WE'RE 20 YEARS OLD! Yes, get your party hats on as Issue 81 celebrates 20 years of Mslexia, with Debbie Taylor's Agenda looking back on our tiny attic-room roots, and the steep learning curve that was (and sometimes still is) getting this vital magazine out into the world.
Our three features look at the causes of mslexia, as identified by Debbie in 1999. How much, if anything has changed in the intervening year? Kerry Hudson writes about trying to get a fair reading of one’s work during the climb up the publishing ladder, Angela Readman takes on the confidence gap and Aki Schilz has the figures on how we ever manage to make time to write in the first place. Andwe include a bonus feature from the Very First Issue: Susie Orbach on how we dare to carry on despite these hindrances.
And as if that’s not cause enough for celebration, we announce the winners of our Short Story, Flash Fiction and Poetry Pamphlet Competitions! Read the winning entries (not for the squeamish, they’ll blow your socks off, we promise!) and get a glimpse into our judges’ thoughts as they read your entries. And as always, read the winning entries to our short submission slots, including a breathtaking elegy for Chris Cornell, as selected by Linda France.
Looking for insight into your favourite writers? V E Schwab chats to Laura Steven about power, ambition, and channelling her dark side into her bestselling novels; and short story superstar Nicole Flattery talks to Danuta Kean about the publication of her first collection; Annie George discusses how she made her mark in scriptwriting; and Booker Prize shortlisted writer Fiona Mozley tells us her Achilles’ heel.
And of course, as always, the magazine is absolutely packed with all sorts of practical advice: check out our new series on literary podcasts and songwriting, our experts’ views on your First Pages and Pitches, our massive directory of competitions and events, and sneaky insights into how to get the most out of your competition entry or grant application.