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Posts For Unprecedented Times

by Madeleine White

(X/Instagram: @madeleinefwhite)

And we’re nearing the summer solstice! Where does time go? It only feels like yesterday I was recovering from the excesses of the Christmas holidays. I think the fact I’m working on a new novel helps one month flow into the next but also, the excitement of our Pen to Print leaders Lena and Lisa attending a Royal Garden Party for the creative industries and some of the team going to Hay, has contributed to May flying by.

As Editor, I’ve been lucky enough to sit in on some wonderful interviews and recently I’ve been thinking of a conversation our former Monday Moment’s editor Holly King had with Mark Haddon (see interview here). He shared,

“Writing is why I’m on the planet and if I don’t write it’s extremely painful; this existential void opens. You will not write unless you’re compelled to – you should do it only if you have some kind of pathological obsession.”

It’s a comment that really resonates with me, I wonder whether you take something from it, also? If so, you’ll be delighted with some writerly treats we have lined up for you in June.

Issue 21, Out 26 June

First and foremost is the publication of our fifth anniversary print issue of Write On! – out at the end of June. Sponsored by All Stories, I’m truly delighted that our cover star for an issue focussed on ‘Overcoming,’ is none other than the Sunday Times columnist Melanie Reid who talks to Dr Afsana Elanko about making the invisible part of society visible through her writing. I do hope you like the cover!

In the meantime, do check out our back catalogue of issues, including the latest with the fabulous Kit de Waal and sponsored by Hay.  The digital version and all our back issues can be found on our  online magazines page

Anyway, talking of overcoming challenges, we have a couple of great features lined up for you, including the power of ChatGPT to change how we create by EM Blake and also, Eva Lauder talks to us about how writing has helped her deal with Multiple Sclerosis. Our Showcase editor, Helen Aitchison, has pulled together some fabulous creative work from our submissions folder, with our other page editors exploring creative block, migration stories and exam season through their pages. And don’t forget, if you have a new book coming out, do let us know, so we can feature it on our Saturday Spotlight page at the end of the month.

This is the last month of our ‘Overcoming’ theme. So please do start submitting round our new theme of ‘Change’ which runs July- September. You can see our submissions guidelines here. As ever, I do hope that all the wonderful creative work, advice, fiction, poetry, prose and audio we bring you through Write On! will inspire you to get writing.

Write On! Audio, The Podcast ‘For Writers Everywhere’

Write On! Audio, the podcast ‘For Writers Everywhere’ is out every Tuesday. This May we’re continuing with our ‘Poem Of The Month’ as a new regular as well as ‘Write On! Audio And Friends,’ a new series of monthly podcasts featuring episodes from other literary podcasts with connections to Pen to Print.

We kick off the month with Writers Tips brought to you via Write On! Audio and Friends, in the form of an interview with Cailean Steed – author of Home (Bloomsbury) and former Pent to Print Audio competition winner. We continue with a Poem Of The Month by Danny Baxter and a Listener Contribution from Gloria Maloney, finishing off with an explosive Write On! interview with Melanie Reid by Dr Afsana Elanko.

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 Spotify For Podcasters  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

Amber Hall’s June Monday Moments focusses overcoming writer’s block,. How do you approach this? Can you accept it and go with the process, or do you staunchly push through, when you don’t feel inspired? Out on 3 June.

Eithne Cullen’s June Thoughtful Tuesdays will be looking at Exam season along with how you pick yourself up from fear and failure. Out on 11 June.

Farzana Hakim’s June Thursday Connectors  explores migration and features stories from people who have moved to this country: the adjustment and change needed, what it really feels like. It’s a page about identity and self-perception. Out on Thursday 20 May.

The weekly June Showcases are edited by author, editor and social entrepreneur Helen Aitchison. They draw from our bulging inbox to feature fabulous writers, including old favourites and new voices. Out every Wednesday.

Our Friday Features, out every two weeks, are packed with writing ideas and advice. June’s include a piece from EM Blake on ChatGPT while Eva Lauder talks to us about how writing has helped her deal with Multiple Sclerosis.

Our Sunday Interviews, out every two weeks, showcase a range of talent. In June we feature Julia Wood, Mirabel Lavelle and Melanie Reid.

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!

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.

Take advantage of some great digital advertising opportunities with Write On! and Write On! Extra. We are currently running a £50 / 1/8 page offer. A Back Cover full page advert is £500 and issue sponsorship is £750. Get in touch with Pen to Print for further details.

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.

Issue 20 is out now and features stellar author, Kit de Waal.

Leading with Sunday Times columnist Melanie Reid, Issue 21 will be out at the end of June and you can find all our previous issues on our magazines page. Physical copies of Write On! are distributed in libraries and other centres across London, Manchester, Kent, Devon, the West Midlands and Essex. Distribution points now include the Universities of Sunderland as well as Dudley and Manchester libraries, Newcastle’s ‘Seven Stories’ writing organisation and the Amelia Scott Centre in Tunbridge Wells.

Be part of the Write On! family; one that includes The London Library, Dialogue, Hay and The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook. So far, over  222, 000 of  you have engaged with us online, as readers and contributors; from the UK, but also from 198 other countries (Google Analytics lists 230 countries).

Your Writing

Write On! accepts written pieces (prose, poetry, essays, opinion), video or spoken extracts/ snapshots, illustrations and artwork. 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. (First Monday of the month.)

Thoughtful Tuesdays – Mindfulness, inspiration, poetry, quotes and ideas shared to create leadership and hope, to see us through the week. (Second Tuesday 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. (Third 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. (Two per month.)

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. (Two per month.)

Write On! Audio – Out every Tuesday, our 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’. (Weekly.)

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:

From July our theme will be ‘Change.’ Please start submitting now around this idea do What does the word mean to you in terms of your personal or creative life? We’d love to hear your perspectives! Please do submit work around this idea. What does the word mean to you in terms of your personal or creative life? We’d love to hear your perspectives!

  • 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 500 words.
  • Features are generally 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) to illustrate your work. For any images/ video content that include you, or someone identifiable, we will need a permissions form. This will be sent to you. Write On! Extra is also happy to accept video or audio content. Please include contact details and any relevant social media IDs, such as Instagram, X, Threads, Substack 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. Please note all submissions are subject to editing, at the Editor’s discretion.

SUBMISSION DEADLINES are based on the overarching theme. For example, it is worth sending in work aimed at the new theme a month before it starts.

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!

Disclaimer:

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 'Overcoming.' This season’s theme is shared through the online Write On! Extra pages and the Write On! Audio podcast.