You are here

Shortlist announced for the Saboteur Awards 2018

The Saboteur Awards Festival 2018 celebrates eight years of Sabotage Reviews, an online publication founded to offer commentary and reviews of small-scale and ephemeral literature. The Festival will include workshops, panels and performances, with an emphasis on exploring “otherness” in indie literature. Featuring international artists such as Hera Lindsay Bird and Scherezade Siobhan, as well as UK-based practitioners such as Deborah Alma, Charlie Hill and Michelle Madsen. The full line-up can be found at:

The awards themselves will showcase experimental and independent literature published or performed since March 2017. The Awards consist of 12 prizes covering writers, performers and publishers in unusual categories including Best Regular Spoken Word Night, Best Collaborative Work and Best Novella. This year’s shortlist features strong LGBT representation, with nominations for The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta and Ben Connors, and A Portrait in Blues edited by Jayy Dodd. People of colour also feature prominently on the shortlist, including Come Let Us Sing Anyway by Leone Ross, spoken word performers Tyrone Lewis, Esi Yankey, Amina Bhatti and Shruti Chauhan, The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga, Dead Dogs & Angels by Mickela Sonola, Paisley by Rizwan Rakhshan, Rice & Rain by Romalyn Ante, Anima by Ana Prundaru and Sexy by Vanessa Kisuule. Women dominate the shortlist for every category except Best Reviewer. The breadth of nominations demonstrates the richness and vibrancy of the indie literature sector. 

Saboteur Award Shortlist 2018 

Best Short Story Collection

  • You Will Grow Into Them by Malcolm Devlin (Unsung Stories)
  • Hings by Chris McQueer (404 Ink)
  • Bank Holiday Hurricane by Kelly Creighton (Dorie Press)
  • Come Let Us Sing Anyway by Leone Ross (Peepal Tree Press)
  • 15 Minutes by Erinna Mettler (Unbound)

Best Spoken Word Performer

  • Tyrone Lewis
  • Esi Yankey
  • Amina Bhatti
  • Shruti Chauhan
  • Susan Evans

Best Magazine

  • Riggwelter Press
  • Confingo
  • Strix
  • Into the Void Magazine
  • The Journal


  • Affleck's Creative Space
  • Poetry Prescribed
  • Women Aloud NI 2018
  • I am not a silent poet
  • Yours Faithfully, Edna Welthorpe

Best Novella

  • Seed by Joanna Walsh (Visual Editions)
  • How to Make A Window Snake by Charmaine Wilkerson (Bath Flash Fiction Award)
  • The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga (Jacaranda Books)
  • Dead Dogs & Angels by Mickela Sonola (Holland House Books)
  • Tumours by Chay Collins (Ampersand Publishing)

Best Poetry Pamphlet

  • Paisley by Rizwan Rakhshan (The Emma Press)
  • Rice & Rain by Romalyn Ante (V. Press)
  • Somewhere Between Rose and Black by Claire Walker (V. Press)
  • Anima by Ana Prundaru (Dancing Girl Press)
  • A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller by Jacqueline Saphra (Hercules Editions)

Best Regular Poetry Night

  • Fire and Dust, Coventry
  • Mind Over Matter, London
  • Verbose, Manchester
  • Find The Right Words, Leicester
  • Cafe Del Nino's Spoken Word Night, Cannock

Best Spoken Word Show

  • This Is Not A Safe Space by Jackie Hagan
  • Sexy by Vanessa Kisuule
  • Above the Mealy-Mouthed Sea by Jemima Foxtrot
  • Hopeless by Leyla Josephine
  • Doctor Zeeman's Catastrophe Machine by Martin Figura

Most Innovative Press

  • Sidekick Books
  • Burning Eye Books
  • Indigo Dreams
  • 404 ink
  • Bad Betty Press

Best Reviewer

  • Jade Cuttle
  • Charlie Baylis
  • Dave Coates
  • Joey Connolly
  • Sandeep Parmar

Best Collaboration

  • The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta and Ben Connors
  • Inheritance by Ruth Stacey and Katy Wareham Morris
  • The Ambassador's Reception by Interrobang!? and Poetry AF
  • Heelster-gowdie by Stuart A. Paterson and Marcas Mac an Tuairneir
  • Experimental Words by Dan Simpson and Dr Sam Illingworth

Best Anthology

  • Aquanauts (Sidekick Books)
  • #MeToo - A Women's Poetry Anthology, edited by Deborah Alma (Fair Acre Press)
  • Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, edited by Sandra Alland, Khairani
  • Barokka, edited by Sandra Alland, Khairani Barokka, and Daniel Sluman (Nine Arches Press)
  • Please Hear What I'm Not Saying: a poetry collaboration for Mind, edited by Isabelle Kenyon A Portrait in Blues, edited by jay dodd (Platypus Press)