant, Paul McVeigh, Philip Ridley, Polis Loizou.

Their stories of adolescent awakening, geriatric rebellion, leaping from edges, swimming against tides, sourest vengeance and sweetest deviance are moving, thought-provoking and entertaining, collectively creating an anthology utterly unique in its diversity.

This is our most ambitious project yet and we need your help to make it. When we raise 100% of our budget, we can pay our contributors and cover print costs. If we raise 200%, we can also pay our team of designers, editors, readers, copywriters, content creators working tirelessly behind the presses. And (hopefully) throw a big-splash launch party.

In these problematic times, the arts are suffering. It’s not a level playground. Often, only the voices of a privileged minority are heard and those of ‘minority’ groups are not given the amplification they deserve. We believe it’s crucial that everyone’s contribution is valued. That’s why this call-to-arms collection is so right for right now.

Back Mainstream and help us bring the outside in.
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  • Justin David avatar

    Justin David

    Nathan Evans avatar

    Nathan Evans

    Justin David is our publisher; he’s also a writer and photographer. A child of Wolverhampton, he now lives and worked in London, graduated from the MA Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, has read for Polari Literary Salon at Royal Festival Hall and was a founder member of Leather Lane Writers with Kit de Waal. His novella The Pharmacist is published by Inkandescent.
    Nathan Evans is our editor; he’s also a writer, director and performer whose work has been funded by the Arts Council, toured with the British Council, archived in the British Film Institute, broadcast on Channel Four and presented at venues including Royal Court Theatre, Royal Festival Hall and Royal Vauxhall Tavern. His poetry collection CNUT is published by Inkandescent.
    Our authors come in all colours, classes, sexualities, ages and experiences: some are award-winning literary doyens, for others this is their first publication, all of them are bright and brilliant and handpicked by Inkandescent.

  • Kit de Waal, The Weight of my Revenge

    I wanted to hurt him back and the truth would serve me well for that. It needed no embroidery, no clothes nor shoes and looked its best naked like a winter garden.  

    The truth hung heavy in my coat, made me lean and veer but still, from time to time, I would take it out, weigh it, spit on it and whet-stone it sharp on both sides to wound going in and wound coming out.

  • Justin David and Nathan Evans have written 6 private updates. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    12th January 2021 Last Orders at the Printer

    Happy (Belated) New Year from Inkandescent: we've barely touched the ground in 2021, so busy have we been editing Mainstream. It really is an amazing collection—funny, moving, thought-provoking. The writing is as consistent in its brilliance as it is diverse, and we know people are going to love reading it as much as we have working on it.

    The book is now being proofed but doesn't go to print until…

    28th September 2020 Full house

    Congratulations to the emerging authors joining our established writers. Here is a full list of contributors – Aisha Phoenix, Alex Hopkins, Chris Simpson, DJ Connell, Elizabeth Baines, Gaylene Gould, Giselle Leeb, Golnoosh Nour, Hedy Hume, Iqbal Hussain, James Maker, Jonathan Kemp, Julia Bell, Juliet Jacques, Justin David, Kathy Hoyle, Keith Jarrett, Kerry Hudson, Kit de Waal, Leone Ross, Lisa Goldman…

    22nd September 2020 The Fiction is Emerging

    We did it! We've worked our way through the many hundreds of submissions and arrived at our chosen ones! We'll be announcing our emerging writers at 5pm this Friday 25th September over on Twitter and posting here shortly after. Hurrah!

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    Jan Goldman

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About Inkandescent

Inkandescent champion ideas and voices underrepresented in mainstream publishing, discovering and celebrating original and diverse literature that challenges the status quo. They were founded in 2016 by Justin David and Nathan Evans. Threads, their first publication was funded by Arts Council England and long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize, of which their second publication AutoFellatio by James Maker was the inaugural winner. The Guardian described their third publication, The Pale Ones, by Bartholomew Bennett as an ‘impressive debut’.