At some stage soon I’m going to need to find an editor and, like you (or maybe you’re the world’s expert on finding editors. Won’t you tell us how to do it?) I don’t know the first thing. So here’s a few articles I found on doing just that. The final article features recommended editors plus articles on the editing process.
Stumbled across this calendar of endless possibilities on the Litreactor site just now (original article here). It’s a handy little monthly submissions guide to time-restricted publications. Before you read may I just make the personal assertion that I don’t believe in submission fees:
“Whether you’re looking to make it big with a book you’re sure is a best-seller, or you’re just interested in breaking through with a few bylines in lit journals that your mother can frame and put on the ‘fridge, one of the biggest hurdles is to know where to even send your work–and when.
Sure, going through a literary agent is obviously the easiest way to get your pieces in front of important eyes–but even getting an agent to represent you can be a huge challenge, particularly if you haven’t had a lot published. Which means it’s smart to also have, on hand, a list of places where you can submit unsolicited work throughout the year, in hopes of beefing up your portfolio.
But because accepting unsolicited work is, well, a lot of work, many journals, publishers, and magazines have limited time-frames during which they do all of their reading and deciding. So it’s smart to keep a Google Calendar or some other sort of digital log of who you’re aiming to submit to, what the due-dates are for submissions, and also a link to the requirements.
Here are a few places that accept unsolicited novels, stories, collections, and poems to get your submissions calendar rolling.
Get a running start with a few places that take submissions all year long.
Boyd Mills Press, out of Pennsylvania, is a small-ish press that accepts submissions of children’s and young adult books all the time, so you can send them your work as soon as it’s been proofread.
Electric Literature is an awesome short-story producing new-media magazine that gives print space to some of America’s freshest young talent. Submit your boldest and brightest, whenever you like.
Another most excellent (and highly selective) publication that will take your work all year is PANK Magazine, which publishes exciting, quirky, awesome poetry; short stories; and other forms of text. Check their website to see what they’re cooking up.
The Portland Review is a fun collective of writers and editors who publish (usually) around 3 times per year. They almost always have a beginning-of-the-year submission period, but will take what you send them most all the time. They also have a very cute and inspiring blog that I like very, very much. And, they use Submishmash, which makes it easy to track all of your entries.
Need a little seed money to start the year? The Oberon Poetry Magazine accepts contest submissions in the Spring (usually March or April) and awards $1,000 for the judge’s favorite.
Vagabondage Press’ literary quarterly, The Battered Suitcase, accepts fiction, non-fiction and poetry, but not criticisms or book reviews. They’re looking for previously unpublished authors who are interested in getting their name out there, so all levels of experience are encouraged to submit.
Founded by poetic dreamboat Derrick Brown, Write Bloody Publishing is rapidly establishing something of a cult following. Each year, they invite writers to send samples for short story or poetry collections, and select 7 to receive a book deal. A book deal! Their submission window is almost always in May, and almost always gets pushed back.
It’s pretty rare that you get personal feedback on your submissions– but Our Stories takes the time. They also offer prize money. There is a submission fee, but for many, that’s a much better trade off than receiving a stock letter of acceptance. Their submission period usually begins in Spring, but Summer is a slow literary season, so this one can get bumped down to less busy times.
Summer is really, really boring in publishing. Use July as your catch-up month for all of those year-round places.
No, really. Take the summer to write whatever you like. Relax and write. Put it on your calendar.
Tin House Magazine is a respected literary publication that accepts short stories and essays between Sept. 1 and May 31, which is a nice wide window. They have some themed publications, so check their website to see if you’re on-topic.
The Avatar Review accepts poetry, prose, and pretty much anything, beginning in October. They publish just once per year, and their main goal is to get unpublished authors their first exposure. Think of it a bit like really nice training wheels.
Some places have two submission periods per year, which offers a nice bit of flexibility. Memoir (and) is one of those places, and is also a really great publication. The November submission period runs through February, and they’ll consider just about everything you send them, so go ahead and write your heart out.
December is actually just the best time to wrap up any and all submissions that you’ve had sitting around. Instead of adding December-specific ones, I’ll redirect you back up to January.
Of course, there are hundreds of journals, magazines, quarterlies and publishers who take submissions throughout the year, and depending on your genre of choice, some will be a better fit than others. But whomever you decide to grace with your work, having firm-ish deadlines inked out ahead of time is a smart way to hit the ground writing.”
I think that says it all! Hop to it or the beating hand gets angry.
T’was recently my 30th year and to celebrate it my friends and I went to Proud Cabaret on Mark Lane, Tower Hill (very close to Liverpool St).
