“Why I Write,” George Orwell

The pen name “George Orwell” was inspired by the River Orwell in the  county of Suffolk (England). Photo courtesy of Adrian Cable under C BY-SA 2.0 license.

George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair (1903 – 1950)

Why I Write” is an essay by George Orwell detailing his personal journey to becoming a writer. It was first published in the Summer 1946 edition of Gangrel. The editors of this magazine, J.B.Pick and Charles Neil, had asked a selection of writers to explain why they write.

Orwell, George (eigentl. Eric Arthur
engl. Schriftsteller,
Motihari (Indien) 25.1.1903 – London
Photo 1945., Public Domain

“What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience. Anyone who cares to examine my work will see that even when it is downright propaganda it contains much that a full-time politician would consider irrelevant. I am not able, and do not want, completely to abandon the world view that I acquired in childhood. So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information. It is no use trying to suppress that side of myself. The job is to reconcile my ingrained likes and dislikes with the essentially public, non-individual activities that this age forces on all of us.” MORE



SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Calls for Submissions, Contests, Events and Other Information and News


Opportunity Knocks

BLUE MESA REVIEW, A Literary Journal of the University of New Mexico general reading period runs through March 15 for fiction (up to 6,000 words), nonfiction (up to 6,000 words), poetry (up to three poems) and visual art. $5 fee for expedited review. $25 payment. Details HERE.

BLOOD IS THICKER: AN ANTHOLOGY OF TWISTED FAMILY TRADITIONS, an anthology to be published by The Canadians Authors Association and Iguana Books, is open or submission of fiction (3,000 – 7,5000) WORDS. The first line of the story must be: “It was February 29 again, and I was wondering which member of my family would try to kill me this time.” Canadian writers only. CAD $0.02 per word and a copy of the anthology. No entry fee. Deadline: February 28. Details HERE.

CUMBERLAND RIVER REVIEW is a publication of the department of English at Trevecca Nazarene University, in Nashville, Tennessee, which welcomes national and international writers and artists. Submissions of poetry, fiction, essays and nonfiction are accepted September through April. No submission fees. Details HERE.

DARKHOUSE BOOKS SANCTUARY “seeks poetry, flash, short fiction, and creative nonfiction reflecting the theme of sanctuary, refuge, shelter, or asylum, from the perspective of those offering, seeking, denying, or destroying it. From Bangladesh to the city animal shelter, all are welcome, as are all genres.” Submission period ends February 28 for this anthology. Payment is a percentage of royalties that is split among contributors. Details HERE.

DARKHOUSE BOOKS Shhhh… Murder! seeks “cozy to cozy-noir stories [2,500 – 5,000 words] featuring libraries and librarians. Extra points will be shamelessly awarded to writers with personal ties to libraries. (There need not be a murder in the story.)”  Submission period ends February 28 for this anthology.  Payment is a percentage royalties that is split among contributors. Details HERE.

EASTERN IOWA REVIEW has an open call for submission to its ” annual issue highlighting the lyric [and hybrid] essay and prose poem.” Essays up to 3,000 words. Reading period closes on March 31. No submission fee but a $3.50 “tip jar” for speedy response. Details HERE.

GEOMETRY, An International Literary Review, is published twice a year in both digital and print presentation and has an open call for submissions of  literary fiction (to 8,000 words), nonfiction (to 8,000 words), graphic narrative, art and poetry (up to fifty lines).  Deadline is April 1. Contributors are “paid anywhere between $10-$50 for poetry and 1-3 cents per word for fiction and nonfiction. Contributors will also receive one free copy of the printed journal.” No submission fees. Details HERE.

HAMILTON STONE REVIEW, an online literary magazine of Hamilton Stone Editions (press), is published twice yearly and is dedicated to featuring quality fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Details HERE. (scroll down)

SUBPRIMAL ARTS is published three-times a year.  The editor currently has an open call for submissions that closes on February 15 for the March issue. Works of interest are poetry, art, essay and book reviews. No payment for book reviews. Small payments for other work upon publication. No submission fee. Details HERE

SYCAMORE REVIEW,  a nonprofit publication of the arts is produced by Purdue University Department of English is open for submissions through March 31. The editors seek poetry, fiction, nonfiction and art.  Query for art and book reviews. Possible submission fee. Details HERE

THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be. Submissions for the March issue – themed Peace – closes on February 10 at 11:59 p.m. PST .

New rules: Please send text in the body of the email not as an attachment. Send photographs or illustrations as attachments. No google docs or Dropbox or other such. No rich text. Send submissions to bardogroup@gmail.com.

Publication is March 15th. Poetry, essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, art and photography, music (videos or essays), and whatever lends itself to online presentation is welcome for consideration.  No demographic restrictions.

