Submissions are accepted on a regular basis, year-round.
Can include, short stories, essays, poetry and prose.
Must not exceed 3,000 words.
Must be written by a current ESA student, or alumni.
Submissions are accepted:

Friday, 27 March 2015

Hey y'all,

As March comes to a close, other things begin. Spring is around the corner, which means summer will follow close behind! This being said, E.S.Say will be accepting its final submissions by the end of April. So if you would like to be a part of this project and the book, now is the time! You have a whole month to send us whatever whimsical words you wish.

Enjoy the non-snow,
E.S.Say Creative Writing

Max M.

You’re a Fool. 
She stood at the door staring at the man she married a lifetime ago. He slept on his stomach; she was disturbed by the largeness of it.
“You’re a fool, Kenneth.”
His eyes opened and surveyed the grey walls before falling onto his wife standing in the doorway.
“I love you too, darling.”
He closed his eyes again.
The pale grey walls in the brick house on the corner in the suburb of the town where both their parents had grown up.
He ate over the kitchen sink, he never picked up the crumbs… she did that, watching him.
“You’re a fool, Kenneth.”
“I love you too, darling.”
“You always leave the crumbs in the sink, Kenneth. By the time I get home from work they get soggy.”
He lifted his head from the newspaper it was buried in.
“Sorry, darling, I was reading the sports section. What was that?”
“Never mind, Kenneth. I’m going to work.”
“Goodbye darling.”
He sat down on the couch with a bowl of cereal. Second course. It was Wednesday the 11th of October.
She arrived home every night to the house in the hamlet of the town where both their parents had grown up. Most nights it was 7:00, most. Tonight it was 9:50, Wednesday the 11th of October.
For one year he had started his day with toast over the sink and a bowl of cereal on the couch. His wife went to work at 8:00 and was home at 7:00. He was always sure to be home before 6:00. Tonight he was too late, taking his shoes off as his wife walked in the door.
“I’m home, Kenneth.”
“I see you, darling. Late one tonight?”
“I could say the same, Kenneth. Did you pick up the crumbs like I asked this morning?”
“I didn’t hear you ask, darling!”
“You’re a fool, Kenneth.”
“And you’re a bitch, Julia.”
She pulled off her boots and watched him walk into the grey kitchen; the sky matched the walls, and the pallor of his skin.
“Are you just going to continue in this?”
“In what, Julia?”
“Are you going to keep walking?”
“There aren’t many places to go besides where I’m headed. Where I go.”
“I swear to god, Kenneth, rinse the sink before I lose it.”
“Christ, Julia, there are people that can help you with disorders like this.”
He put a piece of white bread in the toaster and turned around smirking.
“You always clean it up anyway so what’s the point of talking about it this much?”
“I clean up your mess, and my own mess, you bastard. I’m the only one doing anything productive in this house.”
“I’m productive too!”
“But you’re not, Kenneth.”
“Does that make us any different? Are you so superior just because you clean up?”
“I think Kenneth… I think we’re less different than I originally thought.”
His toast popped and he ate it dry, leaning over the sink staring out the large kitchen window.
She sat at the kitchen table. Rubbing her temples to aid “the headache” she never really had. He’s always known. She just found out but realises that she’s always known too. They both knew that their eyes were too cold to meet any more.
“I’m going to bed Kenneth. One of us has to get up in the morning.”
“Whatever, Julia. I’ll be up for a while.”
The stale kitchen air was hushed as she stared at the grime under his fingernails, he at her unwashed hair.
“You’ve gotten so old.” They both thought it of each other but neither said a word.
She went upstairs.
“Late one.”
“Fuck off.”
“You’re a whore.”
“That’s a double standard.”
It was the 27th of October.
He was out. She had her first day off since he called her a bitch. She thought about his grey skin as she looked at the walls. Sunlight. She needed the sun and she needed the life she thought she could have with him. She was almost tall enough to reach the sun.
“I need to be home more.” She thought.
It was the 14th of December.
She cleaned the house, top to bottom.
“It’s okay, it’s okay it’s okay.”
She couldn’t get it out of her head. She justified it to herself over and over and over. Tonight, tonight she would do it. She entered their room.
The bed and the wall it stood against got none of the natural light streaming in from the window. She put down her laundry basket and stared into the suburb she understood better than she understood her husband.
“I hate this fucking place.”
As she stood up she noticed exactly what she had been hoping for. Peeking out from under the bed. Her guilt evaporated and was replaced with the smugness she had been pining after. There it was. A gift from whomever was up there, she used to think she knew that answer. At least she had one thing to grip onto with certainty. She waited for him to come home.
“Give up, Kenneth.”
“Why darling, whatever do you mean?”
