This issue of Mslexia has a sense of writing to assert our place in the world, of writing through, and against, and leading our own revolutions.
In our lead article Natasha Carthew looks at the barriers faced by working class writers and, crucially, how we can work together to break them down (p8). Novelist Bethany Rutter explains why she’ll always write plus-size protagonists towards a better representation of fat people in fiction (p16). Julie Vuong chats to critically acclaimed author Yiyun Li about ‘writing from within’, and why research isn’t of the utmost importance when it comes to capturing the inner lives of your characters (p25).
And we have a vertiable smörgåsbord of fresh serial features: Lily Dunn looks at the healing potential of writing memoir (p60); Lucy Rose introduces us to the world of screenwriting for short films
(p81); Anna Vaught guides us through how to sustain a writing career as a vulnerable person (p59); and ALLi founder Orna Ross embarks upon the first in her column looking at the processes of publishing – and how to take them into your own hands as an indie author (p67).
So here’s to picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off and taking up space by any means necessary.
MAXINE DAVIES is Mslexia’s Production Editor. Her work has been shortlisted for the Spread the Word Life Writing Prize and the Creative Future Writing Awards, and has placed in the Reflex Flash Fiction Competition. In 2021 she was commended for the Laura Kinsella Fellowship, and was awarded DYCP funding from Arts Council England. She is currently working on a novel about landscape, motherhood and loss.
THE ROAD TO GETTING PUBLISHED AND BEING RECOGNISED FOR YOUR WORK IS MOSTLY A LONG, ROCKY AND ARDUOUS ONE NATASHA CARTHEW, P8
Forum 5 Poll; Writing nest;
Bear necessities; Blogability 6 What you’re saying;
What’s happening at the Mslexia Salon 7 #amwriting: Alice
Ash on writing while living with a musician Agenda 8 Natasha Carthew takes a look at the barriers faced by working class writers – and what we can do to overcome them Craft 15 Warm-up; Writing exercises; It works for me with Idza Luhumyo; Poet Laureate 16 Writing fatness:
Bethany Rutter on writing vibrant and stimulating fat characters 19 Poetry challenge,
with Linda France 20 Timepiece; Flash challenge, with
Meg Pokrass; Hannah
Lowe on metaphor in poetry 23 Story of your life,
with Catherine Cho Interview 25 Julie Vuong talks to Guggenheim Fellowship winner Yiyun Li Reading for writers 29 Breaking the mould,
with Yvonne BattleFelton; Books about writing 30 The knowledge:
‘witcherature’, with Julie Vuong 32 What’s new in poetry by Ellora Sutton 33 Indie in the news:
Out-Spoken Books 34 What’s new in short stories by Terri-Jane Dow 35 Indie in the news:
Saraband Showcase 38 Clare Pollard introduces her selection of poetry and short stories submitted on the theme of ‘keys’
56 2021 Pamphlet
Competition Winner Creativity & Wellbeing 57 Occult inspirations with Elizabeth Sulis Kim; Stephanie SyQuia’s Achilles’ heel 59 Negotiation notes for vulnerable writers, with Anna Vaught 60 Memoir and self-
healing, with Lily Dunn 61 Month on, month off:
Sophie Williamson on alternating intense writing with periods of doing nothing Career 63 Social media muses,
with Alice Slater 64 Book influencers:
Christy Ku explains how to work with social media influencers to get your book noticed 66 Proud to place, with agent Meg Davis; Louise Taylor’s portfolio career 67 Self-publishing, with
68 Noticeboard Opportunities 70 Open for submissions; Insight: The Galley Beggar Short Story Prize 71 Three of a kind:
parenting magazines 73 Insight: The ADCI
Literary Prize 75 Insight: Laura
Williams’ manuscript wishlist Off the page 77 The world’s wife;
Eyeverse 78 Bedtime story;
Breaking the mould, with Cecilia Knapp; Mslexia moth, with Molly Naylor 81 Making short films,
with Lucy Rose Events 82 Events and courses 83 Getting a gig:
Verbose Manchester And finally 89 Michaela Strachan’s bedside table 90 Submitting and subscribing to Mslexia
95 c o n t e n t s
3 CONTENTS / Mslexia / Sep/Oct/Nov 2022
I’ve been asked a couple of times if I’ll always write fat protagonists, and frankly the answer is yes BETHANY RUTTER p16
‘At my stage of career, for myself at least, the challenge is not to bore myself and not to write the same story twice’ YIYUN LI P25
I left the house untidy. I skimped on exercise, and said no to socialising and to lazy evenings on the sofa SOPHIE WILLIAMSON P61
With social media, your book could potentially be seen by millions of people CHRISTY KU P64