Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The best years of our lives, or the age of senility?

“Most people don't grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.” 
― Maya Angelou

For many of us, the past week has set us on a path that, for better or for worse, will establish the course of our lives... at least for the next few years. Yes, I'm talking about A-Level Results Day. There were tears, tantrums, frantic calls through Clearing, screaming at teachers, cursing the UCAS tariff system, and for the rest, the knowledge that 15 years of hard work has finally gotten you to where you want to be. 

Whether you missed your grades and had to find another degree course; whether you decided to take a year out; whether you're already anticipating the freshers' parties... it's the end of an era. The turning point came for me when I realised that I'd now need a visitors' badge to go back to my school. There won't be any more teachers hounding you to get your coursework in: professors couldn't care less if you miss a deadline because your pet iguana ate your dissertation on the relationship between theoretical physics and Harry Potter. Your parents are going to be far less willing to lend you cash to go out for dinner with your mates, and you can expect job app emails to flood your inbox from where they've signed you up on recruitment websites. 

You are now an adult.

Are you terrified, apprehensive, excited, lost, disappointed, expectant, aimless, thrilled? Write to us and let us know. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Do you think you have what it takes to be a Loud Mouth columnist? Do you have some free time to contribute regularly to a publication that let's your voice be heard? Do you have the creativity, confidence and style to capture the attention of our readers?

If you answered YES to all these questions, then email us at with samples of your writing in plain text. Make sure that you have a look at our checklist ( for all submitting writers before you get in touch. 

Good luck! 

Monday, 6 February 2012

“What a scholar one might be if one knew well some half a dozen books.”

The wise words of Flaubert could not be any truer for an aspiring writer. It's common knowledge that very often, the best readers make the best writers. So the Loud Mouth team set ourselves this challenge: if we had to pick half a dozen books that we think made us better writers, what would they be?

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Technically, this qualifies as seven books, but we'll overlook that for the the sake of this challenge. The Loud Mouth team is proud to call themselves members of the Harry Potter generation. Harry Potter kicked off a renewed interest in reading, and books finally became 'cool'. They proved that one does not need to write like Dickens or D.H. Lawrence to write works that people will fall in love with.

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë  
Few authors possess the ability to manipulate language as Emily Brontë did. Brontë was an author who wrote what she knew. There are many, many writers who try to write the next 'Oliver Twist' or 'Ulysses'... but remember, Dickens witnessed the pickpockets, poverty and thievery which he wrote about with such accuracy and depth, while Joyce was able to capture the essence of Dublin because he knew it like the back of his hand. Now that's not to say you should only write what you know, otherwise the entire fantasy, horror or sci-fi genres would be made redundant. But use what you know to illuminate your writing. 'Wuthering Heights' is littered with the natural imagery that Brontë was accustomed to on the moors; the class divisions that were commonplace in the 19th century; the 'appropriate' and 'inappropriate' relationships between men and women. Her writing is frank, honest, and above all - believable. 

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale is a bleak dystopic tale that certainly should not be read if you're in a bad mood and looking for a little comfort. It embodies the 'warning novel' - the novel that targets the tragic flaws in society, and in humans, and creates a world which depicts the potential consequences of our actions. Many a writer has tried to pen witty political satire, and failed miserably. 'The Handmaid's Tale' sets the standard. The key to this novel's success is observation: observe the world around you - its failings, its successes, its flaws... the best writers are aware of what is going on around them. They then use this acquired knowledge, add a little imagination, and create something extraordinary. 

Room By Emma Donoghue

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Emma Donoghue's 'Room' is a rare gem in a literary world that has recently been flooded with general 'crowd-pleasers'. It's unapologetically controversial, never shying away from the horror implied by its content. We would draw a comparison with Snape's death in the final Harry Potter film (well, we are the HP generation!) and admit that Donoghue lets the reader's imagination do the work here: what they don't read explicitly results in the creation of images that are far worse than the reality. 

Narrated from the point-of-view of a child, 'Room' is set in a 12-foot square room where five-year-old Jack is imprisoned with his Ma, who preserves her own sanity by raising her son with every scrap, whilst desperately craving the freedom of 'outside' that she once knew. If you put aside the Josef Fritzl comparisons momentarily, you'll find yourself won over by the pure simplicity of Donoghue's language. A great novelist can put themselves in their protagonist's shoes: speak like them, think like them, reason like them. Not many writers can assume the identity of a five-year-old without sounding sickly sweet, pretentious or stupid. 

