Issue 4

Hello Young Writers,

This month we’ll be featuring:


– HEBE Magazine – the poetry magazine of youth


– The Osprey’s Journey – a poem


– Sounding Off – Phil talks about building wonderful worlds for your stories

HEBE Magazine


If you write something you’re proud of then you want someone to read it – your Mum, Dad, Nan –  possibly friends or a teacher.


But, if writing is your passion, at some point you’ll want to see if you can get your worked published. One such place we think you should try is HEBE magazine which publishes poems, photographs and illustrations of people aged 18 and under.


Now, you can’t send them just any old poem. You need to make sure your piece fits with what the magazine is looking for. So you need to do a little bit of analysis first before clicking the send button.


We recommend that you look at back issues so you can see the sort of work that the publication is accepting. Luckily this is easy to do with HEBE as you can download back copies for free.


If you’d like to send a poem for the next issue, answer these questions first:


Does your poem fit with the issues' theme?  For the next issue the theme is ‘Energy’.


What is the final submission date? For the next issue this is 30th May 2020 – so you’ve got plenty of time.


Has your piece already been published? HEBE asks that you only send in work that hasn’t been previously published.


How many pieces can you submit per issue? HEBE asks that you send up to a maximum of five pieces per issue.


How long can the poem be? For HEBE there aren’t any restrictions on how long your poem should be so you can send in short or long pieces.


For more information about what you can and can’t submit visit their FAQ page .


How To Submit Your Work

The editors encourage you to be creative in your interpretation of the theme, and there are no limits as to how it can be developed. Initial ideas could include the different types of energy, whether energy is finite, and what gives you energy.


Send your poem(s), photograph(s) and illustration(s) with the following details to :


Your name

Your age

A contact email address (or postal address if the former is not possible) 

A first-person biography consisting of a couple of sentences that will be published below your poem, photograph or illustration, alongside your name and your age, explaining who you are (this can include anything from what sports-team you support to the place where you like to go to write).


Good luck and let us know if you have a piece published by them.

The Young Writer Publishing Opportunity

Don't forget we also publish young writers' work in this newsletter. 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:

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.

The Osprey, in Sky Hawk by Jill Lewis, inspired this wonderful poem which takes you on the bird’s migration journey from Scotland to The Gambia.


The author wishes to remain anonymous but it was written when she was 10 years old.


The Osprey’s Journey


Osprey on the pine tree top spread your wings
Your journey has begun. Catch a trout from the loch
Give it to your family before flying towards the midday sun.
Fly over Scotland, then England, past hills, valley, lakes until you reach the sea.
Evening’s approaching. Quick, find a tree to rest in.
 That beech tree near the village looks good. Sleep well.


Dawn’s approaching, set off across the channel. Hurry.
Look! Boats out on the water and a flock of gulls there too.
Land is now visible! The Alps await you.
 Get to them before you rest … there they are!


The Alps are so pretty, snow everywhere. A snow storm is coming though.
Quick, shelter under that tree.
The storm’s passed. Fly onwards.
The Pyrenees. Wonderful. But listen to the wind! … The Gambia
Is calling you. So fly Osprey, fly, through the mountains.
Let’s rest for the night in that town. You will need plenty of sleep
 For you will be crossing the sea tomorrow.


Fly through Spain to the Mediterranean. The coast is there. The sea will
Open out as you cross it.
Look! Sperm whales are chasing squid and a pod of dolphins
 Are playing in the lapping waves. It’s getting hotter now.


Fly over the harbours and stalls of North Africa. The dessert
Is ahead so be careful. It’s so hot now.
The dessert so hot so travel by night. Look! Rocks to
Rest in … Night is approaching so set off while you can.
Signs of life are showing but a savannah coming into sight you are too far south. Meercats,
 Lions! Look. A tree top to rest in. After your rest fly north west.


A forest comes into sight as you fly farther on.
The trees are dense now, for you have arrived. The Gambia
 Is here.


Your journey is complete.



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:

If you love to write stories then take a look at our FREE How To Write Better Stories Online course .  If you’re under 16, check with your parents or guardian to make sure they are happy with you signing-up for it.



Right, now… it goes without saying that, when you’re writing stories, whatever kind you like to write, characters are THE most important things in them. If you don’t have likable characters to carry the narrative along, not many people will get to the end of your story, and if your characters aren’t true to themselves, no one will believe in them.


But almost as important as characters is the world your story happens in. Just like your protagonist, your love-interest and arch-rival, the world they all move through must be credible and consistent, even if crazy things happen there. And this is a particular concern if you’re writing sci-fi or fantasy (which many of us are).


In books like Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games or Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, it’s clear right from the start that the writers know much more about the worlds they’ve created than we do. Part of the horror of the The Hunger Games is the unfolding of Panem’s history, while much of the wonder of Eragon is the journey out from the village of Carvahall into the wider lands of Alagaësia.


But how do you create worlds like that? Worlds full of different countries and regions with mountains, oceans, forests… and people… people divided into different groups or nations, each with its own back-story and culture. Where do you start?


Well, most people start with a map, like this:

This is a map of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea (and if you haven’t read any of the Earthsea books yet - you’re missing a treat!) Maps are fun to draw, and help us quickly make decisions about who lives where, what sorts of things they might do, and where the trouble’s likely to come from. But when you’re creating a fictional world, a map is just one of six things you need to think about.


The second is, whose in charge? Wherever there’s people, there’s always a leader - a queen or king, a prime minister or president (and wherever there’s a leader, there’s always someone else who thinks they would do a better job of it).


Third up is the culture of the people in the story - what songs do they sing? What tales do they tell each other? What do they eat? And what festivals do they celebrate? Do they have an equivalent of Christmas, or Bonfire Night? And is there anything in their world like the F.A. Cup? - a big competition that gets the whole nation talking.


The fourth thing to think about is the economy that your people live in. How do they trade with each other? Do they use money? And what sorts of jobs do they do? Do they get wages, or are they serfs, working for the Lady of the Manor in return for lodgings and a strip of land to farm for themselves?


Next to consider is religion, because just like leaders, wherever there’s people, there’s always a priest or priestess somewhere close at hand. So what god, or gods, do your people pray to? And how seriously do they take that kind of thing?


Finally, think about is what kind of technology they have access to. If you’re writing high fantasy they’ll probably be using swords and knives, and riding round on horses. But if space opera is more your thing, it’ll be laser cannons, blasters and starships you’ll be dealing with.


Whatever world it is you’re creating, it doesn’t really matter what you put in it, as long as you stay consistent. So don’t give your horseback elven fighter an iPad or have her talking about Tottenham Hotspur. And don’t let your starship captain complain too much about the three days hard ride to Jupiter. Keep things relevant and in context, and it will all be fine.


And while you’re working on your fantasy/sci-fi masterpiece, knowing that we’re all stuck at home at the moment and people might be getting just a little bit bored - if you’d like to have a look at some good examples of finely crafted fictional worlds, there are a couple of animated series up on Netflix at the moment that are more than binge-worthy. First is the American series Avatar the last Airbender, written by a team led by Aaron Ehasz (who went on to make The Dragon Prince), and second is the Japanese animé adaption of Hiromu Arakawa’s Full Metal Alchemist (which has been dubbed into English for anyone who doesn’t like subtitles).

World building is loads of fun. But don’t get lost in it. Don’t forget to keep moving your stories forward. And, above all, don’t forget to…


Enjoy your writing!



That’s all folks!

All the best,

Susie and Phil Busby

Budding Writers' Newsletter - The Young Writer

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