The two glasses of wine they drank were larger than either of their hearts at that moment. As the wine depleted, neither knew, but their hearts shrank alongside the drinks. In a happy home so to speak.
“I found her things under our bed.”
“It’s not just me giving up.”
“Whatever do you mean, my love?”
Her sarcastic tone made him falter; that didn’t happen often. He went on, angry at her ability to still get under his skin.
“I ran into him about three weeks ago. He was coming from our house, and your perfume was on his neck.”
“You hugged him?”
“Aren’t you happy?”
“I guess so.”
They looked at each other. Their eyes truly met for the first time in weeks. Fire in hers and indifference in his - no surprises. They each took another sip of wine.
“It’s for the best.”
The words were spoken at the same instant, coming from both of their tightly pursed mouths. Simultaneously destroying them both, but throwing the bigger picture in their faces. It tore because tradition demanded so, but their heads and their hearts knew that in the long run, this was the one true path to happiness.
“What do we do?” The fire in her eyes turned to ice and then melted. They were two people, destroyed but happy.
“We move on.”
“Is it that simple?”
“Haven’t we proven how simple it is to each other yet?”
“I reckon so.”
“Isn’t it at all strange?”
“Of course Julia, Jesus Christ.”
“Well you just seem so calm about it all!”
He looked at the woman he had once loved, once cared for. She could die today and his heart would carry on being happy because he was rid of her pestilence, her arrogance, the sadness she brought in the door, taking her boots off every damn day at 7:00. Yet there was something holding him back from jumping for joy, like he always imagined he would do when this moment finally arrived. He could leave, justified in his own mind for doing so.
“Do you love me, Julia?”
“I did, shouldn’t that count?”
“It means nothing now.”
“Fuck you, Kenneth. It’s been years since you loved me. I’m not the only guilty party.”
“Human nature dictates…”
“Stop. I don’t care how qualified you are, you won’t tell me about my nature.”
“Oh, do tell all mighty Julia, what would you like to hear?”
“That you don’t love me either.”
He threw back his wine and whipped the glass towards the sink. She looked at him, her eyes freezing back over. The one moment of humanity between them, gone forever. It wasn’t a graceful transition.
“I’ll be leaving then.”
“Good because she’s coming here.”
“A weighty assumption to make.”
“You just said you’re leaving.”
“I get half, that’s the deal.”
“Ah, so the important points come out.”
“As if you care, Kenneth. Do we have a deal?”
“We both signed it.”
“Women are more protected.”
“According to you, I’m not productive.”
“But you have the money…”
“Who’s to say?”
It was her turn to whip the wine glass. The effect, however, was a little more dramatic than she intended.
The giant kitchen window smashed and the snow blew in within seconds.
“You’ve lost it.”
“Tends to happen when your husband won’t talk to you, at all.”
“I’ve kept my shit together, Julia. You’re not the only victim in this.”
“I don’t care anymore, Kenneth. I really and truly don’t.”
“Cover the window.”
“Do it yourself, I’m leaving. Be gone by 11:00 tomorrow morning. I’ll be by to gather my things.”
“Oh darling, so quick to give up on love.”
“We both lost it long ago, Kenneth. Fuck off and grow up.”
“Hey Julia?”
She whipped her head around, halfway through the foyer, on her way to putting her boots on.
“You’re a fool.”
She put on her boots and left. She drove around the corner away from the house, pulled over and began to sob. It was slow at first. Then faster. Then faster. As she continued to cry, Julia realised the sunshine liberation she had so desperately clung to as her last escape was here, but it was less gratifying the more she thought.
“Another man. Eventually another house, another lack of love.”
Humanity was ugly. Her sobs only contributed to the thought that,
“I am alone.”
It had all gone so wrong. She used to love him, maybe she still did, if he could get as deep as he was, under her skin. Sunshine seemed worthless in the light of winter night.
“I am alone, but it’s okay.”
She had chosen to leave him, his mind and his heart.
He looked at the broken window his wife had smashed minutes before.
“Did I ever love her?”
Yes, the answer was yes. He hated her too, though. The way Julia, fucking Julia, had done what she did and yet he was still the bad guy and there she was inside his brain, under his skin, in his soul as the woman it had all begun with. Would the new one be any better?
“Another woman, the same house, eventually another lack of love?”
He was unsure, he hated that.
He looked at the broken window, covered it by taping garbage bags over it, turned off the kitchen light, and went to their bedroom. Shakily he picked up the phone and called. He felt dirty, he hated that too.
She looked back at where the house was a few streets away. She turned back and drove into the night towards sunshine. She was unsure how welcome it would be when it finally appeared though. She was unsure, but away from him felt clean. The morning would need cleaning, but she could deal with that.
It was unresolved. At least, the foolishness had ended.