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The key to a successful book is the most difficult to achieve: imagination. You need that one plot, that one idea, to create a triumph of imagination. Be it complex or simple, a writer needs to be motivated enough to sit down for an hour, a day, a week, or a month, and construct their tale. The Shadow of the Wind is a novel that constantly surprises, twists and turns in unusual directions, shocks and challenges the reader. It not only tells the tale of Daniel, an awkward teenager piecing together the story of his favourite author, Julián Carax in post-war Spain, but also that of Lain Coubert, a devilish figure intent upon burning every copy of his books; Penelope Aldaya, the teenage girl who captured Julián's heart; Miguel Moliner, Julián's best friend, who hid a terrible secret from the world and made the ultimate sacrifice for his friend. These tales are narrated alongside Daniel's own narrative as he struggles with his love for his best friend's sister, befriends a tortured soul with an equally tortured past who soon becomes his best friend, and races against unknown enemies to discover the truth about Carax. This novel is a novel of possibilities: the astounding works that writers can create with a little imagination. 

But these are just our picks! If you had to pick half a dozen books that you would recommend to any writer in the making, what would they be? Leave your comments below!

We're signing off today's blog with a sneak-peek at our exclusive interview with Carnegie-medal shortlisted writer, and author of 'The Last Dragon Chronicles' series, Chris D'Lacey.

Loud Mouth is a platform primarily dedicated to showcasing the work of young writers. For young and aspiring writers, what advice would you give, on getting published and on avoiding the dreaded writer's block and procrastination bug?

Chris D'Lacey with series favourite,
Gadzooks the clay dragon - everything
Zookie writes on his notepad magically
comes true
Remember, you're going to spend hours alone working on a computer or with your head in an exercise book.  That takes dedication.  Writing is not the best way to make lots of friends.  You need self-belief, too.  It's a very competitive business.  If you truly believe that the work you're producing deserves to be published, then stick at it.  Everyone gets rejected at some point.  It's all about finding that one person, that influential editor, who really connects with your work.  It goes without saying that you should read, particularly if you're young.  Young writers are overflowing with ideas, but they generally lack the technical skills required to pace a book successfully.  That comes with practice and study.  As for writer's block - if a story isn't working for you, putting it away for a week then coming back to it with a fresh mind often helps.  I sometimes back up to a point where I'm sure that the narrative arc is correct, then I set off in a slightly different direction.  If none of this works for you, get a Gadzooks!

Have a great week!

The Loud Mouth Team

Thursday, 26 January 2012

First Look : Literature - Featured : Greg Ritchie

Happy Friday Loud Mouths! To celebrate the end of another work week (the most depressing week of the year, if you listen to the press), we present you with a sneak peek at another one of our upcoming writers, Greg Ritchie!

Greg lists James Joyce, Franz Kafka and Harper Lee amongst his favourite authors, and his blog, 'A Literary Concoction', offers witty and frank reviews and remarks on everything from established classics such as 'Animal Farm', to underrated gems like 'The Cone Gatherers.'

Greg's articles, tackling topical literary issues such as linguistic elitism and the rise of the e-book, will be available for viewing on Loud Mouth. Until then, have a look at his work on

Keep an eye out for our next blog post, where we'll be sticking with the literary theme and examining whether the best readers make the best writers...

Have a lovely weekend,

Malvika Jaganmohan
Co-editor in Chief

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

First Look : Opinion - Featured: Will Bateman

Hello lovely Loud Mouths! An exciting treat for you today - an introduction to one of our upcoming opinion writers, Will Bateman.

Will is in his final year at college, studying for A-Levels in Sociology, English and History, and he hopes to carve out a career in journalism, specialising in American culture and politics. His blog, Politicin', demonstrates his shrewd ability to dissect even the most complex political dilemmas, unravelling American politics in an accessible manner that will tempt even the most resistant readers to take a peek into the cut-throat world of politics.

Loud Mouth is very lucky to have a writer like Will on-board, and until his work is displayed on the site, delve into his area of interest at

Malvika Jaganmohan
Co-editor in Chief

Saturday, 7 January 2012

What are we looking for?

 © Rebecca Millar 2011

In the past few months, we've received a huge number of creative, quirky and thought-provoking submissions from talented writers, hoping to have their work displayed on Loud Mouth. Although many of these were successful, unfortunately, there were many which weren't. 

The Loud Mouth team has decided to help the submitting writers out there by outlining some basic guidelines when it comes to the kind of work we look for. It goes without saying that impeccable spelling and grammar would help your case massively. However, we must emphasise that we value content more highly- a comma can be added easily, but an uninteresting and superficial article is very difficult to make engaging.

  • The subject matter of your article must be topical, covering an event that has been in the press within the week, or at most, within the month.
  • There is a 1500 word-limit for each submission.
  • There must be evidence to back up your assertions i.e. quotations from relevant organisations; statistics from respected authorities; interviews etc.
  •  There must be a relevant angle, putting forward a particular perspective. We are not looking for 'balanced' essays, but confident, bold opinions. However, we do not accept articles that put forward unjustified or unsubstantiated opinions.
It is very difficult to balance these factors, which is why the Opinion section is one of the most difficult areas of the website to contribute to.

