Issue #93

Free Writers' Newsletter

Dec 22, 2010  



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Poetry for the London 2012 Olympics

Winning Words, an opportunity for the public to be part of the lasting legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is announced this month. Winning Words is asking people to nominate inspiring poetry which will encourage athletes taking part in the 2012 Games, as well as future generations of Londoners.

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Until Thursday January 6, 2011, people can nominate inspiring poetry representing the values of the Olympic Games: respect, fair play, excellence, friendship and of the Paralympic Games: courage, determination, inspiration and equality, via the Winning Words website 

The poetry, selected from the nominations, will be announced in February 2011. The lines will be installed on a prominent wall in the centre of the Athletesí Village, which will be seen daily by the athletes, and officials living and working in the Village. After the 2012 Games, the Village will be converted into new homes for east London and the wall will be part of the lasting legacy for local communities and residents. 

All nominations will be evaluated by a panel that includes Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, author Sebastian Faulks, poet Daljit Nagra, BBC Sports presenters John Inverdale and Clare Balding and Head of Arts and Cultural Strategy at the Olympic Delivery Authority, Sarah Weir. 

The panel will have the final decision on which poetry is chosen for the Athletesí Village wall. Poetry will also be installed in other locations within the Olympic Park, with further details announced in 2011.

What will you choose? Robert Frostís " The Road Not Taken" which ends with the verse: 

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference."

or you might agree with BBC sports broadcaster John Inverdaleís suggestion, " The Victor" by CW Longenecker, which includes the verse:

"If you think youíll lose, youíre lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellowís will.
Itís all in the state of mind."

or Jeffrey Archerís nomination:

"The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night."

from " The Ladder of St. Augustine" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Sebastian Coe, London 2012 Chairman, says: 

"The Olympic Village is unique in sport, and provides both sanctuary and a place of equilibrium for athletes during the intensity of competition. This is a great initiative that will help make the Village an inspiring place for athletes during the Games, and provide a further legacy for local communities living there for many years after 2012."

William Sieghart, who conceived Winning Words and founded National Poetry Day, comments: 

"Iím delighted that poetry will be one of the ways of inspiring athletes as they compete in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Itís wonderful that the ODA and LOCOG are recognising the power of poetry to motivate and rouse people. Iím looking forward to hearing suggestions from around the country."

Inspiring poetry nominations can be submitted from today until midnight on Thursday January 6, 2011. To nominate poetry and for further information please go to:    

WHIP Magazine seeks submissions

WHIP is a small black and white literary magazine, seeking submissions of poetry, prose, and visuals. The deadline for the issue currently being compiled is December 25, 2010.

Submissions can be sent by email to For more details, go to  

For the details of over 1,300 other magazines, click here

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New interactive site for poetry launched

PoetryVoices is now live. PoetryVoices is an interactive site for poetry where users can register for free membership, create their very own Memberís Page, upload and share poems with the world (in text and video formats) and invite friends to join their page. 

The site also includes other interactive capabilities, including the ability to comment on other members poems or simply read, listen and watch the poems read or performed. 

The site also contains the capability to be used as a meeting place for poetry-interest groups, including writersí circles, reading groups and studentsí discussion groups, as well as forums for the various poetry forms.

The site is also a resource for poetry related news and activities and the place to find the list of literary agents and the institutions that provide creative writing courses in poetry, including a list of UK poetry publishers. However, the site may take some time to populate as they expect all information on the site to be put there by the member-owners of that information. 

Lists that are already populated can be found at and 

Nonfiction and writing tips needed

Submissions are still being accepted for Blinking Cursor Time Snippets. This will be much like the regular magazine, but it will contain nonfiction only. Submissions can be anything nonfiction – articles, essays, reviews, opinion pieces; as long as it's factually correct, you can submit it. Send up to three submissions up to a 1,000 word maximum. For full submission guidelines, click here.

Submissions are also being accepted for The Blank Page Handbook. This will contain hints and tips about writing. They could be about spelling and grammar, formatting, editing, creating believable characters, writing poetry, finding inspiration, anything! Tips should be a couple of sentences or a paragraph, not a page or more. Click here for full submission guidelines.

Blinking Cursor Literary Magazine Issue Four is also now available, and can be downloaded from the website here for free. Blinking Cursor Literary Magazine is currently closed for submissions to the literary magazine, but will be re-opening in the Spring.


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