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Autumn issue out now

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, September 24, 2017,
 and on equinox day as well!
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Summer variety pack

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Wednesday, June 14, 2017,
the summer issue has splendid blooms!
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Spring has sprung early

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, March 19, 2017,
so read on
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10 of the best

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, September 18, 2016,
the new improved magazine for autumn is out now. 10 of the best poems published. In my opinion naturally!
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Summer Issue out

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Saturday, July 2, 2016,
Hurrah!!
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Spring issue unveiled

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Tuesday, March 22, 2016,
enjoy!
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Winter issue out now

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Saturday, January 2, 2016,

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Autumn issue now out!!

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Tuesday, October 6, 2015,
thank god ..only took me two weeks . Still, a great read!
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Summer issue out

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Wednesday, June 10, 2015,
despite lack of UK summer!
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Spring issue out

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, March 30, 2015,
Hurrah in time for Easter....and a bumper one too!

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Stop what you are doing !!!

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Thursday, December 18, 2014,
the Winter issue is out..the poetry fabulous ....the art work gorgeous..indulge yourselves...go on!!
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Autumn Issue

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, September 22, 2014,
summer holiday meant that Autumn issue is late ...mind you so is Autumn...but hurrah it is out with fine poems and brilliant art work by Derek Sellen.

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Summer Issue out

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, July 7, 2014,
a little late but here we are .....
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In which I am interviewed

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Friday, June 13, 2014,

Do you ever write as a form of therapy? Writing for health is way to take control of your world, and make sense of it. In a candid guest post, Fiona Sinclair offers an insight into how writing poetry has impacted on her emotional and physical wellbeing.

I have had a stop start relationship with writing.  I first began when I was twenty. I remember my excitement at being published in ‘Purple Patch’ which had just started and I received a charming letter from Geoff Stevens.  I recall too get...


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issue out

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Friday, April 4, 2014,
for good or ill , the Spring issue is out.  Have worked through repairing a garden and other impediments.  The issue is bumper , full of fine poets and poetry.

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Winter issue late

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Thursday, January 9, 2014,

due to ill health, itinerancy and a store that has wrecked garden and caused damage to house but am working on dear readers and contributors!
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Autumn Issue out now

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Saturday, September 21, 2013,
The Autumn issue is now out ....it's gorgeous ..give it a whirl..
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New Issue

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Friday, June 28, 2013,
A bit late but the summer issue is finally out . Check out Derek Sellen' s art work . I feel really proud to include it and feel it enhances the look!
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Alan Gleave, a winner again in SaveAs competition.

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Saturday, March 23, 2013,
Much to my amusement who should I see emerging from the bar at The Jolly Sailor pub at the SaveAS awards evening? But Alan Gleave who came third last year . This time he came second with a wonderful poem . I pointed out that it boded well for next year!

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Off to 'SaveAs' poetry this evening.

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, February 10, 2013,
at the 'Jolly Sailor' for the prize winning and reading from two fine poets. 

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AHHHHggggggggggggggg

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Saturday, September 22, 2012,
Fancy font  makes this grumpy editor more grumpy. I am having to ask for submissions in plain font. I've tried cleaning on note book and using another browser but sometimes it just won't convert to Verdena.  Rant over.
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Poetry events like buses next week….

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Saturday, September 1, 2012,

There’s  the Wise Words festival in Canterbury and Rochester Lit Fest. I don’t quite know what to expect from Canterbury but a map which looks like the plan of an imaginary land in a fantasy novel  is intriguing including teepees , slams in the high street which will please the shoppers and some well known poets reading including the ‘Olympic’ poet laureate. http://wisewordsfestival.co.uk/

And then in the evening,  Bethany Pope’ s new collection A Radiance is launched in Rochester ...


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Famous poet visits Kent , apparently

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Friday, August 17, 2012,


Somewhat under the radar,   Benjamin  Zephaniah  gave a reading at the Broadstairs Folk Week. This is wonderful. However not so wonderful was the price of attending the reading.  Put simply I couldn’t afford a ticket and I understand that other fans were unable to either. Cheaper tickets in future if you please. It costs less to see major comedians at The Gulbenkian.

We don’t get many ‘star poets’  visiting  around these parts so it would  also be wonderful if their gigs could be w...


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The American Dream ..at a price

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Thursday, July 12, 2012,

I ‘m always surprised when some American magazines, especially the more prestigious ask for a reading fee to read submissions. The same applies to MS considerations .These are particularly steep. 

