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Poems For The Environment

November 22nd, 2019

Thanks to Alan for his suggestions on idea generation. Some people seem to have so many ideas that they get blocked because they simply don’t know what to sit down and tackle first. They need iron discipline to work logically, finish each project and polish it before moving on to the next.

Others struggle to come up with ideas, and articles like Alan’s and the tips and advice we give in the Comprehensive Creative Writing Course prove useful. Then when they discover their creativity there’s no stopping them and one idea leads to another. One article generates ideas for the next, and the next…

But whichever camp you’re in, it’s a case of getting yourself in the right frame of mind, concentrating on what you’re doing and seeing it through to completion. You might need creativity and inspiration to write but it’s still a job and you won’t succeed unless you put the hours in!

I’ve always had a soft spot for our current Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage. After all, he’s a northern lad and his first posting as a probation officer was in Rochdale where I live. So I was pleased to hear this morning that he’s decided to put his money where his mouth is and donate his £5000-a-year Laureate salary to help fund a new poetry prize – the Laurel Prize. The first prizes (£5000, £2000 and £1000) will be awarded next May for a collection of poems promoting discussion about nature, the environment and climate change. Entry will be open to people from the UK and the Republic of Ireland only and it will be run by the Poetry School. I couldn’t find any details on their website yet, but it will be worth keeping an eye on it.

Staying on a northern theme, I’d like to mention Iron Press based in North Shields. They say:

No unsolicited submissions please. We are a small press, and able to accept only a small number of new books. We do not publish novels. Our range is poetry, (including haiku), collections of short stories, and anthologies of verse and prose. If you think you have something that might interest us, firstly email us with brief details. Thanks!

But they are currently accepting submissions for their ‘Alien’ anthology. Again, they say:

SUBMISSIONS remain open for a new IRON Press anthology of short stories called ALIENS, to be published late in 2020, edited by the novelists Carol Clewlow and Kitty Fitzgerald.

This is not a competition. There is no fee and no prizes. Authors included will receive two free copies. Extra copies can be ordered at trade price and writers may be invited to read their work at launch events.

Please interpret this subject as imaginatively as possible. Aliens can come from outer space, but the word is also used to denote people from a foreign land. These may be cold and hungry, arriving across the channel in a dangerous and leaky boat, or alternatively be rich foreign oligarchs buying up the city of London. The interpretation is yours. Full details on our News page!

Finally, before I leave you, don’t forget that our Flash Fiction Competition will be closing on 30th November, so the deadline is looming. There are prizes of £300, £200 and £100 plus each winner receives a Writers Bureau course of their choice.

My guest next week is Alex Gazzola who has just published ’50 Mistakes Writers Make (#3)’. Rule 43 looks at the folly of writers who are sniffy about entering competitions. I know, they’re not for everyone, but they can help you to hone your writing and you might even be lucky enough to win a prize!

Author: Diana Nadin


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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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