Please read at least one issue and the Intro/Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines. We DO NOT publish anything that promotes hate, divisiveness or violence or that is scornful or in any way dismissive of “other” peoples.

The BeZine will be published on quarterly schedule in 2018 and for the foreseeable future:

  • March 2018 issue, Deadline February 10th. Theme: Peace.
  • June 2018 issue, Deadline May 10th. Theme: Sustainability
  • September 2018 issue, Deadline August 10th, Theme: Human Rights/Social Justice
  • December 2018 issue, Deadline November 10th, Theme: A Life of the Spirit

Suggestions for sub-themes are still being reviewed. Send yours to thebardogroup@gmail.com. (Current suggestions  include: domestic abuse, eckphrastic poetry, the meaning/importance of poetry, and restorative justice.)

The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. It is not a paying market but neither does it charge submission or subscription fees.

Previously published work may be submitted if you hold the copyright. Submissions from beginning and emerging artists as well as pro are encouraged and we have a special interest in getting more submissions of short stores, feature articles, music videos and art.

THE NEW QUARTERLY (TNQ) is a Canadian literary journal publishes short stories, nonfiction and poetry and is open for submissions (Canadians only) of fiction and poetry through February 28. No submission fee. Paying market. Details HERE.

THE SONDER REVIEW, based in upstate New York, seeks short fiction, creative nonfiction and visual art, for its journal published online and in print and is currently open for submissions. Short fiction guidelines HERE. Creative nonfiction guidelines HERE. Visual artworks guidelines HERE.


Opportunity Knocks

BLUE MESA REVIEW, A Literary Magazine of the University of New Mexico sponsors an annual contest for English-language poetry, fiction and nonfiction. The submission period is June 1 – August 31. Reading fee: $12. Cash award: $500. Details HERE.

EASTERN IOWA REVIEW sponsors The Mary Hunger Austin Book Award, the Lyric & Hybrid Essays & Prose Poetry Contest. Submission period ends on March 31,2018. Details HERE.

PRIVILEGE & IDENTITY ABROAD NARRATIVE WRITING CONTEST hosted by Entropy Magazine. The prompt for this contest is: “Describe a time when one of your privileges surfaced during your abroad experiences. In what moments did you hold power in these spaces? How and why did you realize your privilege in this instance and what did you do about it? How were you aware of your national identity, gender, race, etc. in contrast to where you were?” Length: 300-600 words. $150 award to first prize winner. Deadline: January 31, 2018. Details HERE.

SYCAMORE REVIEW 2018 FLASH PROSE CONTEST accepts submissions through February 15 for fiction or nonfiction up to 500 words. $5 submission fee. $100 cash award for first prize. Details HERE.

THE NEW QUARTERLY (TNQ) is a Canadian literary journal hosts The Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest with an award of $1,000 for the winning essay and a deadline of March 28; The Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest with an award of $1,000 for the winning poem and a deadline of February 28; The Peter Hinchfliffe Short Fiction Contest with an award of $1,000 and a deadline of May 28. Canadians only. Submissions fees: $40. Details HERE.


  • 2018 Massachusetts Poetry Festival, May 4-6 in Salem. Presenters include Sonia Sanches, Kaveh Akbar,Duy Doan, Jeffrey Harrison, Dorianne Laux,Erika Meitner and Carl Phillips. A small press and literary fair are included. Details HERE.
  • NEW YORK CITY POETRY FESTVAL held on Governor’s Island has not announced dates for 2018 but you can follow the website HERE for announcements.
  • SUNKEN GARDEN POETRY FESTIVAL, 2018, Sunday, May 27 from 5 p.m. – 8 pm EDT will be held at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT Details HERE.
  • Μια φορά κι ένα καιρό. Παραμυθο-αναγνώσεις στο ΘΕΣΙΣ 7  Eva Petropoulou Lianoy 22 January

Stephan Burt* will read from ADVICE FROM THE LIGHTS, on February 10th at Make-Out Room. Doors open at 6:30 PM. A reading with Angela Pneuman, Ellen Klages, and Molly Sauter. Tickets are $5-20 and can be purchased at the door. All proceeds benefit the Center for Sex and Culture.

