August is shaping up to be quite a month. Not only will I be starting my classes in Bathgate, seeing the ancestors and seeing at the very least a world premiere of one of my favourite author’s plays, I will I think receive three magazines which have my poems in them.
All three are at different stages, and that I think says something very interesting about the state of writing and publishing in Scotland.
Possibly the first to arrive will be New Writing Scotland 30. It was a case of third time lucky for me with NWS, and I’m thrilled to have a poem on the back page due to my surname (and, of course, it’s masterful writing). “A Little Touch of Cliff in the Evening” runs to 336 pages, and includes prose and poetry from all of Scotland, in each of her three languages.
As you may have ascertained, this publication is celebrating thirty years of giving voice to the country’s writers. It is attached to the ASLS, which is in turn attached to the University of Glasgow.
Hot on its heels will be Gutter 7. Gutter came along at a time when there was a distinct shortage of magazines on mainland Scotland. Twice a year, it puts out a substantial volume of poetry and prose, from all over Scotland and further afield. This is apparently a “gay” Gutter, and whilst none of the four poems of mine it will carry are consciously gay, its golden cover will carry my words before influential and important eyes.
And last, but not least, I was invited around the turn of the year to contribute to Boo magazine. This will be the first ever issue. Magazines, and new magazines, are a crucial means for a writer to test their work and connect with a local, national or international audience. And in Scotland at the moment, existing magazines are thriving and new ones insist on popping up in various corners.
As it is, it’s a while since I put a magazine submission together. That’s because I’m working on something a little longer than six poems. Which is very exciting, and that’s all I’m prepared to say at the moment. But watch this space.