3:AM Magazine

3:AM Magazine is an online journal of radical literature and philosophy. Featuring literary criticism.’Whatever it is, we’re against it. Since 2000.’

Submissions: All writers should  contact a relevant editor according to the subject fields listed on their contacts page — one query per piece per editor, please! – contact details at https://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/submissions/

Co-Editor-In-Chief: Andrew Gallix
Editors: Josephine Schreiber (criticism and non-fiction), SJ Fowler (poetry), Sylvia Warren, Isabella Streffen (contributing)


3AM: Magazine

3AM: Magazine


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Publishers and Indie Bookshops) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

NaNoWriMo 2023

Journal

Journal

For years I’ve always found the thought of NaNoWriMo quite intimidating and was put off by the sheer amount of words that have to be produced in a month, but then I’ve put off the idea of writing in general as I am so nervous of committing to writing anything over and above a blog post here and there, a couple of hundred words on something that is external to me.

I’ve quite happily put book reviews, film reviews, thoughts on art history, and lots of other subjects out into the world as these have been flow of consciousness types of writing, no planning and only a few paragraphs long, but I’ve never committed to putting down my own ideas in the form of stories, poetry, or other forms of writing which require more thought and polishing.

I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo in 2023, but under my own terms, I’m going to use the month (and the year preceding it) to commit to the idea of writing.

I’ve accumulated loads of books and links over the years. I will be using these and the NaNoWriMo community to help me embed writing as a habit over the year leading to November 2023 so that it is easier to continue this once the month is over.

So I’m going to try and write, or explore something to do with writing, every day.

This may be actual writing itself, or it could be watching a Youtube video, or other media and thinking about it, jotting down some notes and reflecting on what I’ve been told and learned.

Or it may be responding to a writing prompt from somewhere, reading about writing in one of the many books I have on the subject, jotting down ideas, writing a poem or a drabble, expanding a character profile, working on world building for an RPG setting, anything, but it will be to do with the craft of writing and whatever it produces will go onto this blog, it may be private for me as it is about learning, but there will be tons of random posts on here.

In anticipation of starting this journey I treated myself to a Paper Republic XL Traveller’s Journal so will see lots of that in various photographs I put up on the blog.

I’m really looking forward to this journey as it feels I’ve been building up to it for years.

(this post was originally at http://www.stephenbaird.org.uk/2022/12/15/nanowrimo-2023/ which I was going to use as my writing blog, but I’m just going to use here as well as for everything else to save me hassle)


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Publishers and Big Bearded Bookseller) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Ana Sampson – Q&A

Ana Sampson

Ana Sampson

Ana has been editing poetry anthologies since 2009, when I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud and Other Poems you Half-Remember from School was the third bestselling poetry title that year. More recently she has edited two volumes of poetry by women, She is Fierce and She Will Soar, a collection of poetry about motherhood, Night Feeds and Morning Songs, and Wonder: The Natural History Museum Poetry Book.

She has contributed articles to books including Writers’ Market UK and The Book Lover’s Companion and to newspapers and magazines, and talked about poetry and publishing at literary festivals, bookshop events, at libraries, in schools and online. Ana has also appeared on television and radio talking about books, poetry and teenage diaries. She lives in Surrey with her husband, two daughters, two demanding cats, and far too many books.

Ana can be found at:
Website: www.anasampson.co.uk
Twitter: @AnaBooks
Instagram: @anabooks
Newsletter: www.anasampson.co.uk/newsletter-signup

How long do your books take to put together?

Editing my first anthology I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud and Other Poems You Half-Remember from School took a few months – I was working full time so had to fit my poem hunting into evenings and weekends. I also researched and wrote biographies of the poets – I wanted to include the most interesting and quirky facts about their lives – which was time-consuming but fascinating. I loved learning that Edward Lear built his new house in an exact replica lay-out of his old house so as not to confuse his tailless cat, Foss, and that G K Chesterton was so forgetful that his longsuffering wife had to redirect him via telegram when he took the train to the wrong town. Other books have fitted around my day job in various ways so it’s quite varied timewise.

Do you have a writing playlist? If so do you want to share it?

Just the soft snoring of my cats.

What’s the favourite reaction you’ve had to your book?

