Five Dials is a literary magazine published by Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Books. Over the course of our fifty issues, we’ve featured writing from the best practitioners of literary fiction and non-fiction, from Zadie Smith, Ali Smith, W.G. Sebald and Noam Chomsky, to Geoff DyerColm Tóibín, Deborah LevyRobert Macfarlane and Jonas Hassen Khemiri. Plus, of course, many, many more. 

The magazine was named after a seedy and now-extinct junction of five streets located close to the current site of Hamish Hamilton’s offices on the Strand. Five Dials features work from voices as canny and irrepressible as those who once populated the area.

From the beginning we were interested in longevity and reach. Back in 2008, we chose to publish the magazine digitally, and since then we’ve remained ethereal yet substantial, omnipresent yet absent from any newsstand. We've always tried to bridge the gap between the two worlds, combining the beautiful typesetting of the printed page with the instant accessibility of the web. The magazine is delivered straight to the inbox of readers all over the world, who either print up the PDF or view the magazine on some sort of screen. (The illustrations tend to look better on a bigger screen.) We’ve published artwork from some of the greats of our age: Fiona Banner, Paul Davis, Stanley Donwood, Richard McGuire, Margaux Williamson and many others. And then there’s the list of our surprising contributors: James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem, Sarah Neufeld from Arcade Fire, Harry Shearer, the voice of Mr. Burns, alongside Diana Athill and Karl Ove Knausgaard.

We’ve built a community around the magazine. Five Dials is a means to connect with readers all over the world. Over the years we’ve launched issues wherever there is an interest in literature, pressing ‘send’ in places like Montreal, Paris, Brooklyn, Berlin, Sydney and Jaipur. We’ve worked alongside a crew of editors, volunteers, staffers and designers to produce the magazine. We even have a pianist to accompany our live events and readings, which have been held at the Edinburgh Festival, in a music hall in East London, and on the special Five Dials stage at the Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall. 

Every issue offers a unique mix of writing and illustration, but we’ve been able to maintain the same Five Dials feel over the years by always ensuring a mix of the established and the new. We’ve been able to offer our readers a respite from the world of distraction and advertorial. We continue to give them a magazine to read and savour. One longtime reader prints up and binds each issue with a red ribbon. 

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