100 Thousand Poets for Change, by Red Slider

I am not a silent poet

A shield for those who have courage and take the risk,
a crowbar for those put in cages, persecuted and tortured,
a megaphone for those who have been silenced,
a memory that will not forget, no matter how stealthy the lies,
remote the dungeon or weak the muted voice
speaking truth to power from behind thick walls.

Who dares defile the sacrament of word?
Try to silence one of us and a hundred will speak out.
Try to lock one of us up and a thousand keys appear.
Murder one and 100 thousand poets will expose you
in permanent ink, at open mic, on the stage of the world
where we resurrect the souls of fallen comrades
and lay tyranny bare on the open page for all to see.

Make war, and we’ll be there. Refuse the sick or hungry care,
we’ll be there; exploit the poor or the vulnerable…

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Submitting to Poetry Journals & Competitions: A Beginner’s Guide

Submitting to Poetry Journals & Competitions: A Beginner’s Guide

a dreaming skin

Chatting to writers during the recent #JanuaryWriteOff 30 Day Challenge, it became clear many people find the process of submitting to poetry journals and competitions quite daunting. From formatting to bios to fees, there can be a lot of hoops to jump through and I thought it might be useful to walk you through the process.

What Goes into a Submission?

When you’re preparing work to send out into the world, you will need to prepare a package of information comprising some, or all, of the following:

  • Your work, presented in accordance with the competition or journal’s Submission Guidelines;
  • A short writer’s bio;
  • A cover letter and/or a completed application form;
  • An author’s photo;
  • Competition or Submission fees (if applicable).

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

Submission Guidelines

I’ve attended lots of workshops given by editors and publishers, and they all go something…

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Had a Poem Published in Reach Poetry

Murmuration:

A February day was drawing in,
called by the light of silver birches
guarding the garden; their branches
whispering the wind to evergreens.

They spoke of times almost forgotten
when the Manor House ruled over
acres of farm and woodland, only
one house remains to tell the history,

as I watched the skies shadowed
the sun sapped, suddenly
a bird flew over alone; a cloud
that swept the sky with shapes.

The birds signalled to each other
the safe way home to roosts
murmuring, diving, flying in formation
until they descended, covering trees with
black bird-leafs hanging on silver branches.

Carolyn O’Connell
12 February 2018

© Published issue 285 Jan 2019

A Year of New Anthologies

Angela Topping

2019 has been a good year for new anthologies, and I am very grateful to all the editors who have selected my work to appear in their book. I have edited several anthologies myself, and I am well aware of how much work goes into them, and how time-consuming they are, from the exciting part of selection, to all the painstaking work with permissions, proof-reading, working with publishers and arranging launches.

Anthologies have changed during my writing career. At one time, they were only for the few and the famous, and were there to mark a particular fashion or press. Then Bloodaxe started their wonderful themed anthologies which are owned by anyone with a serious interest in poetry. Then there were those wonderful children’s anthologies put out by Macmillan, OUP, Wayland and others, which encouraged so many of us to write for our inner child, and which have all but…

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