Tuesday, 1 June 2010

I'm a writer, so where's the writing?

I decided that I might write about my writing, seeing as this is a writing blog ha (despite my uncertainty about whether I can still call myself a writer.)

So, it is June. I have officially written nothing outside of this blog for 5 months. I have not opened my notebook, considered an idea or worried about it, frankly. I'm not sure how long this will persist, but while I feel no angst about it, I figure it's not a problem, the world keeps a-turning, and I have other parts of my life to focus on.

However, it might be argued that being a writer is not just about the writing, and I have been busy with the non-creative side of writing.

I have been reviewing. My latest review is in the May issue of The Short Review. A beautiful anthology of prose poems called The House of Your Dream published by possibly the best prose poetry publisher, White Pine Press.

If you love prose poems, or are new to them and want to read some, I say, grab a copy of this book. It's very good.

I have a couple of other forthcoming reviews from The Short Review (short fiction), Bookmunch (non-fiction) and Sphinx (poetry chapbooks) and will post links as and when they appear.

As well as reviewing... Literature North West recorded a number of videos of writers from the lovely North West of England recently, little introductions from the writers followed by a reading of a poem or extract. You can see all the videos on You Tube including mine (I have got over the trauma of seeing myself on film eegh eegh eegh). I urge you to watch some of the vids (especially mine!). There are some interesting writers featured, and the more hits the vids get, the more likely Literature North West might get further funding to run this project again for other writers (very good way for known and lesser known writers to find a wider audience, promote their work, and promote writing from the region)... As part of the project, we also had professional photographs taken. I will give you a little sneak preview once I have my own photos through (I sense another trauma ahead.. oh no, wonky teeth, bad hair, funny look on my face, is that me?). Here's the Literature North West site, if interested - lots of info on writers, books, publishers, events up here in the NW of England, which I modestly think is afire with creativity.

What else?

I've been submitting writing here and there. Not widely, but selectively. And I'm dead pleased that three of my very short stories are going to be published by Flax Books, in their latest digital anthology. I have no info on the other writers involved yet (there are usually about five or six writers). All I know is, the launch is 30th June 7pm at the Storey Institute in Lancaster, and the anthology will be published online the same day.

There are always lots of little treats for readers with Flax's anthologies... profiles of the writers, including photos and links, mp3 recordings of each of the writer's work, and they are usually most beautifully designed, easy to browse and gorgeously varied writing. I was published in their last short fiction anthology too Unsaid Undone if you want to get a little flavour of what their anthologies are like.

I am doing lots of urging today, but again I urge any NW writers to submit for their latest call for submissions, this time for poets, and later in the year for single author chapbooks. It is a wonderful experience being published by Flax: writer development opportunities, coaching sessions, and they really promote their writers with things like postcards, readings, and such like. I met Sarah Hymas the editor yesterday to do further edits of my work and record one of them for the website. It was a very good editorial experience, discursive, useful. So, submit submit submit. I want to read some fantastic NW poets in the next anthology...

As for other writing things, I have a few irons in the fire... an important submission that I am keeping my fingers crossed for, a reading at Manchester Book Markets at the end of June, more reviews, a few other mysterious possibilities...

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