May we have your attention please! Our brand spanking new autumn issue 71 is out now, and it’s packed to the rafters with gritty features, candid interviews and our usual sprinkling of writerly advice and inspiration – no matter where you are on the publishing ladder.
At Mslexia Towers, this autumn is all about pushing ourselves, whether by launching our hotly anticipated Members’ Area or dreaming up ways to creatively engage marginalised communities. And we want you to follow suit. This issue throws out an abundance of challenges for you to conquer, whether that’s writing a novel on Twitter, experimenting with traditionally ‘masculine’ (pffft) themes, launching your own literary award, or giving your author website a much-needed (sorry!) facelift. Our tips, tricks and tidbits will leave you feeling motivated and determined to make the last few months of 2016 your most productive and rewarding yet.
Of course, if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best, which is why we sought career advice from Bailey’s winner Lisa McInerney, bestselling women’s fiction author Rowan Coleman and Carnegie winner Sarah Crossan. Take heed of their guidance on plot, pace and giving yourself permission. You’ll be writing – and thinking – like a pro before you know it.
We aren’t pulling any punches in our features, either. Editor Debbie is getting all hot under the collar exploring the issue of literary plagiarism, while Laura Wilson is fed up of female crimefighting archetypes, and Kat Lewis talks us through the process of working with asylum seekers and refugees on their creative writing. Oh, and we had a poke around Everyday Sexism founder Laura Bates’ bedside table too. Because we’re nosy like that.
As ever, our highly treasured directories have been lovingly researched and curated by our listings editor to help shape your autumn for the better. If you’re looking to get your work noticed, you can choose from hundreds of hand-picked submission slots and prestigious competitions, or if you want to expand your horizons, you can pick out literary events in your area or choose from dozens of writing-themed retreats and holidays. (Love our gold mines of information? Check out our Indie Presses 2016/17 guide
for details on over 400 literary magazines and independent publishers. You’ll find a home for your writing in no time.) And don’t forget to bear us in mind! The deadline for most submissions to the December issue of the magazine is 11th October or, if you’re working on a Secret Fantasy piece of themed writing, 5th September. See here
This issue also sees us announcing the finalists of our 2016 Poetry Competition, with the winning work showcased in our new writing section. Fancy some competition success of your own? The Children’s Novel Competition 2016
– renowned for kickstarting the careers of Lu Hersey and Francesca-Armour Chelu – is still open for entries until 19 September. First prize is £5,000 and this year’s panel include award-winning novelist Anne Fine, literary agent Claire Wilson and Charlotte Eyre, Children’s Editor, Bookseller.
Keep your blinkers peeled for more info on our Mslexia Members’ Area, which is set to launch this autumn. With dynamic forums, Q&As with industry experts, exclusive offers and comps, a wealth of bonus content plus scores of virtual writing groups to join, you’ll never feel creatively isolated again. Oh, and it’s only an extra quid per month. See you there!