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What Would The Romantic Poets Make Of It?

December 18th, 2015

wordsworthhouse-c1748-blogIt’s been dreadful over the past couple of weeks, watching the devastation that the floods have caused in Cumbria and the Lake District. I love walking, and living in Manchester means  easy access so I do spend quite a bit of time there. I think that if you asked me where my favourite place on earth is, it would be a close tie between Keswick/Borrowdale or Castell Dinas Bran above Llangollen.

The house where Wordsworth was born and grew up in Cockermouth was flooded again – the second time in the past five years. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have been hit as badly as last time and it will be open for business as usual in March of next year.

Wordsworth and his friends, Coleridge and Southey, got a great deal of inspiration for their poetry from the wild beauty of the area, but I couldn’t help wondering what they would have made of recent events. Turbulent flood water tumbling down a beck – tick! Bracken glinting in winter sunlight – tick! Magnificent peaks against a leaden sky – tick!  Two feet of water in your kitchen and sewage sludge in your hall – perhaps not quite as romantic.

We have quite a lot of students working on our Biographies, Memoirs and Family Histories course and if you’re one of them you might be interested in the Short Memoir Prize that is being offered by Fish Publishing in Ireland. The first prize is Euros 1,000 and the closing date is 31st January 2016. There is a limit of 4,000 words and you can enter online at their website or by post. The fee is Euros 16 for your first entry and Euros 10 for subsequent entries. The 10 best entries will be published in the Fish Anthology 2016 which will be launched during the West Cork Literature Festival in July.

And finally, one that our overseas student might be interested in. The BBC World Service, in conjunction with the British Council, is holding a playwriting competition for writers outside the UK. The competition is for scripts for a 53-minute radio play with up to six characters, and the good news is that it’s free to enter. There are three categories which are clearly explained on their website and prizes for the first two categories are £2,200 plus a return trip to the UK to see the play being recorded for the BBC world service.  So come on – it’s definitely worth a go if you see yourself as a budding playwright!

I’ll probably be posting early next week as I’m sure you’ll all have better things to do next Friday morning than read updates from me. Until then….keep writing!

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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