The Mechanics’ Institute Review is Birkbeck’s annual anthology of short fiction by emerging and established writers from across the UK.

With 14 issues published to date, The Mechanics’ aims to champion the short story as an art form, promoting diversity and opportunity for all while publishing new work of the highest possible standard. It has received critical acclaim from the Guardian, Independent, TLS and Time Out, and endorsements from Ali Smith, Damian Barr, Geoff Dyer, Tessa Hadley and Courttia Newland among many others. We have been privileged to feature more than 40 guest authors over the years, from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Evie Wyld via Zoe Gilbert, Jackie Kay, Rose Tremain and David Foster Wallace, to name but a prize-winning few.

Meanwhile a significant number of the approximately 200 new authors we have published have found agents and landed contracts as a direct result of their inclusion in the anthology.

Available in print and e-book format, The Mechanics’ was originally produced by students taking the Publishing option as part of their Creative Writing MA; since Issue 11, however, it has been produced by a team of volunteers. From Issue 14 onwards, thanks to funding from Arts Council England, The Mechanics’ has gone national, widening its reach beyond Birkbeck Creative Writing Programme students to find and develop talent from throughout the country.

A constant and distinguishing feature of each collection is the rigour of its selection and editing process, which ensures the high literary and production standards of every issue and that involvement with The Mechanics’ is acknowledged to be a valuable experience for editors and authors alike.

For details of how to submit to this year's issue, please see the MIR15 submission page. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

  • These pieces are as energetic, diverse, as full of fascinating characters and intriguing stories as the city they were crafted in.
    Kerry Hudson
  • A promise of what’s to come for the short story.
    Paul McVeigh
  • There’s breathtaking energy in these stories, and skilful pulling of the rug from beneath your feet.
    Adam Marek
  • Good storytelling, gripping characters and a strong sense of place: these writers show us how it’s done.
    Christie Watson
  • Authentic detail, pin-sharp descriptions – buy it.
    Time Out
  • A window into the future of fiction. Here, you can glimpse writers that your friends will be recommending to you in six or seven years’ time. Here, you can discover their energetic but controlled, reckless but accomplished beginnings. This is the most rewarding kind of reading you can do.
    Toby Litt

August 6, 2018

The Gardener by Andrew Dicker

Short Fiction by Andrew Dicker
July 30, 2018

Coming to Town by Alex Clark

Short Fiction by Alex Clark Coming to Town was shortlisted for The Mechanics’ Institute Review Issue 15
July 23, 2018

Kestrels and Crows by Tim Cooke

Flash Fiction by Tim Cooke. Kestrels and Crows was shortlisted for The Mechanics’ Institute Review Issue 15