The place looks amazing. You have to be well dressed to go in and I was pleased to see all my friends in vintage wear as Proud Cabaret itself is decked out in 20s style, and the gothic candles and mirrors on the walls were beautiful. One friend arrived in upper class Victorian wear and another in working class Edwardian, so obviously the Victorian had to beat him and wave money for photos.
The acts themselves were lively and fun, mostly performed by a group of ladies with a single man. The compere Coco Dobois was a lady with a lovely voice and great sense of humour. The theme of the shows change and that particular night was ‘decades,’ with each new performance taking us forward in time from the 20s to the 90s. Personally I would have been happy to remain in the 20s but it was still very enjoyable.
Highlights for me included the compere coming over to speak to me, the birthday cake staff brought over, lovely ladies and entertaining juggler Mat Ricardo.
I liked the way the stage had a long area in the middle that allowed the performers to come forwards.
The only troubles came with a rude waitress, the price of the food (at around 45 pounds you’d probably do better to look into a show only ticket) and Marilyn Monroe-esque Banbury Cross not being present. I also wasn’t too keen on the male solo dances (sorry lads, very talented but we were in it for the ladies).
However, the rest was great and much fun and laughings were had by all. I’d like to go back to see a more vintage orientated show but that’s just my personal preference. Recommended!
Last weekend I went to Lodestar Festival in Cambridge. It’s quite a cheap one which is great, £55 for camping at the weekend and £22 for the day. I have to admit a lot of the music wasn’t really to my taste (quite a lot of it was indie) but most of them were local and it was a good platform for that sort of thing.
The stall traders were local, the shops sold hippie/alternative stuff (I’m not a hippie, I just like the clothes) and Cambridge Community Circus provided workshops and entertainment. On Saturday night they and a few others going by the name ‘Wildfire Productions‘ performed a fire show with staff, poi, fans etc and it was lots of fun, they brought a lot of personality to it. I learned I’m a terrible juggler with, as my friend Angie said, the coordination of a bee. With my fetish for circus performers, however, I was delirious with joy.
We spent most of our time in the tea and shisha tent The Cloud Lounge, where we smoked fruit pipes and drank a variety of tea. It felt so much like sitting in a front room I got a surprise every time I turned around and saw a festival. The tables and part of the wall were there for people to write on using felt pens, and I felt a regression to nursery as I scribbled ‘braintreeways.com‘ on every available surface.
Parts of it were extremely middle class and/or hippie (someone was giving away free packs of Jordan’s country crisp cereal, and the off-key recorder playing from the spiritual tent provided moments of unintentional humour) but it’s a really nice small, local festival and I definately recommend giving it a try. I’m not sure I’d camp over again but the circus, stalls and friendly Cloud Lounge staff mean we’ll definately go back for a day next year.
In the middle of August we three travelled all the way to Scotland to the Edinburgh Festival. We were lucky enough to stay with a friend, but I have previously stayed in a hostel with a few friends and found it to be a good option. If there’s enough of you an entire room can be overtaken, but remember – weeing around the perimeter as a form of territorialism is a bad idea.
Edinburgh’s looks are enough to make you fall in love with it. I lived for four years in Bath and it has the same Georgian style buildings and hills framing the distance, but there’s so much more to it than lovely but sleepy Bath it feels almost like a graduation.
There are things happening in the street every few feet; authors signing copies of their books at the book festival this year included Richard Wiseman and Neil Gaiman; there was a spooky comedy stand up show with John Robertson in the gothic Assembly Rooms; Simon Munnery and Stewart Lee; burlesque and a mentalist called Oliver Meech who pulled us up on stage; the Jeckyll and Hyde pub has fake blood all over the bathroom and is featured in the online ‘eerie pubs guide‘; the Forest Art cafe; Grassmarket and Cockburn Street with their bookshops, art cafes and gothic, vintage and alternative clothes shops – honestly it’s just beyond great.
Go next year, and watch Braintree Ways in our own show!
When I visited Folkestone last winter I was very surprised. I knew there would be sea, and walks by the sea, and tea by the sea, and maybe a town by the sea, but I had no idea what else was waiting. I’ll be honest; I expected to be so bored I’d end up wandering in the dead of night, wailing and rendering my garments. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that.
I had arrived in the middle of an enormous art festival completely by chance and discovered Folkestone has an area named ‘The Creative Quarter.’ Although the festival itself is once every three years (next should be 2014) The Creative Quarter is dedicated to the arts all year round. As it says on their website they have “become home to a thriving collection of studios and (creative) businesses.”
I wandered past the extensive market in the town centre, foaming at the mouth with excitement. The Quarter didn’t let me down; the buildings were as colourful as Mr Men books and each held a different adventure.
