What Guest Poetry Editor Gaynor Kane had to say about her experience…


Gaynor Kane 23 (1)

I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to be Guest Poetry Editor of this very special seasonal issue of The Bangor Literary Journal. I’d like to offer my thanks to Amy and Paul for everything they’ve done for me personally and for all they do for the writing community. The Bangor Literary Journal has become very successful very quickly and that’s down to their wonderful personalities, skill and dedication.

Acting as Guest Poetry Editor was daunting but something I was keen to do to help understand the submissions process from the editor’s point of view. I’ve been writing for four years and have been getting used to submitting to journals and learning to deal with the rejection emails. So, for all of you reading this who submitted but weren’t successful, I sympathise. I’ve been there, I understand the feeling and I know the questions you’ll be asking yourselves – like: is it a bad poem, was it not a good fit for the theme or publication, should I do a rewrite?

And I’m sure many editors would love to be able to give feedback, but having read these submissions I have a better understanding of how time consuming it is. What I can tell you is, that I found the majority of the poems to be well crafted and suitable for this Winter issue.

I was sent the poems in Word documents by Amy.  The poems remained anonymous and I was given numbers. I read each of the 127 poems sent to me (while Paul and Amy selected flash fiction, art and poetry which accounted for another 130 pieces) and gave them a score out of ten. More than 70 of the poems scored 7 or more, which demonstrates how many good pieces of writing there were. After another read through I long-listed 34 poems. I then went through the process of reading and scoring again. Then, I calculated the average of each score, to get the 15 shortlisted poems.

I am conscious, even more so now having gone through this process, that I prefer a certain style of writing. This means that I may have selected different poems from the ones that Amy and Paul would have picked. So, if you were not successful this year, hold on to them and send them out for other submission calls next year.

Whatever you do, keep writing.

I’d like to offer my congratulations to the selected poets. As I write this, I still don’t know who you are, but I’m excited to find out! There were several of the poems I was very envious of and wished I had written them myself. Well done to all of you!


About Gaynor Kane

Gaynor Kane has been published in journals and anthologies in the UK, Ireland and America. In 2018, Hedgehog Poetry Press published her micro-collection ‘Circling the Sun’. Her chapbook ’Memory Forest’ was released in December 2019. Gaynor is working towards her debut full collection, with thanks to an Arts Council NI grant.  Gaynor was the winner of The Seventh Annual Bangor Poetry Competition in 2019.

The Bangor Launch of Gaynor’s chapbook ‘Memory Forest’ takes place on 11th January 2020 at 1.30 pm in Bangor Carnegie Library. Everyone is most welcome to attend.


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