Greetings readers and happy spring,
The poems in this month's issue are by three writers new to Bywords and in some cases, new to having their work published: Sarah Snelling, Winnie Lui and Al Kizuk. I am always particularly pleased when new writers send their work in. I know firsthand that submitting one's creative work can be daunting. If you are a writer, I encourage you to do so.
Our mission is to treat writers and their work fairly and therefore we select poems based on the poem and not on the writer's publication history. This approach is beneficial to both emerging and experienced writers. At the same time we expect writers to act professionally by doing their research, reading the submission guidelines on the site, sending in a cover letter, including a short biography. This is essential and often overlooked.
The blind selection process means that readers experience a plethora of styles and see the range of writing Ottawa has to offer.
I'm excited this month about the upcoming Ottawa International Writers Festival which begins on April 22 at the Mayfair Theatre on Bank Street in Old Ottawa South. Of particular note to us, avid poetry readers, are the poetry cabarets featuring poets from across Canada reading from their latest works.
Note that the winners of the Think Ink Secondary School Poetry contest will also be reading at the start of the cabarets. You can read about the contest and the winning entries over at the news section of the site. If you attend, you will also be able to get an early copy of the spring Bywords Quarterly Journal at the festival book tables via Nicholas Hoare Books. The first, second and third prize recipients' poems will be in the issue. Go to www. writersfestival.org for more information and to get your tickets and passes.
Thanks to this month's selection committee
Claudia Coutu Radmore
Carol A. Stephen
If you have comments, questions or provocative discussions over coffee to offer, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
thanks, as always, for reading and supporting Bywords. and happy national poetry month!