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This month learn how to write the perfect pitch with Simon Whaley, improve your characters with our Ten Top Tips, get motivated by the successes of other students and find something useful in Useful Websites.

END NOTE and a little inspiration



Could you write an article about ...

1st December

World Aids Day

2nd Dec. 1942
The first nuclear chain reaction is produced by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago, Illinois.

3rd Dec. 1926 Agatha Christie, famous for writing mysteries, goes missing then turns up in a hotel in Harrogate under an assumed name with no knowledge of how she got there.

4th Dec. 1829  The practice of Indian widows throwing themselves onto the funeral pyre of their husbands known as Suttee is abolished by the British Governor of Bengal, Lord Bentinck.

5th Dec. 1852 One of the greatest mysteries known to man is set in motion when the Mary Celeste is found adrift and deserted in the Atlantic Ocean.

6th December
Fukoka International Open-Marathon Championship is held in Japan.
8th Dec 1980  John Lennon, of The Beatles fame, is murdered outside his New York
apartment by a crazed fan.

10th December
Human Rights Day. 

11th Dec. 1282
Llywelyn ap Grufford, the last prince of independent Wales, is killed in battle against Edward I.

12th Dec. 1821 French writer Gustav Flaubert, best known for ‘Madame Bovary’, is born in Rouen, Normandy. 

13th Dec. 1642
New Zealand is sighted for the first time by a European - Dutch navigator Able Tasman. 

14th Dec. 1918
Countess Constance Markievicz becomes the first woman to be elected to the British parliament but does not take up her seat. 

15th Dec. 1944
Glenn Miller, the famous American band leader, dies when his small plane goes missing over the channel on it’s way to Paris.

17th Dec. 1967
Harold Vault, the Australian Prime Minister, mysteriously disappears whilst swimming of Cheviot Beach in Victoria. 

18th Dec. 1892 The Nutcracker, a ballet by Tchaikovsy, is debuted in St Petersburg.
20th Dec. 1955
The new capital of Wales is named as Cardiff.

21st Dec. 1913
The first ever crossword, devised by Liverpudlian Arthur Wynne, is printed in ‘The New York World’.

23rd December
Emperors Birthday – Japan.

25th Dec. 1991

The USSR ceases to exist when Mikhail Gorbechev resigns as president.

27th Dec. 1945
A year after the Bretton Woods Conference agrees on the plan the World Bank is finally opened.

28th Dec. 1065
Westminster Abbey is consecrated.

29th Dec. 1721
Paris is the birth place of Marquise de Pompadour - the influential mistress of Louis XV.

30th December
Rizal Day – Philippines

To finish of this month here’s a little poem I thought appropriate after sitting amongst a swarm in my garden at the weekend:


These tiny loiterers on the barley's beard,

And happy units of a numerous herd

Of playfellows, the laughing Summer brings,

Mocking the sunshine on their glittering wings,

How merrily they creep, and run, and fly!

No kin they bear to labour's drudgery,

Smoothing the velvet of the pale hedge-rose;

And where they fly for dinner no one knows -

The dew-drops feed them not - they love the shine

Of noon, whose suns may bring them golden wine

All day they're playing in their Sunday dress -

When night reposes, for they can do no less;

Then, to the heath-bell's purple hood they fly,

And like to princes in their slumbers lie,

Secure from rain, and dropping dews, and all,

In silken beds and roomy painted hall.

So merrily they spend their summer-day,

Now in the corn-fields, now in the new-mown hay.

One almost fancies that such happy things,

With coloured hoods and richly burnished wings,

Are fairy folk, in splendid masquerade

Disguised, as if of mortal folk afraid,

Keeping their joyous pranks a mystery still,

Lest glaring day should do their secrets ill.

                                                               John Clare


Next month I am going to spoil you with expert advice from not one, but two published writers! Our tutors Lorraine Mace and Sue Wilkes advise on magazine research for those living overseas in ‘Easy Magazine Research’ and how to promote your work using a blog in ‘It never sleeps’, Ten Top Tips will highlight how to find new ideas for yourself, plus more useful websites and inspiration.

And now it’s time to relax for five minutes, after taking in all this lovely information. So, here’s a little word play game – don’t be fooled by the easy early stages it gets quite hard quite quickly!

Don’t forget to let us know what you think of the new website!

And finally, 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 here.

See you next month.

Shelley x

P.S. Don’t forget the Poetry and Short Story Writing Competition 2009 is closing at the end of June.

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.

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