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Planner versus Pantser

Face off. Planning versus Pantsing

The Pantser The freedom to create without the confines of a plan. Famous pantsers include such authors as Margaret Atwood, Stephen King and Pierce Brown. Melissa Todd is a compulsive pantser. Do you know what you’re going to write before you’ve written it? I don’t. I can’t plan anything. Well, I can, but I can …

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Trans Europe Expression Slam

Trans Europe Expression Slam

In advance of the Trans Europe Expression Slam Final in Manchester on 14 November, Olivia Logan reviews the Berlin heat. On a rainy Sunday night in Berlin’s Neukölln area, I’m trying to choose a seat at the Trans Europe Expression Slam heat. The expat creative scene in Berlin is frustratingly dominated by two extremes, non-native …

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Mandible by Ingrid Casey

Mandible, by Ingrid Casey, Reviewed

‘Mandible’ by Ingrid Casey Onslaught Press ISBN 9781912111565, 66pp, £9 Ingrid Casey writes from personal experience, using her observations to make a wider point about women’s lives, and mixes these poems in with reclaiming figures such as Artemis, Gilgamesh’s sister, Molly Bloom and Anna Livia. ‘Milennials’ sets a parallel between the narrator’s growing up and …

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The Writers’ Workbench – Course

After a sold-out course in Feb/March, the Writers’ Workbench at Block T is running again.A six-week course starting Wednesday Oct 30thCost: €130 Aiden O’Reilly has worked as translator, building-site worker, mathematics teacher, and property magazine editor. His fiction has been widely published and he won the biannual McLaverty Short Story Award in 2008. I’ve had …

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Jay Bernard Surge

“Surge” Jay Bernard – Reviewed

“Surge” Jay Bernard Chatto & Windus ISBN 9781784742614, 58pp, £10) Jay Bernard was writer in residence at the George Padmore Institute based in New Cross, London, which houses an archive dedicated to black history in the UK, during 2016. The archive contains papers relating to the New Cross Fire in 1981, where 13 young black …

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Ted Hughes

The life and work of Ted Hughes

Born in Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire in 1930, the landscape of Ted Hughes’s youth would have a massive influence on his later work as a poet. He served in the Royal Air Force before attending Cambridge, where he studied archeology and anthropology, with a particular interest in myths and legends.  He met and married the American poet Sylvia …

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The Shape of a Tulip Bird

The Shape of a Tulip Bird, by Christopher Hopkins

The Shape of a Tulip Bird Christopher HopkinISBN; UnavailablePrice  €12.99Available from the publisherClare Song Bird There are many poetry collections that deal exclusively in loss and grief. Usually they reflect on the life lived, eulogising the person lost, as well as examining the impact their death has on loved ones. Christopher Hopkins’ The Shape of …

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Abandoned Soliloquies by James Walton

Abandoned Soliloquies by James Walton – Reviewed

Abandoned Soliloquies by James Walton Uncollected Press www.therawartreview.com ISBN 978-0-359-94109-4, 83pp In an age where artistic expression is increasingly, and perhaps necessarily, politicised, Walton delivers a powerful reminder of the universality and timelessness of poetry. His work is a synthesis of musings on past and present, public and private as he moves seamlessly from the …

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Henry Maddicott

Review of Henry Maddicott’s poetry show, Land of Lost Content

A slender blonde boy stumbles on to the stage, hunched in a leopard print coat, looking bewildered, lost. The stage is littered with detritus – crushed beer cans, sodden paint brushes – seemingly at random: as his story unfolds much of the junk is utilised to become the other characters in his tale, all given …

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Synthesis Of Poetry And Music

Synthesis of Poetry and Music

Poetry is surely the most musical of all literary forms.  It depends upon sounds, rhythms, silences, form beyond content, to create its effect. Historically, bards were always accompanied by musicians when they performed, whether at Court, theatres, pubs, temperance meetings or working men’s clubs, a crucial component of an oral tradition stretching over centuries. Poetry …

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Winners of The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest 5

Winners of Chapbook Contest 5

The Winners of Chapbook Contest 5 have been announced by judge Paul Sutherland as follows. Winners of Chapbook Contest 5 are. Ist    Adam Levon Brown 2nd Ross McCague 3rd, Teresa Godfrey. Seven Highly commended poets. Amy Gordon Dermot Fitzgerald –  Donna O’Shaughnessy   Jac Shortland Laura Theis Rosie Barrett Will Reger Thank you to …

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Serendipity

Serendipity.

