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.

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‘In the Airplane over the Sea’ – a review by Elise van der Linde

In 1998, Neutral Milk Hotel released their second and final album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, which I firmly believe is one of the greatest records ever written. The record, which has never really been classified as belonging to one genre or other, has eleven songs and is forty magical minutes long. The songs seamlessly flow from one into the other, which means you’d be doing the album a great injustice by not listening to it from front to back in its entirety.

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Antidepressants No More?

Antidepressants are a touchy topic, and despite tentative steps to decrease taboo in recent years – as portrayed in The CW’s hit series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, for instance – the subject continues to make me shuffle my feet and glance for the nearest fire exit, even two full years into my own daily dose. Not that taking antidepressants was forced upon me, or begun with any sort of overwhelming reservation, of course – the reasons behind starting to take pills were nothing but my own.
At their forefront stood the gnawing curiosity of whether a tiny 10mg pill might somehow transform me into a new person. I had the vague yet fanciful notion of a glittering, toothy smile; a spring in my step and the general (and incredibly realistic) picture of myself going about public parks hugging random strangers and actually enjoying the company of anyone under fourteen.

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Short Story Competition 2019 – 2nd Place: Old Sparky, by Alexander Sinclair

I never used to drink much.

Only a couple beers here and there (I know you know that I am lying. It’s in my nature).

This thing though, and it is a thing, it grows.

It grows like all things grow and whereas before it seemed fun and made me feel warm, this thing grew and grew and now it’s tearing my fucking heart out.

A bit like you.

You seemed nice and fun.

For a while.

Things gather momentum.

Things grow.

Things spread, like fungus. Like mould.

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Short Story Competition 2019 – 3rd place: We Really Need The Babysitter Tonight by Jeremy Bernard

40 min flight, 50 pounds a ticket, 20 pounds for the babysitter, it was about fucking time.

“It’s so nice to have a day to ourselves.” She whispers into his ear. She wanted to nuzzle her head in the crook of his neck but the economy seats were too rigid for any type of comfort, let alone of the cuddling variety.

Each touch of skin against skin, the warmth and connection brought them back to past memories. Bittersweet emotions and the anxiety of a judgemental gaze and a scribbling pen. The pure sweetness of sharing hubba-bubba gum from mouth to mouth in a small practically abandoned arcade.

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Ode To Iggy Pop

Although it might seem like yesterday to some of the older generations, the year 1969 is already half a century ago. These historic 365 days gave room to Woodstock, saw the election of president Nixon, and were filled to the brim with events relating to the Vietnam war. All of this might make one think that a simple 12 months could not be filled with any more history and change, yet the year also contained the debut of The Stooges in the music industry. In a time where music, or popular culture in general, was mainly occupied with love, peace and overall flower power, the Michigan band  – initially formed by Jim Osterberg, better known as Iggy Pop – suddenly introduced a totally new sound. The controversial, dark and almost aggressive atmospheres that the group conveyed were  early signs of what Iggy Pop was about to become: a voice of the anti, a personification of Raw Power, or in other words, ‘the Godfather of Punk.’

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Writer’s Block Is Looking For New Editorial Board Members!

Writer’s Block is looking for fresh, new, enthusiastic, talented, and creative editorial board members! Do you like writing, editing, or do you have any journalistic aspirations? Then join the Writer’s Block editorial board!

What/who is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s Block magazine is the student magazine of the English department at the University of Amsterdam, but we have an international readership and contributors from across the globe. In our magazine, which is released every 3 months, we publish articles, essays, reviews, interviews, short stories, poetry, photography, and artwork. Even though the magazines are published in English, we also encourage students from outside the English department to join our board, so it doesn’t matter if you study astrophysics, law, pedagogy, history, or play the clarinet in the national orchestra – everyone is welcome at Writer’s Block.

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