MSLEXIA ISSUE 49
I M A G E S
C OR B I S
These have been hectic months at Mslexia Towers. In December, when normal people were stocking up with eggnog (what is eggnog?) and mulled wine spices, we were mulling over heaps of unrelated magazines – Uncut? Horserider? – ripping out pages we liked the look of. This motley collection of fonts, layouts, headlines and images went to Juliette Boisseau at Outline who ignored most of them (with a polite French smile) and distilled what she liked into the design of the new Mslexia.
Meanwhile, we were getting to grips with the contents. Over 2,000 of you replied to our questionnaires – the results are overleaf. We’ve tried to give most of you what you wanted, but have thrown in a good few surprises too. At its launch in 1999, I wrote that Mslexia is the only magazine where the readers are its contributors too. Over the last few months this has never been more true. So, thank you – and enjoy!
DEBBIE TAYLOR is Editorial Director at Mslexia, which she founded in 1999. Before that she was an editor at New Internationalist and Writing Women, and has written for Oxfam, UNICEF, Anti Slavery and others about women and social issues. Her books include My Children, My Gold (Virago), a nonfiction travelogue about single mothers, and The Fourth Queen (Penguin), a novel set in a harem in 18th Century Morocco.
‘Authors who are dropped by their publishers – or, worse still, by their agents – feel hurt, shocked and humiliated’ Louise Doughty, p 9
features ‘Kazuo Ishiguro says that he actually interviews all of his characters before he chooses a narrator “to see who should get the job”’ JACKIE KAY, p 27 ‘I was doing some free writing with an artist friend, and somehow that “You Are Her” found its way in’ LINDA FRANCE, p 49 ‘This sentence held me, making me realise I was in the company of a writer skilful enough to force me to attend to her every word’ JANE ROGERS, p 43 ‘A lucid dreamer can conjure up a dream theatre and watch her own fictional characters act out the next chapter of a novel’ CLARE JAY, p 13 ‘If you say that AmazingGraceshouldn’t have been written by a white woman, then you miss the whole point of it’ MARY HOFFMAN, p 51
Your Mslexia 4 Letters, emails, posts and tweets 5 Magazine survey results What’s new 6 …in the writing world, on the web, in our lives Agenda 9 Mid-list crisis: Louise Doughty on the quiet cull of a generation of authors Features 13 Dreamwriting: Clare Jay on a new way of accessing unconscious imagery 16 Quick fix fiction: Rose Gaete on how to give your manuscript a facelift 18 What rhymes with Sesquipedalian?
Carolyn Jess-Cooke on poetry and rhyme Writing life 21 Big question: Do you have a novel in you? Little question: What do you wear to write? 22 Objects of desire 23 Life coach: Bekki Hill helps a writer set boundaries 24 Make a difference: the WeFund answer to cuts in arts funding 25 Make a splash: use your life story Time and money: teaching a class New writing 27 Jackie Kay introduces the winners of our
2011 Women’s Short Story Competition 28 How I did it: the winner tells all Inspiration 43 Fiction masterclass: Jane Rogers on beginnings 44 What went horribly wrong for Louise
Welsh 45 Kids’ stuff: Debi Gliori on writing for toddlers 46 The creative mix: writing exercises,
monologue, 4 lines that rhyme, plus advice from poet Wendy Cope 47 Crime masterclass: Laura Wilson on research 48 Playwriting: Kitty Fitzgerald on submitting 49 Making a poem the Linda France way Pen portrait Interview 51 Mary Hoffman talks to Lucy Coats Books 55 Books to look out for: Books Editor Danuta
Kean on the rise of Empty Nest Lit 56 Vox Pop: Edinburgh Airport, What’s Hot:
Louise Allen-Jones 57 A book to change your life by Caroline
Sanderson; Indie Press: Alma Books, Story of a sale: ADiscoveryofWitches 58 Book group: TheStrangerintheMirror,
Poetry and short stories reviews 59 What’s new in commercial women’s fiction by Victoria Henry 61 How to write a bestseller: TheLongSong Directory 63 Opportunities: competitions, calls for submissions, grants, courses 68 Out and About: events and workshops in your area 73 Submitting and subscribing to Mslexia And finally 74 Celia Imrie’s bedtime reading Mslexiapublication details
Apr/May/Jun 2011 3