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Is Your Squibbling Phizz-Whizzing?

June 3rd, 2016

jabberwocky-blogHave you picked up on the fact that a Gobblefunk Dictionary is being released to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth? As you probably know, he loved using made-up words in his writing – because it added colour to the stories and also to keep his readers on their toes.

My favourites include delumptious (delicious), ucky-mucky (messy) and squibbling (writing).  The dictionary will contain over 8000 words – many that appear in his books but also some from the archives, which never saw the light of day – and it’s taken five years to put together.

But Dahl wasn’t the first author to use made up words – I think Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky takes some beating:

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves,

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

Read on to see how well he sustains this, without the reader every being at a loss to understand the meaning. And, boy, is it good to read aloud! I learned it by heart at school and half a century on I can still recite it.

While we’re on the subject of poetry, just a reminder that our Limerick Competition is now open for entries. The first prize is £100 plus a Writers Bureau course of your choice and there are two runners-up prizes of £50 each plus a subscription to The Association of Freelance Writers.  Incidentally, Association members get reduced entry to the competition.

Finally, anyone who is studying our Writing for Children course might be interested in the Wells Festival’s new Story for Children Competition which runs alongside the usual short story and poetry competitions. The work must be suitable for children aged 10 to 16 and you should submit the first three chapters or the first 30 pages (whichever is shortest), plus a synopsis of no more than two pages. The prizes are £500, £200 and £100 and the closing date is 30th June.  The festival itself runs from 14th to 22nd October and if you fancy a break with a literary theme you couldn’t pick a better venue.

Until next time…






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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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