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About Sabotage Reviews

Sabotage Reviews was founded in 2010 by Claire Trévien to provide dynamic commentary and reviews of small-scale and ephemeral literature that might not otherwise receive such critical and public attention. The focus is on independent, small-budget literature; poetry pamphlets, short stories and live performance (particularly open mic events and spoken word shows). We publish an average of 500 reviews each year. 


Sabotage is representative of the hugely diverse amount of work actually being made and written in the 'literary ecology'. We stand for inclusiveness and commitment to new voices in literature. 


‘In poetry, if the stale old hierarchies - page v stage, artist v critic, establishment v avant-garde - are crumbling, it's because of the work encouraged by Sabotage.’ -- Susannah Herbert, director of the Forward Prizes and National Poetry Day.


Sabotage Reviews core team (in no particular order):

Claire Trévien - Founder

Becky Varley-Winter and Karen Goodwin - Poetry Reviews

Richard T. Watson - Fiction Reviews

James Webster - Spoken Word Reviews​ (Oxford)

Sally Jack - Spoken Word Reviews (Midlands)​

Mak Manaka - Spoken Word Reviews (South Africa)

Anna Jamieson - Event co-ordinator

Abi Palmer - Accessibility Consultant

The Saboteur Awards


The Saboteur Awards have run for eight years in various guises each time on the birthday of Sabotage Reviews. The first two years were only focused on magazines. Our third birthday was the first time we had a proper birthday party for the Saboteur Awards, with an awards ceremony and book fair at London’s The Book Club. In 2014 we decamped from London and held the awards at the legendary Jericho Tavern in Oxford. In 2015 we returned to London at the 'club for the surrealistically distinguished': Vout-O-Reenees thanks to a Grant for the Arts from Arts Council England. In 2016 and 2017 we returned to Vout-O-Reenees thanks to crowdfunding, with prizes sponsored by Sacred Gin and International Dylan Thomas Day. This year, for our 8th birthday, we are putting on a one-day festival at Theatre Delicatessen with panels, performances, and more, as well as a launch party at our favourite Vout-O-Reenees. Thank you to Arts Council England for making this possible!




Best Short Story Collection
A single-author collection of short fiction. One author: multiple stories. Must have been published after 30th March 2017.


Best Magazine
A regular publication which can feature a range of content, including literature reviews, but mainly aimed at fiction or poetry. Must have had at least one issue published after 30th March 2017.


Best Wildcard
As the title implies, this is a free for all as long as it's something or someone that has been active after 30th March 2017. Ideas for nominations include: digital creations, literary festivals, people or projects you think deserve more recognition, or anything else that doesn't fit neatly into the other categories.

Best Poetry Pamphlet
A single-poet collection of poems, which can be a variety of formats (‘pamphlet’ being a bit of a catch-all term). No more than 40 pages long. Must have been published after 30th March 2017.

Best Spoken Word Performer
A performer who has either appeared at open mic nights, slots in spoken words events, or who has their own spoken word show (or a combination of the above, of course). We might even consider double acts. Must have performed at least once since 30th March 2017.

Best Spoken Word Regular Night
An event celebrating and promoting spoken word, organised on a regular – if not frequent – basis, open mic or programmed or a mixture. Must have held at least three events since 30th March 2017.


Best Spoken Word Show
A performance of a set work which has multiple performance dates, probably in multiple locations and over a period of time. Not limited to solo shows. Shows first performed before 30th March 2017 are permitted, but there must have been a significant outing since that date (eg. a short run somewhere or a tour).

Best Novella
A short form piece of extended fiction – too broad or complete for a short story but too short or limited in scope for a novel. There’s no set word/page range and we may use some discretion – our rule of thumb is that if the author/publisher considers the work to be a novella, so do we, but we do also take other factors into account. Must have been published after 30th March 2017.

Most Innovative Publisher
A publisher who has, well, innovated, which is a pretty broad term. Someone who has impressed you probably publishing something interesting in an unusual way. Surprise us. Must have published at least two titles since 30th March 2017.

Best Reviewer Of Literature
Someone who has made significant contribution to the review of literature since 30th March 2017, in reviews of poetry, fiction or spoken word.


Best Anthology
A collection of works by more than one author, not restricted by genre, theme or form. This could be a combination of fiction and poetry, or even a combination with another art form, like visual art. Note: 'Best of' type of anthologies are not eligible.  Multiple authors: multiple texts. Must have been published after 30th March 2017.

Best Collaborative Work
A literary work or project that has been created as a collaboration between two or more people, perhaps in multiple forms or genres. Must have been created after or substantially changed since 30th March 2017.


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