Words are exciting and powerful. They can start wars. Stop wars. Help us fall in or out of love. They heal and they hurt in equal measure. I love language and love to use it to illuminate the world around me.
I have always written, from early stories about running away, earnest teenage poetry about the state of the world, to scrappy musings about everything that puzzled or beguiled. I never took my work seriously, and was too afraid to show anyone; I focused on my career and more user friendly pastimes like gardening and my love of live music.
Put simply, I contracted M.E. as the result of viral Tonsillitis. I lost my career of twenty years, lost the ability to do all the things I love – from growing vegetables and baking to walking, carousing, gigging and general raucous fun. Constant pain, constant fatigue,and my particular favourite “brain fog” stole my life.
Why did I go back to writing?
I started to keep a journal, mainly to vent the frustration and grief I felt for for my old life.This worked reasonably well. Most importantly I remembered how much I loved to write. It was amazing to write creatively again, and not just for sales or training materials.
A couple of years into my illness, I took the plunge and began studying Creative Writing with Open College of the Arts . They are flexible (good for health) and cheap (good for wealth), they’re also pretty good at what they do, giving me enough support to grow, but enough space to breathe.
I began with Writing Skills, which focused on short fiction. This course taught me a great deal about the craft of writing and about redrafting. The fragile writer’s ego had to go.
I completed the first course in just over twelve months and began the next module, The Art of Poetry. This was a major leap for me. Reading and writing poetry is something I love, but it challenges me emotionally, and I found it hard to allow someone else to read what I had written. The feedback on my work was positive, and I found a fizz of excitement that had been missing for some time.
Thanks to Nine Arches Press Dynamo mentoring scheme, and Gerry Ryan, my first OCA tutor, I learnt about avenues for publication. In 2018 I began submitting to poetry magazines and journals. My first poem was published in Mslexia magazine in Autumn 2018 and you’ll find other examples of my poetry in print journals like Popshot Quarterly and online at places like Words for the Wild , Salt Water Zine, Nine Muses Poetry My happiest success to date to be longlisted in Paper Swans Press single poetry competition 2020 with my poem My death will grieve foxes (on being a hare in England).
I am gradually building my presence in the poetry world – it’s slow – my health hampers me, and the process of production and publication can be quite convoluted. Nonetheless, I am progressing, and hope to have my first pamphlet published soon, and am gathering ideas for a first full length collection.
As well as poetry I write short fiction and flash fiction and have publications in places like Riggwelter Press, and was pleased to be longlisted for the 2019 Fish short story prize.
This year saw my most exciting appointment to date – being selected as a columnist for Spelt Magazine – This magazine is a fantastic new venture that celebrates the rural existence. It’s growing issue by issue and I can’t quite believe I’m part of it.
Can I buy your work?
You can! I accept commissions for bespoke poetry. Just follow the link, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing something that will be given as a gift is a privilege and a joy, and I’m also thrilled when I have the chance to use poetry to support small businesses.
You can buy my crowdfunded pamphlet Yes to Tigers, inspired by artists from the Severn Gorge by emailing email@example.com, or popping in to the Ironbridge Bookshop.
How can you help my business?
I work as a copywriter, producing engaging copy for a variety of clients on a range of subjects. If you’d like to find out more about my copywriting services, visit The Word Emporium I’ll be happy to discuss rates, remits and show samples of my work.
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