Nan’s bread pudding recipe

by Zoe Ellsmore Up there, on the kitchen shelf, my nan’s bread pudding recipe is slipped between the pages of a hardback book. Five lines of alchemy, now faded, brings old bread back to life with milk, maraschino cherries and clouds of cinnamon. We pass it down, a christening gown, stained with sticky fingers, wrinkled…

Read More

Bread Lady

by Caroline Ward Vine The flour slipped between Melody’s fingers, cool as powdered silk and familiar as an old friend, as she scooped a well at its centre. She stirred the jug of foaming yeast and water, stooping, as she’d done for fifty years or more, to breathe its seaweed scent before adding it to…

Read More

r e g e n e r a t i o n

r e g e n e r a t i o n (an anagram poem) family histories hung in eerie hush as civic planners eager to retire assembled to engineer the swift demise of a once-proud region where nobody spent more than they could earn and sugar was still on ration while tin-bath broods scrubbed…

Read More

Cherry Chocolates

by Alison Woodhouse ‘Has she filled in her meal options?’ My children are here. It’s a miracle, all three in the same room again, although they’re not children anymore; they’ve got kids of their own and grandkids. ‘There’s not much choice!’ No need for that tone Katy. It’s the NHS not one of your fancy…

Read More

Saving face with Grandpa and not being huffed

by Roger Elkin I catch him hovering at our lounge doorway, face beaming though something behind his eyes suggests he’s not certain where he is, or whether he should be here, his mind silent-film-flicking for names, his lips teasing words around shapes in a hesitancy belying ninety years of his tackling things head on and…

Read More

What’s in a name?

by Ann Abineri Claire pushed open the glass door and stepped into the foyer of Pinetrees, thinking again what a nice place her father had found to live. The receptionist looked up from her computer screen and smiled warmly. “Claire, fantastic news. Your father told us this morning.” “Now why doesn’t that surprise me!” said…

Read More

Meet Kurly McGeachie, judge of the poetry category

ALAN (Kurly) McGEACHIE is a shortlisted Birmingham Poet Laureate and Hip Hop artist. He visits schools and youth/community settings throughout the UK as a freelance Literacy Engagement Specialist. Each year he helps thousands of children to read, write and perform poetry and rap with confidence – helping learners engage with the curriculum whilst boosting their…

Read More

Meet Paul Ewen, judge of the short stories (adults) category

Author Paul Ewen is one of our amazing panel of judges kindly volunteering their time to support our charity writing competition. New Zealand-born Paul lives in London. His first novel, Francis Plug: How To Be A Public Author, was a Book of the Year in the Guardian, New Statesman, Irish Times, and the Big Issue.…

Read More

Meet K.A. Mckeagney, judge of the short stories (adults) category

K.A. MCKEAGNEY is one of our amazing panel of judges kindly volunteering their time to support our charity writing competition. She completed an MA in creative writing at Brunel and won the Curtis Brown prize for her dissertation, which formed the basis of her first novel, Tubing. Tubing has been described as “A highly original…

Read More

Meet Damhnait Monaghan, judge of the short stories (adults) category

DAMHNAIT MONAGHAN is a Canadian writer living in the UK. Damhnait has an MA in Creative & Critical Writing from Winchester University. Her fiction and creative non-fiction have featured in a variety of anthologies including Flash Nonfiction Funny (Woodhall Press), Flash I Love You (Paper Swans), EllipsisZine One and Hysteria 4. She is published in…

Read More