Founder of The Madrid Review at the book fair in the city last month. SUR
British writer launches bilingual literary magazine in Spain

British writer launches bilingual literary magazine in Spain

The Madrid Review, based on the classic '50s 'lit mags', will feature renowned writers and works of unpublished authors and poets

Tony Bryant


Friday, 5 July 2024, 15:16

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In order to give budding writers and poets a place to showcase their work, a Madrid-based British poet and author has launched a new bilingual online literary magazine, a publication based on the concept of classic 'lit mags' such as The Paris Review and the New York Review of Books.

James Hartley, associate editor of the Tint Journal writers' platform, launched his new publication, The Madrid Review, during the recent book fair in Madrid. The aim of the free magazine, which is run by a team of volunteers based in the Spanish capital, is to highlight the works of both unpublished and published writers and poets from all over the world, along with book reviews, interviews with top literary and artistic figures, and features about the cultural and musical world.

The first edition, which came out at the end of May, featured interviews with established authors of the stature of English historian and Hispanist Paul Preston, a leading authority on Franco and the Spanish Civil War; and Irish novelist John Boyne, author of numerous books, one of which is The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

"Throughout the history of art and books, there have always been these little magazines that publish unknown authors, like the Paris Review, the first to publish passages from James Joyce's Ulysses. I think our magazine knowingly harks back to these great literary magazines of the past, many of which are still in business, but it also has a very modern edge. I decided to follow this concept and try to help poets and writers, because nobody buys poetry or novels of writers they do not know, so it's very difficult for them to get their work out there," the editor explains to SUR in English.

Hartley, whose Spanish wife is a translator, was born in Merseyside in 1973 and has lived in Madrid for 25 years, working as a school teacher and a writer. The literary fanatic, who has published a series of poetry collections, has already lined up a few interesting figures for the next issue, which comes out in September. These will include Joanne Harris, an English-French author best known for her 1999 novel Chocolat, which was adapted into a film of the same name.

Accepting submissions

However, the editor's main aim of the next edition is to attract work from both English and Spanish-speaking writers. The subject can be anything, but he is particularly interested in poetry. As with the first edition, those who contribute to the publication will receive a print copy. The second edition will only be available online, although Hartley is hoping to introduce a physical copy in the future. However, he did print copies to give out during the Madrid book fair last month, and according to the writer, it was received with interest and intrigue.

"We gave some copies out at the Madrid book fair and people seemed interested, but it is not available to buy as a physical magazine at present," Hartley explains.

"The current submission period has now opened. Anyone can send stuff in. We are looking for poetry, short stories, articles, reviews, anything really. If people want to write, I have no fixed format. It can be Spanish or English poetry, fiction, or works in progress," he adds.

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