I have an appalling sense of direction. I won’t say that I have no sense of direction because I’ve got a reasonable idea of where I’ve been once I’ve got there, if you catch my drift; it’s just the getting there that proves a little problematic. There are plenty among us who can stride purposefully …

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The Ventriloquist Dummy’s Lament, by Colin Pink – Reviewed

Review by Richard Lance Keeble The Ventriloquist Dummy’s Lament, by Colin Pink (with woodcuts by Daniel Goodwin) Available from the publisherAgainst the Grain Poetry Press£11.50 including postage Reading Colin Pink’s poetry is like exploring a treasure trove of cultural riches. His first, extremely well-received collection, Acrobats of Sound (Poetry Salzburg, 2017), draws inspiration from a …

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The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest

Audrey Molloy to judge The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest 6

The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest; Winter 2019, will open for entries on the 15th of September. As part of our mission to promote the work of emerging writers, we initiated The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest series in 2017. The Aim of the contest was to give developing poets an opportunity to get a good sampling …

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The Ultimate writers guide to manuscript editing, preparation and submission.

The writers guide to manuscript editing, preparation and submission. ‘Mini Style Guide’ Denise O’Hagan With authors having more involvement in the editing and publishing processes than before, both in traditional publishing and self-publishing, this timely ‘Mini Style Guide’ from The Blue Nib’s Australia and New Zealand Poetry Editor, Denise O’Hagan, is designed to de-mystify the …

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national-creative-writing-day

National Creative Writing Day

Eleanor Hill, Marketing and Production Assistant at Comma Press introduces National Creative Writing Day which takes place on November 1st at The Metropolitan University, Manchester. The National Creative Writing Industry Day, now in its fifth year, is the largest conference of its kind taking place in the North of England. Drawing over 150 delegates annually, …

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Appreciating the Whole: A Look into the Form and Meaning of That They May Face the Rising Sun

On the surface, That They May Face the Rising Sun is a slow meditative look at rural life in Ireland and little more. In this paper I will attempt to explain the importance of this novel’s lack of, what one might refer to as, traditional plot or “action,” while relating it to Joyce’s “The Dead,” …

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How A Writer Finds Inspiration

How A Writer Finds Inspiration Among Her Clutter And Elsewhere

How a Writer Finds Inspiration   Your storage level is almost full! Stuff, I’ve got loads of it: stuff in boxes, stuff in bags, stuff in files, in boxfiles, in fileboxes, in bags of boxed files … no, I’ll stop there, I think you’ve already got the idea. The thing about stuff is that it …

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Karen Dennison - The Paper House

Karen Dennison The Paper House – Reviewed.

Karen Dennison The Paper House A collection with solid foundations. Available from Amazon Hedgehog Press ISBN 9781916480698, 64pp, £10.99 Karen Dennison The Paper House, is a collection that explores relationships, friendships, landscape and art but resists becoming a series of anecdotes by engaging with readers and asking them to think about why certain incidents get …

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Paterson Poetry Festival

The Second Annual Paterson Poetry Festival

Paterson Poetry Festival 5th October 2019 Paterson, NJ is, purposely, on the brink of a renaissance.  The city, founded in 1791 by Alexander Hamilton, is the first planned industrial city in the USA and the second most densely populated city in the country second to her neighbor New York City. Hamilton envisioned a city that …

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writing your authors bio

WRITING YOUR AUTHOR BIO 101 – WHAT TO PUT IN AND WHAT TO LEAVE OUT

10 points to consider when writing your author bio. 1. Keep your author bio short When writing your author bio, don’t tell your whole life story, keep it on point. 100 words is a good starting place. Once you’ve got that version firmed up, you can create a slightly longer author bio for PR purposes, or …

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England my Dandelion Heart

England my Dandelion Heart – Reviewed

England my Dandelion Heart – by Barry Fentiman-Hall ISBN 978-0-9926853-7-9 Paperback, 68pp, 2018 In the 1999 film Wonderland, the camera swoops, pans and lingers over the daily lives of ordinary people. It peeps through their windows and follows them down the street, watching them go to work, drink, wash up, argue, shop, look after their …

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Llangwm Literary Festival

Thoughts Walking – at the Inspiring, 2019 Llangwm literary Festival.

