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 helpful however recently I have received advice for ‘improving poems’ that have already been placed in reputable magazines’ .

Poetry is very subjective both in terms of style and subject matter. So I would urge writers to take this into consideration. Revisit the poems by all means because a second opinion often picks up on details we are to close to see.

Sometimes when poems are sent to me that have would benefit from slight improvements in my opinion I do offer advice. I find I am more likely to do this for younger poets. I think it’s the ex teacher in me.  I always end up recommending my ’ bible’ the book  ‘In the Palm of your hand’ by Steve Kowitt that continues to improve my work and is a great deal cheaper  than an MA in creative writing.