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The Curious Incident of the Dog…

September 29th, 2017

First, thanks to Caroline for last week’s blog – and I hope you’ve been enjoying reading the winner and runners-up of our student-only writing and photo competition.

We’re currently running another free competition for Writers Bureau students, and this time all we want you to do is write a short, 150-word readers’ letter about an animal. It can be a humorous true-story, a tragic tale, an angry stance against some injustice or you may think of some other interesting angle to take. This is a short piece of writing so make sure every word counts.

The second part of the competition is to take a photo to go with your letter or, if you can’t take your own photo, supply a copyright-free image that we can use on the blog. The closing date for this competition is 28th February 2018 so you’ve got plenty of time to get your entry in – full details and rules of entry can be found if you log in to the student area.

Still on the theme of pets, I’ve recently read that Amazon, in conjunction with its subsidiary Audible, has come up with a way to keep home-alone dogs calm and happy. ‘Dog Whisperer’, Cesar Millan, believes that playing certain classic titles to pets while you are out at work can make then less stressed, especially if the narrator is the same gender as their owner.

I can’t find anything specific on the Audible UK site – it seems to be a peculiarly American phenomenon at the moment. And despite them saying that free Cesar Millan guides are available, the links just seem to click through to the main page where you have to sign up for membership. True, it’s free for 30 days, but if you do sign up and then don’t find anything that keeps your pooch feeling laid-back then don’t forget to cancel!

Finally, for anyone who likes reading short stories, the winners of the 2017 Commonwealth Writers Competition are now available online. The Caribbean region and overall winner was Ingrid Persaud with ‘The Sweet Sop’. The competition is free to enter and winners are chosen from five different regions: Pacific, Asian, African, Canada/Europe and Caribbean. There is £5000 for the overall winner and £2500 for regional winners. The 2018 competition is now accepting entries.

I found the 2017 stories fascinating as they really do give you an insight into writing from around the world – not just UK and American fiction that is the staple fare for most of us.

My guest next week is Lucy Benton, a marketing specialist and business consultant who’ll be pointing out some of the worst marking mistakes authors should avoid – so don’t miss her advice!

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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