Writing Contest Hosted By Gracie and Gracie!


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Hello Everybody!

Today I am very excited to be collaborating with another Gracie (Gracie Marchiani from Through The Eyes Of Gracie) to host our very own writing contest!!!  You have my permission to jump up and down and squeal as much as you like. Yep, you’re welcome.

Anyway, if you love writing and want to enter a contest, now is your chance. Read on for more info………



    • Choose minimum three of the prompts below to weave into your story.
    • Stay beneath the 750 word limit.
    • No offensive or inappropriate content please.
    • Submit your entries by the 20th of February.
    • Email your entry to graciechick29@gmail.com and to abmarchiani@gmail.com so Gracie and I can both read your entries.
    • Let your creativity flow from the depths of your imagination into the words you write. Have fun!







  • Your story featured on both of our blogs.
  • The chance to read through all other entries and give your constructive (but positive and kind) feedback like a proper writing mentor. As stated in the rules, anyone who enters can choose whether they want the winner giving feedback on their story, it is optional so please remember to let us know if you’re happy with that.


The Prompts:


 We are waiting in anticipation of your amazing entries! So what are you waiting for? Get writing!

Crazy Sleepover Post @ Midnight

Warning:  This is a bit different to some of my usual, more serious posts! This is a crazy midnight sleepover post coming to you from myself and my two friends Emily and Paige! At the moment, Paige is doing sit-ups whilst screaming about some Australian actor who lives in America (Bob Morley).  Emily is holding Paige’s feet and wondering how she came to be friends with such weirdos.

We are sitting in front of the fire in a yurt whilst scoffing ice-cream and popcorn dipped in onion gravy.


Soooo yeah! You guys probably did NOT want to see this, but here goes anyway!

Our version of Vogue, yeah, don’t ask….


Okay so congrats if you made it through this! Goodnight!


Why It’s Important For Teens To Think Of The Future: Discussion Post

The future: what does it hold for us all? Well,  in today’s world it looks preeeeetty bleak. Just open a news site, talk to anyone in the world and you’ll see why. Everyone is struggling. There’s environmental issues like plastic and pollution, political issues like corruption and poor leadership, global issues like poverty and war, social issues like human rights abuses and violation and personal issues like mental health and the breakdowns within families. And look, I don’t want to dwell on the negative, but if we ignore these things, nothing will change. We’re gonna have to be pretty radical, guys. 

Now this blog welcomes people of all ages, offers hope and inspiration to everyone, but I am aware that most of my audience, and myself as the author, consists of teens. So today I want to talk about why it’s important for teens to think of the future. 

Now many people of our generation simply don’t even think about the future. It’s not on their radar, they just wanna live in the moment and yeah, that’s fine, but what happens in however many years when everything goes wrong??? We are the future generation and we have to take responsibility. This is our world that we’re ignoring, our future, our lives!

Right, so I think we’ve established that it’s pretty important that we teens think about the future. However, I realise that this can be a very daunting task. The future is so unknown and so huge and so full of potentials and pitfalls. And I’m no different, I find it hard to look ahead too, but we’ve all got to try together because one day we will be making the decisions. So here are my top tips for looking to the future. Here goes:

  • The main thing we need to change is attitude. We need to get a grip on just how key the future is to our lives. The future is our lives!
  • Determine what you want for the future of our world and for your future individually. Take active steps towards that, engage with it, put your energy into that thing.
  • Do small things that make a BIG difference – things like being thoughtful, kind and compassionate to others. 
  • One massive issue in our world at the moment, one that is already starting to have devastating effects on the planet and will only get worse, is the lack of sustainability. We are DESTROYING the environment, we are destroying our home and soon we will suffer the consequences. There are loads of simple ways you can help try to stop this: learn skills! Learn how to grow food, learn how to recycle, make simple more environmentally friendly swaps in your home. 

Those are my tips! Now, what are yours???? This is a discussion post after all so I need your contributions. Comment down below with any thoughts or ideas you might have!

500 Followers + Shout-Outs + Creation Of A New Award To Celebrate

So hello everybody! Today I am here to celebrate the fact that I have reached half a thousand followers here on A Light In The Darkness! Wow. However, you know what? It doesn’t matter to me how many people read my blog, what means the absolute most to me are the people who have become my bestest ever friends through this small platform I use to share my thoughts and words.

I don’t tell you guys often enough how much I love you all. So here goes the Shout-Outs. Pssst, this could be looooooong.

Liv, there are no words to describe how much I value our friendship. I know that we will be friends forever.

Aqsa, Same to you, my friend. We’ll meet someday, I know it.

Bri, my BFF, hoping we meet in real life some day. Always there to talk, thank you SO much.

Mukta, you are THE BEST EVER!!!

Elsie, you’ve inspired me and helped me stay strong. Thank you so much.

May, you are a lovely person and an incredibly talented writer.

Gracie Marchiani, we haven’t known each other long and already I feel so close to you. You’re a wonderful person. Thanks.

Emily, you’re such a cool, fun girl! Thanks for being my friend!

Abi, you leave the most lovely messages of advice and encouragement, plus you’re always making me think very philosophically. Thank you.

Allison, remember I’m coming over tomorrow to  jump in grain bins, eat pizza and doughnuts and to tour that AMAZING room if yours irl, ok?

Apollo (Loren), literally if we knew each other irl, I think we would finish each other’s…..sentences. ily, btw.

Maddy, THE most talented photographer and one of the sweetest people ever.

Charis, aw, my friend, there’s only one word for you: AMAZING!

Hannah, a very new friend, but someone I’m discovering to be a lovely, lovely person.

Rebecca, you are the most incredible and thought-provoking person. Ordinary and yet extraordinary.

Andrea, it’s almost scary how similar we are, but I love it.

Tara, another new friend, but a super nice one!

Please don’t think that because you’re not on this list, you’re not my friend! There are SO many of you and you are all AMAZING!

Now, onto the new award that I am creating in celebration of this achievement. It’s called The Change Award. 

The Rules: 

  • Link back to me, as well as whoever nominated you.
  • Include this: I, Gracie Chick of A Light In The Darkness, created this award to highlight the importance of young people taking responsibility for the future of their world. The Change Award also gives them the opportunity to share with others what they believe in.
  • Answer the questions below
  • Nominate as many people as you like.

The Questions:

Make a list of the things you want to change about schools.

Make a list of the things you want to change about local communities.

Make a list of the things you want to change about the world, your world.

Okay, I’m gonna start.

My Answers: 

Question #1.

  • More focus on life skills that will empower a whole new generation of change-makers and peace-makers that will shift the dynamics of society – making it less greedy, selfish and money-obsessed, more connected, community-minded and environmentally aware.
  • Socio-Anthropology to be taught in classrooms. It teaches kids and young people to ask why, to question ourselves and our fellow humanity and to find solutions.
  • Introducing alternative styles of teaching and learning in mainstream schools, more opportunities for those who are less academic.
  • Less testing and labeling of students.
  • For schools to become not factories for creating capitalist, economically contributing citizens of Western ‘civilisation’, but a place where learning, creativity, ideas, inspiration and change are free and encouraged.
  • For Words That Burn to be taught in all schools. It’s so important to learn about humanity, poetry gives you an incredible platform to express yourself, plus it gives students the chance to think about and challenge their world.

Question #2.

  • A change of attitude. For people to care about their neighbours, to look after their elderly, to help each other through good times and struggles, to be committed to each other.
  • More sustainability. Perhaps growing vegetables, keeping livestock, sharing responsibilities between people, but also sharing the products of their work.
  • Less prejudice between people of different races, religions or political views within local communities.
  • A better selection of YA books in libraries lol.

Question #3

  • Many of the things in my past two lists, just on a global scale.
  • A renaissance where people realise that our greedy, self-obsessed, money-orientated society is not the answer and that we should stop corrupting the world by spreading it as far and wide as we can. That we borrow from other cultures the wisdom that we need to rebuild community, human connection and committment.
  • Reduction of poverty. This can be achieved if people start sharing!
  • More poetry!
  • Cheaper avocados.
  • More affordable books.
  • And good leaders.

My Nominations:

If I gave you a shout – out, you are nominated! If I didn’t and you’d still like to do this, feel free.

So there you go! A pretty jam-packed post. I hope you enjoyed it.

*mutters to self* “500 hundred followers, my my, my!” *wanders off*



An Honest Rant About My Future + Really Needing Your Help

First off I need to thank my AMAZING friends Liv and Bri for reading this post and giving me the most incredible support, encouragement and advice. Love you guys.

Okay, the rant begins:

Today I had to make a massive decision, one that will affect my future in a huge way.

When I tell you what the question I had to think about today was, it might seem a pretty obvious answer to you. Well, for me it was hard, really hard, and in this post I want to try and be as honest as I can about my struggle as well as asking your advice, even though I have already decided what to do and am happy with my conclusion.

Here goes….

I had to decide whether or not I want to choose to live a different life, a life searching for another way, a way to light a candle in this dark world and to learn the things that are important for my future, even though for my family at the moment that means leaving where we live and setting off to travel in our new home, a truck that my Dad has built.

I know, I know, I’m weird, who wouldn’t choose a life of unknown adventures and opportunities if they had the option!? You’d be crazy not to. Well, let me explain.

I’m not your typical teen, my family think differently than most, we don’t embrace the things that we feel are destroying our world, people’s lives, in fact we try to find ways to fight them. I’ve always been totally onboard with this, choosing to be a light in the darkness, that is, until I started comparing myself to others.

In the past few months I’ve become increasingly discontent and emotionally unstable, I’ve been looking around at everyone else and being extremely unhappy inside because I don’t have the same things as them, stupid things like my own bedroom and makeup (my collection doesn’t extend beyond a couple of lip balms, literally), but also some bigger things – most notably friends.

I look around me and see all these kids with tons of friends (or so I think), having sleepovers and lots of fun, growing up together, going out , experiencing all the things teens usually do and I get SO upset because I don’t have any of that. Apart from all my online friends (appreciate you guys sooooo much, btw) I can’t think of a single person who I can call a true friend. I don’t even really have anyone to hang out with.

I’m not a shy person or an anti-social one, I’m also not someone who’s just too lazy to even bother making friends, it’s just my circumstances that have made things difficult, we never really stay in one place for a long time, we’re constantly on a journey and we’re never very settled, I guess we’ve just never found the right place for us to be.

So this massive shadow of that possibility of friendship if we stay has hung over me recently, even to the point where I’ve doubted all of our grand plans.

So today I had to sit and think about this and I came to the following conclusion, a result of my thinking as well as several recent conversations with various people:

This thing that I desire so much that I burst into tears every time I try to talk about it, friendship, does it even exist? I look around me and all these people I know have experienced SO much pain because of that very thing, they don’t have any true friends and I’m basing my whole future on what they supposedly have when they don’t even have it? Okay, so that sounds crazy.

Secondly, it’s not like I have loads of amazing friends that I’m leaving, it’s only the possibility of it. It’s not guaranteed to happen and even it if did, is that really something I want to forsake my future for?

Who says you can’t make friends on the road? Okay, it might not be so easy, but if you make the effort to engage wherever you are you’ll soon have friends all over the world, wherever you travel really, of many ages and cultures, plus you can choose who to befriend, rather than just the kids you’re thrown together with in a classroom, club or area.

This ghost of friendship can. not. rule. my. life. I am in control and I choose to be positive and to make the most of this incredible, incredible opportunity I am being offered. I am being offered the world.

After understanding this, I started getting super excited about all the possibilities and I came up with lots of ideas. I realised that I’d been blinkered by all this negativity surrounding the whole friendship issue and that I have the chance to have the best education, to learn skills from people all over the planet, I have the chance to meet a hugely diverse range of people from different cultures, with different ideas and thoughts on life, I have the chance to follow my dreams and to create new ones, I have the chance to be a real light in the darkness, if I want to.

The best example I can give you is one I learnt a lot from myself. I’m about to show you a photo I used in an aesthetic I made to reflect my current identity (read all about it in my previous post).

I used this image to represent my desire for true friendship, but after showing my Mum she pointed out to me that this shows a girl who is enjoying the sunset and yet waiting for someone to come along and share it with her. I need to be this girl.

So yeah, that’s it really, do I choose the world or do I choose the norm? I’ve made my decision already, I guess you can probably figure out from my conclusion what it is, but I’d really, really, really appreciate your advice. You guys mean so much to me, I can’t even begin to tell you, wherever I am you’re always there to talk, sometimes about changing the world and deep, philosophical stuff and sometimes just the most random topics. Please stay with me, I need you now more than ever. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank a few of you individually since I don’t do it enough.

Thanks for listening! Bye.

Want To Take Part In A Social Experiment?

Don’t worry, I’m not a weird and wacky scientist who’s going to use you to test out some strange potion. Or am I??? Nope, all you have to do is spend a few minutes answering some questions. Interested? Let me explain.

I’m doing socio-anthropology as one of my school subject and it’s absolutely fascinating. You look a bit blank, my friend. Ohhhh, I get it, socio-anthropology is the study of human society. Good now? Brill.

Anyway, my project is all about education and storytelling. My aim is to explore the differences, positives and negatives of the regular school system and homeschooling through the students eyes for once, to understand their views on education and to see – in a bit more depth – how they differ or overlap.

So there you go! All you have to do to help me out with this is to be willing to be interviewed! If you’re a teen that’s great, but any age is okay. Fill out the form below and I will get back to you asap with all the details. I look forward to hearing from you guys! All help is very, very much appreciated!

An Aesthetic To Reflect My Identity

What makes me, me? 

Inspired by Lonelymeme’s post, I decided to make an aesthetic to reflect on my own identity.

All of the aspects in this collage represent different parts of who I am – my dreams for the future, my desire for true friendship, my love of writing and books, fire and light, freedom, nature, wanting to change the world.

Now, I challenge you to do the same! Make an aesthetic to share and really think about what makes you, you???

Writing Dump + New Spoken Word YouTube Video

‘Photo Dumps’ seem to be ‘a thing’ in the blogosphere right now. Thing is, I’m not much of a photographer. I am a writer, however, a very keen one and one searching for feedback on her work! So today’s post is going to be a ‘Writing Dump’ because someone likes to be rebellious original. It will consist of poetry, short stories and snippets of novels both finished and not.

First though, here I am with another spoken word poem, this time accompanied by creative film-making by me, starring me! Todays poem/film is called Peace For A Poet and it is about a poet on a journey to find peace in our crazy, messed-up world. Along her way she highlights all the injustices she encounters, but in the end….well, you’ll just have to watch it to find out!

I really hope you enjoyed that! As always, feedback is appreciated!

Now, onto #1 of ‘The Dump’. Oh yeah!

“I see you crying, crying like you can’t take no more. I know you’re hiding, but I don’t know what you’re hiding for.

You’re like a diamond shining underneath a billion rocks.

And no one knows the truth except me, and you, of course.

Or do you? I guess there aren’t many mirrors in the pile of rocks that crush you,

Nothing to reflect your brilliant sparkle and bounce it back to you.

Just dull grey rock, maybe you think you’re the same, just with one small difference:

you’re at the bottom of the pile, under everyone else.

Let me tell you, you’re way above them, honey, you just need to realise it.”

I like this because of its sass. It’s from a prose-y short story called Revolution.


Okay, here are a few snippets from my incompleted NaNo project, The Melody Of Life:

He looked upset. “I wish I could be here to help her”

“Why can’t you?” I asked, raising my voice as anger and confusion threatened to appear, seemingly out of nowhere.

He didn’t answer, just hung his head, all trace of a smile gone.

“I said, why can’t you?” I shouted.

“Dante?” I spun around at the sound of my Mother’s wobbling voice.

“Coming, Mum.” I popped my head around the living room door.

“She misses you, you know.” I whispered, but when I looked around my Father was gone.

It was weeks before he appeared again, perhaps even a month. I was upstairs in my room, imagining as usual. I heard something at the window. Looking across, I couldn’t see anything. Just as I was turning back to stare at the blank canvas of my wall, a shadow crossed the glass. I sighed and decided to check it out. Flinging the window open, I looked out across the rooftops and, sure enough, there he was. He was sat with his back to me, gazing out at the town, swinging his legs over the edge of the garage roof.

“Hey!” I exclaimed, leaping out of the window to join him. He looked at me as I sat down next to him, no surprise in his eyes.

“Where have you been? You abandoned me!” I laughed, glad to have him back. He didn’t laugh with me.

“You don’t need me anymore.” he said. That stopped my laughter short.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “What do you mean, Dad?”

I’m not your Dad.” he told me. That made me wince. “Look, you need to leave me behind and find your real Dad.” The power of his words really hit me hard, right where it hurts too.

I thought about explaining how I couldn’t, about how it would hurt me even more, about how I was safe here, with him, but somehow my argument sounded feeble now.

“You may not need me, but you do need this.” I watched as he pulled a scrap of dusty orange paper from his jeans pocket and handed it to me.

I traced Sahra’s handwriting across its surface. “Where did you get this?” I breathed.

“Call her.” he said, and with that he jumped from the roof.

“Dad!” I cried, looking over the edge, but he was gone. Probably forever.

Just to say, this is his imaginary Dad, his real one left when he was young.

“How did you know I was on the roof today? How did you see me?” I asked

She laughed a little. “That would be because I was on the roof too.”

I was astonished. “You were? You were on my roof?”

“No! My roof, silly.”

“Oh.” It was obvious now I thought about it.

“It’s a great spot for thinking, no?” she stared dreamily out of the window.

“Yeah, you also get a pretty damn good phone signal up there too.” I joked.

She laughed softly.

An attempt at humour. 😉

We walked for a long time in silence. Finally, I spoke. “Sahra?”


“Thank you.”

“What for?”


“Oh. That’s okay.”

“You know what you did, right?”

“I guess so.”

“You took me into the real world and you’ve made it hard for me to leave.”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

“When your life does have bits missing, it’s easy to slip into a place which isn’t entirely real. Before I met you I had cut myself off, wrapped myself up in my imagination, hidden from the truth. I created a place that’s perfect, too perfect, a fantasy.”

“And I drew you out of it?”

“Exactly. You’ve changed me in the few days we’ve spent together. You’ve shown me how amazing reality can be and now I don’t want to go back to my old ways.”

Sahra stepped in front of me. “Dante, you don’t have to.”

I clenched my fists. “You know what it’s like, Sahra. You know it’s hard for me.”

“Yes, Dante.” she whispered softly. “But it’s not impossible. I’ll help you, Jenita will help you, so will Paige and everyone.”

“There’s something else I need to tell you.”

Ooh, the drama!

“Please.” I asked empty space. I felt my way blindly through my thoughts. “I’m not five. You have to tell me what’s happened.”

I heard a sigh, it was strangely muffled. “Look. Get your head out of that pillow and I’ll explain everything.”

I lifted my head and blinked in the light.


I punched in her number, just to see what it looked like on the screen. It was attractive. I laughed quietly to myself, I never found the prospect of numbers or figures exciting. Maths was not something I revelled in.


I have to tell you the truth after all this time. I’m not much of a writer, you know that, but I’ll try to explain the best I can. Please don’t expect any eloquence because that’s one thing I can’t provide.

I am and always will be your friend, but I have to tell you this (you may hate me for it afterwards and never want to speak to me again, but I’ll accept that as my fate). I lied to you all along. It felt terrible to deceive you, but I promise I was only trying to help.

You know, if you ask nicely I might even give you some more snippets, but for now…..*closes book*…..the end.


The Angel Of Peace

I arise,

Shrouding shawl wrapped around my compassionate shoulders,

Ascending from the wrath of 195 nation’s past.


From the eye of the storm reflected in their vision,

From the glint on the blade of a metallic winking sword,

And from the release of a gun.

From two hands interlocked, stained with the blood of enemies and comrades combined,

I arise, the angel of peace.

Just another lil’ poem on the not so lil’ subject of peace. 


Provocation – Spoken Word Poem About Islamophobia

Hey there everybody! Today I am back with another spoken word poem – this time about Islamophobia, a  huge issue in our modern day society.

During my Words That Burn project, combining poetry with human rights, I was looking at the topic of Dignity and instances where it has been denied or abused. For this we had to look at one of Amnesty International’s case files which was SO interesting, it’s like a sneak peek at the way this amazing organisation works.

I read the story of Hanane Yakoubi, a pregnant Muslim woman who was traveling on a London bus when she was targeted by an extremely Islamophobic verbal attack by another woman. She was continuously abused and threatened by this fellow passenger, who was a young Mother herself, her child (in a pram) actually witnessing this behaviour! No one actually intervened, but the scene was filmed by a witness. After being posted online, the video went viral and the attacker handed herself in. She faced various charges.

Honestly this sort of thing makes me feel sick, how can people be so ignorant and cruel? I had to channel my feelings into something and spoken word proved to be perfect. What you see below is a part of the video with my poem from the POV for Hanane narrated over the top.

*Trigger warning – footage of verbal abuse and mild language* Enjoy and, as always, any feedback appreciated! Also, here’s a suggestion – I would watch/listen to it twice. Once so you can focus on the video and once so you can listen to the poem properly.

If you want to watch the full original footage, please click here.

I’m really hoping this will spark a discussion between you guys! Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions and to interact in the comments! This is a totally discussion-friendly zone!