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The Black Dawg is an illustrated poem about depression and hope written by Louis McIntosh and illustrated by Kathryn Hockey.
The Black Dawg is an illustrated poem about depression and hope written by Louis McIntosh and illustrated by Kathryn Hockey.
The Black Dawg is an illustrated poem about depression and hope written by Louis McIntosh and illustrated by Kathryn Hockey.
166 backers pledged €12,451 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Black Dawg - illustrated poem

€12,451

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The Black Dawg is an illustrated poem about depression and hope.

It was written and illustrated by us: Louis McIntosh and Kathryn Hockey and we’re going to self-publish it as a picture book in 2016.

Hi! We're Kathryn and Louis, thanks for supporting our project
Hi! We're Kathryn and Louis, thanks for supporting our project

Why did we create The Black Dawg poem?

The process of writing and illustrating The Black Dawg poem has helped us both to recognise, understand and explain what we go through when we are depressed.

Louis says "I had suffered from Depression (yes with a capital D) for several years and it was a very lonely experience. On an upswing from The Black Dawg, as I called the Big D, I wrote a hard-hitting stream of consciousness poem detailing the experience but also offering solutions, so it finished on a hopeful note. I showed this to several people including a blogs editor who gave me a forum on the Huffington Post to blog my thoughts."

We hope that fellow sufferers will recognise their symptoms and realise they are not alone and we also hope that reading The Black Dawg may help the friends and family of sufferers to better understand the dark journey that their loved ones take unwillingly.

Why do we need your support?

  • We want to share The Black Dawg poem with as wide an audience as possible.
  • We plan to do that by making it into a printed book and an ebook.
  • We need to raise funds to cover the costs of design, printing, publishing, marketing and distribution. 
  • Please help us make it happen by making a donation!
  • We will send you a beautiful reward in return!
  • If we don't reach our target we won't receive any of the money pledged.
  • Please tell your friends and family about The Black Dawg and share this page with them.
  • We've chosen the most economical way to produce the maximum number of high quality books that our budget allows so that we will be able to donate a significant number to prisons, schools, libraries, mental health charities and other mental health service providers.

Targets, Donations and Rewards!

To reach our 12000€ target we have put together a variety of reward packages to suit all donation levels. These include:

  • a thank you on facebook and twitter
  • a pdf poster to download - choose one of the four illustrations shown below (front cover, p1, p9 or p11)
  • the ebook to download
  • the printed book
  • a Black Dawg book mark featuring the Spiralling Branches image from p11 and signed by us both
  • a thank you on the acknowledgement page of the printed book and the ebook
  • a signed, limited edition (100), A3 (approx) laser print of the illustration on p11 ( Spiralling Branches)

Please see the list of rewards to the right for details.

Thank you!

What feedback have we had so far?

We sent out The Black Dawg promotional pack in December 2015 as part of our initial market research and we've had some fantastic feedback.

Healthwatch Bristol say “At Healthwatch Bristol we hear about how much depression can affect people. This project is a great way of creating awareness for mental health issues.”

You can read more of the feedback we've received on our Black Dawg web page.

What will the book look like?

The finished book will measure 26.8 x 21 cm.

It will have 20 pages, including the front and back covers (soft back), and the introduction and acknowledgement pages. See your name on the acknowledgement page by making a donation of 20€ or more!

This is the front cover (below), yes, we know it's dark and scary, but that's what depression is like and it's really important for us to be honest about it.

The poem and illustrations will cover seven double page spreads, there are three extracts below.

front cover
front cover
pages 1&2
pages 1&2
pages 9&10
pages 9&10
pages 11&12
pages 11&12

You can read more about the process on our Black Dawg web page.

Risks and challenges

We have complete confidence in The Black Dawg poem and this is backed up by positive feedback from our recent market research.

Challenge 1. Finishing the book
After more than nine months work the illustrations are finished and the layout of the book is complete. The digital files will now be prepared for the printer.

Challenge 2. Finding a printer
Happily, after a lot of research we have found a printing company that can print and bind the landscape layout on good quality paper with a gloss finish. We have chosen the most economical way to print the maximum number of books we can for our budget. We will get printed proofs of the book made to ensure that the vibrant colours are reproduced to a high standard.

Challenge 3. Finding a publisher
It has been tricky to find a self-publishing company which allows us to retain full rights over our work. We now have a team in place that also provides our ideal marketing and distribution packages which will help us reach our optimum audience.

We have the passion and commitment to make this happen.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €1 or more About $1.14

    Thank you! Every little helps...

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    Pledge €5 or more About $6

    Thank you! Every little helps....

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    Pledge €10 or more About $11

    A thank you on twitter and facebook

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    27 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €20 or more About $23

    A pdf poster to download - choose from one of the four illustrations shown (front cover, p1, p9 or p11)

    Plus a thank you on the acknowledgement page of the book

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    38 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €35 or more About $40

    The ebook to download

    Plus a pdf poster to download - choose from one of the four illustrations shown (front cover, p1, p9 or p11)

    Plus a thank you on the acknowledgement page of the book

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    11 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €50 or more About $57

    The physical book

    Plus the ebook to download

    Plus a pdf poster to download - choose from one of the four illustrations shown (front cover, p1, p9 or p11)

    Plus a thank you on the acknowledgement page of the book

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    22 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €65 or more About $74

    A signed Black Dawg book mark

    Plus the physical book

    Plus the ebook to download

    Plus a pdf poster to download - choose from one of the four illustrations shown (front cover, p1, p9 or p11)

    Plus a thank you on the acknowledgement page of the book

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    5 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €100 or more About $114

    A signed, limited edition (100), A3 (approx) laser print of the illustration on p11 (Spiralling Branches)

    Plus a signed Black Dawg book mark

    Plus the physical book

    Plus the ebook to download

    Plus a pdf poster to download - choose from one of the four illustrations shown (front cover, p1, p9 or p11)

    Plus a special thanks on the acknowledgement page of the book

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 21 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)