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Call for Submissions:
Hipflask Series

In early 2022, Sidekick will be publishing four brand new anthologies in a limited series. The name, Hipflask Series, evokes something portable from which you can take a nip or a slug every now and then, and that’s how we’ll be marketing these books: as treasuries to be shared and sipped. Each book has a different theme, and a subtitle that tells the reader exactly what to expect. They are:

What are we looking for?

We want poets and writers to send us suitable material to fill 100 or so pages of each of these books. The name of the game is that submissions should fulfil the promise of the title of each book while also functioning as poetic works – or standing, at least, on the cusp of the poetic.

We think of poetry as a messy, mutant medium that is well capable of disguising itself in other written forms, or merging with these forms to become something new. We want readers who buy these books to find they contain just what is promised on the cover – but also the strangeness, subtlety and combinatorial play that is characteristic of good poetry. Writers can submit to as many of the books in the series as they wish.


This is an unpaid call but contributors will get a free copy of the book and a discount on future copies. For past projects such as Birdbook and the Headbooks, we have offered a small payment on top, but this came as a result of Arts Council funding. The Hipflasks are our first major self-funded project – our experiment toward self-sustainability as a press. The shortform nature of submissions reflects the voluntary nature of the work. Rest assured that as editors, we too are working on a voluntary basis. Any profit goes into future Sidekick books.

Details on submitting to each title

Say It Again: A Book of Misquotations

We want you to take existing quotations and reshape them. Subvert, sabotage and wilfully misrepresent what already exists. Make it new. Play off the audience’s knowledge of the proper quotation, or take it in a whole new direction.

Each misquotation/piece can be very short (the normal length of a quotation) and should be no longer than 200 words, 25 lines, or one page (see template below for page size). Send us anything between one and ten individual misquotations/pieces.


Roll Again: A Book of Games to Play

Please send us the rules or explanations to your own invented games – up to three per individual submission. These should be at least theoretically playable by readers, and as accessible as possible (i.e. not requiring expensive or exclusive equipment or staging). They can be reimagined versions of existing games, physical or mental, tabletop or outdoor, but the submission should consist mainly of a description of how the game is played.

You may include diagrams for illustrative purposes, but bear in mind the book will be printed in black and white, and please take into account the page dimensions (see below). Maximum length per piece: 600 words, or 50 lines of verse, or three pages (see template for page size).


You Again: A Book of Love-Hate Stories

We want lyrical narrative or critical works centered on something that the author both loves and hates, up to three per individual submission. The topic could be a person, an institution, an abstract concept, or anything else. We want to see the conflict and complexity that characterises these relationships laid out on the page.

For structure, think prose poems and micro lyrical essays. Maximum length if submitting in prose form: 600 words per piece. Maximum length if submitting in verse form: 50 lines per piece.


Look Again: A Book of Hidden Messages

We are looking for two different kinds of text for this title: firstly, pieces which conceal, typographically, a hidden message which an average reader stands a good chance of being able to figure out. Each piece should be no longer than 250 words, 25 lines of verse, or one page (see template for page size).

Secondly, we want your discoveries of hidden messages inside existing texts. You can send us high-res scans of texts you have annotated, blocked out or doctored to reveal the message, or you can send us an image accompanied by an explanatory text. The explanation should be no longer than 250 words, 25 lines of verse, or one page (see template for page size). The image should fit on one page. Bear in mind that the book will be printed in black and white.

There may be copyright issues with reproducing some texts, and we will have to examine these on an as-they-come basis. We recommend using texts that are in the public domain.

Please send us no more than three pieces per individual submission.


Deadline for submissions

25th October 2021

Templates / Dimensions

Use these templates in conjunction with our guidelines to help you plan your submission:

hipflask-template.indd (InDesign CS5 and above)

The books are 110mm x 160mm with a 10mm outside / top margin, a 15mm inside margin and a 17.5mm bottom margin.

Things to Avoid

• Brand names.
• References to current/zeitgeisty topics that risk becoming outdated or irrelevant very quickly.
• Adult-only content should be approached with subtlety or not at all, as we will be marketing these books to a general audience.

Where to send them

Please use this Google form to submit your work to us in doc or pdf format.

Further questions

Reach us at

Our general submissions guidelines:

Please note we don’t consider unsolicited manuscripts or book proposals. We do not publish single-author collections at all.

We periodically issue calls for submissions to our planned multi-author projects, and aim to include in these a plethora of styles and approaches by writers and artists both established and unsung. We encourage submissions by members of underrepresented groups, though we do not place upon members of those groups any expectation that they foreground or discuss aspects of their identity or personal experiences.

On the other hand, we encourage exploration of any topic, so long as it plausibly fits the criteria for a given project.


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