I have a big stack of envelopes

…and I’m daftly excited. Why? because it means publication day is getting closer! My zine is at the printers and soon there will be copies winging there way to crowdfunders, waiting in our wonderful local bookshop and generally making this all feel rather real. There were time when I never thought this project would bear fruit, for a variety of confidence based reasons. Having other people get behind me and give me a gentle shove has made all the difference, and the sheer joy of having support from so many people via my crowdfunder is a massive boost. As soon as the copies I’ll take a million pictures of them and let you know how you can buy one.

This confidence has helped me cast a critical eye over my other work too, and I’ve spent this month putting together my first pamphlet submission. For anyone who doesn’t know, a pamphlet is a short collection of poems, usually around 15 or so, that centres around a particular theme. For me, identifying this theme has been a case of going through my work and seeing what threads and thoughts run through my work and putting together what amounts to a kind of story. There may well be a “proper” way to do this (this is another time when I kind of wish I’d had the wherewithal to complete my creative writing degree), but going by the pamphlets that I’ve read, this seems to be how they work.  I’ve worked through things like the order, as well as refining and redrafting each poem, before summoning the gumption to press send and submit to . My little pamphlet is winging its way to Nine Pens as we speak. This is a new press that seems very friendly and open to work from new poets. They’ve already had over thirty pamphlet submissions, out of which nine will be chosen for publication. My chances of being chosen are small, but I’m getting used to taking these gambles, and the very act of putting together another group of poems that if feel are worth sharing is a positive and pleasing act.

I’ve submitted to fewer journals this year, and avoided most competitions – partly because of cash (competitions and some journals charge for submission) and also because I’m starting to see my work as a whole entity. The dopamine hit of winning a competition or getting a magazine publication has become a little less important. That doesn’t mean it’s not a massive thrill, I’ve still got my copy of Popshot casually placed on my living room table, but something has shifted in terms of validation and my ability to assess my own writing. I throw out a lot more than I keep in, but my critical eye is less hostile.

Taken in the Brecons – when we could still travel…

So a lot is happening this autumn, paid work is thin on the ground which is tricky, but hopefully something will turn up soon. I’m getting a few more views on my website which is something at least. Over the next week or so I’ll be setting up my Etsy shop, where you can by the zine, plus I will be offering bespoke poems for sale, just in time for Christmas!

Please like and share this blog, especially if you’re reading on one of the social media platforms – it’s one of the most useful ways to help me grow my audience.

Thanks as ever for your support – next post will be the title and cover reveal of the zine – how ace is that?

Stay safe, wear a mask, wash your hands

Kathryn xx

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