All posts filed under: Roundups

blue sky & gull on the seafront

What’s inspired me recently, and a writing/submissions update

I’m not spending a great deal of time at the computer at the moment – can only blame the marvellous good weather! I’m in admiration of those taking part in NaPoWriMo this month, such as Jayne Stanton. I do sometimes do the ‘start a poem a day’ thing, although I tend to do it alone and during months when there’s nothing going on to distract me! Having said that, I’ve been writing and submitting. Some new work is emerging that feels fresh, and I’m enjoying the process. I think I’d been hitting my head against so many old poems for too long, and making a conscious decision to set them aside feels liberating. So, I’ve got six poems forthcoming in the summer across four publications, plus there are currently 14 more out to magazines and a couple of comps, and 4 pamphlet submissions. If nothing comes of the latter then I think I have enough new material & project ideas coming through to abandon this particular ‘pamphlet.’ I’m using quote marks because it’s possibly not one pamphlet, but the seeds of several. Or just the start of …

hazel at the beach

News round-up: the good, the bad & the ugly

Facebook blackout – the verdict It’s now been two months since I stopped checking in with Facebook and I’m enjoying the freedom it’s given me. I’ve been writing, little by little, not an avalanche of new stuff, but a lot of reworking of old material. I’ve also found new possible projects popping into my head, which may or may not happen but I won’t beat myself up if they don’t. Being Facebook-free did mean I missed the news of two great-nieces being born on the same day, but good old email did bring me a missive after a couple of days. My siblings’ children are procreating so fast I’m finding it hard to keep track of all the new rellies! Above is a photo of my granddaughter Hazel, enjoying herself on the beach a couple of weeks ago 🙂 Nothing to do with poetry but a nice photo I think! She didn’t write her name herself, but rest assured I shall be coaching her in all things poetry asap. Good things, and a bit of navel-gazing I’ve had another …

TS Eliot prize readings programme

TS Eliot Prize – workshop & readings

Katy Evans-Bush‘s TS Eliot shortlist workshop is fast becoming an institution. Now in its sixth year, it’s a fine precursor to the Prize readings which take place the following day, and the prize giving itself the day after that. The format is straightforward – Katy reads the ten shortlisted books, chooses from them a number of poems to discuss, and invites poets along to the Poetry School in Lambeth for a day to mull them over. I’ve been to one of these workshops once before and had a wonderful time. This time I had to confess I hadn’t read any of the collections, but in a way that’s part of the excitement – to be introduced to them by someone like Katy. Not only does she offer her thoughts and insights into the works, and invite us all into the discussion, but she also brings to the table her formidable background as a writer, reader and and literary critic. Plus the odd bit of insider gossip, of course. The TS Eliot Prize is probably the highest profile UK poetry prize and that’s …

Merry Christmas from Eastbourne Pier

End of year gratitude & resolutions

Is this the blogging equivalent of the Christmas round robin? If so, I confess I rather like receiving them. I honestly quite like reading about relatives of relatives I’ve never met, who’s had a baby and what they called him/her, where people have been on holiday. I even enjoy the cliches and the interminable ‘filler’ prose (‘as the days are getting shorter…’ etc) that people often resort to, as if not wanting to JUST talk about themselves. Unlike when you’re listening to wedding speeches, you’re not a captive audience, so reading the round robin can always wait until you’re comfy on the sofa with a cup of tea or glass of wine. I covered submissions stats in my last post, so this one’s more of a round up  – good stuff, bad stuff. Favourite blogs. Resolutions. Gratitude. The UK political/economic & cultural climate has been well documented elsewhere, so let’s just call that a given – a backdrop to the tiny, insignificant-in-the-scheme-of-things, day-to-day life of one person. Two steps forward I’ve a huge amount to …

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 …

Seven questions for poets #5 – Ian Humphreys

Today’s poet ready for a grilling is Ian Humphreys. I met Ian on the Ty Newydd masterclass we did a couple of years ago. He and I were in a small working group with Lizzie Fincham – which basically meant we holed up in the library, trying to do our homework while comparing notes and reading lines to each other, amongst a lot of nervous swearing and diversionary hilarity. Since then Ian’s made serious progress – he completed an MA in Creative Writing at MMU, and it’s been wonderful to follow his success – most recently winning the Hamish Canham Prize and being selected for The Complete Works III. 1 – What was the last poetry book you read, that you would recommend? Jutland by Selima Hill. Two books/sequences in one. Akin to a severed doll’s head: innocence and menace combined. Cleverly, the darkness here is more of an itch in the imagination than a telling. The imagery is surreal, playful and shockingly original. A poem can start off beaming with light and lightness, then turn on a …

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 …

Eastbourne beach from south cliff

Some poetry readings etc in next two weeks…

Just a quick shout out for some poetry readings & events coming up in the next couple of weeks … we’re always being told how people turn to poetry in times of trouble, so perhaps we need to start promoting poetry readings as an antidote to brexit woes. I already foresee a tranche of poems on brexit-related themes starting to appear in magazines from the autumn… But let’s not wish the summer away. I’m trying to see the sunshine through those dark trees. Anyway, starting with this evening, 29th June – I’m pleased and proud to have been invited by Abegail Morley to be a guest reader at the launch of her Nine Arches collection, The Skin Diary, alongside Jeremy Page and Mara Bergman. It’s taking place at The Pitcher & Piano in Tunbridge Wells at 7pm – free entry! Tomorrow evening 30th June I’m in Eastbourne talking to the New Eastbourne Writers about best ways to use Twitter, and hopefully launching the follow up to my ‘How to Use Twitter’ ebook. (I know, not a reading …

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 & …

Drafts of Plath poems

The rejections behind poem acceptances

Apparently I’m well known for broadcasting my rejections, but that’s no reason not to tell of the acceptances. Just when I was thinking I’d lost my way (the second half of 2015 was particularly bleak in terms of one rejection after another) some poems have come good. Specifically: a poem forthcoming in Poetry News, another in The Interpreter’s House and three in Bare Fiction, in which I’ve never made an appearance so I’m particularly encouraged by that. Two of the five were ‘problem children’,  as you can see from the stats below. I have a relatively new-found interest – looking at the drafts/rejection history of a poem once it’s accepted to see it I can learn anything from it. I love being able to write poetry on the computer. I save all drafts, or rather I save a draft the last time I work on it during a day. So generally I save one draft per day max. Otherwise ‘version control’ would be pretty much out of control. But I find I do go sometimes back to …