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Sun, secrets and submissions

OK, what I’ve been up to generally

Greetings from the Sunshine Coast. I can’t remember the last time it rained here, but the water authorities are asking us to be frugal with the watering. I’m doing my best but those courgettes are mighty thirsty.

I haven’t been writing these last few weeks, and reading other people’s blogs I feel I ‘m not alone. However, there’s a Hastings Stanza meeting coming up so that’s a good reason for me to have a dig through the WIP for a poem to workshop. Actually, I’m not beating myself up about not writing, because I’m working through a lot of ideas at the moment and this has meant research, reading and mulling, all nice cerebral activities for when I’m not gardening, or directing my long-suffering other half to repaint the hall or reposition a shelf. Oh and of course doing my best to thrash the rellies at the weekly Zoom quiz.

It’s also perfect walking weather – the other day I got a tip-off about a ‘secret’ beach, and the walk there was glorious – a slowly-descending cliff path, lots of steep steps, very few people about but plenty of birds, butterflies and beautiful views. This part of the coast is all pebbles, but in certain places at low tide there’s sand. It was magical.

Boots on the beach

Yes but what about the poetry

A couple of weeks ago I ‘attended’ the launch of Charlotte Gann‘s new collection The Girl Who Cried (HappenStance). It was set up as a ‘webinar’, which meant we could see the readers but not each other, and we had no idea who else was there (it was a secret!) To begin with I was a bit sad about that, and a  couple of other things, but I ended up really enjoying the event. Charlotte read a few poems from the book, in between carrying on a conversation with Nell Nelson the publisher. The poems were displayed on the screen as Charlotte read, which for me was a REAL bonus over just hearing them read aloud.  The result was a lovely insight into the work, and more intimate than a regular reading. And trust me, Charlotte is the real deal; a real poet. I’ve got the book on order, so something else to look forward to.

Meanwhile there is one poetry project that’s currently bubbling under, an exciting collaboration … announcement coming soon!!!!!  Sorry. That’s about as annoying as those tweets that go ‘I’VE HAD SOME AMAZING NEWS AND I’M SICK WITH EXCITEMENT BUT CAN’T TELL YOU ABOUT IT YET’ – huh, whatever. It’s a secret! Like you care!

Submissions news

I’ve had a couple of sad rejections trickle in in the last month, and still have a couple more submissions ‘in progress’, but since I’ve sent nothing out in about three months I predict my name will be absent from the mags this autumn. But at least I have some summer appearances to look forward to in The North, Stand and the Frogmore Papers.

It’s that time again

I’ve been compiling and updating my quarterly ‘UK Poetry Magazines Submissions Criteria and Windows’ document for a number of years now, and tomorrow I’ll be finalising the June update, to send on Monday. If you’re not on the list to receive it, you can sign up here. 

Published inBlogCollaborationsInspirationLockdownRejectionsSubmissions


  1. Love Charlotte’s book❤️
    Sadly bit fed with secrets!
    But seriously fed up with poet/wrier Zoom things that silence everyone even if allowed in early until magic person of some kind of renown arrives!
    Let the organisers be stuck in not even allowed to exercise for two months!!!
    I see people I have met several times at events. . Why can’t we say hi or at the end for ten minutes? I don’t know emails or phone numbers we only met at event!
    I have been running a free poetry group in a cafe for ten years. Now we zoom and yes we chat at the end. Naturally due to numbers this group is secret! ❤️
    Arvon has been good plus few others!
    But may be restricting purchases with some zoomers in future …not that anyone cares!
    Ok can ignore comment. wont be offened.
    Lovely to hear your news❤️❤️❤️

  2. Hi Robin,
    Good to read your news. I was just thinking of submissions to The North and Stand myself. I’ve never read Stand though, so will have to order a copy. Good luck with the veggies. Oh and I’ve only recently started a blog so am mentioning it to people. So far just a couple of posts and a list of published poems.

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Robin Houghton 2024