It’s a well-worn phrase but there really is something for everyone. Some galleries were smooth and shiny as a space-ship containing beautiful landscapes and portraits. Others were dingy buildings with patchy walls and attic smells. They were my favourites; entering into darkness while a man pulled comedy faces on a screen was like falling into a separate universe.
These were mostly run by a group called The Folkestone Arts Collective displaying video art, sculptures, performance, paintings, models and interactive if you count the coal I got on my jumper from one sculpture’s ‘teeth.’ Personally I loved the video art as there were some beautiful and unexpected moments, such as the Lynchian scenes of a pensioner’s tea dance.
Some of the work I saw was playful, some serious, some reflective and one terrifying – for a moment I had thought a man tied to a chair with a sack on his head was real. I’d stumbled across it in a dark corner and had actually felt goose-bumps. To calm down I enjoyed a cup of tea in Googies Art Café – a pleasant and relaxing place with yet more paintings on the walls.
The local students were just as involved as gallery owners and professional artists and, even better, it was all free. If travel isn’t a concern or you live nearby, I really recommend a visit; check the websites to see what events are taking place. It’s better than spending a holiday wailing and rendering garments.
Most of the articles/stories on this site I’ve written for fun (unless they’re segments of published stories), but this one appears on a travel site. This version’s better. Hidden within these words you’ll find my previous life as a student of Bath Spa University. Bits of it are very studenty, such as the preoccupation with pubs.
If lively entertainment and surreal festivals are your thing, Bath is the answer when you want something a little different. From punk to street parades, it has it all.
Forget the pretty Georgian buildings (although they are lovely) and drunken students singing rugby songs; if you’re a tourist in Bath there is a lot more to see. If you’re around in the summer both tourists and locals alike will recommend the Bath Fringe Festival. Beginning on the 25th May and ending on the 10th of June, it’s a two-week journey into the surreal with performances from underground theatre groups in various venues around town. Many are often set in the Chapel Arts Centre, Bath’s ‘alternative arts venue,’ alongside late night pubs and parties. Let me tell you, it was an experience hearing a Dalek recite a DaDaist poem at 1 in the morning.
However it is the parades the festival is best known for. Only on the street party Walcot Nation Day (Walcot Street of course) can you be confronted with the likes of an 8-foot furry spider; it may be a man on stilts in costume but it’s still impressive. In the brilliant sunshine the chaos of the day becomes more and more pronounced, “I ended up on the back of a stranger’s bike handing out fliers for an art exhibition whilst being followed by circus performers swallowing fire,” recalls local Susie Morris, 27, fondly.
Crazy festivities aside, for those a little more local to Bath there is still a lot to keep a person entertained when the slow-walking tourists have gone. Aside from watching the ever-present street performers in the Square by the beautiful cathedral, or strolling around market stalls of alternative/hippie clothes and jewellery, you could sample the local flavour on a pub crawl. Start with vegetarian pub The Porter Cellar Bar, which is good fun with a variety of music (it’s best if you like it very loud), and full of pierced eye-candy both male and female. Through the gradually ascending hip hop or other ‘cool’ music you’re bound to meet all the young things of the area, and downstairs you’ll occasionally find bands, acoustic performers or comedy.
Next, off to Mandolin’s, the gay pub, which is always very full at the weekend; next there’s the Bell, favoured place of hippies and Rastafarians, and finish at the Porter Butt. This last place is famous for “loud and vicious” techno and punk nights, and is proud of its lack of shine. Andy Tanner, the landlord, lovingly describes it as having “a 1970s floor, nicotine walls and a flock of parrots to collect the dust, and the best pool table in Bath.” Something to bear in mind is the massive variety of ales on offer.
Upon waking the next day with a very sensitive head and a need for something more soothing, you can have a good breakfast at one of the many art cafes.
Upstairs in these venues are often poetry nights or art exhibitions, and there are a number of open mic nights (evenings that encourage anybody to grab the mike and perform) held monthly in assorted sites. Anyone can have a go as long as they’re brave enough, and a bar is always available.
If hair of the dog is the only way, head for the aforementioned Bell on Walcot Street. Settle down with a bottle of Weston’s cider amongst the canal dwellers, grizzled old hippies and dreadlocked residents to a soundtrack of folk or reggae, and later on liven up to a ska band at weekends. As happy hour reaches ever nearer, you have a couple of options open to you. You can either head to On the Video Front DVD rental and savour the joys of Hammer horrors, video nasties, worldwide indie cinema, the entire two series of Twin Peaks and many, many more; or you can head back down to the Porter and begin the journey all over again.