Atop that friendless hill
sits the monarch of the trees.
The crumbling crown of a castle
wrought with misery.

In disregarded splendour,
that once fearful keep
becomes a blemish on the skyline;
a loss no mortal weeps.

His walls provided hope
to the soldiers of despair.
But once their plight concluded
they stripped and left him bare.

No longer his might is worshipped,
No more do they fall to their knees.
The only servant who bows to him now
is the wind in the boughs of the trees.


The Critical Theory Dream


I had somehow secured a job as a Critical Theory lecturer. Which was grand; help kids learn, damn good pay… except I didn’t have a clue what Critical Theory was.

For some reason I hadn’t turned it down, and I found myself at the front of the lecture theatre, waiting nervously for the students to file in. They arrived far too quickly for me to Google anything about the subject, so I’d have to blag my way through. Critical theory. Looking at stuff critically? I could do that.

Soon every pair of eyes was on me, and I felt the obligation to speak. I paced in the front row and made exotic hand gestures. That would make me seem a confident and well-rounded lecturer. Yeah. I’d seen other lecturers do it.

“Hi I’m Claire… Erm.. This is the first Critical Theory lecture so erm… welcome! I thought we could start by saying a bit about ourselves.”

Nice one, Claire! That’d kill at least a good half an hour.

“So yeah… we can say our name, favourite TV shows, that kind of thing. So uh… I’ll start. My name is Claire… I like Doctor Who, Merlin, Heroes, that sort of thing…”

At the mention of Doctor Who, there were murmurs of approval from the students.

“Oh right yeah, we should probably say what books we’re currently reading too. I’m in the middle of…”

But they were already no longer listening to me. They were all now discussing Doctor Who, too loudly for me to be heard. I tried to get them to listen but they were having none of it. I slumped against the whiteboard. I merged with it into the background.

Eventually everyone got up and left, all happy and talking and completely disregarding my existence. I think my rather timid lecturing style had received the ultimate criticism.

If Only


But what if?
If only.
Only once more…
More often than not.
Not a chance.
Chances are…
Are you certain?
Certainly not.
Nothing makes sense.
Sense doesn’t matter.
Matters are out of control.
Control is hard to keep under.
Underneath it all I’m not okay.
Okay? The answer is yes.
Yes is a lie.
Lies get us nowhere.
Nowhere? I want to be somewhere.
Somewhere with you, but I can’t.
Can’t do it. It’s impossible.
Impossible… but…
But what if?
If only.

Apologies, Urgencies And Magical Tendencies


Come on guys, get submitting! 🙂


As you may have noticed, the January edition of The Writer’s Quibble was not posted when we said it would be.

We apologise.

We had a lack of submissions and illustrators. Come on guys! Don’t forget that anyone can write or draw for our magazine, not just Derby Uni students! Without you we couldn’t keep doing what we do.

But we’re not giving up! We’re just delaying this edition by a month. That means you’ve still got two weeks to get your poetry and prose in for the theme:

Urban Fantasy

So take your vampires, your dragons, your mythical beasts, and put them in your best friend’s house, your local kebab shop, or slinking across the rooftops like Batman.

Submissions should be sent to uod.writersquibble@hotmail.com

Rules and regulations can be found here: https://writersquibble.wordpress.com/about/

Also, if you’re a second year Creative Writing student, expect us to magically appear in one of your lectures, like…

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