The team behind the scenes & Writer Services

Alan Parry


Alan Parry is a poet, playwright, copywriter, and the visionary Editor-in-Chief behind The Broken Spine, hailing from Southport, near Liverpool, U.K. With a robust academic background that includes a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Popular Culture from Edge Hill University, Alan’s scholarly pursuits have deeply informed his creative and editorial endeavours. His academic research into representations of masculinity in low-status comedy and media has added a layer of depth to his literary exploration and critique.

Since releasing his critically acclaimed debut poetry chapbook, Neon Ghosts, in 2020, Alan has continued to captivate the literary world with subsequent publications: Belisama (2021), a competition winner at Hybrid Dreich – Alliance; Echoes (2022), a poignant collection of poetic letters and a monologue play; and Twenty Seven (2023), a tribute to Jim Morrison that serves as both critique and homage to the counterculture icon.

In 2023, Alan made his mark on the spoken word scene with his debut show, Noir, at the Morecambe Fringe Festival, further solidifying his role as a dynamic force in the arts. Under his sole leadership, The Broken Spine has flourished, now having produced an astounding seventeen publications. Alan has worked with notable writers such as Matthew M. C. Smith, Casey Bailey, and Elisabeth Horan, among others. His commitment to fostering a vibrant literary community is evident in his regular hosting of online Open Mic nights and book launches, creating a welcoming atmosphere celebrated for its warmth and inclusivity.

The Broken Spine is embarking on an ambitious project, The Whiskey Tree, which promises to bring together waves of poets in a celebration of untamed writing. Alongside this, Alan has opened submissions for the first of twelve Slimline anthologies, thematic publications that will unfold over the next three years. His dedication to nurturing new talent is unmatched, offering mentorship and writer services, including specialised feedback sessions designed to refine and elevate the work of aspiring poets.

Alan’s contributions to the literary world have not gone unnoticed, earning him the 2021 Alliance Poetry Award from Hybrid Dreich alongside several other poets. Testimonials from authors he has worked with underscore the respect and admiration he has garnered within the literary community. Alan’s approach is characterised by meticulous attention to detail, a commitment to long-term promotion, and a nurturing, critical friendship that values and safeguards the work of the writers he collaborates with.

For those looking to make their mark in the literary world, Alan Parry represents an aspirational and committed partner. His editorial expertise, coupled with a heartfelt approach to publishing, makes The Broken Spine a publisher that truly values their work. To explore the possibility of working with Alan or to receive a free consultation, contact him at alan@thebrokenspine.co.uk.

Alan Parry extends a comprehensive suite of feedback and mentorship services for poets at various stages of their writing journey, structured into three distinct tiers to cater to a wide range of needs:

  1. Standard Feedback: For up to 12 pages of poetry, Alan provides annotated feedback alongside an online meeting to discuss the nuances and potential of your work. This service is priced at £30, offering personalised guidance to refine your poetic voice.

  2. Extended Feedback: This tier caters to up to 24 pages of themed poetry, including detailed annotated feedback and two online meetings to delve deeper into the themes and construction of your work. The cost for this in-depth analysis is £60, designed to support more substantial projects or collections.

  3. Comprehensive Feedback: Aimed at poets ready to polish a complete collection, this service covers up to 80 pages of poetry. It includes extensive annotated feedback and three online meetings to thoroughly explore and enhance your manuscript. This tier is priced at £120, offering a holistic approach to preparing your work for publication.

New Offering: Independent Publishing Support

Separate from the writing feedback services, Alan is now offering a bespoke service for writers aspiring to publish independently via Amazon KDP. With a wealth of experience in book and cover design, Alan provides hands-on assistance to bring your vision to life in the self-publishing arena. This service includes but is not limited to manuscript preparation, cover design, and navigational guidance through the publishing process on Amazon KDP.

Alan welcomes speculative emails from writers seeking to publish their work independently. This collaborative approach aims to demystify the self-publishing process and equip writers with the knowledge and tools needed to successfully launch their books.

