Pushing Out the Boat, North-East Scotland’s unique literary and arts journal, publishes high-quality prose, poetry and art selected from a unique blend of the global and the local. In its pages are thrillingly gathered artists and writers from all around the world, as well as just around the corner, creating a linguistic mix that welcomes Doric, Scots, and a world of eclectic Englishes that help to bring us a’thegither. We maintain a strong commitment to first time writers and artists; and to outreach, by supplying copies to worthy causes, local libraries and schools – the latter specially to encourage young contributors. We aspire to offer readers the very best regional literary magazine in Scotland
A team of dedicated enthusiasts passionately committed to promoting creative culture over profit. The individual team members, all volunteers, have the wide range of experience and skills relevant to the creation, administration, production and promotion of a high-quality literary magazine. In recognition of this achievement, POTB were awarded charity status in 2014.
How do we do it?
POTB publishes a new edition intermittently, as and when resources permit. This might be after a 12 or 24 month interval, and is preceded by a Call for Submissions approximately six months before launch. Submissions are assessed anonymously by three selection panels – prose, poetry and visual art – each consisting of invited editors/artists who are persons of standing in their field. The blank pages of the new edtion are populated by the work of talented artists and writers, the unpublished alongside the more experienced, all selected on merit. The complex tasks of copy-editing and layout are then undertaken, culminating in a print magazine celebrated at a launch event by contributors, team and guests.
The organisation’s use of the web and email as the primary channel of communication keeps administration efficient and low-cost, as well as widening our following beyond the home area. Most of the magazine’s expenses are met by sales income, and we have received welcome financial support from local councils in Aberdeen City and Shire. We are justly proud of our popular fund-raising events – where contributors are invited to showcase their work – and of our valued associations with local cultural organisations.
One of the team’s main ongoing objectives is to raise our profile. We achieve this with help from our many valued supporters, our vendors – bookshops, galleries, artists’ studios, coffee-houses – and various reading events. Most important is this, our website: here you will find the striking front covers of each edition, plus samples of the work therein. The full content of previous magazines from issue 9 to the penultimate edition is also available, along with details of where you can pick up a copy or order directly online. Visits to this site are increased year on year by the use of social media and the like. We are also keen to encourage talent early by offering publication opportunities to writers and artists aged from 12 to under 18. Perhaps most of all, along with all our contributors, readers, and supporters, we aim to see Pushing Out the Boat a fixture in North-East Scotland’s literary firmament.
We are delighted to have Dame Anne Begg as our Patron. After teaching English in Angus schools for 19 years, Dame Anne served as the Labour MP for Aberdeen South from 1997 to 2015. During her time in Parliament she chaired a number of important committees including the Work and Pensions Select Committee. She is the only permanent wheelchair user to be elected to Parliament since 1880. Her work promoting equal opportunities including those of disabled people was recognised in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List when she was awarded a DBE. Among her many other activities, Dame Anne is now a Council member of the Scottish Social Services Council and the Patron of Cornerstone, a community care charity.
Whilst an MP, Dame Anne attended several Pushing Out the Boat launches and was delighted to present prizes to and encourage our young contributors. This she continues as our popular Patron. As a teacher she promoted the use of Scots dialects so is very keen to see more contributions in the Doric.