Some acceptances and some forthcoming readings

Every time I post here, my tagline is a reminder that I used to write poetry AND short fiction but, for the last year, I’ve thrown my heart and soul into reading and writing poetry.  I don’t know if I’ll ever write fiction, even very short fiction, again.  I certainly want to even though my head is currently poetry filled.  Recently, though, I’ve been struggling to make progress with writing several poems and I’m wondering if perhaps they are pieces of fiction, or even plays, and not poems at all.

But that’s not the main point of this post which is to tell you that I’ve added a Readings page to this blog since I’ve been invited to read at four forthcoming events – I hope there will be more and I will keep the page updated.

I also have some submissions news.  My poem Stephen Lawrence isn’t on the National Curriculum was published in the Morning Star newspaper and can be read here.

M star

I’d no idea that this poem had been accepted because there was a mix up in communications over the holiday season but I was contacted by a kind Morning Star reader who wrote to me via Facebook Messaging to tell me that he admired my poem. Unfortunately the Morning Star’s website is still being re-developed so the poem isn’t available to read online there (yet) but I’ve managed to share it using various social media networks and an iPhone photograph. I’ll add the link to my Credits page once it’s live online.

The poem came about at the end of 2012 when two men were found guilty of Stephen Lawrence’s murder in 1993 (some details about the case here) and I was trying to explain events surrounding the murder to my son, who was ten at the time.   I sent the poem out to various magazines and competitions but it was always rejected until Jody Porter, Poetry Editor at Well Versed, the poetry section of the Morning Star, accepted it.

I had also included the poem in my submission of 24 poems to Templar‘s Poetry Pamphlet Competition so I was delighted when Alex McMillan from Templar wrote to tell me that he would like to include it in a forthcoming anthology of best poems submitted to the competition.

I’m proud that this poem will be published in several places and I hope that more people learn about and remember Stephen Lawrence.

 The parents of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence


  1. Congratulations Josephine. I’ve also had a couple of poems selected by Templar and hoping to get to the festival (work commitments allowing). Looking forward to the winning pamphlets.


    1. Thanks, David and congratulations to you, too.


  2. Congratulations on your publishing successes and upcoming reading opportunities.


    1. Thanks, David. The poem means a lot to me and I’m so grateful to the editors who’ve published it.


      1. It’s a powerful piece.


  3. Congrats, Josephine. A moving poem, beautifully done


    1. Thanks, Valerie. It’s an important poem to me and I’m glad I kept it sending it out there.


  4. god I love the poem, big congrats for it being accepted :) xx


    1. Thanks, Jay. Some poems matter more to us than others, I know that this one means a lot to me.


  5. jaynestanton · · Reply

    Congratulations, Josephine! It’s a great feeling when poems that mean a lot to us find a good home.


    1. Thanks for your kind words, Jayne.


  6. Fantastic, Josephine – I saw your poem on Facebook – it’s very strong, very moving – congratulations on the Morning Star and the Templar anthology too.


    1. Thanks very much, Robin.


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