Founded in 2019 by Jess Chandler, Prototype is a publisher of fiction, poetry, anthologies and interdisciplinary projects. With an emphasis on producing unique and beautiful books, we are committed to championing the work of new voices in free-form contemporary literature.
Prototype is committed to creating new possibilities in the publishing of fiction and poetry through a flexible, interdisciplinary approach. Each publication is unique in its form and presentation, and the aesthetic of each object is considered critical to its production.
Through the discovery of high quality work across genres, Prototype strives to increase audiences for experimental writing, as the home for writers and artists whose work requires a creative vision not offered by mainstream literary publishers.
In its current, evolving form, Prototype consists of four strands of publications: (type 1 // poetry) / (type 2 // prose) / (type 3 // interdisciplinary projects) / (type 4 // anthologies) including an annual anthology of new work, PROTOTYPE.
Prototype also has two associated presses, which function as imprints: Test Centre, which Jess ran with Will Shutes from 2011–18, and House Sparrow Press, which Jess continues to run with Gareth Evans. For more information, and to browse titles from these presses, click here.
Who We Are
Jess Chandler: Publisher
Jess Chandler founded Prototype in 2019. She was a co-founder of Test Centre, which ran from 2011 to 2018, publishing innovative works of poetry and fiction. She also co-runs, with Gareth Evans, the imprint House Sparrow Press. She has worked as an editor at Reaktion Books, and used to work as a researcher and producer on factual television programmes. She was the Digital Editor of Poetry London for six years. Jess has extensive experience editing and publishing a range of books, from fiction and poetry to illustrated art books, literary biography, history and philosophy, specialising in poetry and hybrid, multidisciplinary works. Jess has been invited to give talks and seminars at institutions including Glasgow School of Art, Birkbeck and the Royal College of Art, and has been a tutor at the Poetry School. She is also a cellist, and lives in London with her partner and their two young children.
Rory Cook: Publicity Officer & Associate Editor
Rory Cook is a writer and editor based in London. He is the editor of Monitor Books, which publishes poetry and writing by artists in bespoke editions. Between 2017–2019 he organised Murmur, a reading series in Manchester. He now co-organises ‘Feature’, a new series in London inviting interactions between the worlds of art, poetry, and performance: recent ‘Feature’ events here and here. He is currently working towards a PhD, researching intermedial installation art and ekphrastic writing.
Astrid Alben: Commissioning Editor for Literature in Translation
Astrid Alben is a poet, translator and editor, and joined Prototype as Commissioning Editor for Literature in Translation in November 2021. Before joining Prototype, Astrid worked as CEO of the Poetry Translation Centre and was artistic director of PARS, a arts and sciences organisation she co-founded at the Rijksakademie voor beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. The anthologies she edited on light, elasticity, and ice are published by Lars Müller Publishers. Astrid has worked as a curator for Parsons School of Design in New York and before that she was head of production at Saatchi & Saatchi Amsterdam. Astrid was awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship for her pioneering work across the arts and sciences in 2014. She is a Clore Fellow and the chair of Poetry London. Her work is widely published, including in the TLS, Granta and by Prototype.
Aimee Selby: Contributing Editor