Hello, readers! The winds outside are howling and the first signs of snow are gathering on the horizon, but don’t worry – Cuckoo Quarterly issue 8 is here. So grab a hot beverage of your choice; warm your feathers by the fire and tuck into another slice of toasty writing.
Before you get yourselves too comfortable though, we have some exciting news straight from the Cuckoo nest. Just last month the first issue of Cuckoo Press flew the coop. Enclosed within, you can find the best of the past two years of Cuckoo Quarterly: Lewis Brown’s excellent Chronicide, Daniella Watson’s riveting periodical The Misery of Lizzie and Faye Milburn’s excellent article on the dreaded “B-Word” (boredom that is). You can find this feathered literary gem roosting inside NARC magazine or perching in your local school or library.
But that is not all – it may be getting colder but new Cuckoo news has just hatched! In association with New Writing North’s prestigious Northern Writers’ Awards, the spectacular Cuckoo Young Writers Awards are now open! If you are a young writer in the North of England, aged 14-18, this award is for you. The writer whose work shows the most promise will win an award package worth £500. The Cuckoo Young Writers Award will be judged by novelist and Observer journalist Elizabeth Day. So grab your quills, typewriters or laptops and start writing as the deadline is 17 January 2014!
But that’s not all! The Mathew Hale Award is something a little different, so teachers, parents and carers, listen up. Do you know a young person who loves to write and is keen to develop their writing but lacks the opportunity to do so? Then this is the award for them. The winner will receive a tailored package of support worth £500. Entrance to this award is by nomination only, so fly over to www.northernwritersawards.com to make your nomination.
Phew! That seems like lot, it has been a busy time here in the Cuckoo nest. Now back to our exciting issue, filled with the work of talented young writers. Our theme this month is Patterns and we have a patchwork of wonderful writing for you to read. Make sure to read Five Stories I Will Write Someday, an intricate and truthful story about the patterns of life and the nature of being a brother and writer.
As usual we have all our regular sections to keep you entertained. In the poetry corner we have Luke Myer’s hilarious video poem entitled # and Benjamin Oakes’s wonderful Panic Part 1. Representing the prose side of things in shorts you can find the touching Valamode, a heartbreaking tale of a young Haitian man’s pride for his country. Over in our non-fiction section, Jacob Armstrong’s well-researched political article on the benefits of the Welfare State is also well worth a read – maybe it will change your perceptions on the nature of our benefits system? This quarter also brings new a new instalment of Lewis Brown’s The Boy and the Storm for you to enjoy.
Are you sitting comfortably readers, do you have a hot drink at hand? If so then dive in, Cuckoo Quarterly issue 8 is here!
Rachel Patterson, editor, Cuckoo Quarterly 8
Our theme this quarter is Patterns and our submissions are as varied as a patchwork quilt! We have submissions about fabrics, the patterns of life and numbers. The vivid poem Dressmaking charts the journey of one piece of fabric from car boot sale, to dress, to car boot sale. We also have James Smith’s creepy 20, set in a secluded village, where the radio is slowly counting down…
As always our poetry section is very strong. The Pipes of Jim Allen, a new poem from Laurie Atkinson, is a haunting, dramatic account of a condemned man said to haunt the bridges of Durham. Accompanying him is the excellent Nocturnes, a heartfelt and romantic poem about the poems of love and music.
The Ghost of Jim Allen by Laurie Atkinson
Nocturnes by Pratyusha Prakash
Panic: Part One by Ben Oakes
Vertebrae by Jacob Armstrong
Mash by Jacob Armstrong
Ouija by Amanda Panella
London, Underground by Laurie Atkinson
Periodicals is especially exciting this issue. We have a brand new periodical starting! Home is the mysterious story of a young woman who wakes up in a hospital room and is visited by a doctor – even though he can’t tell her his real name, he can tell her some shattering news. Alongside this, we have part 3 of Ben Oakes’s heart-warming Lawfully Scared and Lewis Brown’s excellent The Boy and the Storm also continues…
If you are looking for informative articles then this is the section for you. All is Not Well with Harry Potter for Luke Davis! Potterheads, cast your patronus and wade carefully into this article…
All Is Not Well by Luke Davis
Write what you know: the problems with famous advice by Ben Oakes
The welfare state and its discontents by Jacob Armstrong
Shorts, which lie just in between cuttings and periodicals, is another great section this issue. Sydney Harris’s Valmonde tells the tale of a young Haitian boy, while Button-Eyed is a chilling read about a young girl haunted by spirits.
Cuttings are short pieces of prose, just the right size for on-the-go reading. In Home, Alice Buckley mourns the loss of her childhood home, in a touching story about the nature of growing up and moving on. As well as this we have the wonderful Jen for you to read.