Dostoyevsky Wannabe "Publishing"

A rough guide to the different Dostoyevsky Wannabe imprints.

Our friend Jennifer wears her Michelle Smooth badge in her hair. Maybe you too might consider wearing badges in your hair and not on your lapel. It might be a look. Image Credit: Jennifer Hodgson.

Why do we have different imprints? We're not sure or we can't quite remember and we can't really say they have any kind of coherence at the level of the writing. Still, we decided we liked making up imprints so we have a few and we'll probably have more later.

Who doesn't like a good imprint anyway? We might firm up these imprints eventually and make them mean something more. We might. Or we might not.

Actually maybe the imprints are grouped according to aesthetic design style. Are they? That might be it. Let's see if we can find out.

A Dostoyevsky Wannabe Original out in the wild.


Our Originals imprint is the first one to see the light of day so we're pretty fond of it (maybe you can be fond of it too?).

The cover designs are all pretty similar in style and they're all underpinned by the Marber grid that was so influential to the Penguin and Pelican designs of the 1960s-1980s. With the Originals cover designs, we wanted some kind of uniform look that nevertheless allowed an amount of room to be creative and we think we got it. We did get bored and introduce a variation at a later point so if you look carefully there are like two styles here but both underpinned by the same grid.

The type of writing that you might find in a Dostoyevsky Wannabe Original is not uniform. In fact, its a diverse array of the some most interesting writing in the 21st century to date and we're very proud to have worked with the writers who produced it.

Here's an photo of a DW Cassette Sampler strapped to Becca Yenser's bike all the way over in Portland. Image Credit: Becca Yenser


The Dostoyevsky Wannabe Samplers were originally a kind of odd idea for an anthology format. At first, we were thinking of the NME's C86 cassette compilation and so the first one was named Cassette 86. These were books though, not cassettes. The idea was that an anthology is kind of analogous to a mixtape.

These were the first books to invite guest/contributing editors to put the books together and this led to us working with some lovely and talented people: Juliet Escoria, Troy James Weaver, Elle Nash, Oscar D'artois and Nat Baldwin and, in turn, they found some amazing writers who we may not have ever heard of otherwise. Again, we're very proud to have these books out there in print.

In recent times, we've decided to hold off on the Cassette theme for a while but instead we decided to do some fiction inspired by various bands/musicians/albums/singles type books. The first one is Love Bites which is fiction inspired by Buzzcocks and it's out sometime in 2019 with more to follow.

An unknown hand holds a book from the Dostoyevsky Wannabe Experimental imprint against a white laboratory-like background at Volume Books in New Zealand. This is kind of fitting since that book takes place in a cytology laboratory where it mixes cervical smear testing with Northern Soul for the first (and maybe the last) time. Image Credit: Volume Books


At first, Dostoyevsky Wannabe Experimental was going to be a kind of hybrid hook-up with art and maybe photography books as well as experimental text. All was an experiment really and it kind of still is. It was an imprint where we could trying something out with cover-design, something that floats free of the Marber grid that underpins many Dostoyevsky Wannabe imprints.

In terms of the writing that can be found on this imprint, it can be more or less experimental in form, it doesn't matter.

This is a place to try things out.

The Dostoyevsky Wannabe Cities Manchester anthology as depicted arriving in a box and then wrapped in some kind of Hipstamatic filter for good measure.


Dostoyevsky Wannabe Cities is our odd, massive, sprawling, 'We've gone on holiday by mistake' open source-like set up.

Each book is a snapshot of a selection of writing from one city at one time as chosen by a guest-editor and Dostoyevsky Wannabe take no part in the editorial or selection process. The reason for this? Well, we live in Manchester and we don't know anything about the kind of writing that can be found in another city. Hence, we turn the whole editorial responsibilility over to guest-editors who do live in those towns and cities. Of course, each book can only ever be a partial snapshot as read through the interests of the guest-editors and the people who they select for each volume.

To date, there have been books from Bristol, Norwich, Manchester, Dundee, Nottingham and Santiago, and more will be along soon (Brooklyn, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Manhattan, Coventry, Birmingham, Glasgow, Boston, Mass, Dublin, Los Angeles and others).

We have no idea how many of these books will make it to publication but it doesn't really matter. Maybe some will, maybe they all will. Who knows? It's a vast collaborative effort all done for the love it and for free and the books are priced at exactly the cost price so no profits are generated.

Book cover for Noah Falck's You Are In Nearly Every Future, 2017.

Dostoyevsky Wannabe X

Dostoyevsky Wannabe X is kind of a funny one y'know. We thought to do a kind of chapbook series (or at least a very short-book) series but we couldn't keep up with the demand and so we had to temporarily shelve it. We might revive this one in the future and maybe even extend it into a mixture of print zine type things but it will have to an imprint that is solicited so please don't send proposals for it just now if you don't mind.