Writer Interview: Julie Sampson

When and why did you first start writing?

Many years ago as a teenager when a short story I won a (very) local competition.

Who is most supportive about your writing?

A few close, also writer friends.

Tell me something about your work published in Peeking Cat Anthology 2017.

‘Toys’ was written following the death of my mother. Childhood memories kept popping into my mind, including the toy cupboard that my brother and I shared and which our mother occasionally suggested we tidy up. The poem set down a mixture of sadness, nostalgia, bereavement and reconciliation with the past.

Where do you write? Do you have a writing space or a particular process/routine?

I do have a writing space in a small sitting-room which looks over the garden; a place that seems as if it can set the interior writer free.

What’s your favourite word?

Changes regularly, according to emotions and weather!

What do you find the most difficult or challenging about writing?

Organising the increasing amount of poetry and other drafts that seem to have appeared and collected up over the years and also, with the complications of the modern digital world, finding sufficient time to write.

Tell me about the piece of work that you are most proud of writing, or about the writing accomplishment you are most proud of.

Two recent achievements stand out. Publication of my first full length poetry collection, Tessitura, by Shearsman Press in 2014 and in 2015, being short-listed for The Impress Prize, for a non-fiction manuscript about the history of Devon’s women writers.

What are your writing plans, goals or dreams for the future?

I hope to find a publisher for the manuscript mentioned above and plan to have a second poetry collection published.


Julie Sampson’s poetry has been widely published and placed in several competitions over many years. Recently, her poems have appeared in Shearsman MagazineInk Sweat and Tears, Algebra of Owls and Message in a Bottle. She edited Mary Lady Chudleigh; Selected Poems (Shearsman Books, 2009) and a full collection, Tessitura, was published by Shearsman, in 2014. A non-fiction manuscript was short-listed for The Impress Prize, in 2015. Her main website is at juliesampson.com