Meghan Dunsmuir

17 years


A pale pink universe

I have cut my hair trying to fly

Beyond the walls that kept me here.

My everything space, my nothing space,

Curvatures of plaster swirling the same stale air

Over and over my own foggy reflection.

Appearing cracks reveal

We’ve been floating side by side.

Together we will learn

Hope, grieve and fight
I will break the circle,

Reach for my hands.

17 years
I have lived within
A tiny pale pink universe
Where I have cut my hair to fly
Beyond the walls that kept me near.
This everything space, this nothing space,
A curvature of plaster swirling the same air
Over and over my own foggy reflection
But slowly, appearing cracks reveal
We’ve been floating side by side.
Together we will learn,
Hope, grieve.
I will
Break the circle,

Reach for my hands.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Happy World Book Day!!

Hope everyone is holding up well. Only one more week til March Break, so hang in there folks. In the mean time have a peak at the lovely bits of writing just posted. Don't forget to take a moment to just breathe and read. You deserve it.

Keep on writing and sending,
E.S.Say Creative Writing Team
The Sun Only Sets in The East

The midsummer sun lit the field to reveal blades of grass towering over others. The path of its fading rays raced to patches of grass exposing different shades of green. Despite their even nourishment, nature had intended for a spectrum of colours.
 A narrow trail led two familiar friends into the field. To the west of the boy, some distance away, was a railroad. The railroad was separated by a tall fence which enclosed secrets in the field remaining from the times they had met here in the past. The silence of the grounds with the exception of a train passing made it ideal for confidential matters. Rarely, they would share the fields with a dog walker chasing his dog. However, they were no threat to the two  because they minded about their own business. 
The girl gazed at the military of hydro poles planted in the fields.
 “ They kind of look like people,” she said.
“ You’ve always been the artist, I don’t really see it,” he said. 
“ Don’t you think they’re sculpture-looking? I mean, if you look at their outline and block out the shapes inside,” she said.
“ I guess I can see it,” he said. 
“ What if they began marching towards us and-“
“ That’s impossible Sky, they were built with specific structures and shapes, ” 
“ I know, it would be cool though,” said Skylar. 
They steered away from a puddle of mud which formed in the morning rainfall. 
“ Okay. Then how about this Miles…How about jumping from your shadow, do you think that’s possible?” asked Skylar.
“ Impossible,” said Miles.
“ When the sun goes down,” insisted Sky.
“ That doesn’t count,” said Miles. 
Crestfallen, Skylar looked down at her muddy sneakers. Miles was at a loss for words as he didn’t know the reason for their meeting.  As much as the silence of the fields was comforting for secrets, when neither of them uttered a word, the space felt empty. 
Finally, Miles broke the silence.
“  Can we stop talking about jumping shadows and marching hydro poles and talk about what’s on your mind?” he said.
“ Well… I wanted to talk to you about Will,” she said. 
“ He’s your boyfriend…” he said.
“ I mean, not about Will . About me dating Will, us not hanging out as much… Does it bother you that I’m dating someone?” she asked. 
“ Of course not, I’m happy for you. Besides, I’ve been hanging out with Logan from my cycling club,” he said. 
“ Ok, its just cause Jenny was telling me that I should bring it up with you because you might be jealous,” she explained. 
“ Jealous? Don’t flatter yourself,” Miles replied promptly. 
“ I was just asking. I mean it’s perfectly normal, we’ve been friends since the first day of Kindergarden. In most of those cases, one of the friends ends up developing feelings for the other,” she said.
“ Sky, I don’t like you that way,” said Miles.
“ It’s okay if you do-or have-I have at times in the past,” said Skylar.
“ Really?” gasped Miles.
It was often hard to tell if Skylar was blushing or it was the complexion of her rosy cheeks but this time it was clear that it was provoked. 
“ Whoa. I can’t believe I just told you that. It’s always been impossible for me to say.”
Skylar could not associate the expression on Miles face with the ones she knew. It was as if she had learned to read the cursive of his expressions and suddenly, the letters shuffled into words she could not make out. She believed she had destroyed their precious friendship forever. 
“ It’s okay, I don’t like you now- I mean I can’t like you now… I’m dating Will and I like him,” she tried to convince herself. 
