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To be or not to be… published.

July 31, 2011

I am delighted to be able to share with you the news that Forward Press have accepted one of my poems.  June 4 will be published in their collection The Poet In Me on 31st October 2011.   I was born on the 4th June 1964.  The poem is based on important events that have happened on that day in the years since.  It was first written as a performance piece for the M.A. module in Poetry for Publication & Performance. The stanzas were redrafted to include a refrain to invite audience participation.

The news is particularly welcome as it came the day after an online magazine e-mailed to say that they had decided not to select my short story At The Gates for their next edition.  These are the highs and lows of being a writer.  Whilst I recognise the importance of producing work as opposed to seeking publication, I believe that entering competitions and taking up submission opportunities keeps one motivated.  These small steps can lead to success, which in turn encourages one to keep on going.  The trick is to find ‘the right representation’  – to quote  a phrase from one of my rejection slips.

Rejection is an emotion that a writer has to learn to deal with (another useful life skill).  While it can be discouraging to receive a rejection slip, I remind myself that this is part of the  process.  When I first began writing, I was a long way from producing work of a standard for submission, so it means I’ve reached another stage in what is a long apprenticeship.

En route, I have been heartened by handwritten comments from editors/agents who have taken the time to add a personal message to their slips such as: ‘This is an interesting subject, but not right for us I’m afraid.  Do try other agents and good luck.’

This year I have explored online and social media forums as well as more traditional avenues for my work.  I have been fortunate enough to have articles published via these routes.  What I find useful about them is the chance to find out how many people have viewed that work.   Comments left by ‘followers’ are an added bonus.

I would encourage all writers to keep on writing and to keep on searching for new audiences.  After all, writing only comes to life once it has been read.  The reader completes the circle.

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From → Poetry

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