In February 1989 another local magazine emerged, this time in Hartlepool. Top Copy was the brainchild of Stevan
Ryan who was chair of the new Hartlepool Writers group and who had recently become involved in the work of the Write Around committee. Funded by Northern Arts, Top Copy lasted 2 issues but in the interim provided a much needed focus for Hartlepool writers, many of whom had contributed to Outlet since 1986 as well as others who hadn't been published by us.
The first issue was a glossy, unlike Outlet, and Stevan used much of the grant to produce it thinking it would mean they got more support from the funders. Unfortunately no more cash was forthcoming. Steven managed to produced a non glossy 2nd edition with the money that was left but the magazine folded after that.
A great shame for Hartlepool but non the less, it was a bold effort by Stevan and his team and the Hartlepool Writers made a valuable contribution to Creative Writing in the area, via the group, their involvement in Write Around and this magazine. It underpinned that Hartlepool itself needed more resources and support to successfully develop writing in the town.
In his first editorial Stevan wrote-
"When I first envisaged a magazine which was the work of the Hartlepool area, I had in mind something to compare with the Spectator, or at least, Woman's Realm.....but what has resulted is infinitely more preferable than either of these. What we have is an honest reflection of the many and varied characteristics of the Hartlepool folk...perhaps above all their wit."