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Poet, author, post-marketer

The (longish) official poet biog

Robin Houghton’s work appears in many magazines including Agenda, The North, Stand, Magma, Prole, Poetry News, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Alchemy Spoon, The Frogmore Papers and The Rialto, and in numerous anthologies. Also in The Best New British and Irish Poets 2017 (Eyewear). She won the Hamish Canham Prize in 2013, the Stanza Poetry Competition in 2014 (and was runner-up in the same competition in 2016), the New Writer Competition in 2012 and the Visual Verse competition in 2022. Other competition placings include 2nd in the Plough Prize, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2019) and longlisted in the National Poetry Competition (2019). Her pamphlet The Great Vowel Shift was published by Telltale Press, the poets’ collective she co-founded in 2014. In 2017 she self-published a handmade limited edition mini-pamphlet Foot Wear. All the Relevant Gods, Robin’s third pamphlet, won the Cinnamon Press Poetry Pamphlet competition in 2017 and was published in February 2018. Her fourth pamphlet Why? And other questions (2019) was a joint winner of the 2019 Live Canon Poetry Pamphlet Competition. Robin also writes reviews for the Frogmore Papers and has written poetry-related features for Envoi, Poetry News and the Society of Authors magazine. Her A Guide to Getting Published in UK Poetry Magazines was published by Telltale Press in 2018, and updated for a second edition in 2020. She blogs at and is a Trustee of the Poetry Society.

Awards & Reviews

The (even longer) chatty version

After 30+ years of trying to write poetry, I decided to stop mucking about and to set myself the goal of getting a poem published in a reputable magazine. I needed a sign, if you like, that I had some modicum of talent worth working on. The Gods of Poetry (in the shape of Michael Mackmin at The Rialto) gave me that sign in 2010, and it made me serious about writing and reading poetry. Since then I’ve had over a hundred poems published in print and online. My third pamphlet (short collection) All the Relevant Gods was published by Cinnamon Press in February 2018 and a fourth Why? And other questions by Live Canon in November 2019.

In 2014 I got together with Peter Kenny to form Telltale Press, a poets’ publishing collective. We subsequently recruited three more members, published five debut pamphlets and ran regular readings and events. We also persuaded Carol Ann Duffy to be our Patron, and in fact it was her who originally gave me the idea for Telltale. Our final reading was the launch of our farewell Anthology, TRUTHS, in the Spring of 2018. All the poets who had read alongside us over the years were invited to contribute and the result was a fantastic collection. It was fun and inspirational to work alongside other poets, encouraging and promoting each other and the Telltale ethos. I learnt a lot from the experience, and Telltale Press is dormant but not dead!

I’ve been writing this poetry blog (including a previous incarnation) since at least 2011, probably earlier, and although I don’t post as much as I used to, it was the launch vehicle for what has become a quarterly updated spreadsheet of poetry magazines, their subs details and when they are open for subs. I’ve been producing this since 2017 and the list of subscribers  (and magazines on the list) has grown hugely, so much so that it feels like a community. Out of this project came ‘A Guide to Getting Published in UK Poetry Magazines’, a booklet I produced first in 2018 which sold out within a few weeks, so I followed it with an updated 2nd edition in 2020.

Until a few years ago I lived in Lewes and learned masses from its fine community of poets including Clare Best, Charlotte Gann, Jeremy Page, Catherine Smith & Janet Sutherland. I’ve also benefited greatly from workshops & courses led by Mimi Khalvati, Anne-Marie Fyfe, Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Jack Underwood, and John McCullough for New Writing South, an organisation that has supported me in many ways, for which I am grateful.

For a year or so I was the Brighton Stanza Rep, and now I’m a member of the Hastings Stanza, a fine and supportive workshopping group run by Antony Mair. I’ve also been part of a regular workshopping group in London run by Katy Evans-Bush, and have been a member of the Needlewriters in Lewes since 2014.

Day job

My background is in marketing, but these days I’m (pretty much) purely a writer, which is what I love most. Since 2000 I’ve worked in online marketing communications, spanning email marketing, marketing copywriting, features writing and, from its inception around 2006, social media. I was what was called an ‘early adopter’ in all things internet – learning to code in the late 1990s, leaving a traditional marketing career to take an MA in Digital Media in 2000, joining all the social networks when they began, running a business helping other businesses with their online marketing. I have written three commissioned books about blogging and trained probably thousands of people over the years in email & online marketing and social media. I’ve also written a couple of ebooks on how to use Twitter. More about these on my Publications page. I blogged about social media, small business marketing, communication and technology on my main website at, spanning the years 2002 – 2012. If you’d like to know more about my background & experience best take a look at my LinkedIn profile, it’s all there.

I’m a member of the Poetry Society and the Society of Authors.  See details of Awards and Reviews.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links – in other words, if you follow a link to my book ‘Blogging for Creatives’ on Amazon and subsequently buy it, it earns me a minuscule commission.


Twitter: @robinhoughton


  1. Meg cox Meg cox

    Rialto has just mentioned your blog on Facebook. I have read a lot of your blogs now and I am really pleased to have found you. Love them. For one thing I am a poet. For another I am Sussex born and bred and trained as a nurse at the RSCH in Brighton. Brighton may be my favourite place. All common ground. But it is more than that – I feel i know and like you!

  2. Meg cox Meg cox

    when I reread my comment I thought it may be a bit odd. But actually that is the skill of a good blog, I think, that it invites a reader to feel that the writer is a friend, someone you like. And now I have downloaded your book onto my kindle, so I will find out if that is so!

  3. Love your blog, such a pleasure and relief to read something well written, and it looks gorgeous. It has clear value for fellow poets, a personal touch and then of course it is peppered with the poems themselves, treats for all of us. Thank you.

  4. You’re really talented! I read your works and they are amazing! Great content & nice blog!


    • I agree! you r really talented! Hi how’s it going? We visited Jaisal for first time last weekend in bitter cold and he said he’d been to the Lewes Nov 5 celebrations and they were amazing. Love, Hester x

      Sent from my iPhone


      • Aha! Thanks Hester. Yes, you should come down here for Bonfire one year and see for yourself! x

    • Thanks Amreen, you’re very kind 🙂

  5. Aha! Thanks Hester. Yes, you should come down here for Bonfire one year and see for yourself! x

  6. […] Kentish Town, London NW5 2RX – come along if you’re around) and some comments by Robin Houghton about open-mic slots in her recent blog post have made me think about speaking poetry aloud: how I […]

    • Thanks for visiting, Roma! All the best for your writing.

  7. Thanks Robin. Glad to have happened on your blog through ED search. Obviously a lot going on here. I’ll investigate! Regards from Thom at the immortal Jukebox (give it a spin).

  8. Hi Thom, and welcome! Hope you find something interesting here…thanks!

  9. Hi Robin. I have just read your poem “The Long-Haired Girls” in the latest copy of Rialto and loved it! So thought I need to find out more about you, hence my visit 🙂 Julie

    • Hi Julie, thanks for visiting, for your interest and for your kind words! Best wishes, Robin

  10. Hi Robin – glad to have found your blog, which will certainly help me both as a poet and fledgling editor!

    • Hi Ben, welcome and thanks for your kind comment 🙂

  11. […] Spring edition of Poetry News (the newspaper of the UK Poetry Society) features an article by Robin Houghton about blogging based on interviews with seven poets who also write blogs- Sarah Westcott, Abegail […]

  12. N Reddy N Reddy

    Thank you Robin.

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Robin Houghton 2021