The 27th edition of Spark Young Writers Magazine is out now. Published online in December 2023, the magazine features some of the best writing produced by children and young people aged 8 to 20 who live in the West Midlands region. Editor’s pick this issue is a piece by Maggie Bartlett called My Nanny is Forgetful.
If you’re interested in submitting to the next issue, find out how here.
Letter from our Editor
I’ve already told writer Maggie Bartlett this, so I’ll tell you too: her piece in this issue made me cry. “My Nanny is Forgetful” is simple, sweet, and what it does not say, what it leaves you thinking and knowing, that makes it so particularly deeply touching.
It’s the Editor’s Choice for this issue and it’s also a reminder — perhaps most of all to me — that writing is as much about the words you don’t use, the things you don’t say, as it is the text you present.
Spark Young Writers’ Magazine is also about more than the text in it. The purpose of the magazine is to be the best read it can be — that is always and forever the primary aim of any publication at all.
In this case, there is a secondary aim and I think it’s vital. Anyone who submits to this magazine is treated the same way that they would be if they were a professional writer working on any national magazine. It’s not about publishing anything that’s sent to us and isn’t that nice, they’re in print.
It’s about earning a place in a magazine. It’s about being a good read whether you know the writer or not. Consequently, 48% of all submissions to this issue were rejected.
There is one difference between this and being a professional writer: the 48% whose work was rejected, and the 52% whose pieces are in the magazine, all got a detailed letter from me about why.
Though the one to Maggie Bartlett only had to say that if your writing makes a grown man cry, you’re in.
William Gallagher, editor