Wednesday, 28 December 2016

2016 - my literary stats

In 2016 I wrote more prose than ever before (27,000 words) and fewer poems (7). In my case these 2 stats are related - most of my initial ideas could go either way. In the olden days I'd have presented texts like Death and deception as poetry because of its juxtapositions, density of interconnections and lack of plot. In the current, more permissive climate I can let it be prose (though not Flash).

I'd love to say that as the quantity of my poetry goes down, the quality goes up. Alas, the opposite is true. Not for the first time, my "selected poems" file (aka the draft of my first full book) has shrunk rather than grown in the course of the year - partly because of recalibrated Quality Control, partly because of re-categorisation.

The year began with some promising acceptances of stuff I'd sent off in 2015. Then successes fizzled out. I sent off about 30 things during the year of which 4 have so far been accepted. I gave some competitions a try and got nowhere.

The year ended with a poem in Antiphon (p.46) and Flash in Toasted Cheese. Next year I can look forward to publication in Unthology and Flash (Univ of Chester).

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

A UK prose submission schedule for early 2017

As more magazines introduce submission windows, and competitions increase their significance, it's worth planning ahead. I shall try to submit to these (mostly UK) competitions and submission windows -

Thursday, 15 December 2016

A UK poetry submission schedule for early 2017

I shall try to submit to several of these (mostly UK) competitions and submission windows -

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

workshop on dialogue

Updated notes about the workshop on dialogue that I did yesterday are online.

The summary and suggestions are

  • Go back to basics. Think about what dialogue reveals about people - not just in the words they say, but the pauses, hesitations and interruptions.
  • Read about the recent developments in discourse/conversation analysis. They help make explicit the mechanisms of dialogue we all use.
  • Mainstream literary dialogue has become rather formulaic and artificial. The standard notation hinders the rendering of some revealing aspects of dialogue.
  • Non-standard notations are increasingly common in novels. You might for example consider using screenplay notation.