“That’s great,  I’m really happy for you,” he said confidently.
“ Why do you have to be so weird about these things. Theres nothing wrong with liking me,” she said.
“ Sky, I told you. Plain and simple, I don’t like you,” he said in hopes of her giving up.
“ Then why are you acting weird about me dating Will. How could you be so smart but so immature?” she asked.
“ You’re making this something it’s not Sky...” he said.
It began to sink in that Miles may be telling the truth. Perhaps the idea of mutual feelings had been nothing but a fabrication of her wishful thinking. 
“ I guess I was the only one,” she muttered.
Miles looked at her apologetically. “I think.. I think that I would like you Sky if-“ he said.
“ You don’t have to apologize about not liking me. You’re making this more embarrassing than it already is,” she interrupted.
“ I really wish I could explain it to you, but I don’t think I can,”he said.
Suddenly, the roles had been reversed.  It was as if Miles had brought Skylar into the fields with an important revelation instead of her.  
“ Those things are usually black and white, Miles. You either like someone or you don’t. Pitying me will just make this more painful… Can we just talk about something else?”Skylar pleaded.
Miles was insistent on explaining himself.
“ Sky, the reason I cant like you is that-“
Suddenly, the roaring sound of a train passing by muted their words for what felt like the longest minute. The train, however created an excuse for them to take a break from the subject. 
When the thunder of the train was distant, Miles observed the hydro poles. 
“ If you look at them for long enough, they do start to look like people,” he said.
“ I told you,” she said.
“ Except for their interior shapes aren’t full… you can see right through them,” he said.
“ You always come around,” she said.
“ Well do you think that maybe they’ll hear us and tell the neighbours through the lines?” he asked worriedly. 
“ You sound like me. No, don’t be silly,” she said reassuringly.
Miles looked towards the cloud of dust that the train left behind in its tracks.
“ Hey, do you remember that DNA lab we had to do in chemistry a couple of months ago? They asked us whether we could see the double strand when really, it’s impossible to see, even scientists with super high tech lab equipment have never been able to see it. Anyways, they asked it as this kind of trick question, like as practice for university just to see if we’d have the honesty to submit the results we really observed… and we both thought that maybe we could see the double strand if we changed the enzymes, temperature, you know, different variables…” Miles rambled. 
“ Miles, I honestly don’t have time for this. I’m meeting with Will to go to the party at 8:00, I really don’t have all day,” she said.
“Sky, this is important,” said Miles.
“ Then why are you talking about a DNA lab we did months ago? We’ve been in this field for nearly an hour and you haven’t said anything,” she said.
“ Its impossible,” he said flatly. 
“ What?”
“ Just like jumping your shadow or marching hydro poles…” he continued.
Skylar looked perplexed, more so than she had during this entire conversation. 
“Wait. But how about Logan, you’ve been hanging out with her. I thought you might like her.” 
“ I do like him,” he said.
A sigh of relief echoed through the fields. For the first time, the silence between them felt comfortable. The release of his secret felt as if the wind was trapped by a net on a windy day and that its woven strings had finally been untied.

The open field allowed the sky to be seen in its entirety. In the horizon lay a palette of colors projected by the sun setting. They both looked down at their shadows which were now slightly angled because quite some time had passed. 
“ We may be unable to jump shadows. But Miles, do you think the sun would ever set in the east?” asked Skylar.
“ I’m sorry to disappoint you again Sky, but that is impossible.”

The Immaculate Daughter
Meghan Dunsmuir

It is in the palest light
That an infinity begins

In the mind of a girl
In the morning time.

But the moment is fleeting,
It also ends.

There was a bus, and we got on it.
We laughed like we knew where we were going,
Intruding on late night travelers.
We got off
As quickly as we had gotten on,
Irrelevant passengers on a routine
Journey through the dark.
Now we stood
On the side of the road,
Still smiling.
Still pretending,
Our vision blurred
By flecks of rain.

In the second of waking,
As light fights its way
Through cracks in the black,

A gossamer floss
Is suspended between
Dreamland and lifetime.

Ready to shatter
As the weight of yourself
Crashes down.

He stood
Beside the side door
Outlined in dewy light.
I came out,
Stocking feet on a damp,
Concrete floor.

