March 17th, 2017
First, thanks to Julia for last week’s blog. After reading it, and the very polished entry that she submitted to the recent AFW poetry competition, I think she should stop being tempted to say ‘poetry isn’t really my thing’ – it most definitely is!
However, I definitely know what my thing is, and I’m not sure I should be boasting about it: collecting snippets of useless (but, in my defense, interesting) information. I recently read an article about Milton and Paradise Lost. Apparently, it’s been estimated that he introduced 630 new words into the English Language (Will Shakespeare was a laggard by comparison with only 229). Examples include pandemonium, fragrance, didactic, stunning, impassive, debauchery, self-delusion and terrific. Read the rest of this entry »
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February 2nd, 2017
First, thanks to Mary for last week’s blog. I’ve been on holiday; so it was great not to have to think up something to post while I was away. I’ve always wanted to go to Costa Rica and despite the trip down to Gatwick (no flights direct from Manchester) and 11 hours in the air it was terrific. Blue skies, lush greenery and animals galore. At the top of my wish list of beasties to see was the sloth! I wasn’t bothered about the monkeys, the crocodiles, the kinkajou… or even the rather attractive tarantula that popped up near the path one day. All I wanted was a real, live sloth. And, dear reader, I got plenty of them, hanging high in the trees. They might be slow but they’re not daft; so they stay high enough not to get caught which makes taking good photos difficult unless you’ve got a very high spec camera! Read the rest of this entry »
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November 11th, 2016
First, thanks to Phil for last week’s blog, it’s great to have him as one of the team working in the office.
And he’s absolutely right. One of the best things about working for the Writers Bureau (apart from the Friday cream cakes) is that we’re dealing with students from all over the world. I love reading through assignments, it’s like having a window on the world. Not the world you see in glossy travel brochures, but the world of real people, leading real lives.
Another interesting, but odd, experience is when you get a student writing about a place that you know well. A lady recently described a park very close to where I live and which I visit quite often. It’s just an ordinary, municipal park but I think it’s tranquil and relaxing and she obviously felt the same way. I got a little jolt of pleasure to think that someone else obviously sees it in the same way that I do. Read the rest of this entry »
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August 19th, 2016
Last week I promised to let you know the winners of our Limerick Competition that closed at the end of July. So, ta-dah! Here they are.
First place was taken by Anthony Watts (pictured) from Somerset.
A scone is a scone is a scon,
Depending on whose side you’re on.
When writing in verse
This can prove a real curse
(Should you rhyme it with Joan or with John?) Read the rest of this entry »
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July 26th, 2016
I normally don’t have any problem thinking up things to talk about in my blog posts. But this week, for some reason, I was really struggling. So I spent some time looking at writing-related topics on the internet and one interesting site came up: SmartBlogger.
In our Comprehensive Creative Writing Course we suggest that if you write you should seriously consider setting up a website to showcase your work or produce a regular blog. There are two (and probably many more) advantages to writing a blog: if you organise it properly it gets your name out there in front of people, and it also exercises your ‘writing muscle’, making you think creatively, and even giving you that push you need when other writing isn’t going too well. Read the rest of this entry »
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