Thursday, 23 May 2019

Useful, interesting or amusing

Writers’ Forum magazine invites readers to submit short items each month for its News Front pages. With a limit of 200 words the articles have to be concise. The overriding requirement is that the news should be ‘useful, interesting or amusing to writers’.

I try to submit something regularly and am pleased to report that two of my submissions have been published in the June edition, currently on sale. 

One is about the Independent Libraries Association - as a volunteer at an independent library this organisation is of particular interest.

However, it is the second article that I enjoyed writing the most. It concerns the bicentenary of American poet Walt Whitman (‘Oh Captain! My Captain!’) and his curious relationship to the English town of Bolton. In the 19th century a group calling themselves the Whitmanites of Bolton declared themselves his disciples. If you visit the town be sure to take a stroll along the ‘Whitman Walk’ and go to the museum to see his stuffed canary. 

I’m delighted to say that my submissions this month have won me a year’s free subscription to the magazine.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Take a letter, Ms Charles

All images by Readly
Back in the day when shorthand was an essential office skill, business men (and women) would ask their secretary to ‘take a letter’. 

Now I’m self-employed, no-one tells me what to write or to whom!
But I still do write letters. Inspired by my writing colleague S Bee, I write to magazines. It’s fun, it’s good writing exercise, and it’s always a thrill to be in print no matter how trivial it may seem. 

It can be lucrative too, with gifts and cash sometimes available. Most letters and images are also eligible for registration with ALCS.

I’ve learned that it’s not as simple as it may first appear. Each magazine has a preferred style so research is essential. Some want a brief 30 word sound-bite, others a more considered discussion point. 

Having the Readly app is a great asset for both research and markets as it provides access to many different magazines.

It’s a fun hobby. 

But beware, it can become addictive!