A teacher told me that she had bought copies of She is Fierce as leaving gifts for all her students as they went on to college and I was so moved. It was during covid, and they had really had a difficult final year, and she thought the poems would prove inspiring talismans for them. It was everything I ever dreamed for one of my collections and such an honour.

What can you tell us about your next book?

Not too much yet but it will be a collaboration with someone I HUGELY admire!

Do you take notice of online reviews?

Yes, if they’re kindly! It means a lot to me when people find a poem they love in one of my books but I tried not to worry about the person who gave my book one star on Amazon because it arrived late for a birthday…

Would you ever consider writing outside your current genre?

I’d love to fill a book with my own writing one day although I don’t think I have the imagination for fiction…

What did you do before (or still do) you became a writer?

I’ve worked in publishing as a publicist for over twenty years. I’ve been lucky enough to work on a very broad range of books – from literary fiction and serious history books to celebrity autobiographies, business books, humour, cook books, general non-fiction, children’s titles and even adult colouring books. It’s a very busy but a very interesting job that I love.

Which genres do you read yourself?

Apart from poetry I have a particular soft spot for historical fiction.

What will always distract you?

Sadly, picking up my phone to read something much less lovely than poetry. Since I mostly work at home, laundry too.

How much (if any) say do you have in your book covers?

It has varied from publisher to publisher but luckily I have always been very lucky in my cover designers!

Were you a big reader as a child?

Yes, I was never happier than when I had my nose in a book and I imagine it was pretty difficult for my parents to get me to do anything else!

What were your favourite childhood books?

I devoured the books in our local library where I discovered some of my favourites including Susan Cooper, Alan Garner and Ursula le Guin. I read and re-read The Chronicles of Narnia and my all-time favourite book was The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones. I read it to my children quite recently and was relieved I still loved it every bit as much.

Do you have a favourite bookshop? If so, which?

It’s hard to choose a favourite but I have to mention both The Haslemere Bookshop, a gorgeous shop who have been so supportive of my books and always have excellent recommendations, and Word on the Street in Ashtead, my newish wonderful local bookshop.

How many books are in your own physical TBR pile?

It’s far too many and it would take me half the day to count them all!

What is your current or latest read?

I am reading the manuscript for Tom Rachman’s The Imposters, published next year, which I’ll be working on the publicity campaign for. He is an incredible writer although I haven’t quite forgiven him for making me miss my train stop because I was so engrossed in his last novel (the Costa-shortlisted The Italian Teacher).

Any books that you’re looking forward to in the next 12 months?

Katherine Rundell is a marvel – I read Rooftoppers to the kids and fell absolutely in love with it, and her biography of John Donne was tremendous. She has just announced a children’s fantasy trilogy called Impossible Creatures and the first book will be published next September. Cannot wait. I’m also looking forward to Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety which I’m hoping I’ll find under the Christmas tree (because I have too much reading for work to do before Christmas!)

and finally, what inspired you to publish in the genre you do?

I just think poets are magicians. They take my breath away all the time. It’s absolutely incredible to share a poem with readers knowing that it will mean something unique to them, in the same way that songs have different associations for us all, coloured by our own memories, needs and obsessions. What an amazing privilege it is to do this, I’m incredibly grateful.


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Publishers and Big Bearded Bookseller) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Manorism

Yomi Ṣode. Penguin. (128p) ISBN 9780141998572

Manorism

Manorism

I was sent this out of the blue by some lovely marketer at Penguin Books and thank you whoever that marketer was as I loved this collection of poetry/works by Yomi Ṣodi.

As always I’m always in awe of poets and writers who bare all to the public in their work, but this is an especially personal journey through the life of a young black man in London and the death of an important matriarch and the emotions that erupt from both of these circumstances.

Initially I found this difficult due to some of writing being Yoruba, but after exploring the nuance of the words I didn’t know and getting a better idea of the contextual use of some of the phrases and how adaptable they were, I found the rhythm and heart of the writing stunning.

Entwining chapters about the violence that Caravaggio consistently displayed and got away with, and the violence expressed against black bodies that is constantly got away with, exploring different cultures and diasporas, different generations, white expectations of black bodies, behaviours men are meant to display and what men still feel under all the braggadocio.

Stunning writing full of passion and anger, an awe inspiring exploration of self and culture that shines the light on places we don’t always want to explore.


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Publishers and Big Bearded Bookseller) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.