Mark Sinker

I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was five or six, and since the 1980s I’ve been one professionally, as well as an editor since the 90s. When I started, I mainly wrote for the NME and The Wire, as editor coaxing the latter towards something like its current form. I’ve also written for Sight and Sound for 20 years, and as sub-editor was on the production team of Crafts magazine for 15 years.

Three years ago I took time off to run a conference and put together an anthology (see details below) about the history and the importance of the UK music press from the 1960s-80s. This book is with the publisher and due out in December, so I’m once again on the look-out for WORK. As well as writing, work for me means sub-editing and proofing for magazines, ideally part-time, and editorial consultancies on book projects. I’m good with words, partly because I’ve written for a wide range of publications, from pop weeklies to academic journals (see the publications page for a sense of this), and partly because I’ve been a sub-editor for a long time, helping others say what they mean and mean what they say. I also run workshops, mainly aimed at people who need to write about themselves and their work, but are anxious with words and description (the workshop page has more).
Contact me at marksink3r at googlemail dot com

The book!

CURRENT PROJECTS: The book I’ve been editing is A Hidden Landscape Once A Week: The Unruly Curiosity of the UK Music Press in the 1960s-80s, in the words of those who were there. With cover and illustrations by the great Savage Pencil, it’s a companion anthology to the conference I ran May 2015 at Birkbeck College, and it features conversations and essays by such key contributors as Val Wilmer, Richard Williams, David Toop, Bob Stanley, Jon Savage, Cynthia Rose, Penny Reel, Liz Naylor, Charles Shaar Murray, Paul Morley, Paul Gilroy, Simon Frith and many others.

The conference was about the evolving politics of the music press 1968-85: the book throws its net wider… or perhaps simply defines politics in a more provocative and inclusive way. I’m really proud of this project, and delighted to have worked with such a stellar crowd. It was interesting and timely, and is I think full of valuable stories and perspectives, as well as being a sketch-map to how we got from there (meaning the 60s and 70s) to here (meaning now). With my friend Hazel Southwell, I’ll be doing a podcast about this in the run-up to publication and beyond: she is much younger and can ask me impertinent questions about what on earth we thought we were doing: what was good, what was bad, what went right and what turned out very wrong -- why it all mattered, in other words, and when and if the mattering stopped.

Going forward!


  • Potential employers should check out my CV page
  • Potential commissioning editors should see my publications page
  • (as well as clicking the stories linked in the right-hand column)
  • Potential foes or allies should see my minifesto, and
  • Potential clients and anxious would-be writers should check out what my workshop entails, and contact me for details and rates.

Current or recent outlets:

On-line I mainly write for Tom Ewing’s Freaky Trigger or at my own hashtag tashlan, plus reviewing films and books now and then for Sight and Sound and The Wire. Older blogs include radio free narnia (which needs rebuilding since pitas came to a halt ) and and the occasional blog about art that I started with my friend Tallita Dyllen, plus a live journal, a dreamwidth, a tumblr and an instagram, all but the last a little subject to the unsleeping moths that older social media platforms seem prey to.

(Semi-transparent socks I routinely deploy round the place have included variations on dubdobdeebelle le tristetierce de lollardie and pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør.)

Earlier radioshows I’ve been involved with include A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou, co-hosted with Eli Sessions, which explored the art of the science-fiction short story, and Freaky Trigger and the Lollards of Pop, which explored everything else (and was very funny). Both of these aired through the graces of Resonance104.4FM, and are now available as podcasts.


Music writing:

Recent film reviews:

Related to future book projects:

  • a week-long blog on Adam and the Ants
  • Notes from my EMP presentation on Adam Ant
  • A short piece on Kraftwerk (including extracts from my er long-delayed history of music and technology)
  • The first and second pieces in my series on the late William Mayne, the children’s novelist

Long pieces exploring how we mark class in the UK: