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Be Aware Of Awareness Days

September 6th, 2020

This week’s post is a bit of a miscellany. First there’s an interesting snippet I picked up this week from the Sunday Times. Apparently, the pandemic delayed the publication of hundreds of books but now things are back in full swing and 3rd September was ‘Super Thursday’ for the publishing industry with 590 new titles coming out. So if you’re looking for something fresh and interesting to read, now’s your chance.

I know that some people struggle with apostrophes, and wonder if they’re even necessary; others consider the use of semi-colons an affectation. But now there’s news that Millennials and Generation Z don’t like full stops because they can signal anger, especially in social media messages. In fact, the poor old period is regarded as a passive/aggressive symbol. But be warned. (Note the aggressive threat in that?) It might be the norm in tweets, texts and WhatsApp messages but if you’re putting together an email to a client or to go with your CV then it’s still considered best to use proper punctuation!

And if you want to see what happens when you try to write a novel without any punctuation at all, then try Samuel Beckett’s final work ‘How It Is’. I must admit to always having struggled with Beckett; so I’m not even going to go there. But if you’d like to experience what life’s life without full stops, then it’s all yours…

The third module of our Comprehensive Creative Writing Course covers how to write readers’ letters and short items (or ‘fillers’ as they used to be known). Some students are a little sniffy about this as they don’t feel that such things are worth wasting their talent on – or the rewards aren’t considered great enough. But next week’s guest – Sharon Carey – will be explaining how she makes a good income from such pieces – and how you can too.

If you’re interested in this genre, you might want to look at www.awarenessdays.com for inspiration. There’s an ‘awareness calendar’ of annual events in the UK, USA and internationally. Here are a few examples of what you might expect in September alone.

We have National Fish and Chip day on the 4th September (and Vascular Disease Awareness Day held on the  1st September – essential after eating all those fish and chips). National Read a Book Day on the 6th; Roald Dhal Day on the 13th; International Dot Day (??!) on the 15th  and Great British Beach Clean on the 18th.  One of my favourites, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, is on the 19th; National Punctuation Day in the US on the 24th (they obviously still love their full stops, semi-colons and apostrophes over there) and National Doodle Day on the 25th.

In addition to these there are lots of very sensible ones, raising awareness of health issues and charities – but whether you’re being flippant or serious it’s a great source of ideas for both fillers and articles and the dates provide a good ‘peg’ on which to hang your piece.

Author: Diana Nadin

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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