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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.

END NOTE and a little inspiration



Could you write an article about ...

1st Oct. 1908 

Henry Ford launches his first car, the Model T Ford, which costs only $850 and revolutionizes the car industry.

2nd Oct. 1869

Mahatma Ghandi, the nationalist leader who brought India out of the British Empire is born in Porbandar, Gujarat.

3rd Oct. 1637

Ben Jonson, most famous for his brilliant comedies including 'Volpone' and 'The Alchemist', dies in London aged 65.

4th Oct. 1535

The first translation of the Bible into English is completed and dedicated to Henry VIII by Miles Coverdale.

6th Oct. 1927 

The 'Jazz Singer' known as the first 'talkie' featuring Al Johnson premiers in New York.

8th Oct.

The first test for those suspected of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol, the Breathalyzer, is introduced into England.

9th Oct. 1940

Inspirational song writer John Lennon is born in Liverpool.

12th Oct. 1492

The Spanish conquest of the Americas begins with the landing of Christopher Columbus on the island Guanahani.

13th Oct. 1925

The UK's first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, is born the daughter of a grocer in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

14th Oct. 1964

Civil Rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr. wins the Nobel Peace prize.

15th Oct. 70 BC

Virgil, the influential Roman poet known for penning the 'Aeneid' is born in Andes near Mantua.

16th Oct. 1908

'British Army Aeroplane No.1' takes to the skies over Britain making it's pilot Samuel Cody the first person to fly in a powered craft.

17th Oct. 1933

Albert Einstein flees to America following oppression in Nazi Germany.
19th Oct. 1781
The surrender of the British forces at Yorktown, Virginia brings about the
end of the American War of Independence.

21st Oct. 1858

Jaques Offenbach's light opera 'Orpheus in the Underworld', famous for it's Cancan dancing, premiers in Paris.

22nd Oct. 1811

Franz Liszt, the most influential pianist of the 19th century, is born in Raiding, Soporon.

24th Oct. 1945

The United Nations comes into being.
26th Oct. 1881
The 'Gunfight at the O.K. Corral' in Tombstone, Arizona sees the killing of three members of the infamous cattle rustling Clanton gang.

29th Oct.1991

The first close-up photograph of an asteroid is taken by the Galileo space probe.

30th Oct. 1938

Mass panic is caused in the USA by the broadcast of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio dramatization.

31st Oct. 1984

Prime Minister of India, Indira Ghandi, is assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards.
Next month we have expert opinion from Heather Cooke on 'Points of View'. No, not those letters to the BBC about programmes, but the vexed issue of viewpoint or perspective in fiction: whose, how many and why? Ten Tops Tips will show you how to plan your novel and there'll be the usual mix of websites and inspiration to whet your appetite.

And finally, here's a Benjamin Zephaniah poem called 'Nature Trail', which I thought was appropriate seeing as our little buggy friends are starting to make an appearance again.


At the bottom of my garden
There's a hedgehog and a frog
And a lot of creepy-crawlies
Living underneath a log,
There's a baby daddy long legs
And an easy-going snail
And a family of woodlice,
All are on my nature trail.

There are caterpillars waiting
For their time to come to fly,
There are worms turning the earth over
As ladybirds fly by.
Birds will visit, cats will visit
But they always chose their time
And I've even seen a fox visit
This wild garden of mine.

Squirrels come to nick my nuts
And busy bees come buzzing
And when the night time comes
Sometimes some dragonflies come humming,
My garden mice are very shy
And I've seen bats that growl
And in my garden I have seen
A very wise old owl.

My garden is a lively place
There's always something happening,
There's this constant search for food
And then there's all that flowering,
When you have a garden
You will never be alone
And I believe we all deserve
A garden of our own.


However, if you really want to see what Benjamin is all about visit his website and enjoy.

If you found something of use to you in this issue please pass the word on to all your writer friends - and even those who don't! You never know, you might inspire them to take it up. They can sign up

See you next month.

Shelley x

As usual, if you've any suggestions or would like to comment on anything you have read then please contact me at: