Writer Of The Week: Sylvia Smith

writer of the week

This week we’re talking to Writer Of The Week Sylvia Smith.

You can read Sylvia’s poem, “Mary’s Child”, in “The Fireside Book” 2021.

What inspired you to write “Mary’s Child” from this unique perspective?

I wanted to write a poem about Christmas, and it’s difficult to find a new angle on something about which so much has already been written.

It occurred to me to wonder what Mary’s thoughts might have been on gazing at her baby for the first time, a perspective I don’t remember having seen a poem about before.

Is poetry your favourite form of writing? Do you enjoy writing short stories and other forms, too?

Poetry isn’t my favourite, but I enjoy the challenge.

I haven’t had any success with free verse, so any poetry I write is in the traditional, rhyming format.

I write stories for small children and adults, and particularly enjoy writing humorous articles.

How do you know when a poem is ready to submit?

No magical formula. somehow it just reaches an end point that seems right!

What are your current writing projects?

I’m using lockdown time finishing my memoirs for the family, and have also written two children’s stories and two short stories for my writers’ group.

If you could sit down for a coffee with one of your favourite writers (from any time period), who would it be and what would you talk about?

It would have to be Harper Lee to discuss “To Kill a Mocking Bird”.

We could talk about her observations on racial equality at the time of her book, the 1930’s, when it was published in the 1960’s, and today.

Notebook and pencil or laptop? Kitchen table or study? Blank wall or inspiring view?

Desktop for me, at my desk, in my den. I’m lucky enough to have a window looking out over the fields.

P.S., What’s your top tip for an aspiring writer?

Not original, but always have a notebook handy to jot down ideas before you forget them (advice I don’t always follow, to my cost!).

For more from our Writer Of The Week series, click the tag below.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.