As I push open the high wooden gate, blue paint peels off into me palm. I let the flecks fall to the ground and go into the back yard. Mrs Walker’s old tabby prowls along the wall overlooking the alley. She flops down and gives me a filthy look before closing her yellow eyes for a nap.
Carole Bromley lives in York. Winner of 2022 Caterpillar Prize, she also has poems in Tyger, Tyger, Paper Lanterns, The Toy, Little Thoughts Press, Paperbound, The Dirigible Balloon, in anthologies from MacMillan, Emma Press and Nosy Crow as well as in her Smith/Doorstop collection for children, Blast Off!
On Fridays, some of us get tiny cubes of yellow cake. A behaviour thing, a reward if you like. Today I don’t get one. Tam offers to split hers, but the scared six-year-old in me still thinks I might live to regret that sort of kindness. I eat my dry crackers in silence.
Charlie Bown is a children’s poet and author. She has two children’s anthologies published through Magic Daisy Publishing and two of her poems appear in the Chasing Clouds anthology from The Dirigible Balloon. Her debut children’s chapter book is due to be published by Ventorros Press in 2023.
Holly Gordon Clark is a seventeen year old poet and works as a librarian and bookshop worker. Her work and writings have been published in Fireside Fiction, Cat Among the Pigeons and have been prized by St John’s Oxford.
Whoever you are, congratulations! You have successfully intercepted my royal letter. And that is quite a feat.
Eleanor loved writing poetry as a child and now enjoys writing poems for others to enjoy. She is a doctor by day, working to help children with developmental difficulties. Eleanor has had poems published by The Dirigible Balloon and Tyger Tyger Magazine.
A feast of a breakfast lay before my eyes. Scrambled eggs; not too rubbery but not too wet, streaky bacon, pancakes covered in sticky maple syrup, warm croissants, cereal, fruit, yoghurt. You name it; it’s there.
It’s Samhain. An important time of celebrations for the village, marking the harvest’s end and arrival of darker months. The village buzzed with bonfire and feast preparations. Everyone was excited. Everyone except Gwenni.
Catherine Olver is a writer and researcher with a PhD in children’s literature from the University of Cambridge. She has special interests in LGBTQ+ poetry and in how literature can help humans participate in their environments (whether urban or rural) with sensitivity and joy.
Jacqueline is a primary school teacher and an emerging writer from the Isle of Man. She has had poems published in The Caterpillar, Tyger Tyger and The Dirigible Balloon.
Tom pulled out a screwdriver, weathered from a lifetime of use, and waved it in my face. With one foot on the dustbin and one flat against the wall he hauled himself onto the windowsill and slipped the screwdriver into a small notch in the frame.
It wasn’t fair, he hadn’t done anything! Joe stomped up the stairs to his bedroom. Sent to his room “without dinner or devices” as his mum had said. Which was a laugh as he didn’t have any ‘devices’ and a stale cheese barm barely counted as dinner.
Kate Williams is a children’s poet, with numerous contributions to anthologies by UK publishers such as Macmillan, Oxford University Press, Bloomsbury and Hodder.
I discovered I could travel back in time at about the same time that I realised I was into girls. Finding myself back at the start of the gym class I’d just struggled through proved the former; my all-consuming crush on my best friend.
Rhiannon Oliver is an actress and poet from Cardiff. As an actress, she has worked with companies such as BBC, Sky 1, The National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, National Theatre of Wales and Manchester Royal Exchange, as well as off Broadway and on UK and International tours.
Bram hissed as they checked the last of the traps. Empty.
Dory knew better than to correct his little brother’s anger. They would need some of that fire to warm them in the coming winter and Dory had none to spare. What Dory felt most was tired.
‘Oi, death girl!’ a familiar voice shouted.
My heart was in my throat. What were they doing here? A couple of lads from my year at school rounded the corner beside the church and up the pathway near where I was kneeling.
The boy arrived at Elenya’s lighthouse a day before her first Rites, sailing through the haar as if drifting over clouds. She watched his approach eagerly from the lantern room.
Attie Lime likes walking in fields, playing UNO and making up words. She is currently working on an MG novel about brothers, magic, and a cat called Colin.
‘Look at this.’
Maggie moved to see what Kai was pointing at, he was enjoying his new cool status with his big sister’s old iPhone. He was looking at the Magpies and Mochas account, the social media monster that Maggie’s mother had created.
‘Huh!’ said Kelvin Kea, squinting up at the sign by the hotel entrance. He treated the man bashing it in the ground to his best parrot-y stare. ‘We’re New Zealand’s only mountain parrot, if you please!’
When my brother Simon went to university he left me his old fishing rod, a dog-eared copy of Wind in the Willows, and seven pounds fifty in change. At least he left them in his unlocked bedroom, which was pretty much the same thing.
‘Seggy?’ Darren has made a daisy of orange segments on his big tedious hand. The hand is too close to my chest and, worst of all, my nostrils. Sweetness is invading my head, spoiling the […]
Sarah Ziman is a poet from Wales who likes cats, crisps, cake, reading and rhyme. She dislikes writing bios. She won the YorkMix Poems for Children Prize 2021, and enjoys annoying her own children by forcing them on nature walks or ‘dragging them into antique shops’.
“To sew is to serve” was the first life lesson my parents taught me. I’d chant it to the beat of my footsteps roaming around the city. I’d whisper it into my pillow to soothe […]
Living on Stamford Street, Stretford, us kids needed to be tough. Right enough, I had my big brother next to me – Eric – but still, I needed bigger. There was a war going on […]
I’m on the news. The actual news. Not the here’s a story about some kid making loom bands to save a dog shelter, now here’s the weather news but the actual real-life news. And they ask me why. Why it happened.
I yanked the comb through the tangled mass one last time, but my hair still stuck up all over like a used toothbrush. Flicking a few bits of dirt from my trews and tabard, I checked my reflection in the shard. I poked out my tongue.