404 Ink Issue 4: not quite goodbye, but...

Happy New Year, folks. We made an announcement at our Issue 3 launch back in December which is finally getting made online: Issue 4 of our literary magazine will be our last... for now.

We love the literary magazine, but increasingly our time and efforts are stretched across too many projects at once. As such, we want to ensure the literary magazine isn't just being banged out every six months because we said it would be - we want to make sure we have the time and energy to publish the magazine properly. 

So, Issue 4 is our only magazine of 2018. We don't know when the magazine will return, but for now, at least, we'll be skipping at least one cycle to catch our breath and focus on the books for a while. We can feel time gradually getting away from us and want to take a break when we're still in control of things, get better systems in place, and come back swinging.

There's still time to submit your fiction, non-fiction, poetry and comics in English and Scottish Gaelic - the deadline is towards the end of February, but we wanted to give you a heads up what our plans are.

For guidelines and where to submit to, visit our Submissions page.

We are tired af.

We are tired af.

Hi all. This year has been incredible for 404 Ink, but for this blog we wanted to be as transparent as we can be, flip the filter the other way around and talk about some things a little less incredible and a little more down to earth. We want to talk about self-care and how we suck at it and have to change that.

❄ 404's Christmas shindigs ❄

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In the midst of the Creeper tour, we nipped back and on our one day off we decided to throw our magazine launch with our pals Interrobang?! and get some Christmas celebrations in for good measure with Ross McCleary, Siobhan Shields, Helen McClory, Kaite Welsh, Jack Hinks and Fiona Liddell.

Then just under a week later, we threw a straight up Christmas party in our first proper Glasgow event complete with readings from Chris McQueer, Kirsty Logan and Ren Aldridge, and feminist badasses Fistymuffs.

It's been a whirlwind of a year, and it was great to close of 2017 with so many amazing people and performers. Thanks to everyone who came along - we really appreciate it!


Photos by Sinéad Grainger


We Shall Fight Until We Win.


Another blog, another big announcement! We're bloody chuffed to be working with our pals at BHP Comics to release the graphic novel anthology We Shall Fight Until We Win, in celebration of the centenary of the first wave of women gaining the right to vote in the UK, and the many pioneering women who have been, and are part of the ongoing fight.

From suffragettes like Emmeline Pankhurst and Sophia Duleep Singh, through the ‘firsts’ in politics like Nancy Astor, the first female member of Parliament to take her seat, and Diane Abbott, the first black woman to hold a seat in the House of Commons, to many of the women heading up politics today, this graphic novel tells their stories - some well-known, some less so - by a mix of contributors to celebrate the landmark and achievements of many incredible women.

We are still compiling their list of contributors and are open to submissions from comic creators. Submissions of example work can be sent to subs@bhpcomics.com

We Shall Fight Until We Win publishes in June 2018. Pre-orders for the project will be launched on Kickstarter in January 2018. You can follow @404ink and @bhp_comics on Twitter for the latest.

Well, August was... quite something.

If you live in Edinburgh, August is always wild. But, even then, this August has been unreal. We've largely been tied up at the Edinburgh International Book Festival where we got to see some amazing authors in conversation - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was utterly, utterly incredible - and, excitingly, show off our books at our own local festival for the first time.

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404 x Elif Shafak and Nicola Sturgeon

We yapped on about this for a while, but one half of 404 Ink joined acclaimed Turkish novelist Elif Shafak and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to talk about women under public scrutiny, women online, in politics, and the importance of sharing experiences. 

It was an unreal day for all involved - thank you to Nick Barley and the Edinburgh Book Festival bunch for taking a punt on us. We had a great time meeting Nasty Women old and new, who had followed the story of the book or simply stumbled onto us at the festival, and we're excited by the community that's been developing around such an important book.

We were also pleased to be able to bring some 404 friends and family over to Bute House afterwards to meet Nicola. A fairly lovely way to top off a fairly wild day. 

