Elbow Room- contributors speak part two

Work, play, work, work, sleep. Eat, work, work, repeat, play.

Within these brief moments of play, my ‘Dead Woman Walking’ flash fiction (bordering on prose poetry) was published in Elbow Roomearly in 2017 and my photo-poem ‘From each tiny twig’ was one of the postcards produced by Elbow Room as part of the 5th birthday celebrations in 2017.

In some ways, my life has since developed on most of these fronts, but in different ways.

My poetry pamphlet How to Grow Matches (Against The Grain Press, 2018) was published at the end of March 2018, shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Awards 2018 and ‘His Secret Daughter’ from the pamphlet was Guardian Poem of the Week.

Mantle Lane Press also published my first short novella Kaleidoscope in April 2017 and the companion/sequel novella Always Another Twist came out in April 2018.

I’ve had other individual poem publications and successes in competitions, which I won’t list here – they’re on my website if people are interested.  I also joined the reviewing team at Riggwelter earlier this year.

My flashing life has been quieter and less busy. Although I’ve had a number of flash fictions published online since then, my personal writing time has been taken over by writing some creative non-fiction – essays and paid articles. Also, of course, marketing my books. (This actually eats quite a lot of the pie-chart left between work and sleep.) Much though I get self-conscious about the ‘Please buy one, it makes me smile and helps keep the publishers afloat and publishing other people’ side, it is true. And, of course, I also hope readers will like them!!!

The other side of this for me is my role as a publisher and editor at V. Press poetry and flash fiction imprint.  The press was shortlisted for The Michael Marks Publishers' Award 2017 and individual V. Press titles won or were shortlisted in awards in 2017/2018. I’m extremely proud of all V. Press authors and books!!!

I love photography and playing creatively with images, especially combining them with text. Earlier this year I started a small online journal LitWorld2 curating and combining photography with poetry and very short flash fiction – a fun counterbalance to my other work.  

Of course, on the opening list there’s two particularly important writing world things that I didn’t list – submissions and rejections. Let’s just say there haven’t been enough of the former and too many of the latter. A creative’s life:

Work, play, work, work, hope. 
Work, work, play, almost
give up. Play, work, work,
give in to the words.
Work, work, play, no sleep.
Work, work, no pay, keep
going…try to make
work play it my way.                     

A big thank you to Rosie and Zelda at Elbow Room and the very best to my fellow writers, artists, creatives between the Elbow Roompages/blogposts!

-S.A Leavesley