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Writers Bureau 2011 Poetry Competition Open for Entries

July 8th, 2011

Thanks to Simon for last week’s post. I’m definitely an IBV! It doesn’t matter whether it’s coast or country – or just the flowers in my garden. That’s probably why I enjoy weekend breaks so much. No hassle of having to work out how to pack economically for a fortnight or worry about ash clouds – just sling enough clothes to cope with the vagaries of the British weather into a bag, and you’re off.

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Last weekend it was the west coast of Scotland – certainly plenty of splendid views there. We stayed at Ayr, so although I’m not a real Robert Burns fan I couldn’t resist Alloway with the Burns Monument in its lovely gardens, the Auld Kirk where his father is buried and Brig o Doon, made famous in Tam O Shanter. Apparently, after Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus there are more statues of Burns around the world than of any other non-religious person – Scotland, England, Ireland, the US, Canada, New Zealand, and a few places you probably wouldn’t expect to find him! So, like Burns, you might not make a fortune from your poetry in your lifetime, but fame is another matter…

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Annual Poetry Competition

This week sees the launch of our annual poetry competition. Prize money is: 1st £500, 2nd £300, 3rd £200 and 4th £100. The entry fee is £5 per poem, or £4 if you are a subscriber to Freelance Market News. Your poem can be on any theme and in any form up to a limit of 40 lines. So if you see yourself as the next poet laureate, or just hope to earn a decent prize and some publicity for your work, why not enter?

Are Fiction Readers More Empathetic?

Researchers have been looking into this and they think they have come up with evidence to prove that people who read fiction have more empathy for others than those who read non-fiction. They believe that there may be something about exposure to fiction that stimulates our empathic muscle (!?). It may be true, but then again, perhaps the kind of people who like reading fiction are just more understanding and empathetic in the first place. I like to think I’m one of those thoughtful people, muscles honed by years of avid reading – but I’m not sure my husband and son would always agree.

Enough said. My guest next week is Esther Newton who’ll be offering some advice about keeping an open mind when it comes to deciding where your writing inclinations and talents lie.

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