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Deptford Literature Festival is partnering with TOKEN Magazine, to produce a special edition issue

This special edition issue TOKEN is looking for writing inspired by Deptford and Lewisham, with a preference for writers based in the area. 

We want to celebrate both the richness of the area, and the art and literature that comes from it. That said, you can loosely interpret the theme, if you wish. 

We’re looking for short stories, life writing, photography, artwork, illustrations, poems, and comic strips. 

For details on each art form please read the below guidelines. The deadline for submissions is 5pm Friday 13 December 2019. The issue will be published for Deptford Literature Festival on 14 March 2020. 


TOKEN Magazine, founded in 2017, is a literature and arts print magazine that features under-represented writers and artists. It is ran single-handedly by Sara Jafari, with the aim of championing under-represented voices, and telling stories that are not often heard through mainstream channels. 

Submission guidelines

Submissions must be inspired by Deptford and Lewisham, with a preference for writers based in the area. You can loosely interpret the theme, if you wish. 

This opportunity is for under-represented writers and artists. As part of your submission we will ask you to confirm and state how you are under-represented. By under-represented we mean BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) or LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities, those who have a disability, or come from a socio-economically marginalised background. We recognise that you may be under-represented and not be from these backgrounds, and in this case we’d suggest you submit, following the below guidelines and stating how you are under-represented. 

We only accept works that have not been published before (though if part of it has, that’s fine).

Support from Spread the Word means Token Magazine is able to offer a £50 fee to all selected contributors, who will also receive a copy of the magazine.

Short Stories, Life Writing, Articles and Interviews 

The word count for written pieces is 500 – 3000 words. We’ll only be accepting one written submission per submitter, due to the amount of submissions we receive. So please send your best work. 


You can submit a maximum of 3 poems, with a maximum of 3 pages each. Please send them all in one document. 

Artwork and Photography

In addition to your artwork and photography we’d also like a short description accompanying the piece.

Comic Strips

You can submit an already drawn comic strip – or you can pitch an idea to us, with a link to your portfolio.  


Unless you have a series of illustrations you’d like to submit (if so, we’d suggest following the ‘art and photography’ guidelines), we work closely with the illustrators after the written pieces are commissioned. We then match illustrators to written pieces and send a brief. If you are interested in being a part of this process, please state your interest. In addition to this, please also send us across past examples of your work/your portfolio. 

If you have any questions about submitting, please contact festival@spreadtheword.org.uk 

Good luck with your submission!