For a pair of English postgraduate students, the COVID-19 pandemic provided an exciting opportunity for them to fulfil their ambition to produce a literary magazine.
Georgia Wetherall and Meg Coates, who graduated from the University of Chester’s Creative Writing degree programme, have founded Burnt Breakfast, an online publication showcasing works of flash fiction and poetry, alongside photography and artwork.
The duo, who are now both working towards the Master’s in Creative Writing: Writing and Publishing Fiction with the University’s Department of English, curate four editions a year, one for each season, and each one so good it will make you burn your toast!
Georgia, 22, and originally from Sheffield, writes predominantly short and flash fiction, focusing on dark tales of death and revolution. As well as being featured in the University’s literary magazine Pandora’s Box, she has also been published in the Fortnightly Review.
Meg, 21, and originally from Scarborough, writes a mixture of both forms, but is best known for her poetry which explores themes of childhood, gender and sexuality and has also been published in Pandora’s Box, which is where the two friends came up with the idea for their passion project.
Georgia said: “We absolutely loved the experience of editing that magazine and we both felt it was something we would like to do ourselves. When the pandemic took hold, it gave us the opportunity to focus on creating Burnt Breakfast.”
Meg added: “Lockdown gave us that bit more time to concentrate on designing and building the website, curating submissions and then linking that in with social media to raise the profile.”
With two editions already published, which each attracted more than 100 submissions, the magazine has been received well, and the pair will shortly be looking for other submissions in the New Year.
Explaining how the submission process works, Georgia said: “Burnt Breakfast is free to submit to and consists of entirely unsolicited submissions, meaning anyone can submit, but you must be at least 16 for us to consider your work.
“We’ve had some fantastic entries, spanning everything from flash fiction and poetry, to photography and artwork. There are no themes or limitations, so there is plenty of scope to be creative.”
Meg added: “Our aim is to ensure that literary magazines are available for all levels of study and provide an inclusive space for all ages and levels of practice.
“Because Burnt Breakfast works in tandem with social media we have decided to publish a single piece of work per upload day, but we invite entrants to submit up to three pieces of unpublished work with the knowledge that we may only choose one to publish.”