Wednesday 14 December 2011

Countdown to Christmas: The Poets' Lament

We've asked the SCBWI British Isles poetry group to add to the festive cheer with some seasonal angst. Enjoy!

(The poets would just like to reassure the readers that any resemblance to any agent alive or dead in any of the following poems is purely accidental and that a license to use poetic licence is pending.)

Christmas Meeting.

The writers sat inside the pub,
Near gently burning embers.
They hooked up to the wi-fi,
And skyped their other members.

‘Good news,’ said one, ‘I’ve got a deal!’
‘Hoorah,’ they said and toasted.
‘And I,’ said two, ‘have RSI,
But I’ve finished and it’s posted!’

‘Well done,’ said three, from o’er the sea,
‘And I have done my edits.’
‘That’s great,’ said four, ‘I do adore,
Your book about the ferrets.’

All filled with wine and warmth and words,
They head home full of hope.
Rejection slips can lay forgot,
Until the New Year’s post.

© Kathryn Evans 2011
vans 2011

We Three Agents

Once upon a winter's night three agents came to call,
One fat and bald, one short and stout, and one extremely tall.

'We agents three are searching, we're searching for a star,
The next big thing, the uber one, we've come from near and far.
We hear you are an author, we hear that you can write,
Do you have something for us, something clear and bright?'

'Well,' says I, surprised and shocked, 'I do have just the thing,
I have a snotty troll for you, who loves to dance and sing.
Or what about my ghoulie, or my ghostie or my spook,
They haunt my head, I want them out, they'd love it in a book.

I have a witch! She has just won the latest 'You've got Talent',
She juggled cats and rats and toads, which wasn't very gallant.
She cackled at the audience, she cast a magic spell.
They clapped until their fingers bled, she made them scream and yell.

Agents three, they looked at me, they shook their heads and sighed,
'The next JK we have not found.' Dear reader, I just cried.

© Maureen Lynas 2011

Writer’s Christmas

It was Christmas night in the suburbs
And in front of her glowing blue screen
A writer sat frantically tapping
Out her final sensational scene.

She’d done all the showing not telling,
She’d written a voice strong and clear
With the snow whirling down past the windows
The time for a climax was near.

The hero was trapped, well and truly
In the lair of the devilish wizard.
How could he get out? She despaired.
Then she heard a sleigh in the blizzard,

Drawn by reindeer with bells and red noses;
Heard a cheery old voice crying, ‘Ho!
I’ve brought you a present my lovely’
As it slid to a stop in the snow.

‘It’s just the denouement you needed’,
Father Christmas declared with a grin,
So she gave him a drink and unwrapped it,
With her head in a bit of a spin.

Just imagine her bitter frustration
When, instead of an epiphany,
She saw words that now ruined her Christmas,
‘With one mighty bound he was free’!

© Carmel Waldon

Hush, Hush

Slush! Slush!
Submit - who dares?
Agents and editors
are saying their prayers.

Shush! Shush!
Whisper and creep,
Agents and editors
Are all fast asleep ..

Hush! Hush!
Fill up their stockings,
with books so amazing
their sales will be shocking.

© Lesley Moss 2011

© Lesley Moss 2011

For Sale: One Storybook Hero,

Hardly Used

As midnight strikes on Christmas eve,
a bold hero from Make-Believe,
is waiting for an agent elf
to find him on the slushpile shelf.

He's in a story told just right,
to read at night by firelight,
or on an ipad softly glowing,
when outside it's dark, and snowing.

Christmas present, Christmas past,
let him have his day at last,
let him have his chance to be
read by children eagerly.

Don't leave him buried in the slush -
don't let his dreams all turn to mush!

© Lesley Moss 2011


Dear Santa, please be lovely. Dear Santa please be kind.
I have to have a book deal, before I lose my mind.

Last year I got an interview! I really got a bite,
But then it came to nothing, and I can't sleep at night.

I've written and revised it. I've written it again.
I can't be arsed to try some more, it really is a pain.

It’s long and complicated: dystopian despair.
Four hundred thousand words of gloom really is quite rare.

It's such a brilliant story - I've put in such a lot,
There's baddies and there's goodies, it almost has a plot.

So take it to the agents. Please take it for me, PLEASE!
Just stuff it in their turkeys, or underneath their trees.

Hide it in their brussels sprouts, inside their Christmas pud.
Please get my lovely book deal and then I will be good.1

© Maureen Lynas 2011

A Christmas Twist.

Who will buy this wonderful story,
Such a tale, you never did hear.
Who will tie up deals with the movies?
And celebrate it far and near?

There'll never be a book so funny,
It could not happen twice.
Where is the man with all the money?
My agents got the price…..

Who will buy this wonderful story?
I'm so high, I swear I could fly.
Me, oh my! I don't want to lose it
So what am I to do, to keep the story true?
There must be someone who will buy?
There must be someone who will buy?
© Kathryn Evans 2011

The Gift

What I want for Christmas is
as ephemeral as beautiful as this:
a child’s smile when he reads my book,
turns the page, his face lights up ..

And I want strings of icy beads
to decorate the garden trees,
I’ll see them scattered delicately,
drops of light transparency.

Pale winter sun slides round the door,
the writing time is almost done,
and I know I’ve been waiting for
so many days, how many more?

for Christmas,

for a child’s smile,

for those jewels of ice shining in the sun.

© Lesley Moss 2011

With thanks to:


  1. What a wonderful collection! They certainly put a smile on my face as I realised several of them could become mantras that I will repeat regularly at the altar which is my computer as I pray an agent and/or publisher will welcome my ms with open arms. Let's hope everyone's dreams come true in 2012

  2. Thanks guys - these are great! Cheered me right up!

  3. LOL LOL!!! Brilliant!!!
    Didn't know I'd written a book about ferrets though, Kathy! ;-) And nice to finally see Lesley's face!

  4. Hee hee hee Nicky Schmidt xx

    The last line is missing from Christmas Twist - the all important 'There must be someone who will buy!...


  5. Big apologies to Kathryn! I have fixed the last line now. Please read it twice everyone, to make up for my techno hiccup!

  6. Wonderful stuff! A Slushpile Anthology calls!

  7. Absolutely brilliant! Just recovering from a rejection, and this dragged me right out of the grumps!

  8. Fantastic stuff ladies,

    Next year how about a little anthology we all can get our friends and family to buy for our stockings!

    And Kathy, I didn't know Nicky had written a ferret book either!

  9. re ferrets - I thought the writer overseas was Nicky until I saw the ferrets.
    Brilliant collection!!!
    Dear Santa, please be lovely. Dear Santa please be kind.
    I have to have a book deal, before I lose my mind.

    That made me laugh out loud!

  10. 'That made me laugh out loud!' Excellent!

    It's definitely Nicky, haven't you heard about her new WIP? Floppy the Ferret? A heart wrenching tale of a ferret who's lost in the African bush. I won't give away the ending, but you will need tissues.

  11. Amazing! How talented you all are (but we knew that anyway!).Bring on the anthology I say! :)

  12. Loved these, they really gave me a much need laugh! Thank you all so much!

  13. Well, I suppose I ought to confess that I'm Kathy's number one. If you see what I mean . . .
    (announcement to be made separately)

  14. You ARE my number one - didn't give anything away though did I? x

  15. Great stuff!

  16. SO impressed by this lot.
    They have Rhythm
    AND Rhyme


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