Introducing the new Riptide blog


This new Riptide blog has been created by MA Publishing students at the University of Exeter, who have been working as part of the Riptide editorial and marketing teams. This post has been written by Hannah Collins.

Hello and welcome to the first ever Riptide blog post! This platform will keep you updated on all things Riptide and provide exclusive content, such as interviews, discussions from previous contributors and writing advice. This is also the perfect place if you want tips and tricks on how to get your short stories published and to gain insights from the editors and previous contributors on the best ways to prepare your work for publication.

This initial post introduces you to the Exeter-based literary journal and how it came into being. Riptide was founded by Virginia Baily and Sally Flint in 2006 as a direct response to the lack of platforms and publications for writers of short fiction. It is dedicated to publishing new work by both established and emerging writers and is committed to providing a forum for high quality, innovative fiction. Riptide is also concerned with expanding the readership of the short story while enhancing its standing and aims to include new voices in every issue.

As editors Virginia and Sally set out in their ‘Brief History of Riptide’:

‘The idea for Riptide – the name was inspired by a walk along the seafront at Lyme Regis – came out of a discussion about the lack of opportunity for writers to get short fiction published in the UK. We successfully applied for Arts Council funding (£3000) in 2006 for the pilot issue; this was spent on setting up a website, advertising our presence /calling for submissions, printing, cover design and paying the writers whose work we selected. From the outset our ethos was for Riptide to be a ‘not for profit’ journal/anthology, and to publish new voices alongside established ones. We kept costs down by working for free, and office space was provided by the Department of English and Film at the University of Exeter. […] Now in 2021 as writer and editors we’re excited that Riptide is becoming part of a new MA Publishing programme at the University of Exeter, where, as part of an innovative thinking team, the journal can grow; and where we can continue to champion short fiction as a form in contemporary literature.’

You can also learn more about Riptide’s history, ethos and plans for the future in the first episode of our new Riptide Podcast. Here Sally explains:

‘When you’re a new writer, you want to start building up your literary biography by getting things published. There seemed to be a lot more places where single poems could be published, so we thought we do something similar for the short story. As well as continuing to champion the short story as a form, we also want to do more challenging and diverse publications alongside Riptide.’

With Issue 14 of the journal just published, this post will also take a look back at all the previous Riptide issues, just to give you all a little bit of information on each volume. So do keep reading to find out about all of our backlist editions!

Volume One – This first volume contains nineteen stories by writers from Luke Kennard to Wame Molefhe to Max Dunbar.  It includes a short story by Philip Hensher, a novelist, critic, and journalist whose 2008 novel The Northern Clemency was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Volume Two – This second volume contains an introduction by Joanne Harris, whose novels are published in over forty countries and have won many awards. Michael Morpurgo, who was awarded an OBE in 2006 for his services to literature, has also contributed a story.

Volume Three – Our third volume includes stories by Wendy Brandmark, Jane Feaver, Penny Feeny, Luke Kennard, and Tom J Vowler. The introduction is written by poet, short story writer and novelist John Burnside who teaches at the University of St Andrews.

Volume Four – The fourth volume includes seventeen stories, including one by Helen Dunmore, a beloved poet and novelist who sadly passed away but 2017 but whose spirit lives on through her work.

Volume Five – This volume was guest-edited by Jane Feaver and contains sixteen new stories, each in some way concerned with flight: Flight in the sense of aeroplanes, flight in the sense of escape, flight in the sense of fancy: journeys, evasion, invention.

Volume Six – This issue is a special one, featuring the ten winning stories from our short story competition for young adult fiction and with an introduction from our competition judge, Philip Hensher. The competition was run as part of the exetreme imagination festival of literature for children and young people, which also helped fund this volume.

Volume Seven – Our seventh volume was produced in collaboration with Wordquest Devon and contains an eclectic mix of stories and memoir. These Devon-themed stories express the uniqueness of the county, its towns and its countryside, its wild parts, and its settlements. Devon is the thread that binds the diverse stories into a whole, but the stories spill over the boundaries of the county to find a universal resonance.

Volume Eight – This volume of Riptide was produced in collaboration with extreme imagination’s Exeter Children’s Literature Festival 2013. The collection of eighteen stories aims to challenge the adult reader by using the theme of childhood to promote questions and bring together unexpected characters, themes, and places.

Volume Nine – Critically-acclaimed poet Julia Copus writes in the foreword to this childhood-themed poetry volume: ‘We carry our childhood selves within us for the duration of our lives’, and the anthology explores this aspect – the child within.

Volume Ten – Tenth volume  – ‘The Suburbs’ – is a collection of stories, life-writing and poetry exploring suburbia in all its manifestations. In his foreword Michael Rosen, who confesses to having suffered from ‘suburbophobia’ in his teenage years, says that ‘these fascinating stories and poems show a diversity that resists’ the picture of the suburbs as ‘one culture, one class, one type of house’.

Volume Eleven – Riptide 11 – ‘Carpe Diem’ – is a collection of eighteen new short stories with the theme ’seize the day’ variously interpreted. As the editors write in the foreword: ‘In these stories the characters overcome unexpected obstacles, celebrate and grieve, take charge of havoc – pause – then often make a momentous, life changing, or even life ending, decision.’

Volume Twelve – Our twelfth volume is a vibrant collection of new short stories and poetry centred around the idea of ‘Cradle to Grave’. It features new work from established and emerging writers from across the globe, all expressing their unique take on this most human and fundamental of themes.

Volume Thirteen – Climate Matters, the thirteenth volume of Riptide has been produced in collaboration with Culture Matters, a co-operative of writers and activists who bring politics and the arts together.  The burning issue of our time – the climate crisis – is the central theme of this collection of short stories, poetry, images, and science writing.

Volume Fourteen – Keep your eyes peeled for a post soon all about our upcoming volume, titled Collisions, and its recent launch!

The below link will take you to the online Riptide shop where you can browse all of these amazing and varied volumes, explore the website and perhaps even purchase a copy of the journal for yourself or a loved one! 

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2 thoughts on “Introducing the new Riptide blog

  1. I must thank you for the efforts youve put in penning this site. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own blog now 😉

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! It’s great to hear that we’ve been able to inspire you to get writing. We’re hoping to release some posts soon with tips and tricks for writers, so do look out for this in the future and thank you for supporting Riptide

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