I ‘m not sure why they do it , possibly to deter casual submissions. It certainly forces the writer to really check out the magazine and see if their work matches the kind of work they publish.

Even so in this economic climate it must deter submissions from the cash strapped which hardly see...


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Beautiful Thing

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, April 23, 2012,

My initial response to an invitation to select ‘ My beautiful thing’ was to choose an object of some sort . I thought of the deco cup and saucer in the shape of a clam shell that I picked up at a boot fair . I rejected that in favour of my Lulu Guinness hand bags then cast them aside for my Alexander McQueen scarves , recent acquisitions to the Sinclair wardrobe. I was like a spoilt child at Christmas discarding one present for another.

Then I read other people’s offerings and was put ...


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my most beautiful thing blog Tuesday

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Friday, April 20, 2012,
What is your most beautiful thing?

Is it your one year old niece's golden smile? The pale pink peony buds in your garden? A silver ring given to you by your grandmother? Your shiny red Vespa scooter? Is your most beautiful thing a place or a moment? Is it a philosophy or a value?

On Tuesday the 24th of April, I'm taking part in a Blogsplash to celebrate beautiful things, inspired by Fiona Robyn's new novel, 'The Most Beautiful Thing'.

People all over the world will be blogging, tweeting & writin...
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Poetry Kit Recommended

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, March 26, 2012,

Great news, we have been named as a ‘ Poetry Kit’ recommended site. Took me ages to upload the symbol …no idea GIFs existed!

I would like to thank all poets who have trusted me with their work. The standard is always so good. Please keep it coming! 


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Geoff Stevens

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, February 19, 2012,

I was saddened to hear that Geoff Stevens has died. ‘Purple Patch’ and indeed Geoff became incredibly influential in the world of poetry. He championed small presses and unknown poets. His life’s work seemed to be to take on the poetry establishment and its cliques.  ‘Purple Patch’ was dedicated to publishing poems that people actually want to read. At the end of each year the magazine published an honours list of best small magazines and small magazine’s poets.

Whenever one subm...


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PK Awards 2011

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, February 6, 2012,
Wonderful  news form Jim Bennett at The Poetry Kit. Two of the poems I nominated from the magazine have been included in The Poetry Kit awards 2011. They are Jane Francis  'Winding Sheet ' and Michele Byrne 'Left Handed'. They will be included in an e-anthology to be published later this year. Congratulations to them both.

I must say I'm chuffed to be listed along with The Journal. Prole and South. Hurrah!

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Natural Selection

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, January 30, 2012,

Thankfully submissions continue to come into the magazine. What strikes me is the quality of the work. I want to publish them all but of course space is an issue. It occurs to me that I need to be more discerning now. Good poems must be put into a folder and then a judicious examination and selection  of the very best will be made . These will then make up the issue. I think this will increase the reputation of the magazine but alsomake it an absolute achievement to be selected.

...
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Glittering prizes

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Tuesday, January 17, 2012,

A new year’s resolution to enter competitions has me thinking about the knack of winning glittering prizes. For a start one has to send off entries. This is a bit of a stumbling block for me ….’funds is limited’ .. how on earth  do poets afford to enter once let alone multiple times ? One could spend a fortune. I suppose the art is to find the right competition for your work , affiliated perhaps to a magazine that seems to ‘like your style’ so to speak.

Then there’s the problem...


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Not only the Dark launch

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Saturday, December 17, 2011,
was brave and volunteered to read my poem included in the  charity anthology Not only the Dark, felt sick all day and on seeing the podium and mike nearly bolted. Got through it with the encouragement of June English.

It was lovely though to meet some poets who have been published in the magazine including Marilyn Donovan who is 'Canterbury Poet of the Year' and Alan Gleave a long time supporter of the magazine.

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Caught in the net

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Tuesday, November 22, 2011,
I'm thrilled to find that I am one of the featured poets in The Poetry Kit 's 'Caught in the Net' series  .  But dear me the photo , I do indeed look as if I've been dredged up out of the sea .Other poets have groovy photos either posed or in action doing something marvelous like climbing a mountain. I shall have to obtain some new ones or I shall put readers off. My usual way is to take my own whilst leaning back like a gymnast . The photos are OK but I have my hand bag collection waving in ...
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The problem with volunteering

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Friday, November 11, 2011,

I have volunteered to read a poem included in an anthology.  This is a step up from my usual efforts. However I will be surrounded by poets used to reading so shall have to stand up, look at the audience and read at the same time .

 Now for a dizzy poet this could be tricky . I have trouble walking and scrabbling for car keys in my bag. So I shall have to rehearse synchronising all three skills. Thank goodness it’s a short poem.

