Writing is an eternal struggle to find perfection—a challenge that we emerging writers both love and loathe. It was a never-ending cycle: countless drafts, tough-love workshopping, and endless editing hours as we grappled with characterisation, plot, and whether our story was relevant to the theme. Often we were left a broken mess; however, our desire to create diverse worlds and provide page-turning experiences for readers drives us to write. Issue #7 is the outcome of that.

‘Pockets’ seemed a daunting theme to tackle, but as we thought about it more we were presented with a rich array of opportunities to capitalise on our own ideas, the result being a vibrant and varied collection of short stories.

Intertwined with the lint, spare change, and loose stitching from our own pockets of thought, stories began to emerge. Our genres jump from science fiction, to drama, and to historical fiction. The stories range from the isolated prisoners in the jungles of Borneo, to the faraway planet of Drita, and to the inner lives of two young women; we also enter the mind of an opportunistic robber, a retired mailman, and a mute thief. All these stories come from that single theme, which is a testament to the creative ingenuity of our cohort.

Michelle Hamadache and Rebecca Giggs acted as our guides; they helped us sift through the muddle of our minds, mould our ideas, and challenge our creative abilities. Through their honesty, they showed us that sometimes to create a great story, you must be prepared to ‘kill your darlings’—and we are extremely grateful for that advice.

Friends, this is why we love to write: to come out of that struggle. Having an experience like this early on in our careers is what makes us better writers. We are all very proud of the works we have created.

Delve deep—you’ll be surprised by what you find!

Written by Nicholas Wasiliev, Mary Lou Raposa, and Shannah Connell

Rip the Stitches, Jacqueline Bunn

Stifle, Beatrice Ross

Lost, Ashna Mehta

Singledom, J. Juarez

Shrouds Without Pockets, Julian Knight

Song For A Dragon, Caldonia O'Leary

The Worst Kind of Pain, Ceyda Erem

Contrary Crescent, Sonia Fedyczkowski

Picking Pockets, Elise Fowler

Engines in Space, Peter Dickison

The Emperor's Path, Nicholas Wasiliev

D's Repairs, Brooklyn Andrews

Day Dreaming, Kendall King

Attached, Elín Kristjánsdóttir

Liminality, Amy Garpendal

The Ring's Travellers, Shannah Connell

Deda's Secret, Melinda Wardlaw

Where Light Doesn't Exist, Alex Chambers

Eye Opening, Crystal Gralton

Lost For Words, Michael Cook

Ring a Rosies, Lucy Ross

Dasvidaniya, Claudia Frazer

Bad Faith, Christopher Grady

Queues and Robbers, Jonathan Grew

Paris The Incorrigible, Elise Robertson

Surviving Loneliness, Timothy Hirons

We all fall down, Catrin Shaw

Phantom, Rabeah Zafrullah

Lansdowne, David Nolan

Pass Over, Alec Mallia

Dignity Estranged, Christopher Norris

Robota, Alice Maher

As We Go On, Mary Lou Raposa

The Valley, Anna Blackie

Soul 3396, Hannah Bell

Twenty Seconds, Charlotte Smith

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