- Making Soup in a Storm is out of print.
Soup requires ingredients and gives one a feeling of internal warmth. A storm results in movement that is remembered by any who experience it. As editors of New Writing Scotland 24, we were on the lookout for fresh linguistic ingredients that moved our emotions, engaged our intellect, and warmed us inside, believing that this is what the reader needs to have their attention captured and sustained. We hope the pieces we have selected will move you and be memorable.
The quest to fit submissions into the required criteria was both arduous and rewarding. Why arduous? Let’s look at statistics. Out of over 1150 submissions (830 poems, 320 short stories and three playscripts), each of us found fewer than 30 pieces of work, that, for us, hit the spot. Some pieces one editor favoured, other pieces the other editor favoured, some pieces we both found inspiring as is the nature of the process. So, roughly a four per cent acceptance rate of what we perceived to be the most successful writing.
For us this work stood out because it was well-structured, well-edited (in terms of punctuation, spelling and layout – yes, there are still a number of submissions that are lazily crafted and shoddily produced), had an original viewpoint, was capable of a precision of expression, had emotional sincerity and intellectual integrity.
The result was a total of 43 pieces being accepted, and that’s where the rewarding part came into it. To read work that engages and grabs your soul is indeed a pleasure. Work with strong Scottish connections and settings contrasted with far flung counter-weights that gave us the balance we desired. True, there were a fair number of pieces that came close to being accepted but after concentrated discussion and deliberation on the part of the editors, the contents of this anthology is the result. The integrity of our honesty in choices is all we can offer.
If you were accepted – congratulations! If you were rejected, we offer you our commiserations. Always remember, though, that our selections are only our perception of what worked for us. No more and no less. If you read this anthology and are moved then that is all we can ask for: the work will have done its job. As fellow writers, we appreciate you sharing your work with us. We do not say this glibly, as we know it’s a special engagement to be able to see new work produced and we value the importance of that part of the writing process.
To focus future submissions on quality rather than quantity, the next issue will have a submission criterion of one story or four poems. We challenge you to send us your best, finely honed and tightly tuned. Words that dance on the page and seek out our soul.
The next issue is number 25, a milestone in any publication’s existence. Let’s look to the future and make it one to remember and let’s savour the present, sit back, relax, and enjoy Making Soup in a Storm.
Click here for information on submitting work
to New Writing Scotland.
- Gregor Addison . . . . . Slipping Away
- Colin Begg . . . . . There is No Money in Poetry?
- Laura Bissell . . . . . And When I Opened My Eyes
- Norman Bissell . . . . . Lone Seal Travelling South / A Mackerel Sky
- Jim Carruth . . . . . The Big Mistake
- Ian Crockatt . . . . . Viking Spring
- Tracey Emerson . . . . . April
- Hazel Frew . . . . . Hungry Swans
- William Gilfedder . . . . . Diplomatic Coup over the Canapés
- Paul Gorman . . . . . Behind the Scenes at the Puppet Theatre
- Rody Gorman . . . . . Oisean / Tuath
- Charlie Gracie . . . . . Storm / On Carn Dearg
- Lis Lee . . . . . Pebble
- Joanna Lilley . . . . . Inukshuk
- Andrew McCallum . . . . . The Ballad O Paw Broon
- Stuart Robert Macdonald . . . . . Eclipse / Whilst I Was Away Across the Briny
- Frank McHugh . . . . . Home Comforts / Window Pain
- Martin G. MacIntyre . . . . . Samhainn aig BBC Breakfast / Briste no ’a Chiste?
- David S. Mackenzie . . . . . Tío
- Jane McKie . . . . . Medicine / Spite-Stake
- Iain S. MacPherson . . . . . Rathad na Beinne / Caoidh an Dèidh
- Lyn Moir . . . . . Shoreline
- Jacklin Murray . . . . . Belle’s Disco 1982
- Ronnie Nixon . . . . . Thyroid Eyes / Stewart Christ / Escalator
- Vix Parker . . . . . Making Soup in a Storm
- Mary Paulson-Ellis . . . . . The Story of the Boy Who’ll Not Have Done It
- Julia Rampen . . . . . Recycling
- June Ritchie . . . . . Pots of Gold
- Alison Swinfen . . . . . My Garden: a poem in three days / Light Catching
- Judith Taylor . . . . . Hallows
- Chiew Siah Tei . . . . . A Slice of the Mid-Autumn Moon
- Fiona Ritchie Walker . . . . . Sadie Writes a Note
- Jane Webster . . . . . The Woman in the Mirror
- Christopher Whyte . . . . . Do Pier Paolo Pasolini (English translation by Niall O’Gallagher)
- Sheena Williamson . . . . . The Chronicle of Heron
- Jim C. Wilson . . . . . The Next Poem / What’s Left
- Matthew Wright . . . . . Dance with Me
Last updated 10 June 2014.