No Poem Starts Perfect: A Q&A with Pelorus Press

Pelorus Press is a new literary magazine based in New York City. The magazine asks contributors to submit their work in a unique way. We got in touch with editor Cahaley Markman to find out more.

Why did you want to establish your own literary magazine?

I started this magazine with my friend and co-founding editor Dylan Debelis. We both really love poetry and wanted to play a role in getting more poetry out into the world; however, it was very important to both of us that this magazine bring something different to the table. There are already so many great literary journals out there, I wanted to make sure that if we were going to enter the publication world it would be because we were doing something different than a standard journal. I thought it would be interesting to bring the focus to the writing process.

What makes Pelorus Press unique?

Our focus on the writing process rather than the product sets us apart from most literary magazines. We do this by publishing several drafts of each poem along with the final draft. The reader gets to see where the poem started, and how it grew over time. It’s also really cool because some of the poems we published have hand written revisions and notes. It feels very intimate to read. As if you get a sneak peek into the poet’s thought process.

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Cove Park Litertarure Residencies 2016

Cove Park is a Scottish artists’ retreat located on the Rosneath peninsula, an hour’s drive west of Glasgow. In 2016 Cove Park is offering a minimum of three literature residencies. The residencies are open to writers around the world.

Cove Park was founded in 1999 by Peter and Eileen Jacobs. The centre’s residencies “respond to the diversity of contemporary artistic practice in all the art forms, whether performing or visual arts, crafts, literature or music. [Its] interdisciplinary programmes, for both individuals and collaborating groups, offer time, space and freedom to make new work and to find new ways of working.”

Cove Park’s distinguished alumni include Margaret Atwood, Anne Carson, Brian Chikwava, Helen Cross, Rachel Cusk, Fred D’Aguiar, Joe Dunthorne, Jennie Erdal, Rodge Glass, John Glenday, Jen Hadfield, Jack Mapanje, Michael Pedersen, Jo Shapcott, Zoe Strachan, Chiew-Siah Tei, Kate Tough, Christos Tsiolkas, Chika Unigwe, Louise Welsh and Nicola White.

The 2016 literature residencies will take place between May and September and last for between one and three months. Applications are invited from established writers of short and long fiction; poetry; creative non-fiction and memoir; work that crosses these genres and also writers who have made their reputation in one field and wish to develop in another. To be eligible for consideration, writers must have published at least one full-length book in their field and must not be enrolled in full or part-time education. There are no application fees for their residency.

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It’s time for our annual look back at the 1980s, to see whether the bestselling novels of the era have stood the test of time, or if they were starting to show their age (and their shoulder pads). In between watching Back to the Future and trying out New Coke, here’s what American readers were enjoying in 1985.

10. The Class by Erich Segal

The Class by Eric Segal

Readers of the 1980s loved a multi-decade saga and The Class well and truly fitted the genre. Written by Erich Segal, the author of Love Story, The Class follows the intertwined fates of five fictional members of the Harvard Class of 1958, culminating with their class reunion in 1983. Described by Publisher’s Weekly as “an absorbing  page-turner” The Class is filled with all the tragedies, turmoil and dramatic turning points one might expect from a popular fictional novel of this era.


9. Family Album by Danielle Steel

Family Album by Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel’s recipe of romance, suspense and high drama has made her one of the world’s bestselling authors, with current estimates indicating her novels have sold well over 650 million copies around the world. In Family Album, her 18th novel in 12 years, Steel tells the story of Faye Price, from World War II to the present day. Writing in Christian Science Monitor, reviewer Jaye Wilson said “like the heroines in earlier Danielle Steel books, Faye Thayer embodies the ‘fantasy, recovery, escape, and consolation” which Tolkien describes as necessary constituents of a good fairy tale. Victorious in her new challenge, Faye seems as well to represent an updated, flip side of the old Horatio Alger characters who inspired the pre-Yuppie generation of men in gray flannel suits (whose sisters were still being silver-spoon fed on the old version of Cinderella’s tale).”

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Granta is Accepting Unsolicited Submissions

After a six-month hiatus Granta, one of the world’s most prestigious literary magazines, is again accepting unsolicited submissions.

Granta’s history can be traced back to 1889 when a student politics and literature magazine called The Granta was founded at Cambridge University. Since its relaunch 35 years ago, Granta has been a quarterly literary journal, with the aim of publishing the best new writing.

Granta publishes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. There are no strict word limits, though most prose submissions are between 3000 and 6000 words and the editors advise they are unlikely to read more than 10,000 words of any submission.

Alongside the print edition, the online new writing program publishes stories, poems, essays, interviews, animations and more from established Granta alumni as well as new voices.

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Win a Writers Retreat in Iceland

Reykjavik from above by Johannes Martin via Creative Commons

Iceland Writers Retreat is offering one talented writer plane tickets to Iceland and a free delegate’s ticket to its April program.

In addition to a round-trip airfare, the winner will receive a full retreat package including accommodation, tours, most meals and all workshops for the duration of the retreat which runs from 13 to 17 April 2016. The flights must be from a direct destination and the package does not include airport transfers, travel insurance or visas (if required).

The successful candidate must demonstrate that he or she does not have the financial means to attend the conference without this award. Candidates do not need to be professional writers, but should be serious about the craft and interested in developing their skills and contacts.

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AL Kennedy's Ten Rules for Writing Fiction

A.L.Kennedy was born in Scotland in 1965. She is the author of six literary novels, one science fiction novel, seven short story collections and three works of non-fiction including the wonderful writer’s resource On Writing. In 2010 Kennedy shared the following advice with readers of The Guardian, published as part of a series  inspired to Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing.

1. Have humility. Older/more ­experienced/more convincing writers may offer rules and varieties of advice. ­Consider what they say. However, don’t automatically give them charge of your brain, or anything else – they might be bitter, twisted, burned-out, manipulative, or just not very like you.

2. Have more humility. Remember you don’t know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life – and maybe even please a few strangers.

3. Defend others. You can, of course, steal stories and attributes from family and friends, fill in filecards after lovemaking and so forth. It might be better to celebrate those you love – and love itself – by writing in such a way that everyone keeps their privacy and dignity intact.

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The Morland Scholarship for African Writers 2016

Applications are now open the Morland Writing Scholarship for 2016. Three scholarships of £18,000 (US $28,000) each will be awarded to fiction writers and one prize of £27,000 (US$42,000) will be awarded to a writer of non-fiction. The scholarship is open to writers who were born in Africa or whose parents were born in Africa.

About the Scholarship
This scholarship is sponsored by the Miles Morland Foundation. The foundation’s focus is culture and education with a particular interest in writing. Other projects supported by the foundation include literary festivals in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Somaliland, and the Caine Prize for African Writing.

The three successful fiction applicants will each receive a grant of £18,000, paid monthly over the course of the 2016 calendar year. The successful non-fiction applicant’s scholarship will be paid over a period of 18 months. All of the scholarship recipients will also have the opportunity to be mentored by an established author or publisher.

The scholarship is intended for writers who want to write a full-length book of 80,000 words or more. To this end, the writers will be asked to submit via email 10,000 new words every month until they have finished their book. The scholarship will terminate if a writer fails to submit the required work on time without prior authorisation.

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