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Win a Novel and Short Story Writing Course

January 27th, 2012

I know that received wisdom says that you should be ruthless in editing your work, slashing and burning until you’ve deleted every last adverb and replaced the related verb with something more appropriate. But next time you’re going through your work think of Janice’s advice from last week and consider letting some of those adverbs survive your crusading red pen!

Top prize money is the best medicine

If you get your skates on, you’ve just time to enter the Hippocrates Prize for a poem on a broad medical theme. There are two categories – the first open to the general public, the second restricted to employees and students in the NHS. Each category has a 1st prize of £5000, , 2nd prize of £1000, 3rd prize of £500 and 20 prizes of £50 for poems that are commended. But time is tight as the closing date is 31st January.

And while we’re on the subject of competitions, there’s still time to enter The Writers Bureau’s ‘First Line’ competition with the chance to win a Novel and Short Story Course. As usual, entry is free but your first lines have to reach us by 31st January.

Brain trainer

For me, one of the joys of reading is following up on references and finding out about things I didn’t previously know. I’ve recently read C J Sanson’s Revelation – a serial killer mystery set in the reign of Henry VIII. It sent me to my long-neglected Bible to read the Book of Revelation – what an eye-opener that was. And if you want another author that has you Googling all the time, try Barbara Kingsolver. The Lacuna, which covers the life of artists Diego Rivera, his wife, Frida Khalo, and their involvement with Leon Trotsky during his stay in Mexico is a great read as is The Poisonwood Bible, an ironic tale of missionaries working in the Belgian Congo in the late ‘50s.

Some people are dismissive of novels, but to me they’re the perfect ‘brain trainer’ – increasing your knowledge at the same time as they stretch your imagination. And, personally, I think it beats Sudoku any day when it comes to preventing us over-fifties from slipping into senility.

My guest next week is Bev Morley who will be returning to impart more wisdom – in the meantime, happy reading!

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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