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This month find out how to impress competition judges straight from the horse’s mouth and learn to make your writing environment as productive as possible in Ten Top Tips, plus writing events you can attend and useful websites to help you on your way in competitions.

Welcome to the April issue.

I can't believe it's the anniversary of my first year as editor - phew doesn't time fly!

Talking of time flying, winter appears to have loosened his grip and spring is waking from her hibernation for those in the cooler climates with some warmish weather, lighter nights and cherry blossom on the trees – beautiful! Use this sense of regeneration to look at your work with renewed eyes and, if you really can't manage it, why not consider our Review and Appraisal Service, which I’ve covered in more detail below.

This month we have expert advice from Simon Whaley - he’s giving you insider tips on how to impress competition judges - so those of you entering our annual Poetry and Short Story Competition take note. And on the subject of competitions, another has been brought to our attention by a student - thank you! The Frome Festival Short Story Competition is accepting entries between 1000-2200 words. First Prize is £300, plus there are specific prizes for local authors. Further information is available here . You can also request that they critique your work for a charge of £30.00 and an s.a.e.

Which leads me nicely into my next topic – our revamped Review and Appraisal Scheme. We are in the process of updating our website and as part of that the prices for the Review and Appraisal Scheme have been changed to the following: 

 Any item up to 2000 words or 120 lines of poetry

 £ 20.00

 Any item up to 10,000 words

 £ 65.00

 Any item up to 50,000 words

 £250.00

 Any item up to 70,000 words

 £350.00


However, as a special to all our E-zee subscribers we are offering 10% off the prices given above, but only until the new website goes live on 1st May. So, if you have a piece (or competition entry) that you just can’t get right and you need an expert eye to look it over send it to us. We have a wide range of tutors available to assess your work so all topics are welcome. Please email student services for further details.

This month’s successes come from Melissa and Richard, both of whom are making considerable strides in the writing world whilst still studying on the course. Ten Top Tips shows you how to create your perfect writing environment so that your writing will flow and Useful Websites is all about competitions - something to help you find them and something to help you spot the rip-offs.

Next, some ideas for those of you who want to mix with other like-minded individuals. First is the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Taking place at UCLA over the weekend of the 25th April this 'free-to-the-public celebration of everything reading inspires will bring together an eclectic mix of story-tellers, popular musicians, celebrities, chef demonstrations and book-lovers of all ages on the UCLA’s Westwood campus.' Now in its 14th year the event features indoor panels of speakers and outdoor stages with a whole host of celebrity speakers – should be something for everyone. More information here .

Next is the Lincoln Book Festival taking place over five days from the 13th May. The festival features an impressive array of events such as appearances from Benjamin Zephaniah, (see End Note for some of his work), Marcel Theroux and a literary dinner with Rachel Johnson. There's also a special children's section of the festival. Some events are free and others require tickets which range from £3.00 - £20.00. Further information can be found here .

The last event I've found that might be of interest is a book launch in Holyhead, Wales. Marianne Jones is launching her book of poetry 'Too Blue For Logic' at the Ucheldre Centre on the 25th April between 4-6pm. She will be reading from her book and then holding a free poetry master class at 7pm – another scoop for those wanting to enter our Poetry and Short Story Competition. Further information can be found here .

If there are any of our overseas readers who would like me to promote literary events in their country, please let me know and I will do my best to mention them.

And finally, I have lots of emails asking me to update email addresses. If you need to update your details you need to unsubscribe and subscribe again with your new address. You can do this here

Have a creative month!

Shelley

P.S. A quick point about Chapter and Verse. I forgot to mention that the deadline for submissions for the first issue, along the theme of The last hidden beauty in the world, is May 15th. Please also remember to send your work in rich text format. This is a 'save as' option. When you click ‘save as’ the dialogue box that appears will have a drop down menu at the bottom of it, choose .rtf. Also make sure you include your student number and name in the subject line of the message. Note - anything we receive into this mail box that is not a submission for the magazine will be deleted. For our new subscribers see Issue 102 March 2009 further details.