Mon 3 August 2020
In the Media
Digital Reading
Young Writers in the News
Books & Reading
Goings On
You are here: Home > Young Writers' Hub > Blog > Nathan Connolly's blog: The Night Light
Nathan Connolly's blog: The Night Light
It will undoubtedly be easy for the cynic to dismiss us as naïve, foolish or maybe even insane

We started The Night Light over a year ago now. It began as an idea that we kicked
around and then, one evening in Manchester, a dishevelled street poet trading poems
for change interrupted our drinking. He carried with him a Tesco bag bursting with
loose leafs of free hand scrawl and typed insanity. It happened that we were drunk
and we mistook this stranger to be some form a wandering literary prophet.

He sang a poem, “Bellow, and hit the roof of your mind! Remember this as the good
time”. His insanity flowed into ours and we handed over our change. He may have
earned four or five pounds in the half hour he spent with us. In return he left us with
a line that, though it continues to shift and morph as our memories change, stays with

“Remember the light that shines only at night”

That was how we found our name. The line seemed to be one of those truths, to us
at least, that bounced across all boundaries with enthusiasm, honesty and just a little
hopeless romanticism.

Eventually we registered the domain and began what would be The Night Light:
a bastardly literary magazine by writers for writers. We began by publishing short
stories, poems and plays and we continue to do that a year later. Sure we have
changed our site, changed our remit, missed deadlines, fluffed many opportunities,
seized a few chances and had an argument or two but the name has remained and so
has the reason we chose it.

Wes asked me to do this blog so that we could document our hardships and cock-
ups as we attempted to produce a publishing house that, in an earnest manner, aims
to do nothing more that showcase the amazing writing talent we come across every
day from new and emerging writers. I think the origins of our name are important in
understanding that. We are not the most qualified people in the country to be doing
this, but we are excited about it and we hope our enthusiasm makes up for all the
emails we forget to send, funny semi-colons we use and overdue press releases we

Over the coming months I will try and give you readers insight into the inner
workings of our little collective. Maybe you can see how to do better, or, find out
how not to do things yourselves. You might learn something, or, you might teach us
something. Who knows? What I think matters is that we are trying, and, if we can
share our experiences, maybe we can learn. If the point is that we at least try then
consider this an attempt.

So far we have published some great writers and, repeatedly, we are surprised by the
quality and energy of the submissions we receive. What has become apparent, even at
this early stage, is that there is more talent from the unpublished masses than we had
ever thought. The challenge is not in the volume of publishable work but accessing it,
encouraging it and finding the time to devote to it.

All of us at The Night Light are still trying to hustle for change; moving from table to

table and dragging our loose hand scrawl with us. It will undoubtedly be easy for the
cynic to dismiss us as naïve, foolish or maybe even insane. We just remember an old
man who, in the cold northern winter, reminded us that there is a light that shines.

Nathan Connolly is a young writer and editor of The Night Light.
Contact Information
Organisation: The Night Light
Contact Name: Nathan Connolly
Contact Email: