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With the beginning of a new year, I thought it would be a good time to review 2014 and take a look at some of the things I have achieved with my writing.

Review

Producing a short film for my poem

Being one of the winners of mindshare’s When words come to life poetry competition and given the opportunity to create a short video clip to accompany my piece was a most interesting experience. I learnt a great deal about storyboarding poems using impact, music, breath and movement, as well as finding that place you have to get to when reading aloud. And I made some good friends along the way, all of whom have either been impacted by or are involved in mental health.

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Breaking into the US market

Having been published in the UK, Australia and Canada, it was wonderful to be accepted into a journal published out of Maine in the US to add to the compliment of continents. The Aurorean was a journal I’d had my eye for a while due to the quality of work it publishes and the awards it has won. I can now be defined as an international poet – long may it continue!

Submitting a draft of my first collection

Having some time off work recently gave me the opportunity to finally develop a first draft of my first collection. Not as easy as you originally think and very all-consuming, but with the help of a course I took with Pascale Petit at the Poetry School and some words of wisdom from Kim Moore on how she did it, I managed to create a fairly cohesive submission that has been sent off to a publisher in London. Let’s see what happens!

What to focus on in 2015

I will continue to submit to magazines and journals but perhaps be more selective, and take a step back from the competitions. I must make more of an effort to attend literary events and readings to network, and keep up with what’s happening on the local poetry scene. And in an attempt to be more organised, I’ve treated myself to the Mslexia 2015 Writer’s Diary, an invaluable resource that I’m wondering how I did without really. If anything comes from my first collection submission then that will take up a large chunk of my time to develop further and fine-tune. I also received news just before Christmas that some of my work has been accepted by a very reputable webzine in the UK run by one of my favourite poets, but more about that shortly.

So here’s to another 12 months of poetry success. A happy new year to you all, keep writing  🙂

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had a piece accepted for the fall/winter issue of the Aurorean poetry journal published by Encircle Publications.  Well, it’s out now!

Fall Winter 2014 2015 Aurorean

 

Contributors receive a free copy, plus a special discount on further copies purchased, so I’m really looking forward to mine arriving, which I anticipate taking a little longer considering the distance needed to travel!

It’s well known that on the whole, poetry doesn’t pay.  However, like many other poets I don’t write to earn and when you think about it, “pay” has many connotations.  I still get a thrill from seeing my work and name in print so this is the value for me.  And when you couple that with contributor copies and the publicity provided, I feel that’s a pretty good deal, don’t you…?    🙂

The Aurorean is a biannual poetry journal published in April and October out of Maine in the US by Encircle Publications.

 

The Aurorean

 

Its 60 plus pages offer a variety of form and content from poets all over the world, with a focus on New England and the seasons, and includes a wonderful selection of Haiku. Having won several small press awards, the journal publishes work that “uplifts, inspires, and is meditational”, a refreshing perspective “in a world full of angst”.

Editor Cynthia Brackett-Vincent kindly accepted some of my work recently to appear in their forthcoming Fall/Winter issue due out next month.  I was excited by this news, not least by the thought that my work will appear in this beautifully presented and prestigious journal but also, and to quote one of my literary friends, I have now “cracked the US market!”  So only 3 more continents to go, as I’m discounting Antarctica unless their definition of penguin has changed…

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