Happy New Year – Competition Win, January Workshop And The Year Ahead

What I’ve been up to 

  • I was delighted to discover just before Christmas that I had WON (you always have to upper-case wins, don’t you?) first prize in last year’s Speakeasy Open Creative Writing Competition with my poem ‘Namesake’, which was a very welcome £125. You can read  http://www.mkweb.co.uk/Speakeasy/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=90615

Here is my certificate.


N.B. If you are a writer of poetry of fiction, please do enter this year’s competition.

  • I sent off the art-related poems to a pamphlet competition
  • I wrote six more poems. Two don’t really count professionally as one is the three line poem below and the other a gift for my mother, a third is in the beginning stages.  The other three are art-inspired and should be ready after another edit or two.
  • I applied to Northern Elements – a fantastic spoken word opportunity to write and perform a 20-30 min spoken word set at a northern venue alongside another spoken word artist.
  • You might not be surprised to hear that I didn’t make as much progress with Skybound as I had hoped. November and the beginning of December did see me focussing on solidifying the world of Skybound as promised.  This involved installing the novel writing program Scrivener (what a revelation!), revisiting the overall arc of the story and a lot of rewriting.  I now feel at home in that world and more sure about my direction with the novel.  I am committed to the course I am on and am around 25,000 words into a draft I am reasonably happy with so over 1/4 of the way to the final manuscript!However, by the end of December, I, like the majority of Britain had been subsumed by festive commitments.  Every year I naively think I am going to be able to write prolifically over the Christmas period. Every year I am foiled!  Not that I’m complaining, this year saw me celebrating in Brussels with my husband’s family.  It was a pleasant and peaceful Christmas but there wasn’t much time for writing.  I did however manage to snatch a few hours in the art nouveau comic book museum, Bande De Dessine and the art gallery Bozar, which was displaying artwork by Permeke, a 20th Century Belgian artist who I’d never previously come across. His range was amazing – from charcoal to paint to sculpture, from portraits to landscape, realism to expressionism. Hence coming away from Belgium with a full tummy, two poems and the seeds of another.

2013 Aims

I expect you’re slightly sick of reading about my targets and my (ahem) diversions from them each month so I’m still going to write monthly updates but I’m posting my main aims for the year here and will refer back to them at year end (you are my witnesses)!

  • Complete Skybound and send off to agents by 1st May
  • Attain more paid writing work
  • Publish a pamphlet of my poetry
  • Write 11 poems for collection
  • Send off poetry to magazines (something I haven’t done much of yet)
  • Possibly begin novel no 3


This week I’ve also been quite busy planning for the term ahead.  A workshop I’m particularly excited about that is open to all is the one I’m delivering at The Hepworth Wakefield for Burns Night on Weds 30th January between 6.30 and 9 pm. It costs £10.  I hope to see some of you there and please do forward information on of this to anyone you think might be interested.  Here is the blurb:

Explore representations of the body and the self in The David Roberts Collection and The Hepworth Hospital Drawings and create your own in poetry. This workshop incorporates an opportunity to test out your first drafts by reading to an Artwalk audience between 8.30 and 9 pm in the galleries.  

I’ll leave you with my renewed thanks for your support and a new year’s wish inspired by Permeke:

I sit at the desk,

outside my window

the beanstalk rises.

Plant those beans and get climbing lovely people!

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