“Stephen is sometimes Stephanie and sometimes wonders how his past and her past are their own collective memory

Advice from the Lights is a brilliant and candid exploration of gender and identity and a series of looks at a formative past. It’s part nostalgia, part confusion, and part an ongoing wondering: How do any of us achieve adulthood? And why would we want to, if we had the choice? This collection is woven from and interrupted by extraordinary sequences, including Stephanie poems about Stephen’s female self; poems on particular years of the poet’s early life, each with its own memories, desires, insecurities, and pop songs; and versions of poems by the Greek poet Callimachus, whose present-day incarnation worries (who doesn’t?) about mortality, the favor of the gods, and the career of Taylor Swift. The collection also includes poems on politics, location, and parenthood. Taken all together, this is Stephen Burt’s most personal and most accomplished collection, an essential work that asks who we are, how we become ourselves, and why we make art.” Publisher’s Statement

Accessible anytime from anywhere in the world:

  • The Poet by Day always available online with poems, poets and writers, news and information.
  • The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, online every week (except for vacation) and all are invited to take part no matter the stage of career (emerging or established) or status (amateur or professional). Poems related to the challenge of the week (always theme based not form based) will be published here on the following Tuesday.
  • The Poet by Day, Sunday Announcements. Every week (except for vacation) opportunity knocks for poets and writers.
  • THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be – always online HERE.  
  • Beguine Again, daily inspiration and spiritual practice  – always online HERE.  Beguine Again is the sister site to The BeZine.


YOUR SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS may be emailed to thepoetbyday@gmail.com. Please do so at least a week in advance.

If you would like me to consider reviewing your book, chapbook, magazine or film, here are some general guidelines:

  • send PDF to jamiededes@gmail.com (Note: I have a backlog of six or seven months, so at this writing I suggest you wait until June 2018 to forward anything. Thank you!)
  • nothing that foments hate or misunderstanding
  • nothing violent or encouraging of violence
  • English only, though Spanish is okay if accompanied by translation
  • your book or other product  should be easy for readers to find through your site or other venues.



PLEASE do not mix the communications between the two.

Often information is just thatinformation – and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications or other organizations featured in my regular Sunday Announcements or other announcements shared on this site. Awards and contests are often (generally) a means to generate income, publicity and marketing mailing lists for the host organizations, some of which are more reputable than others. I rarely attend events anymore. Caveat Emptor: Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products, paying fees or attending events et al.




there is always spring , a poem

times are

the canvas of your life weeps
it is a call to rest ~
to rest
to meditate
to wait …

for spring, a benediction
please listen …
there is always spring

this week
clouds swelled
burst into tears
overflowed into creeks and rivers
crashed into roofs and trees

but you’re still here
a survivor!



nothing lasts forever
not even this

© 2018, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved.


May 22 Literary Gala to Honor Stephen King and Celebrate Free Speech and the Power of Words to Bridge Divides

I thoroughly enjoyed  Stephen King on Writing, A Memoir of the Craft. Entertaining. Practical. Down to earth. Recommended.

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well.” Stephen King

PEN America will honor legendary suspense writer Stephen King with the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award at its annual Literary Gala on May 22 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. PEN America confers the Literary Service Award each year to a critically-acclaimed writer whose body of work helps us understand and interpret the human condition, engendering empathy and imagination in even the darkest hours.

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide best-sellers and many—including such classics as It, The Stand, The Dark Tower, Misery, Lisey’s Story, 11/22/63, On Writing, Under the Dome, and many more—providing the basis for major motion pictures and serving as cultural hallmarks for generations.

Among King’s many accolades are the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the 2014 National Medal of Arts presented by Barack Obama. His depictions of horror and violence have also earned him a title as one of the most banned or challenged authors in recent decades.

King is an impassioned advocate of freedom of expression, literacy, and access to information, which he and his wife Tabitha support through their philanthropy.

King’s Haven Foundation provides unique and generous support to writers and other freelancers in the arts who have suffered personal hardship.

Stephen King’s outspoken defense against encroachments on free speech and pointed public criticism of policies that infringe on this and other rights have resulted in his being blocked by President Trump on Twitter.

Can be pre-ordered HERE.

Scribner will release King’s newest novel, The Outsider, on May 22, the day of the PEN America award presentation.

“No stranger to the dark side, Stephen King has inspired us to stand up to sinister forces through his rich prose, his generous philanthropy, and his outspoken defense of free expression,” said author Andrew Solomon, president of PEN America. “Stephen has fearlessly used his bully pulpit as one of our country’s best-loved writers to speak out about the mounting threats to free expression and democracy that are endemic to our times. His vivid storytelling reaches across boundaries to captivate multitudes of readers, young and old, in this country and worldwide, across the political spectrum. He helps us all to confront our demons—whether a dancing clown or a tweeting president.”

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll have to link through to the The Poet by Day site to view it: Creative Writing Lessons: Creative Writing Tips from Stephen King.

Courtesy of Stephen King, photo credit Shane Leonard

STEPHEN KING (b. 1947) is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies.  King has published over fifty novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman, and six non-fiction books. He has written around 200 short stories, most of which are in book collections. Mr. King’s Amazon page is HERE.

His novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption was the basis for the film The Shawshank Redemption widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It was in fact voted the greatest film of all time by Empire magazine readers in “The 201 Greatest Movies of All Time” poll in March, 2006. 

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. PEN America’s mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.