Silkworms and Me – a Love Story

Every year, summer’s first few days of sunshine bring back a wealth of half-forgotten activities and hobbies to our exam-worn lives. Iceboxes and swimming gear are dug up from the hidden reaches of our storage, balconies and gardens become pleasant habitats once more, and we finally remember what sunglasses were for. For some, it means the first of many trips to the beach, to others late evenings in the backyard with a glass of wine, or maybe even a couple of plane rides across the globe. To a select few, however, the taste of summer brings a powerful desire to relive childhood memories and bunker down in their bedroom to breed silkworms like there’s no tomorrow.

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Expectations and Confrontations: On Taking Risks in Art

“No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything.”

Oscar Wilde

1. FREEDOM

Lately I’ve been considering the merits of taking risks in art and what taking artistic risks means to me in the first place. As an artist I believe that I should be able to express whatever I want without restrictions, limitations or objections. That is to say, no imagery, topic or theme should be off the table. I want my art—regardless of the genre I’m working in—to be a vehicle through which I can freely explore emotions, imagery, ideas, philosophy, morality, spirituality, etc. Letting something or someone get in the way of my artistic expression is to diminish the quality of my work, because if I have to adhere to a set of rules that I don’t stand by, I’m not allowing myself to be authentic as an artist. By extension, I can’t be authentic as a person, either, because art is my highest and purest form of expression. So, when I make art I find it useful to be able to not give a shit about rules, conventions, opinions, political correctness, being offensive or being entertaining, as long as I know what I’m doing and, most importantly, why I’m doing it. But such freedom never comes without a price.

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Moving On: Is It Real or a Myth?

It’s been a little over a year since our dog, whom we ironically called Poema, passed away. The first couple of days after his death were really hard for our family. I successfully repressed my grief by pushing away any positive or negative thoughts about him and by avoiding the conversations my family had about Poema. It was my first time losing someone, human or dog, so I had never experienced grief before and now, over a year later, I certainly haven’t moved on. Now, I’m trying to find out whether moving on is even real or a myth. I know moving on doesn’t feel real the first few days after a loss – for me, moving on certainly didn’t feel real at the time. Even now, it still doesn’t seem real. And how does moving on tie in with the grieving process? Let me try to find the answers to this by starting at the beginning.

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A JOLLY JOINT INTERVIEW WITH THE WRITER’S BLOCK BOARD

As the end of the 18/19 Writer’s Block board year draws to close, we present – for the sake of posterity – a joint masterpiece that critics across the world will surely describe as ‘crass’, ‘tasteless’ and ‘mildly funny if you’re really tired at the time’ – which we have put together with much love, dedication and nuance. Always wanted to get to know the board a little better? This is the perfect opportunity! All current board members answered a bunch of budding questions about themselves, with exciting, in-depth answers into the mysteries of selfhood, plastic bags and psychoanalysis (just kidding: only one of those three is true, and you know it’s neither of the good ones). Curious to find out about our favorite submissions, childhood antics and weirdest hobbies? This is the article that will answer all of the above, and perhaps leave you with more questions than before. Let’s get started!

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Short Story Competition 2019 – 1st Place; Land’s End, by Luc de Vries

It is genetic, and therefore likely, that I’ll lose my mind sooner or later. My old man was crazy and the son of a bitch before him was too. I’m not sure what my mother’s side was like, but if she hadn’t been cuckoo from the start my father sure nudged her in the right direction by showing her how.

By comparison me and my sisters are turning out well. I don’t think any of us have ended up crooks or bandits yet but I don’t speak to them often enough to say for sure. But we’ll go looney at one point or another. It happens to most people, and it will certainly happen to me.

I sit at my mother’s table. I leave the messages from the family WhatsApp group unread and watch the clock in the top corner of my phone screen. Mom walks about the old place and talks to me from the other room.

“Arjen. It’s happened again,” she says.

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Writer’s Block #40


This past Thursday our brand new issue was released in print copy, and now it is also available digitally, in pdf format. Featuring some stunning poetry and prose as well as atmospheric photography, not to mention the winner of our short story competition, it has been a joy to put together!

In the following, Writer’s Block presents some of the material we’ve received and treasured the past few months. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as we do! Click here to have a look.

As always, you are welcome to send your own prose, poetry or photography to  submissions@writersblockmagazine.com.