All posts filed under: Mags & Blogs

mary evans picture library - poems & pictures blog

‘Poems & Pictures’ blog at the Mary Evans Picture Library

We’re into our fourth week of dust, clutter and washing up in the bath. The joys of home improvements! We still don’t have a fully working kitchen, one cabinet is ten mils too big for the space, one lot of contractors isn’t returning our calls and may have gone out of business (or ‘done a Brexit’ in the new shorthand) and rellies are coming to stay on Thursday but DON’T PANIC. Our builder is doing a marvellous job and it’s all going to be lovely. All this is just my way of saying sorry for not blogging lately. I’ve also got a bit of work on, which I slip in between coats of paint and electricians turning off the power. So what to report? I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been reviving some old poems, all part of a general poetry cleaning up/recycling drive. One such is ‘London Bridge to Waterloo East’, a poem that did the rounds a few years ago to no avail. Last year I was contacted by Gill at the Mary Evans Picture Library, inviting …

poetry rejections

Quick 2016 submissions stats overview

I have a much longer ‘end of year’ post lined up but for now I thought I’d post a quick subs update for this year. 40 poems submitted to 11 magazines: 33 declined, 7 accepted (17.5%) by 5 magazines. 7 poems entered for competitions: 1 x 2nd place, 6 x ducks. 2 x poems included in anthologies (invitation/non competitive, both new poems). 2 x poems included in anthologies (competitive, both previously published poems). 3 x pamphlet submissions:  1 shortlisted (last 20), 3 declined. Currently out: 6 to competitions, 7 to magazines (of which 7 are resubs and 5 new). As I suspected, I’ve sent out significantly fewer poems in 2016 than in previous years. But checking back on 2015 I also see that several of the ‘declined’ or unplaced poems have subsequently been published elsewhere (6 of the 23 poems submitted to competitions and 9 of those declined by magazines). There are many reasons for the low send rate, not just laziness (although that comes into it): illness, confidence ebbing as certain poems I was sure about have been continually rejected, and not writing …

Reading of poem ‘Long Haul’

This is from a reading I did in Eastbourne earlier this year and the poem appeared in The Interpreter’s House in June. Apologies for the sound quality and there are a couple of visual glitches – I never have much luck with video! Long Haul from Robin Houghton on Vimeo.

view from the ship

Submissions windows open & poetry competition deadlines

Windows Just checking which magazines have re-opened their windows (must’ve been hot in there) and have found the following: The Stinging Fly is open until Aug 31st (postal submissions) or Sept 4 (via Submittable). Agenda appears to have been open since June 1st – the website says it’s still open, so jump in quickly! Ambit has been open for poetry submissions from August 1st, window closes October 1st. Under the Radar will be re-opening Sept 14th and closing October 30th. (This is a change to what I reported previously). For a list of some UK magazines which are open to submissions all year, see my April post. Competition deadlines coming up Attention all compers: there are some opportunities to look at here – click on the relevant link to go to the page with more info. All details are provided in good faith, but I can’t guarantee I’ve got them all correct – please go to the competition page to check and to read the rules, cut off dates etc. Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival  (a new one …

andrew mcmillan photographed by Innes Morrison

Notes from a workshop with Andrew McMillan

As promised in my last post, here are my notes from the workshop I did on Saturday at the South Downs Poetry Festival, with Andrew McMillan. I’m including links at the end to other workshop notes, in case you find these posts useful. I was really impressed with Andrew’s workshop. It’s tricky to teach a one-off session like this when you’ve no way of knowing who is coming to the session nor what they hope to get from it. As well as asking us to each say (briefly) what we hoped to take away, he also offered participants the chance to feed back after every exercise, and the chance to read aloud the example poems. Andrew had planned the session well and we motored through a lot of great material, but his calm and relaxed style meant it never felt hurried or forced. That’s exactly what I want as a participant – to feel challenged by the material, confident in the teacher and unaware of time passing. So here’s a summary, in which I hope I’ve captured the essential …

