Story and Poem of the Month

Our Story and Poem of the Month for February, very kindly chosen by marandina:




I’m not sure where the last year went but here I am with the monthly picks for the third February in a row. I figure that if I do this for long enough, eventually I will know what I’m doing…

It feels like the world is even crazier since this time in 2023 with the conflict in Ukraine grinding ever on, a new, horrific warzone in Gaza, the cost of living crisis still pertinent and elections looming in the UK and US. Thankfully, the calmer waters of ABCTales remain a safe haven for writing talent….and….somewhere to escape to! 

Before moving to the picks and honourable mentions, just a note congratulating all of the writers who had books, stories and/or poetry published externally over the last year or so. It’s been hard keeping up with all the good news – a testimony to the overwhelmingly positive impact posting work on the site has for many.

With spring on the horizon and welcome warmer weather, it was a privilege reading through all the stories and poems. There was plenty of writing to get excited about albeit….

*cliché alert* 

…..choosing was harder than ever. (It always is). 



So to the poetry category:

With reading so many poems I ended up with the following honourable mentions:


Jane Hyphen’s elegiac, moving piece “We Watched from the Shore”


Rhiannonw’s picturesque ramble through countryside “Up on the Mortimer Trail”


Celticman’s touching pen-portrait of a little girl “Tilly cut loose from the day”


Ewan’s sage ruminations “Afternoons without Spoons”


JupiterMoon’s ethereal moments in a bucolic setting “what some may call..”


It was hard to pick a Poem of the Month but, in the end, the one that I enjoyed more than any other was:

“An Octopus Picks Litter at the End of the World” by MistakenMagic

A wonderfully creative nature poem that has an important underlying message about the environment

It is my Poem of the Month.



And now to the story category:


Honourable mentions to:

Sean McNulty’s “Portrush Flyer” a genial journey into the world of newspaper media (also part of Sean’s latest work in progress!)


Mac_Ashton’s “The Traveling Sickness” Thought provoking science fiction


Itane Vero’s “Just like starting over” an ambiguous reflection on human nature


Charlie77’s ”Remember to Forget” engrossing horror of demons and devils in parts


Luigi Pagano’s “A Devil of a Man” an engaging historical romp set in the 1300s in serial form


D G Moody’s “Like What You See?” a deft tale of the uncanny


It was genuinely so difficult to choose a Story of the Month but the one I kept coming back to was Di_Hard’s wonderfully written “Two kinds of crying: 15th February 2024”. It is such an evocative wander through a Scottish island that juxtapositions nature’s beauty with the dark current events relevant in the world today.

This is my story of the month.


If your work didn’t get a mention then please accept my apologies. The long list was twice the length of the final shorter list shown above and there were so many notable contributions from hugely talented writers that this update could have been much longer. As always, it was such a pleasure to read such high quality material from so many people. 

The site continues to be a safe space for writers to develop and a fabulous community of like-minded yet wonderfully diverse writers. I said that last time but I thought it was worth repeating.

Until next year…



Thankyou very, very much Paul! What an honour to be among such gifted writers. I do hope with all my heart that the News is better soon, and there is Hope