Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Success, Sadness, and School

Success, Sadness and School by Analia, 11, NY, USA

My pen, my sword
My peers, my soldiers
My teachers, my trainers
My school, my kingdom

The doors gossip as I walk through the hall
Desks and computers conspiring against me
My heart – a ticking time bomb
The pressure closes around me
Even though my school is my family

It’s my hidden treasure in an unknown cave
What I rely on every day
Fighting against the perfection part of me
Striving for my wishing star
What I see before me 

Grades are the food that fuel me
The vividness of the green report card staring right at me
It giggles and laughs
Staring right at me
The pressure is still closing around me

This is all I have
Without it, I am nothing
What can I do?
Where can I go?

There are still so many years ahead of me
Yet I feel like I’ll never see school again
Every time I’m absent, I rip myself apart
A knife cutting through me, my heart is crushed

But, I must learn to control the perfection part of me
Or else it will forever control me
Even though I feel like a weathered book
My pages must turn
My story must continue 

Analia is a frequent contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

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Young writers in action: When the Sky

Photo shows a sky over mountains at sunset. The sky at the top of the photo is blue with white clouds gradually changing to deep red in a sunset near the bottom of the photo. At the base are dark mountains. All across the sky are the dark silhouettes of birds flying. Photo by Giani at

WHEN THE SKY by Ahil, 9, India

We can see the sky
where birds go to fly.
We can see the starry night
and the moon shining bright!

When the sky is blue
all looks so new.
When the sky is dark,
Rain! cries the lark!

When the sun goes down
the sky wears a black gown,
and clouds have nowhere to go
when sleep covers the rainbow!

This is Ahil’s first publication at Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines

Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Cirque

CIRQUE by Elizabeth, 9, NSW

Photo shows the ladder-like framework with long colourful circus silks tied to the top of the framework and hanging loose for circus performers to climb and swing on. There's a girl twisting herself into the silks, upside down. She has red hair in pigtails, a pink leotard and white leggings. Photo by Paulo Henrique Macedo Dias at

Silks! Purple and red awaited me to climb! It was my first class of cirque and I was so delighted. The teacher’s assistant was there but the teacher was late.

My teacher was called Miss Maria. She was thoughtful, kind and generous. She had an assistant called Emily, who was sixteen. I love when they helped me.

Next, we did stretching and I practised planks. Emily helped me when I did a plank. We carried the blocks and I practised the splits. Then the teacher called me to climb the silks. I felt joyful and thrilled. I made a knot on my foot with the silks to stand on. Our teacher said a saying, “Outside, inside, pull up, and around,” to teach us how to do a knot for us to stand on. It was hard to climb the silks because it had a difficult technique.

At my class I met two new friends. Their names are Scarlet and Sienna. They are younger than me but they are good at the knot for the silks.

Excited for my next class because this class was so enjoyable and fun, I ran to my mum and hugged her. I was so glad to do cirque because it was so fun to go on the silks and play with my new friends.

Elizabeth is a regular contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier writing and book reviews here. To send us your writing or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

poetry, Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: The Red Balloon

THE RED BALLOON by Charles, 8, NSW

It floated in my backyard yesterday,
It was red and shiny with a white string,
I held it tight
But it tugged with all its might. 
So, I have a sigh and let it go.
While it floated away I whispered
Go to the sky.

This is Charles’s first publication at Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. (We’re particularly keen to consider book reviews in November and December.)

Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: My First Adventure


Curious bird. Photo by Donna Wu.

“My wings grew!” I thought as I looked at my fluffy feathers. I wanted to take flight so I went outside and tried. As I jumped I hovered in the air for a second, suddenly I started plummeting to the ground. I closed my eyes, ready for impact. I landed on a tall, black pole with a yellow top. I looked around hoping to be near my house. But instead of my house I was in front of a massive white wall with weird animals inside. One of them noticed me.

“ Oh no.” I thought. But instead of yelling at me it brought out a box and put me inside it. I chirped desperately hoping my mum would hear me. A second later another weird animal was standing near me. It stared at me fascinated by how I looked.

Bird and shoe. Photo by Donna Wu.

The weird animals were outside. They seemed kind though. My mum fed me some worms then she left. The smallest animal bent a blade of grass towards me. I nibbled at it then sniffed the smallest animal’s shoe. She seemed to like me. Then the animals left. They went up and away from me. I didn’t want to be left behind! I tried to fly up, higher and higher, and I landed on the edge of a big platform with a cover on top. They saw me again! I felt special with all these animals around me. One even sat down near me.

My mum came back and said it was time to go back home. I reluctantly flew back with my mum. What an adventure that was. I hope to see you again, weird animals.

Bird chirping. Photo by Donna Wu.

The photos in this post were provided by Donna Wu.

Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: An Unpleasant Surprise

Cat peeking out a doorway. Photo by Henda Watani at


by Audrey, 10, VIC

Sometimes people ask me, “Hey, if you were an animal, what would you be?”

I’d think, and then say, “A cat!”

I wonder what it would really be like…

I think cats are amazing creatures! If only I could stay up late exploring! I can’t think of anything bad about- oh wait, humans picking me up! I hate being picked up. I wonder if I should say anything else next time …

“If you were an animal, what would you be?” the new kid asks.

This time I don’t hesitate. “A cat! I love cats.”

After school, she comes up to me. “Are you sure you’d want to be a cat?” 

“Yes … why? What do you- OH!” I blink, and suddenly she’s like a giant! I close my eyes and rub them. Wait, why do I have paws? Oh no, she’s turned me into a cat!

“Turn me back into a human! I don’t want to be a cat!” I yell, but she just laughs. I must be meowing!

Suddenly, my friend Natalie appears out of nowhere! “Hey! I just saw you turn her into a cat!”

The new girl turns around quickly. “No, I didn’t! You’re going mad, Natalie.” She puts her hand on Nat’s forehead. Oh, that girl is infuriating!

Natalie moves away. “Then why is her bag there? Hair ties too! THERE’S CLEARLY A CAT IN FRONT OF YOU!” she yells.

“That’s MY bag, and I dropped my hair ties. That cat is a stray,” the new girl lies, turning red.

“I’d recognise Audrey’s bag anywhere. And those are her hair ties. I bought them for her birthday last year!” Natalie retorts, and leans forward to pick me up. “This is my friend, and you’re not going anywhere until you turn her back into a human!” I wave my paw and meow in approval.

Natalie boops my nose. “See? Even as a cat, she’s exactly the same person.”

The new girl sighs. “Fine. But it’s not going to wear off until tomorrow morning. She’ll have to stay this way until then.” 

“Drat! What will my parents say?” I meow.

As if she can understand me, Natalie strokes my head. “Don’t worry, I’ll tell your parents you came over for a sleepover. My parents will totally believe me. They believe anything I say!”

The new girl nods at us and runs off. 

The next morning, a bright sunny Saturday, I walk back home with Natalie. She waves at me goodbye. “Bye!” I yell.

Being a cat is pretty fun. I think. But I’d rather be a human.

Mum greets me at the front door. “Had a fun night? Lucky girl, I was worried you wouldn’t come home!” 

“I had a great night, thanks Mum!”

She winks at me like she knows a secret. “Staying at a friend’s house sure is the cat’s whiskers! I sure know what it’s like.”

Audrey is a frequent contributor to Alphabet Soup. Read another story by Audrey here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submissions guidelines. 

Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: MEOW!

MEOW! by Analia, 10, NY, USA

Black and white cat. Photo by Hugo Zoccal Fernandes Laguna on pexels.

“Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? ARE – YOU – LISTENING?”

Humans are so annoying. I just want breakfast! The humans don’t listen and it’s so annoying. They walk around the house getting themselves food and then they brush their teeth, then their hair, then they pack, and then at the last possible moment, they give you food! Maybe I’m just overreacting a tad bit. I mean it is possible that I’m the first thing they feed in the morning but get this, they wake up at 7:30 am!

It never matters how hard I yowl or scream or cry because when they sleep they never wake up unless they want to. When their eyes finally open, I take advantage. I’m actually in the middle of that right now. The owner just woke up and I’m begging her to give me my tuna, my water, and my dry food.

“Please! I’ll do anything!”

She doesn’t listen. In fact, she walks like a sloth to the kitchen. In fact, sometimes I wonder if she’ll ever get there. She finally does. Then, I wait. She takes care of my water first. Why? I need food, not water!

“Food first!”

She continues to wash out my water bowl. Sometimes, it’s pointless to argue. Finally, she’s done. Placing my water dish on the counter, I continue to follow her to the vault. A rusty midnight-colored cabinet with smoke-colored metal openings. You have to curve your fingers around the bars in order to open the cabinet. I call it the vault because there’s no way my delicate paws can open it.

She doesn’t even bother to examine what tuna can I have. She just takes the one in front of her. The green can. I alternate between purple and green. One is tuna and chicken and the other one is tuna and turkey. I always get them confused on which way is which so I call them green and purple. When she took the green can, smoke came out of my ears.

Green? Green! I had green yesterday! Give me purple! Outrageous, inconsiderate, foolish child! How dare you give me green two days in a row! I have a very delicate stomach and if you mess with my palette, you’re cleaning up the mess!

She gives me green. Some things you can’t fight. As she pours the tuna and some of its liquid into the bowl, I try to push her arms away. She fights back refusing to give me my first lick.

“Why? Why? Give me my food!”

Then, I learn the horrid secret she’s been keeping from me. The secret that makes my eyes water. She puts in antibiotic powder!


Then she lets me have it but I don’t want it. Not after she kept that awful secret from me.

In protest I march to the dining room table and lay down, making sure my white and black fur gets everywhere. Stretching out again, nobody notices the mess I’m making. She just continues to refill my dry food then moves on to the mutt’s food. The mutt they call a dog. The inferior puppy that’s been ruining my life for a year and a half now.

I continue to stretch out on the dining room table, knowing that my actions would soon bring attention to me. When the girl came for breakfast, she stared me down.

“Cookie, will you please move?”

“No!” I replied in a sarcastic tone to make sure my anger was expressed. I don’t think the message got across. I guess some battles you just can’t win.

Analia is a frequent contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Cove Daisy

COVE DAISY by Audrey, 10, VIC

My aunt Daisy owns a cafe. The cafe’s name is Cove Daisy. My mum and I always order something there when we have time. Could be a blueberry muffin. Maybe some macarons! Carrot cake, chocolate fudge, choc chip cookies, or an American twist, whoopie pies! Whatever we order, it is always delicious, and that’s why I love Cove Daisy.

There’s a huge sign at the front of the cafe. It’s written in a beautiful font, and has a black outline. The words have a beach background, which I think is so cool. Inside there are cushions on the floor, and low tables with self-decorated menus placed on them. Of course, Cove Daisy is not a normal cafe. It is more like a fancy bakery. 

Every time you walk in, there is a faint smell of vanilla extract. It is always cozy and warm, which makes you super happy when you’re eating. But Cove Daisy doesn’t just sell delicious treats. It sells hot chocolate, and coffee. I don’t really get the point of coffee, and why adults like it so much, but I love the smell.

There’s two points in the day when you walk in and it’s packed. It’s before and after school, of course! I’m not the only kid who loves the treats at Cove Daisy. My friends – Charlotte and Nova – and I always head there before school for a quick pit-stop and after school if we’re hungry (which we always are!). Nova loves the energy balls, which have dates, coconut, and tiny bits of white chocolate. Our mums make Charlotte and I eat them, but we don’t like energy balls! We’d much rather have a cookie or a macaron. 

I love Cove Daisy because there are so many yummy desserts there, and they’re healthy as well (at least, that’s what I say)! I hope Aunt Daisy finds more treats to make next time I’m there!

Audrey is a frequent contributor to Alphabet Soup. Read a poem by Audrey here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines