Artistic Statement
Writing Tips
watching the flight, of a space shuttle, on a cold winter night, & marvelling again, that there are people, inside, this bright light, that comes silently, out of the southwest, & behind, in the Northern sky, the seven stars, of Matariki, who guided the canoes, of hope, across the Pacific.
Writing Tips
Here are a few tips for your writing:

  1. Always start at the beginning! If you have an idea for a poem, write it down in a notebook or save to your computer. Give it a title – it will probably be the one you use when it is completed. Expand the poem as you think about it. Write all the details about the idea. If one detail catches your attention, expand it. You may find another idea will creep in to your thinking. Keep adding this content. I find that if you structure all these ideas into the format of a working poem, you will have a better idea of the completed result. Good luck!

  2. Submitting Poems:
    • Make sure you know the correct address of the magazine and make your comments brief.
    • Send only 3 to 5 short poems or a single longer one. Editors usually only have a limited time to read shorter poems and make judgements on these.
    • Most online magazines prefer you to send 3 to 5 works as MS Word compatible attachments.
    • If you are sending a letter of submission rather than sending an attachment online, make sure your name is typed in the top right corner of each poem.
    • In a separate letter to the Editor say: "Dear Sir, please find enclosed 3 poems for consideration in the (month) issue of your magazine". Keep the letter simple and list each poem with its title.
    • If you want your poems back, or to show the editor that you are a serious writer, add in the letter that you also enclose a stamped and self-addressed envelope for the return of the poems (making sure you have the correct postage).
    • Read the website of the magazine to give you an idea of the kind of poetry the editors prefer, and read other poets published by the magazine.
    • Always keep track of the poems you send and check them off when they are returned.
    • Avoid sending the same poems to two different magazines.
    • If the poems are not accepted, send them to another publisher as soon as you can.

  3. Make a list of literary magazines for yourself and save their websites. The following site has a list of New Zealand journals, ezines, and writers: www.zeroland.co.nz

  4. If you are submitting to a number of magazines, or applying for a grant, make a list of their deadlines and keep it posted up in your work area.

  5. Join or subscribe to a literary group. This may be a local or national group - for example The New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) www.authors.org.nz

  6. Read the work of other poets. You will gain an appreciation of the work of individual writers, an understanding of the depth of poetry in New Zealand, and the range of topics poets write about.

  7. Write your ideas into a notebook or hard cover book. If you have a good idea, write comments about it on your computer, give it a title and save. Work on this each day.

  8. When you think you have finished, read the poem aloud and then add changes. Remember that poetry is meant to be read aloud and that this could be the one you read at your first poetry reading.

  9. Finally, develop a programme of writing each day. Work on a poem or idea however simple it may be. If work is returned to you by a publisher, send it out immediately to another. Keep believing in the value of your writing.