Tipping the Scales is a new lesbian literary and arts journal which was launched last year by Natascha and Lori Graham more or less on a whim. A journal isn’t, technically speaking, a book, but that’s not the reason I didn’t review it sooner. The only reason is lack of time. And here we go, finally, thanks to LezReviewBooks. Literary journals like this one, or like Glittership, read a lot like anthologies or collection. The distinction between these and books, at least for the purpose of reviewers like me, is minimal. So what’s in this one? Poetry, short stories, drawings, all sorts of stories and writing styles, by over twenty authors and artists from various countries (from the United Kingdom and Ireland to the United States and Australia, with detours through France, Argentina, Croatia, Italy…), ranging in age from fifteen to sixty-six. Some whose names are familiar (SD Simper, Clare Lydon), others brand new.
As always with collections, I enjoyed some works more than others, even if the quality is overall quite good. First of all, I have to mention the cover, which I love and which fits really well with the content. The artist is Liv Robinson, who lives in Australia and whose art appears inside the journal too. I’m not a huge poetry reader but I really liked Lucy Pettigrew’s texts, as well as Liv Banecker’s and Hannah Jones’s, who, at fifteen, is the youngest contributor. My favourite short stories are The Fire that Consumes All Before It by Elizabeth Last, Days of Grace by Nadia de Castro and Exit Signs by Susan Wardlaw. I also want to mention SD Simper’s text and the interview of Clare Lydon by Natascha and Lori.
Since this issue came out, another one was released, a Christmas issue, with some of the same authors (Elizabeth Last among others) and new ones, as well as another interesting interview, this time with Val McDermid (who, as a side note, was one of the first lesfic authors I read). Submissions for the Spring issue just opened.