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This month we have expert opinion from tutor Janie Jackson on the art of slicing irrelevancies from your writing in Gentle Surgery. Ten Top Tips covers getting an agent and there’s the usual inspiration and useful websites.

END NOTE and a little inspiration!

Could you use any of these historical events to create an interesting article? This month you should be planning for submission in September. Plus, a fun game to ease your weary mind.


1st September

Knowledge Day – Russia.

2nd September 1666

Great fire of London breaks out. Burning for three days it destroys 10,000 buildings including St Pauls Cathedral.

3rd September 1995

eBay is founded.

4th September 1888

George Eastman registers his Kodak trademark and receives a patent for his camera which uses film.

5th September

Teachers Day in India.

6th September 1492

Christopher Columbus departs his final port of call – La Gomera – to set off across the Atlantic for the first time.

7th September 1194

Saladin is defeated by Richard I of England at Arsuf.

8th September

International Literacy Day.

9th September 1543

At nine months old Mary Stuart is officially crowned ‘Queen of Scots’ in the Scottish town of Stirling.

10th September 1977 

Hamida Djandoubi is the last person to be executed by Guillotine in France.

11th September

New Year’s Day in the Enkutatash – the calendar of Ethiopia.

12th September 2003

Johnny Cash – a country singer known for ‘I Walk the Line’ – dies in Nashville, Tennessee.

13th September 1985

Nintendo release Super Mario Brothers.

14th September 1814

‘The Star Spangled Banner’ is written by Francis Scott Key.

15th September

International Day of Democracy.

16th September 1812

Moscow is set alight by retreating Russians leading to wide-scale destruction.

17th September 2000

Paula Yates – a well known TV presenter in the UK – is found dead from a drugs overdose.

18th September 1970

Music legend Jimi Hendrix dies after collapsing at a party in London.

19th September

International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

20th September 1946

The first Cannes Film Festival takes place.

21st September

International Day of Peace.

22nd September 2007

French mime artist Marcel Marceau dies in Lot, France.

23rd September 1973

Pablo Neruda, arguably the most famous Chilean poet, dies in Santiago, Chile aged 69. (See end note.)

24th September 1975

Dougal Haston and Doug Scott become the first Britons to conquer Everest.

25th September 2002

The Vitim Event – a possible impact by a comet or bolide – occurs.

26th September

European Day of Languages.

27th September

World Tourism Day.

28th September 1448

Denmark crowns a new King – Christian I.

29th September 1916

J.D. Rockefeller is proclaimed the first billionaire.

30th September 1399

Henry IV is crowned King of England.


This month’s game is called Wake Up The Box a fun strategy game that had me stumped a few times!

So, on to Pablo Neruda. It was really difficult to choose just one poem to include so I’m going to let you choose your own. I particularly like XVII (I do not love you) and Cat’s Dream.

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.

Until next month farewell and do lots of writing!

Shelley x

P.S. Don’t forget the 21st Birthday Celebration and Poetry and Short Story Writing Competition.

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