...
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Mentioned ...

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Friday, November 11, 2011,
I was at a reading recently and rifling through an anthology I noted that one contributor's  had listed the magazine in her biography. I was very proud.
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Calling all female poets............

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Thursday, October 27, 2011,

Quite heartened to find that the magazine is fully booked up until next Summer. I do tend to squeeze as many poems in as possible.  Recent submissions for the Summer issue have included some very fine poems  particularly a batch written by women which is a relief since the magazine tends to be biased towards men. I don’t know why the magazine doesn’t attract female writers especially since I advertised in Myslexia. So I’m hoping the word is being spread that the magazine is open to busi...


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word hoard empty

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, October 17, 2011,

I’ve found over the years that lack of sleep is not conducive to writing: either wanting to or working effectively. So at the moment, I’m staring at pages wondering if I can have a nap at 4 am.  Similarly it puts the kybosh on ideas…my mind is currently a blank page …. I do think to negotiate poetry  both reading and  writing it,  ones  mind has to be absolutely at its sharpest as opposed to the blunt instrument  that  currently is the state of my poor brain.

...
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To rhyme or not to rhyme

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, October 10, 2011,

There has been some recent debate sparked by an article on the prevalence of free verse over rhymed poetry. It was suggested that modern poets can’t rhyme and therefore are somehow lesser poets for it.

It’s something I do feel guilty about. I can’t rhyme. When I first started writing I instinctively went towards free verse. Now it is so entrenched I can’t think of writing in any other style. I find it hard enough trying to find the right words, remember to deploy ‘show doesn’t t...


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poems that make me want to write poems

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, September 25, 2011,

I’m all reviewed out . After a while I just can’t think of anything  to say.  The final review I’m writing is a collection by Maria McCarthy in aid of Macmillan cancer research.  That it is in aid of  a charity in no way diminishes the work which is excellent. She is a local girl and it’s rather nice reading about local areas such as Conyer and Faversham. She writes the kind of poetry I love rooted in a the every day full of domestic references .  It’s the kind of writing that makes...


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I read in public for the first time

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Wednesday, September 14, 2011,

So I finally read in public. That is to say at the Canterbury Poet’s open mike I sat glued to my seat not looking up as I read my two short poems out.  I had rehearsed the day before and never having read my poems out loud I found them quite tricky to read... damn run on, lines and alliteration! Nevertheless I managed it with out fluffing my lines. I shall now build up to looking up and eventually standing up. Since they don’t have a rhyme scheme there is no way I can learn them off by he...


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proper poets

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Wednesday, August 24, 2011,

I recently read a poem by Edmund Spenser. Amid all the modern work I read, I had forgotten how good he was. The work focused on a deer. The language was exquisite and fresh, not a spare word and all woven into iambic pentameter. Reading work like this that is so well crafted, I feel totally inadequate and guiltily aware that working in free verse, tough as it is, is nothing compared to the craftsmanship of working within the constraints of  metre and rhyme. Indeed in Spenser’s hands it is n...


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Second visit to Canterbury poets' open mike spot

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, August 15, 2011,

This time I didn’t disgrace myself by heckling. There were some accomplished readers and poems however I was struck by the almost universal tone many of the poets adopted. It was as if they switched to an official ‘reading out loud voice’, rather like actor becoming someone else. Now I haven’t been to many poetry readings but I’m guessing this is what you do.  I am gearing up to read but as opposed to this this idiom I fear I will only manage a poetic squeak. The answer I suppose si...


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making the final cut

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, August 7, 2011,

More poems are being submitted which is wonderful and in general they are of good quality so much so I am already up to summer of next year.

I think I may be a bit promiscuous excepting all poems that take my fancy. The magazine needs a tougher selection process. So from next Summer I shall place all the poems I like in a folder and than give then time to ‘prove ‘ so to speak. Nearer the time I shall sit down and decide which should make the cut. In this way I am hoping that the prestig...


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Mind your manners

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Wednesday, July 27, 2011,

In my efforts improve the profile of the magazine I now insist that poets mention us in future publications. I say this because I became aware that a young writer whose work I think I was the first to promote has gone onto better things and mentioned all the known magazines she has been published in but not Message.

I am not bitter as you can tell. It’s like the free cyclers who recently harvested all my lavender while I was out without so much as a ‘Thank you’. Still on a more positiv...


