November 5, 2012
Waiting for ships, Brighton.
When one launches a ship, one surrenders responsibility to the waves. Once the vessel has disappeared over the horizon, it’s on its own. You’ve got to get on with life and other ventures until it either returns to port or news comes in that it hasn’t made it (admittedly and thankfully rare these days, but you get the picture).
And this is how I see writing projects I’ve sent off, as ships. Whether they be short-stories sent to competitions/magazines/anthologies, a funding application, chapters of my novel sent to an agent, a script sent to the Beeb, a script sent to a theatre – whatever, they’re all ships into which I’ve put all the skill and talent I’ve got. Once they’ve gone, it’s up to the seas of luck, taste, fashion and need to put them to the test and see whether they sink or come back to port laden with goods (acceptance/publication/a win/a short-listing etc..).
Last year I sent out a total of 61 ships. Some 20 returned to port with bounty, 41 never made it. For various reasons, I’ve been slightly less productive this year, but am doing my best to rectify this situation.
Thus, my stats thus far this year:
Ships sent out: 37
Ships sunk without trace: 17
Awaiting any news on 9 ships launched.
The year is not over and I intend to launch quite a few more ships before 2012 draws the curtain. It’s what keeps me going…
From Ireland, Sue Healy is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre, London, a full-time Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. Her book on theatre literary management is published by Routledge, December 2022.
Sue is an award-winning writer for stage, TV, and prose writer.
Her current project, a 6x60minute TV series, is under option. She is under commission with Lone Wolf Media, producers behind PBS’ “Mercy Street”, to co-write the pilot and treatment for a six-part TV series.
Her most recent stage-play, Imaginationship (2018), enjoyed a sold out, extended run at the Finborough and later showed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Her previous stage productions include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s short plays have been performed at the Criterion (Criterion New Writing Showcase), Arcola (The Miniaturists) and Hackney Attic (Fizzy Sherbet Shorts).
Her radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm.
Sue has won The Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award, Meridian Prize and has been published in nine literary journals and anthologies including: The Moth, Flight, Tainted Innocence, New Writer, Duality, HISSAC, New European Writers. She has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from annual artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy.
An academic with a PhD in modern theatre history, specifically the Royal Court Theatre, Sue has presented her research internationally. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She has a PhD in modern theatre history (Royal Court Theatre) and is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumnus.
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November 6th, 2012 at 23:50
I LOVE this analogy 🙂