The Animal Child

One of my non-actual-Nik-writing jobs is being Writer in Residence at Melior Community Academy in Scunthorpe for First Story. I’ve been there since last May (a year!) and I absolutely love it (in fact, I’ve just seen the anthologies comprising the best of the work that we’ll be launching next week – they’re so good – more of that soon).

And today, one of the brilliant young writers (and there are many) has a piece featured in First Story’s Friday story. Rosie’s in Year 7. Yes, I know…

Big thanks, too, to Olivia Moyes (who’s not at school) for her incredible illustration. I love it!

Tanaka Mhishi, poet and playwright says, ‘This last line is both sinister and bold. The voice of the hunter comes lunging up towards the reader from the page, and it’s especially brutal following the incredible tenderness of the rest of the poem. We know the hunter has caused a massive separation, and yet he has tied his story to the other characters irrevocably. It’s a hard thing for a writer to create a good villain, harder still to do it in a poem with so few words at their disposal. This is definitely how it’s done.’

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