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Bold as Brass

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, July 17, 2011,

A poet withdrew a poem from the magazine this week. He was honest enough. It had been taken by another magazine. He had received I suppose a better offer. I remembered outré friends who would do the same with invitations.  I would never be that bold. I like a finely tuned lie. I feel it saves feelings all round.  The ‘other magazine’ implies a more up market periodical, whilst Message is a sort of second division affair.  So I would rather, instead of the blunt sentence of withdrawal, th...


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I let my self down at a poetry slam

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, July 10, 2011,

I have just come back form my first poetry slam. I went on my own so was feeling trepidacious.  I was about to ask the bar man where it was when I noticed a number of poet type people disappearing up stairs clutching folders. Since it was too late for a convention, I knew I had come to the right place. The room was surprisingly packed. Though I later learned that the numbers where swelled by the MA in writing group for UKC. 

I sat at the back of the room perched increasingly uncomfortably o...


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I'd like to thank............

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Tuesday, July 5, 2011,

I need to write a dedication piece for the new collection. It’s difficult who to select.   It now looks like an Oscar winners list of’ Thank You s ‘.  I’ve left out Henry the Airedale although I was sorely tempted.

The acknowledgements page is strange. I confess I had to ask what I was supposed to put there. It now reads as if I am coughing with embarrassment and shuffling my feet.  I think it would  be better if I could be like that large lady who used to appear at the end of early...


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The literacy Hour

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, June 26, 2011,

I wonder if most people who write poetry experience the following, ( you’ll note I do not call myself a poet , I would never take the liberty) but  for a year now I’ve noticed that writing is not a pleasure more of a compulsion.

It maybe because I write every day and very early in the morning  that has lead to the shine has rubbing off . There is a lot of prevarication before I sit down then it’s like starting a very old motor...there’s lots of turning over the brain until it gradual...


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New Tricks

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Tuesday, June 21, 2011,

Some of the poets in the summer issue of the magazine have received complimentary comments about their work; whilst I was busy emailing this praise to the respective parties, I felt there must be a more immediate way of doing this. So having a rummage around other on line magazines, I noticed that many employ a nice bi line inviting readers to simply click on a button and the comments are emailed to them. 

Half a day  and many emails  later, I have managed to create the same for the magazin...


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Quite possibly the oldest rejection slip in the world

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Tuesday, June 14, 2011,

The other day the post exploded through the letter box and amongst the letters, I found a very crumpled envelope with my hand writing on it. This used to be the signal that I had a rejections slip in my hand yet I haven’t sent work out snail mail for years due to financial constraints and preferring to publish on the internet .

However when I opened it, it was indeed a rejection slip from a rather well respected journal. ‘Sorry for the delay’ some anonymous person had written possibly...


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Freebies

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Tuesday, June 7, 2011,

One of the perks of reviewing and in fact being a ‘gentleman ‘ editor is that I receive poetry collections I would never normally access ……and for free.

Having started the virtual bookshop , I have received a copy of Ruth Sabath Rosenthal’s new collection. What touched me most was the address …. a street in New York City …’’Well’’, I thought ‘’it’s the closest this dizzy gal will get to that longed for place.’’


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Emperor's new clothes

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, May 30, 2011,

I’ve recently encountered some poetry that did absolutely nothing for me. It was very clever I’m sure. It was probably very well constructed but I couldn’t really tell the fault I fear of not having a classical education.   Of course everyone will say its brilliant ‘blah blah blah’ but to quote my very clever friend Sherrie (who I suspect has classical knowledge) ‘it’s the emperor’s new clothes.’

Either way this type of poetry that either flaunts its poet’s education or l...


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Poetry can pall after a bit

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Tuesday, May 24, 2011,

I seem to spend hours reading poetry .  After a while it can pall. So recently I have returned (dizzies permitting ) to prose and find that it’s really refreshing .  I’m reading all the books I always promised myself I’d read . This is includes ‘Oranges are not the only fruit’  which I loved . After years of marking A’ level course work on the book, swearing to read it , I finally have.

The next challenge is Hemmingway. A friend who adores the writer lent me ‘A farewell to Arms...


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I open a virtual bookshop but no coffee is available

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, May 16, 2011,

I’ve always wanted to run a book and coffee shop. Don’t we all?  An impossible dream since the bully boys Waterstones has cornered the market. The last independent shop in Canterbury bit the dust some years ago. 

So I’ve decided to create a book page for the magazine where poets can display their new collections. I became quite ambitious by deciding to up load front covers and blurb which of course is causing a great deal of tutting on my part.

I’m amazed at how many collections so...