For more information on any of these services or to discuss your project in detail, please reach out to Alan here. Whether you’re polishing a few poems or ready to embark on the journey of independent publishing, Alan’s expertise and personalised support can help bring your literary aspirations to fruition.


‘When a submission for manuscripts comes up, definitely consider The Broken Spine, an aspirational, committed press from the North of England led by Alan Parry. Writers, you want a publishing house that: listens to you and lets you lead; involves you in all its decisions; is very picky about presentations and making it the best it can be; is a gentle ‘critical’ friend about the work; who promotes you long term’

Matthew M. C. Smith author of The Keeper of Aeons

‘The Broken Spine’s attention to detail and continued support for From This Soil has been amazing. Alan Parry is a great man and everything you want in a publisher.’

– Casey Bailey, author of From This Soil

‘Working with Alan Parry was a dream. Never before have I experienced such professionalism and heart. Having worked with many presses, I think us poets have one wish – to be valued by the publisher, editor, and press… When we turn our work over we want to feel safe. Alan made me feel valued in every way, made my poems feel guarded and important, and he continues to do so to this day. I would work with him again in a heartbeat.’

– Elisabeth Horan, author of The Mask

Paul Robert Mullen


Paul Robert Mullen, co-founder and now a luminary contributor to The Broken Spine, is a poet, musician, academic, and globe-trotter hailing from Southport, near Liverpool, U.K. His multifaceted career has seen him living and sharing his talents in the UK, Australia, China, and Spain, embracing a life enriched by diverse cultures and experiences.

Paul’s literary contributions are deeply rooted in his passion for the tactile and the timeless. He finds solace in the crackle of vinyl records, the warmth of traditional pubs, the enigmatic allure of Bigfoot, and the tangible pleasure of paperback books with broken spines. His musical endeavours echo through his love for Leonard Cohen and bass guitar riffs, paralleling his minimalist lifestyle that finds beauty in simplicity

His published works include curse this blue raincoat (2017), testimony (2018), and 35 (2018) through Coyote Creek Books in the U.S., alongside disintegration (2020) published by Animal Heart Press. In a collaborative spirit, he joined forces with fellow Southport poets Alan Parry, David Walshe, and Mary Earnshaw to bring Belisama (2021) to life, a publication that further cements his influence within the literary community.

Beyond his own publications, Paul’s work has been widely recognised and featured in an extensive list of international magazines, e-zines, journals, and anthologies. His contributions to outlets such as 3 Moon Independent Publishing, After The Pause, and Anti-Heroin Chic (among many others) showcase his versatility and commitment to the craft of writing.

Paul continues to share his insights and poetic expressions, engaging with a global audience of readers and writers alike. His dedication to the arts extends beyond his own creations, as he nurtures and promotes the voices of others within the expansive literary and cultural landscapes.

Paul Robert Mullen’s journey through poetry, music, and academia is not just a testament to his personal achievements but also to his unwavering commitment to fostering creativity and community. His story is one of exploration, collaboration, and perpetual growth, making him a pivotal figure within The Broken Spine and the wider artistic world.

About & Our Ethos

Learn more about founding and guiding principles of the broken spine

David Hanlon

Co-Poetry Editor

David Hanlon is a Björk-loving confessional poet from Cardiff, Wales. His work explores themes of queerness, toxic masculinity, mental health, loss and change. Aside from poetry, he is inspired by art cinema, alternative music, nature and existentialism. He is a Best of the Net nominee and Co-Poetry Editor at The Broken Spine.

You can find his work online in over ninety magazines, including Rust & Moth, Barren Magazine, The Lumiere Review and trampset. His first chapbook Spectrum of Flight is available at Animal Heart Press.

Katie Jenkins

Co-Poetry Editor

Katie Jenkins has recently completed a creative writing diploma at Oxford University, England. Her poetry is in print with The Everyman Library in their Pocket Poets series, and online with Floodlight Editions. She has poems forthcoming with Acid Bath Publishing and The Poetry Bus. Her travel writing about diving with sharks in Fiji has featured in the UK’s Guardian newspaper. There aren’t many sharks where she lives in Gloucestershire, England, with her family.

Submission Guidelines

longing to be published?  here’s what we’re looking for