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We're kicking off poetry season with Degna Stone’s unmissable pamphlet workshop on 24 October at 5pm.

In this warm and inspiring practical session, Degna will talk a bit about her own rollercoaster ride with the genre, and discuss some ground-breaking examples by leading women poets such as Warsan Shire, Hannah Lowe and Liz Berry.

‘Beautiful, experimental and fun’ is how she describes the process of compiling what is in effect a mini-collection. And she’ll take you through some exercises to help you identify your core theme, and create an order that makes sense. ‘A lot depends on the titles you choose, and the poem you decide to open with,’ says Degna, who plans to address those choices in her exercises. 

You don’t need a massive bulging folder of poems to take part. The typical pamphlet is just 15-30 poems in length. And being encouraged to think about your voice and your subject matter could unleash an outpouring of new work to fill in any gaps.  

Our Salon workshops typically involve an introduction from our expert tutor, followed by writing exercises that explore the points she’s making. Salon tsarina Kris Johnson will be on hand throughout, to help you log on and join in. And there’s always an opportunity to continue the discussion online in the Poetry Room forum on our website, where you can share your writing with others at the workshop.

The judge of Mslexia’s Pamphlet Competition this year is the acclaimed Queen’s-Gold-Medal-winning poet Imtiaz Dharker, who is judging on behalf of Bloodaxe Books – the new sponsor of the competition, who will be publishing the winning pamphlet.

On 7 November, the award-winning poet Katharine Towers will be leading a masterclass on the poet as time traveller. No space suit required – this is not about science fiction and poetry. Kathy will be looking at how to add depth to your work by moving forwards and backwards in time, linking the past to your current experiences.

If you’re not a poet, dinna fash. There are at least two workshop and surgery events in the Salon every month, on top of our regular weekly write-ins. So there’s bound to be something coming soon to tweak your interest. 

You’ve just missed Monday’s Q&A with top indie press editor Louise Boland of Fairlight Books, one of our regular ‘meet the indie’ events. Bad Betty Press are visiting on 21 November, and there will be more indies for you to quiz in the coming year, all on the lookout for new voices. How’s this for a good start a pitch letter: ‘When we met at the Mslexia Salon, you suggested...’

All our writing workshops and surgeries are free to Salon members. And membership costs just £12 a year – about the same price as a weak coffee and a disappointing sandwich at a multinational café chain... 

Here’s just a few comments from current members:

‘I came away with several pages of writing in my notebook and a brain bubbling with ideas’

‘The exercises were perfect, gently pushing us into myriad powerful directions, and a whole new stash of ideas to draw on for my work’

‘That was an absolutely brilliant workshop – I've written so much, my hand is aching!’

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