Mark Sinker

Aged five or six I knew I wanted to be a writer. I’ve been one professionally since the 1980s, and an editor since the 1990s. Back then I mainly worked for the NME and The Wire, coaxing the latter towards something like its present state from late 1991. I’ve written for Sight and Sound for 25 years, and was sub-editor at Crafts magazine for 15.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Check out my book! Details are here: 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).

NEXT THINGS NEXT: I’m writing out in the open again: recent pieces include this for the online arts magazine 4Columns (on the Alice show currently at the V&A) and this for The Guardian (about the effects of COVID and streaming on listening and music-consumption, complete with classic misleading Guardian strapline/clicktease lol). I also have an essay on the inspiration that Mark E. Smith found in classic horror writing (Machen, Lovecraft, James), published in Bob Stanley’s and Tessa Norton's Excavate! The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall.

My plan is to make writing my main focus again at last, but I'm also available as ever for well paid part-time or short-term work copy-editing, proofing and rewrite on books, catalogues and magazines, popular and specialist. My day-rates are high because you’re paying for decades of experience and wisdom as a freelance editor and writer, in many areas of publishing, including long stints at Crafts magazine, Sight and Sound and The Wire.

Recent and upcoming projects and titles I’ve worked in an editorial capacity on include:
Due May 2022:
Too Darn Hot, Bob Stanley's prequel/follow-up to Yeah Yeah Yeah: A History of Modern Pop (both Faber)
Due Feb 2022:
Bone Music: Soviet X-Ray Audio, Stephen Coates (‏‎Strange Attractor Press)
Due Oct 2021:
Reversing Into the Future: New Wave Graphics 1977-1990, Andrew Krivine (Pavilion Books)
Muse, Odalisque, Handmaiden: A Girl’s Life in The Incredible String Band, Rose Simpson (Strange Attractor)
Hawkwind: Days of the Underground — Radical Escapism in the Age Of Paranoia, Joe Banks (Strange Attractor)
Bass, Mids, Tops: An Oral History of Sound System Culture, Joe Muggs & Brian David Stevens (Strange Attractor)
Humphrey Ocean (catalogue for the Royal Academy of Arts)

I'm quick, accurate, friendly and unflappable in a team, and knowledgeable about the arts, science, politics and technology. On small project teams with tight deadlines I’ve ensured precision, clarity of expression and a vivid, readable end result. At many titles and on many projects, including the workshops I run, I've offered knowledgeable judgment and consultant advice about effectiveness of content and style, helping writers and non-writers at all levels of ability say what they mean and mean what they say, to bring out the best in their work. I’m very good with words, from tweet-length up to multi-volume stuff. I’ve written for academic journals and pop weeklies, art catalogues, books and blogs, about music, film, and the politics of culture, technology and science (see my publications page). As a writer I understand the anxiety that comes with writing, even among hardened professionals. Whatever it is, I can help make it clearer, tighter, brighter and more winning.

Contact me at marksink3r at googlemail dot com

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.

Recent on-line outlets:

I write reasonably regularly for my Patreon (see above right), for Tom Ewing’s Freaky Trigger and occasionally for my own hashtag tashlan. I review films and books for Sight and Sound and The Wire. Older spaces include radio free narnia (which needs rebuilding since pitas came to a halt ), plus a live journal, a dreamwidth, a tumblr and an instagram, mostly now subject to the unsleeping moths that older social media platforms are 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.


    With my friend Hazel Southwell, I recorded several podcasts about the book. She is much younger and was able to ask toughly impertinent questions about what we all imagined we were up to: what was good, what was bad, what went right and what turned out very wrong — why it all mattered, in other words, and when the mattering stopped. I’ve also written a lot about it all. Go here for a list and here for the Patreon itself.

music-blogging (including music-themed 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: