by Madeleine White
May and June offer some real inspiration. For me, this is on a personal as well as collective level. Not only do we have the celebratory togetherness of the Jubilee coming up but, as part of a Pen to Print pilot Writers’ Retreat, many of us Write On! team members, will be attending the Hay Festival in Wales. On my return to London, I’ll be heading straight to the Society Of Authors Evening in Southwark Cathedral and then, the Margate Bookie the next day. Next, is a bit of a break until the Pen to Print Award evening at end of June where we celebrate achievements over the last year; applauding writers who have won and been shortlisted in the various competitions. After the isolation of the Covid years, it’s wonderful to feel normal again and to be given an opportunity to make what we have to say count, by using our words in person as well as in the digital sphere!
June also has particular resonance for me, as my journey with Pen to Print started with the 2018 Awards Evening, when my poem Nina was placed. Despite a successful journalistic and magazine publishing career, I had never really done anything with my poetry. My personal journey took me from being shortlisted in 2018, to launching my debut poetry collection The Horse And the Girl through Lapwing, at the end of June, I do hope you will be inspired to connect with us through the Print, Extra and Audio editions of Write On! – starting or continuing your writing journey with us.
To whet your appetite, do check out the Write On! Audio podcast. It allows you to connect to writer role models, ideas, original writing and an engaged community through your headphones and listening devices as well. We’ll be featuring actors Erin Kelly and Jane Corry in the next episode, out on 31 May.
You can also enjoy Issue 12 of Write On! We explore nature in all its glory and what it means to us writers. This bumper edition explores how we see nature: through poetry in particular, but, as ever, we also have some fabulous prose and features to make you think.
I’m also so proud of the partnerships we have built and the connections we have forged. We are working with organisations such as the Royal Society Of Literature, The London Library, The Wilbur And Niso Smith Foundation, Bloomsbury and Penguin to bring you the best of what’s out there. With that in mind, issue 12 features the Libraries Unlimited ‘What If YOU Spoke?’ competition winners, a team of young writers from Devon, with their own eight-page special in our 24 page print magazine, Issue 12. There will also be an ‘What If YOU Spoke?’ Special in issue 13, out at the end of June.
Issue 12 features an exclusive interview with the seminal poet and RSL Chair Daljit Nagra who discusses ‘the Nature of Us,’ with Write On! regular, Juneha Chowdhury and, in issue 13, Farzana Hakim discusses Words And Worlds with Patrice Lawrence MBE and YA writer extraordinaire!.
I hope you like the cover of issue 13, shared with you here.
In the meantime, please join us on Write On! Extra over the coming weeks by enjoying some of the fabulous work we are able to showcase, thanks to your submissions. The wonderful art work (see below) has been sent in by the multi-talented Danny Baxter and is being featured by Holly on her Monday Moments page. As ever, there are plenty of opportunities to contribute and you’ll find information on how to do so below.
Write On! Audio, the podcast ‘For Writers Everywhere’
Out this Tuesday (31 May) Write On! Audio, the podcast ‘For Writers Everywhere’ includes: An Inspirational Moment from author and Margate Bookie founder Andreas Loizu, Writers Tips from author Erin Kelly, an Interview with the amazing Jane Corry, and the Listener Contribution comes from Danny Baxter in the form of some wonderful poetry. The May ‘Showcase’ is presented by Libraries Unlimited ‘What If YOU Spoke?’ writers.
In June we will be bringing you a new way of listening to Write On! Audio, with the Writing Tips, Listener Contribution, Showcase and Interview being spread in bite-size, ten minute chunks each week throughout the month. Comedian and author Bernie Morgan will be sharing her Writer’s Tips, including launching her own podcast, there will be a Listener Contribution from Barking’s Everyone Everyday project and local partnerships advocate Madeline Contos. The Showcase is brought to you by the London Library and the Interview sees Patrice Lawrence chatting to Farzana Hakim.
Created in partnership with the award-winning Alternative Stories podcast, you can find us on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Podchaser and many more. Just type pen to print into your browser and look for our logo. Alternatively, find us via our Anchor FM hosting site, which links you to our content on a variety of podcast platforms. Do subscribe!
Write On! Audio can be accessed here.
Published And Coming Up
We start the month with Monday Moments, out on the second of May. Holly King explores ‘Speaking My language? ‘ and how phrases or words can mean different things depending on your culture and geography. It includes a great piece from native northerner Amber Hall and poetry from Gertcha Cowson and, of course, th fab illustration below!
Eithne Cullen’s Thoughtful Tuesdays is out on June 7 and focusses on transitions and mindfulness and includes a poem by Ray Miles and prose around what why rest matters to writers, by Canadian wordsmith Kimberly Ihekwoaba.
The first Showcase of the month is Wednesday the first of June. All the June showcases will be edited by literary institution the London Library, who will be including pieces from their own writers as well as including some superb pieces from our submissions folder.
In Thursday Connectors, out on Thursday 16 June, Farzana Hakim celebrates the Jubilee, by connecting with memories of previous royal celebrations and writers from around the Commonwealth; with Diya Padiyar and others.
Our regular Friday Features include our usual mixture of writing support, as well as something to make you think. Lucy Van Smit shares insights from her A Writer’s Journal, our very own Holly King writes up our visit to the Hay Festival, Michelle Sutton shares thoughts around Explorers Against Extinction and author Stewart Ross tells us about Aphra Benn and her relevance to modern writers.
Saturday Spotlight, at the end of the month, features new launches from traditional publishers and small presses, as well as indie authors. Do send us information on your new release. If you have one coming up, we’d love to hear from you!
Our weekly Sunday Interviews showcase a range of talent. The June Write On! Extra line-up includes cover designer Ian Barber and the wonderful Patrice Lawrence.
