Welcome to the fifth – FIFTH! – issue of Shift Zine!

And love is in the air this issue! We talk to the utterly dreamy Alice Oseman about her queer romance comic that is taking over the world – Heartstopper! We find out what draws Alice back to her characters Nick and Charlie, and what we can expect from her new novel I Was Born For This. We also bask in the glory that is Queen Melinda Salisbury, and find out precisely how she plans to smash our hearts into a fine paste with her latest novel State of Sorrow.

There’s kissing galore in our double-whammy of backlist romance this issue, with a dreamy sigh over The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and a shiver of suspense at The Sleeper and the Spindle.

Love isn’t just about romance, though… we review Sara Barnard’s third novel Goodbye, Perfect – where friendship is put to the test. No one writes a friendship book quite like Sara Barnard. And friendship-love comes through again as we take a look at Second Best Friend, by Non Pratt.

We’re also hashtag-blessed to have Sophia Bennett guest-writing for us this issue, sharing her Art Gallery diary with us, and the inspirations behind her novel Unveiling Venus, and have a piece of original fiction from Kathryn Alton – a beautiful short story of romance and communication.

A very special thank you must go to the people who supported us in our fundraiser to keep the zine online earlier this year. Many thanks to Kathryn Alton, Alice Oseman, Stacey Woods, Simon P. Clarke, Rachael Bellis, Kelly Greentree, Steph Elliott, Sarah Nendick, and everyone who chose to stay anonymous. We couldn’t do this without you.

– The Shift Team


Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

The Fandom by Anna Day

Second Best Friend by Non Pratt

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter

The Unpredictability Of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen

The Invasion by Peadar Ó Guilín

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson


BACKLIST: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

First published in 2014, The Sleeper and The Spindle is the gorgeously told and illustrated fairy-tale from Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell. A cunningly dark and twisted blend of the tales of snow white and sleeping beauty, this is a female-focussed fairy-story, with love at its heart.


Muhammad Khan

We talk to the debut author about his searing book, I Am Thunder

Melinda Salisbury

We caught up with Mel to discuss all things Sorrow. 

Alice Oseman

Alice tells us all about her web-comic, Heartstopper

Sophia Bennett

Sophia shows us what inspired her to write Unveiling Venus


Unspeakably Beautiful by Kathryn Alton