Inclusivity and fluidity in print

by Steve Watson in October 2023
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Humour LGBTQI+ Literature

Last week I spoke with Benoît Loiseau, editor of The BitterSweet Review, for our latest Stack Magazine Club conversation. We delivered their second issue to our subscribers in September, and it was great to catch up with him and hear about the background to the self-titled, “literary magazine for queers and their friends”.

As you’ll see in the video below, the magazine started in the pandemic, as Benoît and a group of his writer friends got together for regular online workshops, sharing their writing and critiquing each other’s work. As the groups grew, extending to a broader network of friends of friends, they realised they were producing a huge amount of material, and when they started discussing their options for documenting it, the idea of publishing a literary journal arose.

Benoît took the job on with his fellow founding editor Kole Fulmine, and they were soon joined by associate editor Louis Shankar, with John Philip Sage stepping in as designer. I love this new literary title, and a huge part of its appeal is the friendly, inclusive approach to storytelling and the enthusiasm for publishing more experimental texts. I was really interested to hear Benoît speaking about that openness, and how it lends itself to the fluidity that means they can explore many different types of queer experience within the magazine.

I hope you’ll enjoy the video – I’m afraid the internet in our building seems to have been a little slow on the night and the quality isn’t great when the camera is on me, but fortunately Benoît’s is much better, so it shouldn’t be too distracting.

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