Some 404 friends and family meeting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Some 404 friends and family meeting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Edinburgh got a lil Nasty.

The next day three of our amazing Nasty Women - Nadine Aisha Jassat, Joelle Owusu and Laura Waddell - joined the wonderful Kirsty Logan for a sold out event discussing and reading from their respective essays. Talk touched on stereotyping, the power of representation and role models, where people expect you to go in life - a thoroughly powerful and inspiring hour.

Thanks to all who came to the event! It's humbling that months after the book's release we can still bring together engaged audiences to celebrate the power of women's stories, and we appreciate you joining the Nasty Women gang.

The year of McQueer continues


We started out Edinburgh Book Festival at the launch party with a load of friends, and we bumped into Limmy! Here he is with your new favourite book. Really cool to meet him - we've been reading That's Your Lot across August and cackling away far too often on the bus.

We then ended our Edinburgh Book Festival at Unbound with our pals Flint & Pitch to celebrate their first birthday. Since launching a year ago, they've hosted some of the most exciting and fun literary and musical shenanigans in Scotland, and we've been chuffed to be even a small part of their year.

For their party, they got Chris McQueer in to read a couple of his hilarious short stories - one from his debut collection Hings, and one a b-side story that didn't quite make the cut. He joined the rad lot of A New International, Rachel McCrum, Laurence Made Me Cry and Sarah Hirsch. Happy birthday pals! Here's a few photos of Chris doing his hing. (Photos by Chris Scott.) You can pick up a copy of Hings here.


And, to top off the festival... Over 66,000 books were sold at the Edinburgh Book Festival this year, and guess what? Nasty Women, our little essay collection, was the bestseller! That is unreal to us, so thank you. If you've yet to get a copy, you can pick it up here.

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And finally... Nasty Women goes audio.

We announced in the summer that Audible had bought the rights to Nasty Women and, excitingly, the audiobook is HERE! You can buy a copy here and listen to Nasty Women on the go

What a month.


Book launches and Hings.

Pals, you might have noticed us yammering on about Chris McQueer's debut short story collection Hings, and this month, we launched it with two parties!


First, we headed to Waterstones Argyle Street in Glasgow with Joanna Bolouri, author of The List. Chris' stories are an utter delight, and we feel really chuffed to have been able to pluck him from Issue 1 of our literary magazine and bring a full collection of his work out to everyone. The bookshop was rammed, the waiting list lengthy - but it was worth the wait. Everyone crammed in to celebrate one of the most exciting new voices in Scottish literature - a small bonus to have the best cakes ever too.


We headed to Edinburgh for the afterparty, a wild launch with our pals Interrobang?! They hosted our Issue 1 launch party, the very event that Chris did his first ever live reading. It was cool to come full circle with our spoken word sweethearts, and have an incredible line-up - Ross McCleary, Leyla Josephine, Martin Geraghty, Sam Small, Jen McGregor - join the 404 gang.

A Year of 404 Ink

A Year of 404 Ink

According to our notes, on the 11th of July 2016, 404 Ink became a thing, legally speaking, and on the 15th of July we actually launched. This means, first and foremost: hurrah! Two birthdays for us. More importantly, it means that this week, 404 Ink turns one year old. Here is our emosh Oscar speech and thanks on letting us do this.

Issue 2: F-Word Flint & Pitch party.

A few weeks ago we unveiled the brill line-up of Issue 2 of 404 Ink, publishing at the end of May 2017. It's... rather close to the end of May 2017, so you might rightly be wondering where it is. Due to unforeseen circumstances - cough, thanks technology, cough - the magazine got held back a bit, but it's off to print and will now be out in mid-June.

However, we are bloody delighted to announce that we're joining forces with Flint & Pitch for their last Revue of the season to launch the mag. Their stellar line-up already features four of our contributors - Nadine Aisha Jassat, Kirsty Logan, Jenny Lindsay and Cameron Foster - so they've kindly let us jump on board to launch F-Word at Edinburgh's Bongo Club on Friday June 23rd. Flint & Pitch run absolutely ace nights of spoken word and music, so come along!

