Archive for the ‘Angela Topping’ Category


Some good advice from Angela Topping for young poets.

Angela Topping

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I originally wrote this resource for some A level students I was delivering workshops for in Lancashire, but I decided to give it a wider readership. When I was a teacher, I encouraged my students to submit their work to magazines and competitions, and relished seeing their confidence improve. But although there are many oportunities for your poets, not all young people are aware of them. The advice below will apply to oder poets as well, but I have focused it towards youth. At a later stage I will collate similar information for other groups.

All magazines and journals have websites, so it is easy to glean information about them. If possible read them. If you can’t afford to subscribe, source them at the library.
Postal submission: send no more than 6 poems, with your name and address on every page and an SAE big enough to hold all the…

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An excellent and inspirational article about never giving up and encouraging the next generation of poets.

Angela Topping

When I was a young poet, inexperienced and clueless about publishing, I used to read poetry widely, discovering and taking home books from Widnes library to devour at my leisure. I kept a folder of poems which I could not live without: when I had to return the books, I’d copy out my favourite ones. I still have this file. The poems in it all helped to tune me in to the craft.

I was writing seriously from the age of 14, and used to put together collections of my poems, all neatly copied out, and get people to read them. I was fond of saying to my readers: ‘is THIS a poem?’ ‘And THIS?’ I was published in the school magazine. I made all the usual mistakes that teens often do: big words, portentous style, abstractions. But I kept at it. I was highly commended in a W. H…

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Another great blog I have discovered recently by Angela Topping. Some very good tips on editing your poetry here.

Angela Topping

Since this is a new year, I decided to share my most recent set of rules for editing. I never worry about rules when I am writing a poem; I believe in letting the poem do its thing. But editing a poem is a different matter and requires a different set of skills. These rules come from what I have noticed what flaws there often are in my first drafts.

Angela’s Rules:

1) Watch out for tautology

2) Take care to avoid unknowing repetition

3) See whether you need ands, yets, buts and articles

4) Let the darkness in

5) Don’t be scared, say what you really mean

I devised this version of them after the recent Lumb Bank course with David Morley and Caroline Bird, a course which made me braver in my work. I do recommend their work, and also the work of Liz Berry, whose enchanting collection…

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