Dear Reader is the younger sibling of Dear Listener, an open mic event that was established in Worcester, UK in December 2017.

After a year of open mic events, where performers have grown in their confidence and ability, it only seemed right to try and replicate the safe space of Dear Listener on a larger scale - and here we are.

Dear Listener founder and host, Charley Barnes, will now play at being an editor too as she opens the doors to poetry submissions from the world over. Dear Reader welcomes work of all styles from all voices, regardless of your experience, or your previous publication history. However, the zine will not promote or facilitate hate speech of any kind, and further details on what comes under that heading can be found on our Submissions Guidelines page.

The aim and ethos for Dear Reader will be to publish poetry with a purpose. Whether your purpose is to take a stand, make a claim, or create something beautiful - we'd like to hear from you.

Please note: In September 2020, Talis Johnson joined Dear Reader as an Assissant Editor. All submissions will be read by both Charley and Talis before a decision is reached.  


Dr Charley Barnes is an author, poet and academic based in Worcestershire, UK. Her work has been published across a number of online and in print journals, and she is also the author of two poetry pamphlets: A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache (V. Press, 2018) and Body Talk (Picaroon Poetry, 2019). In 2020, Charley published her first co-authored poetry pamphlet, Hierarchy of Needs: A Retelling, which she wrote with Claire Walker (V. Press, 2020).
Charley also writes crime fiction under the name Charlotte Barnes. Her novels, Intention, The Copycat, and The Watcher, are all published by Bloodhound Books.

Charley is a lecturer at The University of Wolverhampton. 


Talis Johnson is a third year student at the University of Worcester, where she is studying for a Joint Honours degree in Creative and Professional Writing, and Screenwriting. She is actively involved with the Poetry Society at her university, and she is currently collating her final year poetry project, which she aims to place with a publisher following their degree. 

Talis is currently exploring careers in the creative industry, with a specialist interest in poetry and novels. Away from literature she enjoys watching far too much television and listening to every genre of music she can get her hands on. She can be found rambling on twitter @introverttalis or on instagram @talistheintrovert.


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