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A poem is taken out of the corner of shame

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, May 8, 2011,

It’s so strange which work gets accepted where.  A poem that got kicked out of every magazine so that it had crawled into a corner whimpering with shame suddenly got a reprieve last week and by a prestigious magazine I’ve been stalking for years.

Thereby proving yet again how subjective poetry is.  Often a poem is rejected not because it is poorly written but the subject matter doesn’t chime with the editor. 

When I’m reviewing I’m careful not to decry work simply because the sub...


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Beware the company you keep

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Monday, May 2, 2011,


A couple of times I have found my work bobbing up in very strange places not least a horror magazine (not a magazine publishing horrendous poetry you understand). 

It was entirely my own fault because I didn’t inspect the publication thoroughly  by reading the work and looking at the track record of the other contributors. This may make me sound like a magazine snob but I don’t care.

Don’t be fooled by a dazzling website, some of the best e-zines are the simplest allowing the poems...


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Bitchy Reviewers

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, April 24, 2011,

I shall be back reviewing pamphlets shortly. I am a very benevolent reviewer. If I have to criticise it is in the ‘umblest terms. I think this is largely due to my up bringing. I was taught never to make fun of anyone. My mother loved ‘The Water Babies’ and was always quoting ‘Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby’.  Consequently, I‘ve an over developed sense of empathy.

Sadly my sensibility is in the minority as my own experience being on the receiving end of reviews can testify.   Still as...


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What to do with advice

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, April 17, 2011,

For the five years I’ve been writing I have on occasions received advice form editors .Generally this takes the form words of encouragement but as I  have become familiar to some editors the advice has become frank and I have to say very useful.

However, there seems now to be a fashion amongst new magazines for them to reject work and provided an unsolicited critique. This must be taken with a pinch of salt. I find if the editor and magazine has a proven track record that the notes are hel...


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Breaking America

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, April 10, 2011,

For some years I have been sending poems off to American magazines but with little success.

Recently however,  there has been a flurry of acceptance.  I am not sure what I am doing different. It may be that I have simply selected magazines who like my style.

I do think American taste is different.  Possibly slightly more conservative in their attitudes towards poetry, consequently the poet has to write poems on subject matter that is absolutely universal.

I also feel there are certain cult...


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A Rant ( ish)

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Saturday, April 2, 2011,

 

It suddenly occurred to me that at least two magazines have not bothered to respond to my submissions despite my sending a stamped address envelope. One of them was sent at least a year ago!  So they are hardly still considering the work.  Is it bad manners or bad management? Who knows?  Either way I’d like my stamps back please.

That’s the benefit of emailed submissions and indeed on line magazines. They are far more immediate and efficient.  The turn around is much quicker.

Which b...


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The pleasure of finding a new poet

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, March 27, 2011,

I was ambling round the internet during the week and came upon a poet new to me whose work is right up my street being quirky and unconventional. 

Her name is Margaret Griffiths. As usual I am late to the party since she died in 2009. What is so remarkable about her story is that despite being a fine poet she was reluctant to publish and when she did so it was to online venues and forums. On many occasions she used the pseudonyms ‘Maz’  or ‘Grasshopper’.  In time she developed a fol...


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Word hoard has dried up

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, March 20, 2011,

Word hoard has dried up.

My writing pattern seems to be ….a flurry of poems then nothing which is where I am now. Sometimes I forget that writing poetry is not like making something in a factory. I tend to finish one and then think ’Next’ only to find the ideas have dried up. I end up forcing some poems that are howlers and so have to be discarded.

 

The only answer when this happens is to give myself a writing holiday of several weeks . During that time I read lots of poetry and hope ...


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In which I manage to read a book.

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, March 13, 2011,

 

During the week I read Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader.  I hadn’t read a book for ages but it was recommended by a friend so I sifted through EBay.

I assumed it would be a modern take on Virginia Woolf. How wrong I was. The story is ostensibly about the queen becoming an auto didactic via a chance encounter with a travelling library. Yet it becomes amongst the humour a discussion on why we should read and how one book leads to another.

It only took about an hour and a half to comp...


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Confessions of a lapsed reader.

Posted by Fiona Sinclair on Sunday, March 6, 2011,


 

Last night I watched BBC2’s coverage of ‘World Book Night’. The majority of books given away were contemporary and I have to confess that although I recognized the titles I haven’t read the novels themselves.

 

There are several reasons for this.  I really don’t like modern or rather post modern novels so my reading history tends to cut out in the early 1960s. I think it’s a dislike of  both style and subject matter which doesn’t leave me with much to go on.

I also found...


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