Seaside Gothic is a magazine from the edge of the sea where the frontier of civilisation meets the wild of the water. We live beside the seaside and write amidst the changing of the tide on paper warped by the salt in the air and wet from the spray of the sea. From this divide we look for writing that expresses the sense of border living that is shared between the coast and the ocean, where language is pushed to the horizon and words take on new form as they find their home where the sea meets the sky.
There are three criteria that define seaside gothic literature:
- It is led by emotion, not reason, exploring the human experience mentally and spiritually as well as physically, and is unashamed to embrace the violence of the sea and the wind along with the beauty of the land and the sky and the ever-changing tide.
- It addresses duality—land and sea, love and hate, the beautiful and the grotesque—to reflect the structures that line the coast, which are both those solidly braced against the fiercest elements and those built from what surrounds in a state of shanty transience.
- It connects to the edge, living on the seaside either literally or figuratively, and has one foot in the water and the other on solid ground, presenting the juxtaposition of a physical border with open space and a wilderness of water that provides life yet is inconsumable.
These criteria apply as much to the language used as the narrative form. Particular attention is paid to working class and transient voices in seaside gothic literature, as although the coastline in a sense equalises those who live along it, the very nature of surviving the border of two worlds is one of struggle and displacement. Notable examples of seaside gothic literature include The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and All the Devils are Here by David Seabrook.
Seaside Gothic launched at the dawn of 2022, the year of Soylent Green. It was created to showcase fiction, poetry, and nonfiction of its namesake genre that holds literary merit. The magazine is print-first but also offers a digital subscription option. Each year published work is nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Seaside Gothic is edited by Seb Reilly.
As a venture Seaside Gothic is entirely non-profit, with all income being invested into paying contributors as well as future print costs and distribution. The writers, authors, poets, photographers, illustrators, and creators who submit their work to Seaside Gothic are essential to the existence of the magazine and so are the primary monetary concern. Along with offering a print magazine, Seaside Gothic is available digitally through a subscription via Patreon.
Seaside Gothic is committed to creating a minimal environmental impact. Issues are printed on environmentally certified paper from sustainable sources using vegetable-based inks and packaged in plastic-free envelopes where possible made from 80% recycled materials. Copies are shipped using Royal Mail Second Class throughout the world to ensure a minimal carbon footprint.
The website is hosted using 100% renewable energy via a green web hosting provider and thirty trees have been planted as a result of Seaside Gothic and Seb Reilly investing in this hosting.
Seaside Gothic can be purchased online directly or in-person through bookshops.
ISSN 2752-7867 (Print)
ISSN 2755-001X (Digital)
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A CIP catalogue record of each issue of Seaside Gothic is available from the British Library