Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Close of Play

A quick reminder that if you renew your subscription before the end of March, we'll send you a £5 book voucher as a small thank you. It's easy to renew on line, do so before midnight tonight and you'll receive £5 towards your next book, enjoy delivery to your door and support us. Happy reading!

If you're not a subscriber yet, why not take advantage of our introductory offer: four brilliant issues delivered straight to your door, post free, and all for £19.

Once you're a subscriber why not enter our prize draw: write, phone or email by the closing date of 14th May 2010 and you could win two free tickets to a National Theatre Wales event of your choice: there are twelve new shows in 2010, one each month, and one spectacular finale – in amazing places and unique spaces across Wales. Good luck!

Monday, 29 March 2010

Hay Poetry Jamboree Fundraiser

Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday on 23 April at a poetry party in the all new Elysium Gallery in Swansea. Hay Poetry Jamboree are hosting a 24-hour non-stop poetry marathon with sponsored poets and performers reading their favourite poems, pay-to-perform open mic sessions run by Cardiff's Jam Bones and Swansea's The Crunch and opportunities to create your own dada or post-it poem. Or curl up with a book. There will also be guest slots for poets including Nigel Jenkins, D.E. Oprava and Liam Johnson PLUS a special technical link up with a bunch of Seattle poets and sessions run by Cardiff’s Square Magazine and probably the best fanzine in the world, The Antagonist.

Please RSVP by email: to ensure entry. Refreshments will be available in return for donations.

All money raised will go towards funding the Hay Poetry Jamboree on 3/4/5 June 2010. This fringe event will feature performances and lectures from top names, including Robert Minhinnick, Geraldine Monk, Richard Gwyn and Poetry Wales

Thursday, 25 March 2010

My aim is true

I was speaking with some new creative writers the other day, focusing on how to get published, maximizing success. It’s always great conducting seminars such as these. Being peppered with tricky questions. How do I make it? What are the chances? Why don’t you publish this and publish that instead?

If only I had the answers. But I only have the approximations. Of course, you need talent. And you need a polished submission that says you’re a pro (even before you’ve published anything) and that you take this game seriously. But these things aren’t enough. You need to do your research. As unromantic as it sounds, selling poems or fiction is pretty much like selling anything. You have to know your market and be providing it with the things that it wants – and doesn’t have enough of.

So far, so good. Except that of course, editors often don’t know what they want. We only know, you see, when we… see it. But there are some elementary rules. Every editor channels his or her vision through the pages of the magazine they shepherd. If they didn’t, the magazine would be about as impressive and sexy as a limp handshake. It would have no identity whatsoever. So, you can assume that most, if not all, quality magazines will have their own particular line on beauty. Therefore, if a magazine has a strong emphasis on the contemporary mainstream, then it stands to reason that your avant masterpiece may not make the cut. If the magazine has limits on the space that can be devoted to fiction, then clearly your 6,000 word short story will probably not find a home there. Even though – and very often – the editor may find merit in it. Putting a magazine together is a complex business – not merely in terms of shaping it into something you feel is attractive to the mind and the eye, and, yes, useful, but also in terms of the curious jigsaw puzzle nature of it, right up to the wire. There’s no space flexibility. Everything must fit perfectly. It has caused a few sleepless nights here and there, I can tell you. But I’m not complaining – it beats every other job I’ve ever had by quite a margin.

If you’re looking for publication within a magazine’s pages, engagement with it is a must. Pick up an issue. If you like what you find, subscribe, read and, yes, submit to where you feel your work will find a good home. If you don’t, then keep searching until you find a magazine that reflects your own integrity and creative vision.

It helps to know that rejection is not universal, but particular. It’s not about you or your work necessarily, but about finding the right fit. It’s a big world out there, even with the increasing pressure placed on magazines over the past twenty years. There’s room, I’d like to think, for multiple voices and multiple platforms. Moving on from rejection is the single most important lesson every author has to learn. But it has to be learned – or should I say earned. No platitudes. In a box at the top of my wardrobe sits my first rejection letter for a submission of six poems, well preserved and treasured in its original envelope. A souvenir from the start of my own journey. From a magazine called New Welsh Review.

Friday, 12 March 2010


We hope all our readers are enjoying the current issue of New Welsh Review. Renew you subscription before the end of March and we'll send you a £5 book token: you help us by a speedy renewal (let's face it, it saves on admin!) and we give you a little something back to say thank you.

You can renew your subscription online here or ring us with your credit card details on 01970 628410. As an extra bonus, when you renew your subscription you can nominate a friend, relative or colleague to receive two complimentary issues, to spread the word about New Welsh Review. If you're not a subscriber yet, why not take advantage of our introductory offer: four brilliant issues delivered straight to your door, post free, and all for £19.

As a subscriber you can enter our prize draws and have a chance to win some fabulous literary prizes, see our website for more details.