Finally, June’s Writer Of The Month is Rebecca Seaton, Pen to Print Book challenger, teacher and faith-inspired writer. The page, out on 21 June May, is introduced by Mary Walsh.
I do hope all this gets you to put pen to paper. And don’t forget, we also welcome other creative work, including illustrations. I wish you a truly connected June!
More About Us
Write On! is a quarterly magazine published by Pen to Print and its sister, the online Write On! Extra and has been created to encourage established and emerging writers to come together around the following ideals: Publishing lies at an intersection of entertainment, information and education and is the method by which we record our shifting culture. You can find out more about how to get involved as a writer, creative, partner or advertiser through Write On! Together.
Write On! Audio, the podcast ‘For Writers Everywhere’ connects emerging and established writers to each other, the publishing industry and a wider audience in an audio celebration of diversity, originality and excellence.
OUT NOW, Write On! Issue 12 includes our lead interview with Daljit Nagra, but also features Charis Odoki, a young writer from Exeter, who investigates a writer’s responsibility in ‘The Big Debate’ and the Write Back! group of youth storytellers shares free postcards for the London-distributed magazines. This fabulous group of young people are also editors of the ‘Destination Barking And Dagenham’ page. They interview Joseph Namy, an artist and driving force behind the Becontree Broadcasting Station. Columnist HB O’Neill continues the local focus with his ‘Local Flavour’ page, bringing a wry twinkle to some creative initiatives in the Borough.
You can see all our issues on our magazines page. Physical copies of issue 12 have been distributed to libraries and other centres that are open across east London, Kent, Exeter and Essex. To get more information about Write On! and Write On! Extra and to take advantage of some great digital advertising opportunities, please see our Media Pack. You’ll be part of the Write On! family; one that includes Penguin Books and The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook. So far, more than 72,000 of you have engaged with us online, as readers and contributors, from the UK, but also 192 other countries.
Write On! accepts written pieces (prose, poetry, essays, opinion), video or spoken extracts/ snapshots, illustrations and artwork. Due to an unprecedented number of interview and features submissions, we are planning for both from July 2022 onwards. Do remember, if you have a features idea, you may be interested in recording it for Write On! Audio. Get in touch to discuss, if this appeals!
Depending on content and theme, your work will be featured in one of the following ways:
Monday Moments – Stories and experiences drawn from myriad perspectives. Fresh and engaging; a real ‘magazine’ feel. (1st Monday of the month)
Write On! Showcase – This creative writing showcase includes poetry, short stories, flash fiction and book extracts. Although most will reflect the seasonal theme, some work, such as memoirs or book extracts, offer a non-themed perspectives also. (Weekly)
Thursday Connectors – Everyone and everywhere has different experiences and different ways of dealing with these strange times. This internationally-flavoured page is all about people and their experiences, connecting us with ideas and ideals, reaching out from east London to encompass the UK and the world at large. (3rd Thursday of the month)
Write On! Features – Essays, opinions and features. In Write On! Extra, we focus on topics relevant to publishing and writing arenas, but also include wider content to encompass thinking and ideas relevant to our times. (Weekly)
Saturday Spotlight – Spotlight offers a round-up of indie, traditional and small press releases, bringing readers an overview of what can be found on digital and physical shelves. (Monthly)
Write On! Interviews – This Sunday profile opportunity features writers, publishers, editors, agents and other creatives, along with individuals from diverse communities in a number of different occupations. (Weekly)
Write On! Audio – The new podcast ‘For Writers Everywhere’ connects emerging and established writers to each other and the industry. There is an opportunity to submit to our Listener Contribution Slot, as well as record your creative work and any tips and feature ideas you might have. See our pilot episode for tips on ‘how to’. (Monthly)
Please do continue to submit your work. Our aim remains the same: bringing people together to share their experience, strength and hope, as well as having a bit of a laugh!
How To Submit:
- Creative prose submissions should be between 800 and 1000 words and, if possible, fit the seasonal theme.
- Poetry can be as short as necessary, but no longer than 1000 words.
- Features can be longer, up to 2000 words, but preferably between 1000-1500. It’s best to send your feature/essay ideas through initially, so we can finalise the topic together.
- Write On! Audio Listener Contribution Slot. See our pilot episode for tips on ‘how to’. Listener Contributions should not be longer than six minutes and should include a brief introduction to you.
Any contributions should include an image of the writer and any copyright-free images you would like us to use (adhering to our submission guidelines) that illustrate your work. Write On! Extra is also happy to accept video or audio content. Please include contact details and any relevant social media IDs, such as Twitter or Facebook. Submit via our Submit To Write On! page. Further guidance can be found on the themed pages. All submissions are subject to Pen to Print terms and conditions and can also be held in reserve until such time as publication opportunities arise, which may well be several months after the initial submission.
(SUBMISSION DEADLINES – Please feel free to submit to the overarching theme, ‘Nature, Inspiring Creativity: Past, Present And Future.’ up until the end of March. After that you may wish to consider ideas around ‘ Mind Your Language – Words And How We Use Them.’)
We invite local people get in touch, as well as those who have something to say from further afield. We also welcome partnership discussions with organisations wishing to contribute, so the voices of their beneficiaries and teams can be heard. Details will be published on pentoprint.org.
Our culture is shifting – therefore, the worlds we create don’t just serve us, but serve to inspire others as well. Make a difference to your community from your own four walls and get creating and writing!
The views and opinions expressed in individual articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Write On! or Pen to Print. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied, Write On! Extra cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the consequences of error, or for any loss or damage suffered by users of any of the information published on any of these pages. All facts and dates are correct at the time of publication.
We’re delighted to be sharing some wonderful work around 'Mind Your Language: Words And How We Use Them' This season’s theme is shared through the online Write On! Extra pages and the Write On! Audio podcast.