We fell into conversation,
Easy, delicate and soft.
But we grew out of talk
As I leaned forward
Into him.

His mouth
Became my mouth,
And his hands
Became my hands,
And the softly moving fingers
In between my own,
Drew me closer.

When consciousness breaks,
The weight of the past
Demands attention.

From hard truths,
To white lies
And the bottles under the bed,

To all of the things
That have never been said.

My hands felt
The coarse fabric of his shirt
That must have once been soft.
While his hands felt
For the underneath.

And so in the blackness,
I only saw what there was to feel,
Of his mouth
And his shirt
And his hands on my ass.

These secrets are kept
To offer protection
To an idea
Of a daughter.

Who is strong enough
To deal with anything,
Or at least should pretend
That she can.

A daughter who wasn’t raised to think
That things can go wrong
Before they can grow.

When we go back inside,
The room feels as sodden
As the soles of my feet.

I think that I danced,
And I think that the smoke
Got into my lungs
From under the door

And it definitely did
When it was passed
All the way around.

Because it seemed as though
The floorboards where a baby girl
Had once stacked building blocks
Were plummeting
One by one
Shifting the things
I knew to be true
That are not so true

The secrets are part
Of the mind that awoke
When the flash of the infinite
Possibility arose.  

And though the weight
Comes falling back down
It also retains  
The mind
That is mine.
In the morning I will wake,
Free of any burdens,
That I’ve been carrying.

The moment
Where it is infinitely possible,
For everything and nothing but

Until then
I wait,

For the palest light.

Intoxicating Fear
Alana Staszczyszyn

Hush now! Look centre stage, the lights flood in!
Drop what’s so important... the show begins!
Excitement floods and runs throughout their veins:
Singers, Players, performers all the same.
But dully in the dark musicians sit,
just frolicking in joy deep in the pit!
Yet scarcely seen among the bells and bows,
some forty-six gut strings in colored rows,
a wooden frame so elegant and tall,
that trumps and squanders its brethren so small.

The rest know well that they cannot compare
for at this gorgeous monster eyes will stare,
and though I am but one of many here
in black, a flash of rainbow does appear:
not uniform; refusal to be plain;
a soul so extravagantly untamed
which longs for none other than to prove wrong
the notion that it is all but strong.
But damned was I to think that that would fix
my soul and lead me on to find pure bliss.

Born within midst of my great confusion
a quest, a journey to break illusions:
I longed to find an aid to look inside,
to analyze my mind and quench my pride.
The line is thin between morality
and self acceptance of one’s vanity,
so what’s acceptable for one’s accept
when deep inside you know your are adept
at things you hope will make the world better?
So truth I sought with chemical answers.

So what, I tripped, you think that that halts me?
Plain is the power of discovery:
a fortification of iron will,
and self incrimination it will kill.
To know inside that I have well prevailed,
surpassed, succeeded, made not to fail,
for when one cannot trust what they do see,
reality, it warps, leaving minds free.
But yet that does not lead to one’s demise;
one learns to trust their heart, and not their eyes.

So with these substances I did explore
my very consciousness down to the core,
and through my feet I found a way to prance;
next thing I knew I grasped the art of dance!
And to my hands the blood rushed free and raw
then suddenly I learned to freely draw!
And too, the sound, it came so natural,
through speech, and words, and harmonies made full!
But still I’d yet to learn what living’s for;
it can’t be fame alone; there must be more.

With company divine: he who yearns learn
came incomparably such knowledge earned.
One fatefully intoxicated night
revealed a beauty so fair and right:
the glory of collaboration’s work.
A power that holds nations on their turf,
a force that works in big, middle, and small,
from atoms, blood kin, buildings grand and tall.
But where this tool really does outshine:
in arts, in music; elements divine.

Such melodies so full and rich by ear
made pleasantly from harmonies so clear,
and drawings made from many lines’ connects
carefully placed, equated in transect.
I learned from this after my soul now grown
that one cannot survive to stand alone,
for even in beings inanimate
existance shall never alone admit
license, for all is made of smaller forms;
This knowledge birthing revelations born.

Forever have these moments brought such change
for indestructible, a peace unmaimed
was ever brought to my mind’s conception
of such great understanding connections.
A passion dominates me now by far:
inspire, instruct, not be the star.
With art and music comes a wholesome peace
where other’s satisfaction matters least,
and now that I’ve escaped my judgement’s fear,

I shall intoxicate your sober ears.