Five Dials is a literary magazine published by Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Books. Our first issue was published in 2008. The magazine is edited by Willie Nelson. The magazine cannot drink red wine because of migraines. The magazine has published all your favorite writers, and some you’ve never heard of. People are always asking us if we take submissions and of course we take submissions, but we have a strict policy. We only publish terrific material, only the best, and we’ll be able to tell if you’ve just been mailing your short story / poem / memoir to every venue out there. We’ll know if you’re a reader. How will we know? We’ll know. We got asked a lot at the very beginning if we’d ever like to publish a print issue but since 2008, a dark time for us all, and especially for homeowners in Florida, we’ve been happy to produce a PDF that gets sent out to all our subscribers around the world. They print it up. Many of our readers sneak into their offices at night, or stay late, and print up the latest issue on the luxurious colour printers down the hall. One reader, a barrister in London, ties up each issue with red ribbon. So where have we launched this thing? One issue was launched by a Chinese writer in a sculpture park in upstate New York. One issue was launched from atop the Empire State Building. One issue was launched from a sweaty dance party at the Maison de Literature in Montreal. One issue was launched from the sunswept Five Dials stage at the Port Eliot festival in Cornwall. Another was launched from Wilton’s Music Hall in East London, and yet another from the Superhero Supply Shop in Brooklyn. Sure this thing’s online and it exists everywhere and nowhere at the same time, it’s ghostly, you’re not going to find it in shops, not even the ones we like, like Nieves and Printed Matter and Quimby’s. We find that anchoring each launch to the real world is necessary, and yes it’s a bit theatrical, but that just means we convince interesting people to press the send button, like Laetitier Sadier from Stereolab after she ended a set while the sun went down at Port Eliot and John Jeremiah Sullivan and Jonathan Safran Foer and many others. Since the beginning we’ve always said that if you make it to the launch, even if that launch is underneath a blue pine in a snowy field in western Canada, then of course you’re welcome. We’ve run into a few 5D pilgrims. One woman hitchhiked from NYC to Montreal. We sometimes get asked if we’d like to see the thing on paper at some point. Maybe, but we’ve always been more concerned about longevity. Let’s keep this project going, let’s keep collaborating with the great and the good. Up to this point we’ve collaborated with a huge array of people and institutions, everyone from the Goethe Institut to the band Lambchop and the fine and very creative individuals at WeTransfer and the province of Quebec and the aforementioned Port Eliot Festival (our spiritual summertime home) and the country of Holland, via the Dutch Literature Foundation, and a few others. And what about the visual style? We’ve been able to work with some of the great illustrators of our time and we’ve always asked them for their weird stuff, notebooky stuff, sketchbook stuff, which means we’ve been rewarded by stellar work from Paul Davis and Leanne Shapton and Raymond Pettibon. We’ve always made room in our pages for painters and other fine artists. We’ve featured artwork by Margaux Williamson and Mark Beldan and Fiona Banner and we’re still trying to find a way to make this stuff look as good as possible online. How do you do that? We have this feeling that people who like our kind of books probably like our kind of music and visual art, and we’re a little bit tribal these days and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The tribe keeps getting bigger. We’ve benefited from surrounding ourselves with a few good advisors from the world of fine art. And through it all, for years now, when we’ve needed poster work, we’ve turned to our friend Nat Damm, a punk rock drummer from Seattle who usually makes work for the Melvins and the Jesus Lizard. Nat’s work is bonkers in the best possible way. Sometimes we ask him to make straight-ahead posters. Sometimes we ask him to make album covers. Once we commissioned him to make a set of huge magnets that could be placed on the side of a car for a car boot sale in East London. He obliged and the results are a magnetized fever dream.