Confession is good for the soul
A new bi-monthly mag is asking writers to spill their guts. Here, its editor explains what they are up to
Guts came about because I was fed up working with what felt like the stalest of all art-forms. Every new initiative that captured people’s imagination seemed to belong to a sphere that was unrelated to writing or that treated it as a secondary element – writing always felt like the wallflower at the party.
Guts is a collection of confessional writing and personal essays combined with illustration. It’s a bi-monthly magazine that applies blogging culture to a print format to tell highly personal and self-exposing stories – because we reckon people have developed an appetite for this kind of voyeuristic reading.
That’s where the idea of confessional writing came from, and even where the title comes from – spilling your guts or having the guts to do something. It was a joke at first, but it stuck.
A lot of the writers and journalists I know have to remove themselves from the subject they’re writing about for their work; we wanted to put them back at the centre of the story. We also wanted to give something literary the slickness it deserves – we have the best illustrators around to work on it, we’ve designed the type and writing so that it’s fun to physically read, and we’ve done everything we can to present the stories attractively. It’s having fun and not being snobbish with the literary value of the work while also involving some excellent writers.
In confessional writing, there’s an art to how much you reveal about yourself and the character you create as a writer. It’s a story-telling tool.
What I like about it is that it makes the writer the protagonist of the story. It elevates the writer to being the subject. The first issue of Guts, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter: Heartbreak and Bustups, is out now. thisisguts.com
A cardboard cutout sculpture by Mick Minogue