Issue 13: Missing Marbles The latest issue of firstwriter.magazine has also
just been released, featuring quality fiction and poetry
submitted from around the world, plus your first chance to see
not just the winning poems from our Sixth International
Poetry Competition, but also all ten Special Commendations.
To view the magazine click
here. To enter your work in our Seventh International
All those whose
work has been included in issue 13 have now been notified, so if
you submitted work for issue 13 and have not received
notification of inclusion then, regrettably, on this occasion
your submission was not successful. Please do feel free to try
again, however, through www.firstwriter.com/Magazine.
We have now begun accepting submissions for Issue 15.
Previous authors published in firstwriter.magazine include Sean Egan, whose new collection of short stories,
Don't Mess with the Best, has just been published by Askill Publishing. The collection includes the short story "The Interview", originally published in
issue 1 of
firstwriter.magazine and shortlisted in the London Writers' competition. The book comes with cover endorsements from two former winners of the Booker Prize, David Storey and Stanley Middleton, and is available to buy now via
amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.
Writing has played an important role in my life, and for the most part, I
took my career pretty serious. Humorous writing wasn’t one of my specialties,
but looking back at some of my first published pieces, I have to laugh because
some of the stories or articles are some of the worse I’ve
ever read (or written). Editors published my work regularly back in the
early nineties – why is beyond me. Some of my manuscripts were nothing less
than an unedited first draft with numerous mistakes and flaws that made
reading an unpleasant experience to say the least.
I appreciate the opportunity the small press newsletters and little
magazines afforded me, and the chance to become a professional writer in
training was worth every stamp. Getting paid in copies was a lot better
than not getting paid at all, and the valuable lessons I learned was worth
it all. Through trial and error, I learned how to be a writer.
Years have passed since my training years and much water has travelled
under the bridge, so to speak, and I am still writing. It is time to
venture out of my safety mode and move into the larger, paying markets.
It’s time I start earning my keep doing what I know how to do – write.
Remember, if you’re just starting out, start small – earn a published bio and
then move up the ladder of success to larger paying markets. Learning to become
a professional writer is half the fun. The other half is reaping the benefits
after the training is over! Keep trying and never give up – you’ll get there
eventually! We made it and so can you!
About the author
Marcella Simmons has been writing professionally since 1988 – she has over 650
published credits in over 350 small press publications nationwide. In 2005,
Simmons had her first book of poetry published, and is working on several book
projects at this time. She continues to write a regular weekly column for a
local newspaper in her hometown, as well as many other writing projects.
"Writing is a way of life for me," she says. Simmons is the mother of
eight children (all are grown now) and she has seven grandchildren with another
on the way. "My family is also a way of life for me, and my
Agent sues websites over scam accusations Barbara Bauer, who appears on an online list of the 20 worst literary agents, is suing 19 bloggers and websites, including Wikipedia and AbsoluteWrite.com, for labelling her a "scam agent" for alleged fee-charging practices.
Publishing News to close after 29 years On July 25, book trade weekly Publishing News will release its final issue. The magazine blames changes in advertisers' marketing for the closure, with more attention being paid to online advertising and direct sales.
The Sean O'Faolain Short Story Prize The closing date for the Sean O'Faolain Short Story Prize is fast approaching. Writers can submit short fiction
up to 3,000 words until July 31, 2008. Prizes include €1,500, €500, and publication in
Send entries with entry fee of €10, or £10 stg or US$15 or AU$18 or Can$16 to The Munster Literature Centre, Frank O'Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Ireland. No entry form required.
Alternatively, pay by PayPal and email entries to
@gmail.com, with "SOF 2008 Entry" in the subject line and quoting PayPal payment reference number.