Brittle Star 38 cover art

When the poetry magazines arrive…

… it’s always exciting, especially of course if you’ve got a poem in it. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been enjoying The Interpreter’s House issue 62, featuring an augmented brace of Telltale Poets (ie 3) and Brittle Star 38. Both mags are famous for their striking covers, and my first thought when I saw Martin Parker’s design for Brittle Star was ‘Kate Bush!’ Check it out – Clearly they are not the same, but it goes to show how many hours I stared at this album cover and how embedded it is in my memory. The INSIDE of the magazine is of course the thing, and I enjoy the editorial and reviews as well as the poetry. I’m not big on short stories in poetry magazines, although I can be persuaded to read them occasionally. I know it’s common for magazines to do both, but I have a bit of a one-track mind. Also just through the letterbox is the new Poetry Review (nothing in there by me, but I live in hope – …

Tears in the Fence

Tears in the Fence: a no-tears rejection

A few months ago I sent some poems to David Caddy at Tears in the Fence. Although he didn’t take any of them for the magazine, his reply was prompt and very civilised, so much so that it didn’t feel like a standard rejection. Polite, interested, business-like, a suggestion that I send again, not a hint of condescension. Yes, he invited me to buy a copy of the magazine (or subscribe), but not in such a way that I was felt under pressure, or even scolded in some way. I had read a copy of the magazine, know some people who’ve been published there, and have a reasonable idea of its style. I don’t think my work I was a hundred miles away. What happened was that I did indeed subscribe, and the Spring issue was soon through my letterbox. It’s small but dense, and one of those mags that pulls you in for a big read rather than inviting a flick-through. Perhaps one of the nicest surprises is that there are many names I’m not familiar with. One that stood out …

windows-scales-weights

Some poetry magazine submissions windows now open

For behold! Some windows are now opening, namely… Agenda – opens today, June 1st – with the promise of a 12 week turnaround time. Submit by email only. Bare Fiction – submit now for Issue 8, deadline 10th July. Popshot – is announcing its theme for the next issue tomorrow (June 2nd) Long Poem Magazine – opens today for the whole of June. The Interpreter’s House – open for the month of June. Submit by email or post. Good luck, and don’t forget to check the guidelines as they vary from magazine to magazine. Most editors suggest you read the mags first before submitting (not unreasonably!) Although it can get expensive you could always take out subscriptions on a rota basis, which is what I do – subscribe to, say, 3 mags per year but change to 3 different ones when the subscription period is up. It seems a fair way of spreading around limited funds and also gives you a good overview of the different styles of magazine. It also exposes you to poets and …

Windows

UPDATED – List of poetry magazine submissions windows

**UPDATED 28-4-16 – new listings in red, with thanks to those who have contributed.** Many UK poetry magazines have now adopted the ‘submissions window’ model, and it can be tricky to keep track. I’ve started making a note of these, and also those that welcome submissions all year round, and thought you might find it of interest. I may even keep it updated (but I can’t promise!) It’s not an exhaustive list by any means – if you know the submissions details of others, please do add them in the comments – thanks. There’s quite a wide range of styles and tastes represented here – I’ll leave it to you to do the research as to whether your work will fit a particular publication – if you’re new to submitting I do recommend reading a copy first! NB – the links take you directly to the relevant page about submissions (where possible) so you can check all the guidelines. Acumen – open all year (thanks to Rebecca Gethin) Ambit – February 1 – April 1 & …

Obsessed with Pipework issue 73

Quick update – submissions, good news, real life stuff

The big news this week is that we finally completed our purchase of the new flat, and we’re now wondering what we can afford to do to it in the five weeks before we move in. Within an hour of getting the keys I’d already stripped wallpaper from an entire wall – it came off so easily I think it was put on with Spray Mount. Honestly I could have rolled it back up and sold it on eBay. I’ll try not be a property bore here because I’ve started another blog dedicated to pretty much that. But on to the business of poetry … I’m really enjoying workshopping with my new buddies at the Hastings Poetry Stanza. The group was set up in 2014 by Antony Mair and he’s done a brilliant job of attracting an interesting group of motivated writers. There’s some fine talent east of here, and nice people too. Over in Brighton I’ve been attending a fortnightly poetry course at New Writing South led by John McCullough which has been great for introducing …