Llangwm Literary Festival is Pembrokeshire’s newest festival, now in its fourth year, established by the inspirational Michael Pugh. It’s raining as we drive into Llangwm. Atlantic rain and wind spiralling up the Cleddau, seeking out this estuary inlet, as the Vikings did once upon a time. There are lots of ‘once upon a times’ around …

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The Ash, The Well and the Bluebell

The Ash The Well and the Bluebell – First Review

“The Ash The Well and the Bluebell” by Sandra Arnold ISBN 978-0-9951191-2-3, 332pp “The Ash, The Well and the Bluebell” is a story about moving away from your roots to find yourself and then returning to the stifling village you grew up in to try and make sense of why you had to leave. The …

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Deep Fahrenheit by Amy Gordon

Deep Fahrenheit by Amy Gordon – Reviewed.

Deep Fahrenheit by Amy Gordon ISBN 9781632751720. 23pp Deep Fahrenheit by Amy Gordon, explores the discovery of the world around the poem’s narrators and the realisation they are no longer the centre of the universe and there are connections and consequences to explore. From the opening poem, “Field Under Stars”, ”          …

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Announcing, Diana Powell -Trouble Crossing The Bridge.

Announcing, Diana Powell Trouble Crossing The Bridge. Out -December 15th 2019 DIANA POWELL Winner of the 2019 ChipLit Short Story Prize. Winner of the 2013 Allen Raine Award, Winner of the 2014 Penfro prize. Short-listed for the Over-the-Edge new writers award. Short-listed for the H. E. Bates competition Long ong-listed for the Sean O’Faolain competition …

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Colin Dardis's Dogs of Humanity

Colin Dardis – Dogs of Humanity -Reviewed

Colin Dardis – Dogs of Humanity Fly On The Wall (www.flyonthewallpoetry.co.uk) ISBN: 978-1-9995986-9-3 42pp Colin Dardis – Dogs of Humanity, explores themes of human society using animals as analogy looking at human interactions, bullying and self-identity. It’s split into two roughly equal sections, one focused on dogs, the second on other animals. In one of …

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Valerie Lynch's In the Time of Rabbits

Valerie Lynch’s In the Time of Rabbits – Reviewed

Valerie Lynch’s In the Time of Rabbits ISBN 9781907435782, 127pp, £11 The poems in Valerie Lynch’s In the Time of Rabbits cover a life span from childhood through to old age or, as the title poem suggests, move from “scattered in urgent rushings/ now here, now there” to “The grass was silent and slow/ and …

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Mind The Gap Poetry Podcast

Melissa Todd on – Mind The Gap Poetry Podcast.

Mind the Gap is a poetry podcast. Each month an ensemble of spoken word artists send recordings of their poetry to Angela Dye: she collates and orders them, a conductor to a discordant, disparate orchestra, allowing their words to enhance each other, the strong and experienced nurturing and reinforcing the weak, together unifying into a …

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On Watching A Lemon Sail The Sea

On Watching A Lemon Sail The Sea by Maggie Harris -Reviewed

ON WATCHING A LEMON SAIL THE SEA BY MAGGIE HARRIS (Cane Arrow Press) I had the luck to watch Maggie Harris launch this collection at Tongue Punch, the Tom Thumb theatre’s monthly poetry night in Margate. The lilting cadences of her not-quite-placeable accent gave a glide and a swoop to her words, sending them soaring …

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How to promote your book

How to promote your book, 10 steps -Denise O’Hagan

‘Writing a book without promoting it is like waving to someone in a dark room. You know what you have done but nobody else does.’ Madi Preda, How to Promote and Market your Book Whether your book is fiction or non-fiction, and whether it’s published commercially or independently, as an author today you’re expected to …

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The trick to writing is

Confessions of a Pathological introvert – Melissa Todd

I am a Pathological introvert. Talking to people scares me. I can do it, but I do not seek it out. I’ve got quite good at asking humans questions about their health, hobbies, kids, holidays, then pulling a face that indicates interest, or even, on good days, a rough facsimile of enjoyment. Took me hours …

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Demise of the Undertaker's Wife

Demise of the Undertaker’s Wife – Anne Walsh Donnelly

Demise of the Undertaker’s Wife – A Short Story Collection By Anne Walsh Donnelly The Blue Nib is excited to be publishing the first short fiction collection by Irish author Anne Walsh Donnelly, Demise of the Undertaker’s Wife; A Short Story Collection. Anne is already well-known for her poetry. Her short stories share features that …

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