In a world where blockbuster novels can become blockbuster film releases almost overnight and poets have the same social media followings as pop stars, life as a working writer may seem like a lucrative- not to mention Romantic – career move…But what’s the reality?

In this frank discussion, join poet and publisher Anthony Anaxagorou and fellow working writers, novelist Stephen May and director/ dramaturg Alex Chisolm as they unravel the Romantic myths and misconceptions that surround writing as a career, to offer solid practical advice and first hand insight, on how to ‘make it’ and ‘make a living’ using the written and spoken word.

About The Authors

Anthony Anaxagorou headshot

Anthony Anaxagorou

Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. His poetry has been published in POETRY, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, New Statesman, Granta, and elsewhere. His work has also appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio 4, ITV, Vice UK, Channel 4 and Sky Arts.  

His second collection After the Formalities published with Penned in the Margins is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2019 T.S Eliot Prize along with the 2021 Ledbury Munthe Poetry Prize for Second Collections. It was also a Telegraph and Guardian poetry book of the year.  

In 2020 he published How To Write It with Merky Books; a practical guide fused with tips and memoir looking at the politics of writing as well as the craft of poetry and fiction along with the wider publishing industry. 

He was awarded the 2019 H-100 Award for writing and publishing, and the 2015 Groucho Maverick Award for his poetry and fiction. In 2019 he was made an honorary fellow of the University of Roehampton. Anthony is artistic director of Out-Spoken, a monthly poetry and music night held at London’s Southbank Centre, and publisher of Out-Spoken Press.

His forthcoming poetry collection Heritage Aesthetics will be published by Granta in 2022. 

Stephen May

Stephen May is the author for four novels including Life! Death! Prizes!, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and TAG, winner of the Media Wales Readers’ Prize. His latest novel is the acclaimed literary thriller Stronger Than Skin (Sandstone Press).


Photograph: Jonathan Ring