Beating the Post-MA Motivational Slump – Poetry


Elaine Mary Stabler collates a selection of opportunities for post-grad poets


Oh, what’s a poet

to do, without the MA

crew? Let me tell you …


Cheesy haikus aside, it’s no secret losing your creative community after graduation can affect your motivation to write. Luckily, MIR have rounded up a selection of ideas and opportunities for post-graduation poets.

London Lit Lab

The London Lit Lab is well known amongst creative Birkbeck grads. Their post-MA sessions focus specifically on maintaining your writing momentum, getting your manuscript finished and taking those next steps towards publication. The best part, writers of all forms, including poets, novelists, and non-fiction writers are welcome to join.

Sessions will be chaired by Zoe Gilbert. To ask questions or reserve a place, get in touch with



As a poet, sharing your work with a live audience can be at once anxiety-inducing, exhilarating, and ultimately, if you’re a serious poet, unavoidable. Back in March, a new platform for underrepresented writers launched with series of live events. Ironically titled, Untitled, the platform ‘aims to promote and nurture underrepresented writers through a series of reading events with a live audience, all in a safe and intimate space’ (The Bookseller, 2019). The next event is taking place on 18th July. There are no limitations to what might be shared (horary for you experimental poets!). To find out more about Untitled, including events, salons, workshops and sign ups, email


The Poetry Café

‘A place to create and connect’, The Poetry Café (located in the heart of Covent Garden) describes itself as, an independent vegetarian café encompassing a buzzing performance venue; a quiet place to write, and a spot-lit place to perform. Poets looking to share work or pick up some inspiration can attend the regular Poetry Unplugged, the venue’s premier open mic night, or sign up for one of their semi-regular workshops. The next workshop, Small Business, BIG Results! is tailored specially towards getting the most out of your freelance career (ahem, all of us) and is definitely not to be missed.


Canada Water Creative Writing Group

Workshops and readings can be great for short-bursts of motivation and inspiration. But recreating a writing community from these one-off events can be tricky. Luckily, London is thriving with communities of writers and poets. The Canada Water Creative Writing Group has been specifically promoted by the National Poetry Library. The group meets every four weeks, on a Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm, to support each other’s writing and share inspiration and opportunities. New members are always welcome. Contact Wes White for details.


Playwriting for Poets

And if all of that wasn’t enough, if you’ve come to the end of your MA and you’re thinking – what was I thinking, poetry isn’t for me! Dr Helen Eastman, the founding director of Live Cannon is offering a 12-week, online course is designed for poets who want to experiment with writing for the theatre. Created at the suggestion of several poets, the course bridges the gap between theatre and poetry, whilst offering up another chance to continue the ‘course environment’ complete with assignments and deadlines. How’s that for maintaining momentum. More information available here.


In addition to the above, there are heaps of websites and resources available to poets looking to continue investing their time and energy in their work, including:


National Poetry Library

Including details on events and exhibitions, and competitions.

The Poetry Society

For poetry news, projects, workshops, competitions, and The Poetry Review.

Poetry London Mentoring Scheme

Due to reopen in summer 2019, for the chance to obtain one year of free one-to-one mentoring from leading poets, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Fenton Arts Trust and the Arts Council Catalyst matched funding scheme.

Poetry School

Self-defined as the UK’s largest provider of poetry education, from inspiring tuition to ways to share work with other supportive poets.

Barbican Poetry

Home to the Barbican Young Poets and beyond, with details of events, workshops, talks and discussions.





Elaine Mary Stabler is a writer, poet, and bookseller based in Oxford.


18 July 2019