Explore the financial side of life as a working poet, under the expert guidance of published poet and freelance financial journalist, Emma Simon.
‘Money is a kind of poetry’ – Wallace Stevens
This course offers practical guidance when it comes to the money-side of being a freelance or part-time poet, alongside the opportunity to engage creatively with this essential but often under-explored aspect of our everyday lives.
Using a number of example poems we’ll dive into our often complex relationship with money, explore ideas of ‘magical thinking’ around money, and think about how we use money to ascribe value to different activities. Money doesn’t just buy material things, it also buys us time, and, perhaps, other more abstract qualities like confidence. What does it mean to be paid for a poem for example – does this affect our own perception of our work? How might class and privilege affect how we think about money? Money makes you rich, but how else might we have a rich writing life?
Wallace Stevens – who was an executive in an insurance company – said ‘money is a kind of poetry’. In this afternoon session we’ll interrogate this claim, and look at poems that mine this overlap. Both money and poetry have a symbolic or hard-to-define quality – a £10 note is after all just a piece of paper (or plastic these days!), but those words ‘I promise to pay the bearer… ‘ gives it its value. Are successful poems operating in a similar way, promising to deliver much more than just the literal meaning of the words on the page?
On the practical side we will cover a number of areas, which will include looking at where to apply for funding and grappling with application forms, to managing our own finances as a freelance poet: do you have to pay tax on royalties and competition winnings for example, and are poetry books considered a legitimate expense?
We’ll discuss what working as a poet really means. Are there any poets making money and how do they do it? We’ll look at juggling full-time work with part-time poetry, and explore other poetry-related avenues that might provide an income alongside the writing.
The course is run by Emma Simon, a published poet who is also a freelance financial journalist. There will also be the opportunity for attendees to ask specific (anonymised) questions regarding managing money as a poet, which will result in a practical Q&A that will be sent to all attendees afterwards.
There are 2 options for attending this session, with it running in-person at Somerset House (2.30 to 5pm on 4 March), or on Zoom (6 to 8.30pm on 7 March). You can choose which option you would prefer at the next stage of the booking process.
This session is part of our CPD series Inspiration to Invoicing: Business Skills for Poets, the full schedule for which you can see below:
Everything But the Writing: Balancing Poetry Life with Jane Commane – 18/21 February
Don’t Duplicate, Diversify: Networks & Activism with Hannah Hodgson – 18 February
Rooting Yourself: Creative & Peer Support, with Caleb Parkin & Nathalie Teitler – 25/28 February
Shop Front: Building A Poet’s Profile with Dzifa Benson – 25 February / 2 March
Forms: Finance, Funding & Not-Getting Rich Quick with Emma Simon – 4/7 March
Being Busy, or Making Progress? Professional Support with Nick Makoha – 4/9 March
To book one or multiple specific sessions, please click the session(s) you would like to attend in the list above and add them to your basket. If you attend multiple sessions in the series, you will receive a bundle discount, with a lower per session cost the more you sign up for. Here are the bundle pricing options:
1 session: £50
2 sessions: £95
3 sessions: £135
4 sessions: £170
5 sessions: £200
6 sessions: £225
Please purchase the sessions you would like to attend, and we will refund you the difference between the full cost you have paid and the bundle pricing within two weeks of your booking. Alternatively, please contact us directly by emailing [email protected] to arrange payment for a bundle pricing option.
Our concessionary discounts are also available on all bundle options. To apply for a concession, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility to [email protected] Conditions of eligibility are detailed here.
If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected]
Image Credit: Markus Winkler
About Emma Simon View Profile
Emma Simon has published two pamphlets, The Odds (Smith|Doorstop, 2020) and Dragonish (The Emma Press, 2017). Her debut collection will be published in 2023 with Salt Publishing. She has been widely published in magazines and anthologies and has won the Live Canon International Poetry Competition, as well as the York Mix, Ver Poets and Prole Laureate prizes. Emma works in London as a part-time financial journalist and copywriter and has recently completed an MA in Writing Poetry with Newcastle University and The Poetry School.
'Writing can feel a bit like being lost in the wilderness. Becoming a part of a community of fellow writers is so important in building confidence and discovering ways to sustain and develop a writing practice.'