Anne-Simone Hutton of Najac,
France, was announced as the winner of the competition for her poem "Edge", and wins £500 (around $750).
Mark Ellis, of London, wins £100 for submitting the best entry from the
United Kingdom with his poem "Another Mother", and
Michael Pollick of Decatur, Alabama, wins $150 for entering the best runner-up
poem from the United States, "Oven". The winning
poems can be read online at https://www.firstwriter.com/competitions/poetry_competition/previous_winners/7thpoetry.shtml.
All the winners will also be
published in a future issue of firstwriter.magazine, and
receive vouchers worth £20 / $30 – as will the ten Special
Donny Kingsley Okoh,
United Kingdom, "Marriage";
Kibbe, United States, "Your heart is a command
Elowyn Corby, United
States, "On Coming From a Hammock";
Celeste Goschen, United
Kingdom, "6.30am Flight Over The Andes";
United Kingdom, "Parallel Paths ";
Issue 14: The Silken Tongue 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 story from our Fourth International Short
Story Contest, but also all ten Special Commendations. To
view the magazine click
here. To enter your work in our Fifth International
Short Story Contestclick
All those whose
work has been included in issue 14 have now been notified, so if
you submitted work for issue 14 and have not received
notification of inclusion then, regretfully, on this occasion
your submission was not successful. Please do feel free to try
again, however, through www.firstwriter.com/Magazine
After months of submitting manuscripts to magazines such as Redbook
and Glamour, receiving rejection slip after rejection slip, I started
researching the small press publications in hopes of finding a home for
some of my material. The result was that I finally started receiving
acceptance slips instead of rejection slips – the only difference – there
was little or no pay for my hard work.
Looking back to my very first piece is almost embarrassing – why would
any editor take the time to read that piece of garbage? It was not one of
my better pieces of work, I can assure you.
But that first piece, as bad as it was, has served as my inspiration
more than once, giving me the confidence and boost that I needed to
continue writing. When I read it now, full of room for change and
improvement (it was worthy of being trashed!), I am thankful that someone
took the time to publish my first piece and give me a chance as a published
writer and help me on my journey to succeed as a professional writer. We
all have to start somewhere.
Small press editors (some of them) take the time to read your material
– some give you tips and edit your story and help you with rewrites.
Others tell you where your story went wrong and why it doesn’t work for
that particular publication. Some small press editors welcome new writers
like a nursery welcomes new babies.
Without having learned to write for small press publications years
ago, I would not have succeeded as a writer, and I am thankful for getting
my foot in the door where and when I did. I would have given up long ago,
and my dreams of being a successful writer would be gone forever.
Writing is hard work – there are endless hours spent writing and
rewriting, the pay is lousy so much of the time, and getting accepted
almost seems hopeless. The competition is great – there seems to be no end
If you’re having trouble breaking into print with the larger paying
markets, try the small press publications. firstwriter.com
is updated continually and includes small presses in its
publishers section, and small press magazines in its magazines
section. Go to www.firstwriter.com/publishers
to make trial searches for free. If you find markets matching
your needs you can get the full details for a low monthly
subscription fee by going to www.firstwriter.com/subscribe.
You can also ask to receive daily email alerts about new and
updated listings matching your interests.
Get familiar with some of the smaller markets – SASE for writer’s
guidelines and request a sample copy or two before submitting your
manuscript. Get a feel for the market – know and understand what is needed
and write accordingly.
Keep writing and keep sending out manuscripts. Someone will read your
manuscript – keep trying until they do!
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 inspiration."
“Gettaway” to Gettysburg Popular RWA writing workshop guru, Alicia
Rasley, is leading an intimate group of writers in
The Historic Gettysburg Hotel, March
20-22, 2009. The price is $295, and
includes workshop fees and two nights in
a double hotel room.