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Agenda
5 Could YA  ction swing the next election? Laura Steven explains how writers can change the world, one teenager at a time
9 2017 Poetry Pamphlet
Competition winner
Forum
11 What you’re saying about... prologues, famous poets and suffragettes
12 What happened when you wrote a 25-word novel; Life sentences
13 Writing in the world: cancer, with Susmita Bhattacharya
14 Noticeboard
15 Spread the love:
writers’ collectives 17 Get creative with
podcasts; Blogwatch
Showcase
19 Jane Harris introduces stories and poems on the theme of ‘Yesteryears’
Craft
35 Creativity news; Writing exercises;
What works for
Naomi Foyle
36 What’s the point?
Karon Alderman
on why she keeps writing in the face of rejection
39 Musical theatre: Susannah Pearse on
51 Advice to my younger self;
Submission
bootcamp: tenacity 52 Safety  rst: Carolyn
Jess-Cooke on the lack of regulation of writing workshops
54 Pitch surgery with Carrie Plitt;
Pitch calendar
55 Self-help book test
drive with Meg
Clothier
Doors open
57 Open for submissions;
Insight: pitch
prospects
58 Three of a kind:
writing in response 59 Insight: script
submissions to
Paines Plough 60 Open for entries:
competitions and awards; Insight: manuscript wish list, agent Joanna Moult
61 Insight: Francis W Reckitt Arts Trust
63 Insight: New Welsh Writing Awards
64 Time away: writing
holidays
Out now
65 Début author: Chitra Ramaswamy
66 Six best women in translation; Books about writing
67 Fiction issues: fairy tales by Zoë Marriott
68 Short story news; Short story review by Alice Slater
69 Short story heroes: Sarah Hall
70 Script news; I confess
71 Non- ction: votes for women with Caroline Sanderson; H is for...
72 Poetry news; Poetry review by Alex Pryce
Don’t miss
73 Events and courses; Insight: getting a gig at Stanza in Newcastle-upon- Tyne
77 Insight: Stacy Makishi in
performance
And  nally
79 Victoria Derbyshire’s bedtime reading; What we’re up to
80 Submitting and subscribing to Mslexia
I was left very shaken after leading a poorly- managed writing workshop in a sex o enders’ unit CAROLYN JESS-COOKE
P52
CWONTENTS hen we
commission our columnists each year,
we ask for a
series of pieces covering a particular topic, but we rarely specify exactly what each columnist should focus on within their assigned area. So sometimes what they alight upon chimes uncannily with items we commission for our main features. And we end up with a magazine that tackles the same themes from a variety of di erent angles.
 at’s what’s happened with this edition of Mslexia. I asked Carolyn Jess- Cooke to look at writing-for-wellbeing workshops (p52) and Susmita Bhattacharya talks about similar concerns while writing with fellow cancer su erers (p13). I asked Karon Alderman to explain why she carries on in the face of rejection (p36) and Lucy Corkhill tackles the same issue in her Submission Bootcamp (p51). And Meg Clothier’s brisk attack on social media chimes nicely with Sita Brand’s mindfulness exercises. Food for thought in our troubled times.
DEBBIE
TAYLOR is
the founder
and Editorial
Director of
Mslexia. She has
written for Oxfam,
UNICEF, Anti-Slavery,
WHO and others about
women and social issues. Her books include My Children, My Gold (Virago), a travelogue about single mothers, and The Fourth Queen (Penguin), a novel set in a harem in 18th Century Morocco. Her fourth novel, Herring Girl (Oneworld), a paranormal historical murder mystery, is out now.
FEATURES
40
putting on a show Sibéal Pounder’s Achilles’ heel;
Flash genre: Helena Astbury
41 Poetry challenge: specular poetry, selected by Linda France
42 A visit to nowhere: Sita Brand on how meditation can aid your writing
44 Rhyme story: ‘Swoop, poop, plop’ by Lalla Merlin; Picture this: Bethan Woollvin
45 First page surgery with Imogen
Robertson
Interview
47 Sarah Perry talks to Rebecca Swirsky
Career
50 Publishing news; Madame Lexi’s crystal ball
in my mind a
girl gets up from a graveside and runs fast towards the main road KARON ALDERMAN P36
not everything is explained,
but that doesn’t matter because of the humour, heartache, characterisation, colloquialisms JANE HARRIS
P19
‘I thought it was a foolish genre, involving girls called Elsie Co n running around in a nightgown pursued by
a wicked step-uncle’ SARAH PERRY P47
students launched a ‘Resistance School’
to  ght against Trump’s agenda, citing
as their inspiration Dumbledore’s Army
LAURA STEVEN, P5
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