Issue 5

Hello Young Writers,

This month we’ll be featuring:

– conficiens journal – a brand new youth literary online magazine

– Daffodils – a poem by Tesni Penney

– Sounding Off – Characters and Comic Strips


conficiens journal

Update 20th May 20: we've just heard from the editor at conficiens journal and unfortunately they've had to put this project on hold for now. We will keep this post updated should anything change.

This is a soon to be launched international youth magazine with ambitions to publish something on their site every two months.

Headed by Srila Palanikumar (Editor-in-Chief), in the Bay Area, California, they are intend to emphasize writing that stirs powerful discussion. Although they aren't explicitly political in nature, writers will have very few limits on what they can and cannot write about. They are looking for original fiction, poetry and non-fiction pieces. For their submission guidelines click here.

They say, “We are an online, international literary journal run by young writers for young writers. This is a safe place for you to explore the world of the literary arts. Whether you're here to establish your voice, experiment with words, or just hone your craft, we welcome you. 

“We're particularly looking for edgy writing. The kind that breaks some of the rules. The kind that screams twenty-first century.”

Conficiens journal are currently recruiting young writers, 13-20-years-old, to help with the running of the journal. These will be unpaid positions but could give you some fantastic experience if you want to be a writer or work in publishing.

Find out what positions they are looking to fill.

If you don’t want to commit to a position, remember, they are also looking for submissions.


Eight-Week  Zoom Workshop with Phil and Susie

Places, People and the Three Act Plot


Join us for a fun, eight-week online creative writing workshop via Zoom. Thursday evenings, 7-8pm, starting 21st May 2020. Places limited to six. By the end of the eight weeks you’ll have:

  • developed an understanding of how to create worlds, characters and gripping stories with a structure you can come back to time and time again.
  • learnt how to write a blurb to entice readers.
  • learnt how to work effectively in an online meeting.
  • learnt new ways to improve your writing.
  • developed a well planned outline to write a complete story of your own. 
  • gained increased self-confidence to take your writing forward on your own.


Find out more by clicking here

Readers’ Writing

Our poem this month comes from a talented young writer based in the North West of England. Like other famous poets before her, she was inspired to put pen to paper by the beautiful spring flower – the daffodil.

Tesni sent this to us as she thought it would give us something cheer in these uncertain times. And it certainly did that. Thank you Tesni for giving us a reminder that things will move on just like the daffodils arrival marking the change in the seasons.

by Tesni Penney age


Daffodils dancing in the breeze

As graceful as ballerinas, each unique with

Flowery blooms that blossom brightly.

Foliage surrounds them; the grasses knelt respectfully at their feet awed by the

Outstanding beauty that makes them the

Divas of the flower world.

Individuality is their hidden quality, like carved soap of

Lovely, artistic colours. When you see them, you know

Spring has sprung!


If you have a story, a poem, or a non-fiction piece you’d like to share with the Budding Writers community please send it to:  Please also include your age and name.  If we use your work then we’ll send you a £5 either via PayPal or as an Amazon Voucher.

Bronze Arts Award Focusing On Creative Writing 


If you’d like to get a nationally recognised qualification whilst developing your creative writing skills then check out our Bronze Arts Award programme. If it appeals, show it to your parents or guardian to see if they will enrol you.


·      start anytime

·      seven-day trial

·      tutorial support by email or phone (your choice).

·      explore the writing genres you like

·      ideal for 11-18-year-olds but can do up to 25.

Characters and Comic Strips

We love a good comic here at Budding Writers. They’re fun to make and can give your writing muscle a good work out. And if you like drawing too, it’s a good way to combine your creative passions. But you can do a comic strip with just stick men if you like.

Comic strips are usually humorous but with a ring of truth about them.  They may highlight a funny habit, make a social comment or even help us to understand, or cope with, what is going on around us.

Characters that feature in comic strips are often based on people or animals that the author/artist knows. For example Simon’s Cat is based on animator, Simon Tofield’s pet cat, Hugh. If you have a cat you’ll probably find his comic strips very funny. They perfectly highlight a cat’s attitude and behaviour.

Snoopy is another example of a character inspired by a loved animal but this time it’s Charles Schulz’s childhood pet dog, Spike. Snoopy’s character is a loyal, imaginative and good natured dog that is prone to living in a fantasy world. In contrast to Simon’s cat where you can see very cat like behaviour, Snoopy is more akin to a daydreaming child locked in a dog’s body, never achieving his dreams. And whilst amusing I always feel a little melancholy after reading his stories. Snoopy is probably based on how Spike looked rather than his character.

If you’d like to have a go at making a comic strip here’s a little exercise we came up with to help you.

Making a Three Panel Comic Strip

If you have a pet, create a character using them as a base for how your character will look and how your character will behave. If you’ve not got a pet, then think of an animal from a film, book or TV series you can use.

Is there a distinguishing feature on your animal you can easily incorporate into your drawing – a different coloured ear or distinct colour to their fur? Try and find something that will make your character easy to identify.

Next, think about what you want to say in your comic strip. You’ll only have space to tell your reader one thing about your character or characters. So think carefully what you want your reader to learn. If you are using your pet, does it have any funny little habits or movements that you can use to make the scenario?

For example, we’ve got a lovely ginger cat called Jasmine. But, Jasmine likes to sleep on the chair at my desk. This is what happens:


In this we learn about who’s really the boss in the relationship between owner and cat. And that is what you’re looking to do, let the reader learn something about the character, or characters, in your strip.

The distinguishing features of my two characters are that the cat is orange and the woman has short, black, curly hair.

You could use comic strips to act out scenarios between your characters from a longer story you’re writing. This way you can explore the relationship between them. Do they trust each other? Who is the leader? What little niggles exist between them – that sort of thing. You can use this to help flesh out what your characters are really like, which will make them much more relatable in your story.

That’s all we’ve got time for this month. So, have fun and remember to enjoy your writing.

Warm regards,

Phil and Susie Busby


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