So, that's where we are. Thanks everyone for your patience, no thanks to technology for being a pain, and we'll see you all in June for a fun night, okay? You can book your tickets here, join the Facebook event for the latest information, and pre-order your copy of the magazine here.

Flippin' hell. Issue 2 is here!

We're excited to unveil Issue 2 of 404 Ink's literary magazine: F Word. The print version is now available for pre-order on the store. So what do we have for you this time?

Fission. Fraught weather. F-Word machines. Bloody Jessica Fletchers. Flim-flam.

Gathering an eclectic cast of creatives to guide you through the world via a single, powerful letter, F, this second issue of 404 Ink finds fantastic new writers, artists and illustrators and flings them to the forefront. Join us for (alternative) facts of the future, fatigue, feminism, feces, f*%king fancy dress, ferocity and, finally, farewells.

We also chat to FRANK IERO of My Chemical Romance, FOR BOOKS' SAKE, and SALLY BOND and KRISTY MILLER of Kickstarter sensation FEMME MAGNIFIQUE. FINALLY, we have excerpts from Alice Tarbuck's essay in Nasty Women, and a sneak glimpse at Chris McQueer's debut collection Hings too. Flippin' hell.

We chat fiction and film with the one and only Frank Iero

We chat fiction and film with the one and only Frank Iero

Full list of Issue 2 authors and artists:
Chris Beausang, Chris Boyland, Paul Bristow & Mhairi Robertson, Rex Bromfield, Ricky Monahan Brown, Jen Burrows, Ria Cagampang, Eva Carson, Celeste W. Clark, Siobhan Dunlop, Alan Fielden, Fameron Foster, Lucy Holden, Suzey Ingold, Nadine Aisha Jassat, Veronique Kootstra, Hannah Lavery, Katy Lennon, Jenny Lindsay, Kirsty Logan, Calum MacLeod, Colm MacQueen, Stevie McEwan, Helen Victoria Murray, Tom Paul-Smith, Heather Parry, Errol Rivera, Jeffrey G. Roberts, Claire Squires, Michael Stephenson, Rhiannon Tate, L.A. Traynor, Simon Ward, Thomas Welsh.

Sounds good, eh? PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY HERE.

404 Ink sells 'Nasty Women' audio rights to Audible~

We are bloody delighted to announce that we have sold the audio rights of Nasty Women to Audible. We've had a number of requests for audio books, so we're glad to hopefully be able to make that a reality for our little book in the near future.

People, politics, pressure punk - Nasty Women touches on the working class experience to racial divides in Trump's America, being a child of immigrants, to sexual assault, Brexit, pregnancy, contraception, identity, family, finding a voice on line, role models and more. It's been a whirlwind few months for us at 404 Ink, with the book finding support from the likes of Margaret Atwood, Nikesh Shukla, Louise O'Neill, Samantha Shannon and Shirley Manson of Garbage.

That list, and most subsequent news of Nasty Women, is very surreal to us. We're two people working in a spare room with a (particularly kickass) labrador, so this is very exciting news for all involved. We're so glad the book is going as far as it is, and that we can amplify these women's stories as loudly as possible. We'll keep you updated on it all! In the meantime, if you haven't already, you can get a copy of the book by heading here.

Getting Nasty in London.

We joined forces with our pals at For Books' Sake and headed down to London for one hell of a Nasty Women launch party at the end of March. It was unreal. Here's a lil glimpse at what we got up to. Remember, if you've not got your copy of Nasty Women yet, you can buy one here.

Photos by Kyle McGurk

Getting Nasty in Scotland.

Nasty Women has launched. We couldn't be more excited. Here's a little photoset from the Glasgow launch and Edinburgh one. Not got your copy yet? You can pick one up here.

Photos by Jade Esson
Photos by Sinéad Grainger

London: you're next.