SoA highlights poetry and short fiction across social media

Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.
How do you make a living from poetry? How do short story writers make any money at all? We discussed all this and more in our week-long dedication to poetry and short fiction as part of celebrations around the 2019 Society of Authors’ Awards, taking place on Monday 17 June.

© Tierney / Adobe Stock

Poetry Week

Our Poetry Week (3-9 June) focused on making a living as a poet: dealing with rates and fees, how to say no to free work, routes into publishing and other avenues that exist for making a living as a poet – such as teaching, writer-in-residence posts, workshops and grants.

On Wednesday 7 June we hosted a live Twitter Q&A on making a living in poetry, alongside poets Dean Atta, Anthony Anaxagorous, Drew Milne – one of this year’s Cholmondeley Award judges – as well as last year’s Eric Gregory Award winners Zohar Atkins and Jenna Clake. If you missed the Q&A, you can catch up here – we’ve also made it a Twitter Moment.

Plus, four of last year’s Eric Gregory winners spoke to us a year on from their win, and poet laureate Simon Armitage offered us a few words of advice on making a living through poetry:

If you’re intending to make a living from poetry you need to figure out what you’re selling. Your poems? Your books? Your voice? Your readings? (Your soul?). Then you need to practice, which will probably mean getting it wrong lots of times. Get it right by getting it wrong.

For poets looking for resources to making a living, check out our Poetry and Spoken Word Group (PSWG) and take advantage of our rates and fees page, and our free guides and articles.

Short Story Week

During 20-26 May, we focused on short fiction: how short is short? How do writers deal with competition fees? How do you spot the bad competition terms? (Check out this blog.)

We dealt with all this and more in our live Twitter conversation with short story writers and organisations, including ALCS, The Word Factory, Short Stops, and our ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award shortlistees past and present – Dima Alzayat, Niall Bourke, Kirsty Logan, Valerie O’Riordan and more – and last year’s runner-up Benjamin Myers.

To read the Q&A, catch up here – or check out our Twitter Moment.

You can also read our interview with last year’s ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award winner, Chris Connolly, as he discusses raising the profile of short fiction, dealing with rejection, and his top tips for writing and submitting short stories.

As always, you can contact us for tailored advice on all business aspects of writing, submitting or publishing poetry and short stories.