Arts & Culture
  • The subject matter of your article must be relevant. The articles in this section relate to music, theatre, film, radio etc.  
  • There is a 1500 word-limit for each submission.
  • The subject matter of your article must be topical, covering an event that has been in the press within the week, or at most, within the month.
  • There must be evidence to back up your assertions i.e. quotations from relevant organisations; statistics from respected authorities; interviews etc.
  •  Articles in this archive are NOT opinion pieces. They must not be purely unsubstantiated assertions. Having said that, we are not looking for 'balanced' articles. Articles are NOT essays. There must be a relevant angle, putting forward a particular perspective. 
  • There are no constraints upon the content or form of your creative piece. However, there is a 1500 word-limit for each submission.
  • Serialised novels are also welcome. If you wish to submit a serialised novel, please include the number of chapters you expect to write and a basic storyboard with your first submission. If your submission is successful, you will be granted a weekly or fortnightly slot which MUST be adhered to.
  • Graphic novels/ comics can also be submitted. Please send your submission in a .pdf form.

  • The subject matter of your article must be relevant. The articles in this section relate to recent book releases, critical literary essays and authorial reviews or interviews.
  • There is a 2000 word-limit for each submission.
  •  We are not looking for 'balanced' articles. There must be a relevant angle, putting forward a particular perspective.
  • Although we encourage opinionated submissions in this section, opinions must be thought-provoking, and they must display a high degree of competency, originality and complexity. 
  • There is a 1500 word-limit for each submission.
  •  Articles in this archive are opinion pieces, but they must not be purely unsubstantiated assertions. Having said that, we are not looking for 'balanced' articles. Articles are NOT essays. There must be a relevant angle, putting forward a particular perspective. 

These are just a few starting points, but hopefully, we've demystified the selection process somewhat. As the team examines more submissions, we will be able to expand upon this list and provide more detailed advice for aspiring writers.

Please keep in mind that if your submission has been unsuccessful, you are still welcome to request feedback within a week of receipt of our decision, improve upon your work, and re-submit. Very often, the errors or inconsistencies that we were unable to overlook in your submission can be easily addressed! We're here to help!

If you think that your work satisfies the criteria listed above then send it to us in a .doc or .docx form to

Good luck!

Malvika Jaganmohan
Co-editor in Chief

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

First Look : Photography - Featured : Sam White

Here at Loud Mouth, we don't just welcome writers, but also photographers. We're building up our portfolio of photographers, one of whom is Sam White.  Here's what he has to say about his photography:

"I have been influenced by artists, such as Lucian Freud and Jenny Saville that focus their own work on the physical image and exterior of the body, distorting the images they paint accordingly to fit in with their interpretation of the human body and the simple formations that make us human. I used this idea to draw upon the images of the interior of the mind as well as the portrayal of the exterior, contrasting and merging both to create images identifying inner feelings and workings of the brain, and how simple emotions cause startling changes in body and impulsive changes to physical appearance. 

I wanted to create work that would not merely influence to audience to respond with: "Oh, that's nice." or "What a pretty photo." I don't want my work to simply induce melancholy... I want it to cause woe, to allow the audience to feel the actual mental pain created by the photograph and for them to think about it long after they have left the gallery, or webpage where my work is housed. I used these simple emotions to create graphic photos that I intended to distress and dissolve the watcher's safety; to make them feel uneasy when viewing the work... to disturb their mind."

Sam is just one of the photographers featured on Loud Mouth - be sure to keep up to date with all things Loud Mouth  so you'll be the first to see what our photographers have to offer when we launch the website

'Til then

Becky Millar
Senior Editor for Photography and Design 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The start of something new...?

High School Musical references aside, welcome to Loud Mouth's official blog. Along with our Youtube channel, Facebook page and Twitter feed, this will act as your source of up-to-date Loud Mouth information.

For those new readers who have only just discovered Loud Mouth, we are an upcoming website dedicated to showcasing aspiring artists, photographers and writers. We accept any and all submissions, but we must emphasise the fact that we only include the very best. At the moment, we are looking for initial content and so we encourage all the Loudmouths out there to submit to one or more of our sections: Opinion, Arts and Culture, Creative, Literature, Sport, or Photography and Design. All details on how this can be done can be found here, in our 'Info' section. 

We are currently in the design stages, and thought it may be a good idea to log everything we're doing, so we can remember this process once the site is up and running. We just spent the day flicking through some amazing photography to fill the web pages up with. Also sifted through many, many, many articles, poems and stories, drawing out the best of the best to join the ranks of the Loudmouths. Very proud to call their creators Loud Mouth contributors. 

Here's a little glimpse of what can be expected...