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Our brand new imprint.

The Yaffle's Nest Competition 

'What We Inherit from Water'

is now closed 


That's a wrap for the first Yaffle's Nest competition. We had nearly 400 entries from all over the world.

A huge thank you to our friend, Helen Ivory

for helping to judge the top ten poems that were jostling for position - our voting was unanimous for the top places.

There are 100 winning poems in this competition and they'll all be featured in our anthology 'What We Inherit From Water' which will be published in the next few months.

Emails have now been sent out to all winners and longlisted poets. If you didn't get placed this year please take this as a massive thank you to everyone who sent a poem - the standard was really high. Watch out for more competitions and opportunities from Yaffle and Yaffle's Nest.




Gain Access - Ian Harker


Runner up:

Rain – Holly Bars



William Walker saves Winchester Cathedral –

Jennifer A. McGowan


Highly Commended:


A question for the freedom swimmers

of the 60s - Florence Ng

Meltwater - Su Ryder

Leaving Shingle Street - Sue Butler

After swimming in the Lido ...  - Jason Conway




Brookside - Sharon Larkin

An extract from the journal of Miss Jean Fairfax - Sheila Jacob

Ammonite - Abigail Ottley 

Water Molecules - William Thirsk Gaskill

The day she stops being beautiful - Bobbie Sparrow

Yorkshire Watter - Sally Brown


 These poems will be included in the anthology:


A glass of orange juice – Rachel Davies

A short day in Carlisle – Fokkina McDonnell

A squadron of tuna is lifting the sea out of itself – Sandra Noel

A view from the future – Jenny Robb

Afraid – Jill Lang

An arctic char’s lament – Bobbie Sparrow

An Olympic length of life – Jane Sharp

And I am – Liz McPherson

Astral swimming – Bruce Barnes

Ball bouncers must pay – Sue Butler

Blame it all on the weather – Matt Nicholson

By-sea – Ali Murphy

Circling the Aquarium – BAnne Adriaens

Climacteric – Michelle Chew

Confluence – Sharon Phillips

Crossing place – Liz McPherson

Damned – Louise Jones

Deflecting what never was straight line – Sandra Noel

Dunwich: February 2020 – Sue Butler

Elegy for a dead seal – Sue Burge

Estuary – Mary Anne Smith Sellen

Eve – Sarah Graham

Excalibur – Ruth Higgins

Fear of drowning replays in a childhood nightmare – Margaret Royall

Flash Floods – Kathy Gee

Flood warning – Judi Sutherland

Globes – Boakesey Closs

Headwaters of the Hull – Tim Ellis

Heart of the Patamoi – Lauren Fleming

Heronry - Mary Anne Smith Sellen

Hook, line and sinker - Maggie Mackay

I find out on Social Media - Lauren Fleming 

I took a walk once - Maggie Mackay

I’m not hoping for rescue at my age – Julie Elizabeth Griffiths

In my water - Pat Edwards

Keeping out the cold – Linda Marshall

Learning - William Coniston

Lithium – Deborah Lyons

Melusine - Jennifer A. McGowan

Midsummer: dipping our toes in - Hannah Stone

Morecambe Bay normal – Sarah L Dixon

My friend’s cousin - Sue Mackerel

Naiad - Jennifer A. McGowan

Narrowboat - Damaris West

Night on the river - Josie Moon 

North Yorkshire steam train - Tonnie Richmond

On Durham Heritage Coast - Sarah James

Painting the Saltmarsh - Sue Burge

Pause for breath - Colin Day

Pissing myself – Patrick Druggan

Pond life - Kathy Gee

Pooled – Julia Webb

Portrait of water - Kerry Darbishire

Rain bright days - Patrick Druggan

River mother – Margaret Royall

River of Salt – Racheal Clyne

River tales – Florence Ng

River watch - Patricia Leighton

Riverish - Doryn Herbst

Rivers of Heaven – Gary Akroyd

Same shoes – Gary Akroyd

Sea change – Cate Anderson

Send Rain – Lesley Quayle

She is half in love with ink …  - Abigail Ottley

She went into the water – Pat Edwards

So you can love her – Rachel Glass

Spate – Liz McPherson

St Roma De Sau – Judi Sutherland

Standing on the ridge - Patrick Druggan

Swimming with dolphins – Ian Harker

The coastline behind your house – Sandra Noel

The field runs through your body – Sandra Noel

The journey to Gaza – Jenny Robb

The Quiet one – Maggie Mackay

The Rigger – Abigail Ottley 

The river remembers – Penny Blackburn

The Severn – Louise Warren

The Tees – Caroline Walling

There you are again – Christian Donovan

This England – Judi Sutherland

Turner’s sketch of Kirkstall Abbey – Claire Wigzell

Underwater – Georgina Titmus

Unseen – Sarah Mnatzaganian

Water pressure – Elspeth McLean

Wavelets – Alwyn Marriage

Why swimming underwater is difficult – Alison Jones

Wish you were here – Sally James

You won’t remember the weatherman – Sharon Phillips

Yaffle's Nest News 

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Yaffle’s Nest are delighted to announce that the published  novelist and writing tutor, Rebecca Ryan, will be joining our team to run novel courses, editing services and sessions on writing your synopsis, both via Zoom and in person. She’ll also be running occasional ‘Write that Novel’ day courses with Mark to help get your novels up and running and other exciting projects down the road. Rebecca was one of the regulars on Mark’s Zoom courses that he ran throughout Lockdowns, which also helped other novelists into publication or to retain the services of literary agents. Rebecca’s experience of being a successful popular fiction novelist will add valuable insight and compliment Mark’s literary background so Yaffle’s Nest can help more novelists towards publication.


Mark Connors is an award winning writer, creative writing facilitator and publisher from Leeds. Mark has had over 300 poems published in magazines and anthologies. His debut poetry pamphlet, Life is a Long Song was published by OWF Press in 2015.  His first full length collection, Nothing is Meant to be Broken was published by Stairwell Books in 2017. His second poetry collection, Optics, was published in 2019 by YAFFLE. His third collection After followed in 2021. He’s currently working on his third novel, a hybrid book of poetry and prose and a joint poetry collection with his wife Gill Connors. He is a co-managing editor at YAFFLE and Yaffle’s Nest.

Mark’s poetry and novel courses have helped many writers into publication and to attain agents. He is an award winning editor and has edited over thirty poetry books and several novels. He has worked for literary journals, Comma Press, Leeds and Bradford Libraries, The Bronte Society, Trinity University and is the resident creative writing tutor at The Bowery in Headingley, Leeds.

For more information visit and


Rebecca Ryan is the West Yorkshire author of My (extra) Ordinary Life and The Philosophy of Love both published with Simon and Schuster. She lives in Bradford with her three young children and mainly spends her time snacking, doing washing and having the odd existential crisis, just to keep things interesting. Although she always loved writing, it hadn't really occurred to her that she could do it professionally. She recently left her job as a teacher to pursue writing full-time. She enjoys walking in the countryside and takeaways (if that counts as a hobby).

Rebecca's website is West Yorkshire Author | Rebecca Ryan Author

Yaffle's Nest Publications

We are proud and pleased to introduce our first Yaffle's Nest publications. 

The Worm in the

Pheasant's Neck

Colin Day

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Rear-view Mirror

Tonnie Richmond

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Keep Taking Six

Away from 100

Tim Brookes

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Rosa Brigante

Su Ryder

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Liven Yourself Up

Sharon Philips

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Playing with Fire 

Bill Fitzsimons

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Mississippi Birdfeeder at Night 
K.T. Slattery

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Pounds Sterling 

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