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CWI May 2020 Winner

Hidden Rachael Barnes-Powell   My father collects model trains   Engines, stations, trees – all miniaturised populate his shed   His own personal paradise over which he is god   Plastic bodies lie cold Waiting for him to bring them to life   I was allowed to watch as he worked in mausoleum-like silence   […]

CWI April 2020 Competition Winner

Machair Tomos Dargie   We came to a meadow by where the sea crept in, where her breath was light with marram and the meadowsweet danced. There was an Island, left on a shell-strewn strand once the tide had ebbed away. There were terns, their shrill cry she carried down the long summer days. She […]

CWI March 2020 Winner

Pineapples Ruth Taaffe   Panic in the aisles. Unmasked together in a queue we breathe discretely in opposite directions no eye contact, ashamed of this synchronised thinking.   Ridiculous whims in the baskets, beans for protein chocolate for morale. The thought of weeks without fruit pinpoints an island of claustrophobia   inside, a notion of scurvy voyages east or west on some wooden clipper. If only they’d had the Piña des Indes back then. ​The tin sits   plucked from the shelf, adopted pet in the […]

CWI February 2020 Winner

An Alabaster Knight Kathryn Ratzko Still as stone, hands on your chest, an alabaster knight; protector, warrior who once slayed dragons. Dawn is here. The ferryman still waits; a bittersweet relief. I stretch. Cramped on a makeshift bed, I ache. I lean in close to hear your barely breath and whisper that I have to […]

Creative Writing Ink December 2019 Winner

Of Righteousness and Sin Ayesha Asad   At dusk, I take my prayers and cradle them to my heart, watching them slip into volant arrows from my papery fingertips and                                                                                  slink up a tree,                                                                                         where they flutter, untethered and groan into the undulating leaves. After they dust grit off their wings, they rise – […]

CWI October 2019 Winner

Sleight of Hand Ruth Taaffe You were thirteen and crooked, about to embrace the retainer, conjure your own face from the pack. An x-ray then you lay supine against stuffed leatherette waiting for the show to begin. Behind the scenes  the assistant prepared tricks of the trade for the maestro who appeared in the snap […]

CWI November 2019 Winner

In Waves James Croal Jackson   It comes in waves, the grief, though you laugh as you say so, because we are in the Atlantic, children again, uppercutting large tides, and I never learned to swim, but the saying– the metaphor– is true, the water is relentless, and we were states away from the hospital, […]

CWI September 2019 Winner

Kaci Skiles Laws is a writer and artist living in Dallas—Fort Worth. Her work has been featured in The Letters Page, Bewildering Stories, Pif Magazine, Unlikely Stories, The American Journal of Poetry, and a few others. She won an award for her poem, This is How it Ends, by NCTC’s English Department and is currently […]

CWI August 2019 Winner

Falling Angels For my mother with love Peter Branson   The conjuror behind closed doors, she mine, me hers, she scrubs our mangled family life starch-white; stems tears, irons creases out, darns holes; small miracles – makes money stretch the week. Her present tense is all I know and we are doted on, consumes her […]

CWI July 2019 Winner

Job No. 1621 Gaynor Kane   Once, a carpenter on the Canberra. Now, Rheumatoid anchored aground for years. Got thrown off after a week, you said – caught having tea and a fag. Shipped to a tanker, as your own boss you skipped off early on Fridays to smooth talk girls and dance.   I […]

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