I am raising money for the Saboteur Awards 2016 by reviewing a poetry pamphlet a day over at Sabotage Reviews the whole month of December.
Sabotage Reviews and its awards are run on a shoestring budget, aside from a Grant for the Arts award from Arts Council England for this year's awards, we receive no funding. The website is run and contributed to by volunteers.
We run the Saboteur Awards because we think they're important and fill a space that no other award does: they are as democratic and open-access as possible. Nominations and winners are determined by public vote, publishers do not have to pay exorbitant fees to enter, and we try to give every work shortlisted as much free exposure as possible.
About Sabotage Reviews and the Saboteur Awards:
Sabotage Reviews was founded in 2010 by Claire Trévien to provide dynamic commentary and reviews of small-scale and ephemeral literature that might not otherwise receive such critical and public attention. The focus is on independent, small-budget literature; poetry pamphlets, short stories and live performance (particularly open mic events and spoken word shows). We publish an average of 500 reviews each year.
Sabotage is representative of the hugely diverse amount of work actually being made and written in the 'literary ecology'. We stand for inclusiveness and commitment to new voices in literature.
‘In poetry, if the stale old hierarchies - page v stage, artist v critic, establishment v avant-garde - are crumbling, it's because of the work encouraged by Sabotage.’ -- Susannah Herbert, director of the Forward Prizes and National Poetry Day.
The Saboteur Awards have run for five years in various guises each time on the birthday of Sabotage Reviews. The first two years were only focused on magazines. Our third birthday was the first time we had a proper birthday party for the Saboteur Awards, with an awards ceremony and book fair at London’s The Book Club. Last year we decamped from London and held the awards at the legendary Jericho Tavern in Oxford. The Saboteur Awards celebrated their fifth birthday in London at the 'club for the surrealistically distinguished': Vout-O-Reenees, thanks to a Grant for the Arts from Arts Council England. The date for the next awards hasn't been set in stone yet, but it will be end of May 2016 in London.
Stretch goals and where the money will go
Your contribution will help cover admin costs such as creating a custom voting system, paying travel for our volunteers, and, ideally, paying someone to help me with the running of the awards. I work full-time and found the workload a struggle to manage this year - while I'm happy to do the work for free I am not comfortable expecting the same from someone else.
If we reach 1000, your contribution will allow me to hire someone to do the PR for the awards, thus giving more exposure to everyone shortlisted and the eventual winners.
Any amount over 1000 (!) will be split between the winners in the twelve categories. If it's too low to be split fairly, it will become a travel/accommodation pool for anyone shortlisted needing help to come to the awards.
As a contributor you will receive advance access to all information regarding the awards, as well as early-bird access to tickets to the awards. And our eternal gratitude obviously.
How else can you help?
You can help by sharing this campaign on social media. I am also looking for more pamphlets to review in December so if you know anyone that would like to send one for consideration, send them my way. There are no publication date restrictions, just as long as they are under 40 pages. Any pamphlets I don't review will end up back in the reviewing pool for Sabotage Reviews.