A Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

Welcome to our twenty-sixth issue.

It is always heart-warming to share in the successes of past contributors to StepAway Magazine. Rarely a week goes by without me receiving news that a writer that we have published is preparing for a book launch or has received an award. I’m often contacted by writers asking for advice on finding a literary agent. It is difficult to answer such a question, or recommend any one individual, simply because the right agent for one writer may be completely wrong for another. It is important that the agent is in a position to champion the manuscript, and this comes from having a passion for what the writer does, and shared interests. Finding the right agent is difficult. And for this reason, I thought it would be helpful to share a link to Agent Hunter.

Agent Hunter lists every literary agent in the UK, providing contact info, biographies, literary preferences and submission requirements for each. A publisher search is also available. It is perhaps rather out of character for me to endorse online literary services as part of my editorial. However, I found Agent Hunter to be such a powerful and useful search tool, that I felt it important to share the site with other writers. I particularly appreciate the manner in which the target genres of each agent are clearly listed, along with the authors and books the agent admires. This, in my opinion, is essential information when trying to target an agent with whom the writer can truly connect. The search for an agent is a daunting process, and in many respects Agent Hunter succeeds in making literary agencies more transparent and approachable to writers. I hope this is of some help.

Our winter issue marks the return of several excellent writers who have an ongoing connection with StepAway Magazine alongside some exciting new voices. It is particularly satisfying to open the issue with Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon’s “Strangers in Newcastle,” a poem set in StepAway‘s home city, and also feature a striking cover photograph entitled “The Walk,” taken by local photographer Jonathan Bradley on Newcastle’s Quayside. This photograph is part of The Ephemerids collection, a series of hand-processed and printed images using traditional black and white photography techniques. It is available to purchase via Crimson Tiger.

What struck me about this issue was the way it begins in Newcastle and then moves rapidly outwards, visiting Sicily, Beirut, Lagos and Dallas, to name but a few far-flung locations. One of this month’s contributors commented that the issue was ‘a trip’ and it inspired travel. It’s good to know that StepAway is on the right path. So, without further delay, let these ten talented writers lead you:

O-Jeremiah Agbaakin, Quinn Byrne, Richard W. Halperin, Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon, Ann Howells, Ilona Martonfi, Jimmy O’Connell, Freya Marshall Payne, Ilse Pedler and Spencer Smith.

I hope that you enjoy reading this, our twenty-sixth issue, and may I again say a heartfelt thank you to our contributors and readers for your continuing support.

Yours faithfully,

Darren Richard Carlaw