Where will your writing end up?

I find it fascinating where my writing ends up.

Let me explain. Most writers, myself included, desire for our words to be read by others. Sure, some people write only for themselves and that’s fine. I would contend though that the majority of writers dream of having an audience for their words, preferably a large one. I like to know from my readers that I have written something that has intrigued, challenged, entertained, inspired or instructed them – not all at the same time , of course, though that would be great.

It always amazes me where my writing ends up being published. Sure, I’ve have had some small publishing successes. My stories, poems and articles have appeared in books, anthologies, magazines, newspapers and I’ve performed some of my poems in public too. One of my plays was featured on a national television programme. Last year one of my poems was set to music and performed at the ANZAC Day ceremonies in Belgium. Cool.

My latest publication success is intriguing. It’s always nice to be invited to submit something and that is what happened earlier this week. A simple little haiku I wrote some years ago has been published on the Ocean Portal site of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Why not head over there and have a look. They are celebrating National Poetry Week by inviting readers to submit their own poems celebrating their love of the ocean.


And if you are interested in reading some of my poetry, click here.

Good writing.

Studio – a journal of christians writing

Studio Journal has been publishing poetry, short stories and book reviews for over 30 years. I’ve been a subscriber for at least 20 of them and thoroughly enjoy reading every story, poem and review. Studio is published quarterly and usually runs to 36 pages (A5 size) packed with literary gemstones.

Because it is essentially a compact journal, competition to be published in it is intense. I’ve only managed to get one story published in this journal, but I should be fair to myself as I really haven’t bombarded the editors with submissions. The submissions do not have to focus on spiritual topics, though some do.  On the web page is says:

Studio is a quarterly journal publishing poetry and prose of literary merit, offering a venue for previously published, new and aspiring writers, and developing a sense of community among christians writing.

I highly recommend this fine journal. More information, including submission guidelines, can be found on the Studio website here.

Good writing.

A few tales to tell

I recently had some publication success. Yay!

Every year the Creative Writing department of the university where I recently completed my MA (Tabor Adelaide) publishes an anthology of poetry, short plays and short stories. The contributors are all present or former students, and a few staff members also add to the eclectic mix of writing. This anthology was the 6th edition and the quality is extremely high. The competition to be included is making it harder to be included every year, so I was pleased to have a short story and a poem in the latest issue.

I’ve read all six editions and have enjoyed all of the stories. Many of the poems could easily have found a home in any of our most prestigious literary journals. In fact, two of our regular contributors, both former students, have had stories published in a leading journal in recent months. It speaks volumes for the standard of teaching at Tabor Adelaide, and says much for the talents being nurtured.

The anthology is called Tales from the Upper Room, reflecting the theological roots of Tabor Adelaide and a direct link to the upper room where Jesus and his disciples met to celebrate the last supper. The ‘upper room’ also refers to the fact that our writers’ groups meet in The Loft, the highest room in the university.


Hand me a (poetic) pencil

I love pencils.

I always have a good supply of 2B pencils on my desk, and a back up supply in the drawer of my desk. I love the feel of a pencil in my hand as I write. This is especially so when writing poetry.

I almost always use a 2B pencil when composing poems. The sensuality of holding a pencil generates a creativity I rarely get using a pen or a keyboard. After the poem is crafted and has morphed through several drafts, a final copy is then typed up on my computer. Very little changes once I’ve typed it, perhaps only a little formatting and minimal changes to punctuation.

For most of other writing I now use the computer keyboard exclusively. This includes stories, novels, essays, articles and blog posts. I just do not have the time (or the patience) to compose in pencil or pen first. I may occasionally jot down notes or an outline in pen or pencil, but I’ve also done that on the computer. It’s a necessary part of being productive.

What do my readers use when writing?

I’d be interested in hearing your comments.

Good writing.

Lest we forget

Lest we forget.

Today is ANZAC Day,  a very special day on the calendar in both Australia and New Zealand.  On this day we remember our war heroes, those who served – and continue to serve – our country on the battlefields of the world.

I wrote a special tribute to the ANZACs a few years ago. It can be read here: Poem: Anzac Cove.

The words of this poem have been set to music by New Zealand composer Andrew Baldwin and the song is being performed as a part of the ANZAC Day celebrations in Ypres, Belgium.

We will remember them.

Mt Macedon War Memorial

Mt Macedon War Memorial