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Working from (a temporary) home

I’m currently working each morning from a little B&B room in a farmhouse in Pembrokeshire, while Nick is here playing the organ for St David’s Cathedral. Apart from occasionally getting up in the night and bashing into furniture it’s all very pleasant. A cockerel and a swarm of hens outside. Peaceful countryside views. We’ve had some lovely walks along the coast, and a boat trip over to Skomer island. Our hosts are accommodating and don’t seem to mind me holing up here a lot of the time, even though it probably seems a bit odd. Our flat and garden are being taken care of at home, so I’m trying not to worry about the tomatoes, or dwell on the heatwave we’re missing…

The timing is a bit weird as we’re shortly off for a ‘proper’ holiday, and so I’m finding there’s rather a lot to fit in beforehand. One big (but unpaid!) job is to get the quarterly magazines submissions windows list up to date for mailing out on or around September 1st. So far I’ve been through the spreadsheet and updated all that I can from the magazine websites and/or Twitter feed: new URLs, new subs windows info, changes to guidelines, publication schedules and whatever. I’ll emailed eleven magazine editors to ask them to clarify (eg when websites show a July submissions deadline, that sort of thing). Have heard back from one so far, but hopefully by the end of next week… It looks like there are at least half a dozen new publications to add. And some windows closing on August 31st or early September, so I’ll let everyone know that on an email prior to the end of the month.

If you’re not on the email list for this and would like to be, just let me know (robin at and I’ll add you.

Meanwhile, I’m reviewing my manuscript for Live Canon, as some of the poems have changed a little. And I’m trying to keep up with (but enjoying) Live Canon’s August Treasure Hunt.

On the submissions front I’ve had three poems rejected by Prole (they have such a fast turnaround, which never ceases to amaze me) and two accepted by Stand, which I’m very pleased about as I’ve never had anything published there, and it’s a great mag (and I like the shape/ format too).

By the way – Prole has a pamphlet competition on at the moment but it closes on 31 August, so hurry if you fancy entering,

I was hoping to make this week a bit of a mini-retreat, but so far I’ve only managed to start one new poem. I’ve been reading as well, but I haven’t quite had the time I imagined I’d have.

Anyway here are a few photos to give you the feel of the place…

Pembrokeshire coast

welsh pony

Little Haven, Pembrokeshire

St David's Cathedral

St David's Cathedral interior (Nave)



Published inBlogPlacesRejectionsRetreatsSubmissionsWriting


    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thanks Ann! x

  1. Lovely photos, Robin. St David’s is a gem of a place.
    Please do add me to your email list for submissions windows – I presume that’s separate from receiving this blog.
    Have a great ‘proper’ holiday! Clairexx

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thanks Claire – yes it’s lovely there, although very happy to be back now! Will put you on the list. Hope you’re enjoying the sun. Rx

  2. Robin, just to let you know Ambit Magazine will be open for poetry submissions on Sept 1 – Nov 1 and short fiction and flash fiction from Oct 1- Nov 1. There is a £2.50 submission charge but any unwaged writers can submit for free (no evidence required). Thanks for doing that list and happy summer..

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thanks Briony! I will flag that on the next update… all the best to you too. Rx

  3. Heather Walker Heather Walker

    Looks lovely,.You sound rather busy, so enjoy your proper holiday.

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thanks Heather! Now I feel like a heel talking about a ‘proper holiday’ !! Wales was really lovely and we’d like to go back, perhaps with the grandchildren, as it’s such a lovely old fashioned family sort of place. Rx

  4. Looks idyllic! Sounds like a perfect and productive break before your real holiday.

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thanks Josephine, it’s a lovely place! It seems churlish to say this wasn’t a proper holiday, but I was doing rather a lot of hanging around and spending an inordinate amount of time in church (!), plus N’s mind and priorities were understandably on work. I don’t regret being there to support him, of course, and we did get some free time for the odd walk (and one afternoon on the beach!) I hope you’re enjoying the lovely weather. Rx

  5. Cheryl Capaldo Traylor Cheryl Capaldo Traylor

    Looks so lovely, Robin. I hope you’ll have the time to write and read as much as you like. And relax:)

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thank you Cheryl – am home now, getting the laundry done and just catching up… my hopes of it being a writing retreat were a bit unrealistic, but that’s OK, we saw some lovely countryside and may yet return when N’s not tied up with endless rehearsals! Rx

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thanks for commenting, Michael… it’s an amazing coastline for sure 🙂

  6. Elly Elly

    Great photos!

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thanks Elly! Rx

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Robin Houghton 2021