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This month learn how to give different points of view, get that novel off the ground with our useful planning top tips, read about what other students are up to, see if you can find a use for the useful websites and be inspired.

Hello again and welcome to the May issue.

I thought I’d start this issue with a very important fact that I bet most of you don’t know – 25th May is Towel Day. Well actually you probably do know this if you are a fan of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. And if you are, you should be carrying a towel with you on this day to show your love of the books and the author as, according to the guide, "A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have". Translated into 30 languages this hugely successful multimedia science fiction comedy phenomenon started life as a radio play, later morphing into a stage play, books, a Hollywood film, TV series and comic book adaptations, plus other incarnations. If you are interested in knowing more have a look at his website. And if you want to become as successful as Douglas Adams, and I know you all do, you should take our Fiction Writing course which includes, amongst other things, tuition on writing radio dramas.

This month’s expert is one of our favourites – Heather Cooke. Heather is an experienced tutor and very knowledgeable so you should find her article on how to write from different points of view most enlightening. Ten Top Tips will help you stop stalling over that novel you’ve always wanted to write with helpful planning ideas. As always, our student success stories should remind you not to lose hope with inspiring stories from Lucy and Sonja and our useful websites include more about science fiction comedy, in case you feel like dipping you toe into this largely untapped area.

Inspiration now includes all sorts of notable days that could provide a wealth of ideas along with the usual historical events and see the end note for a haunting poem that I’m sure you’ll love as much as I do.

If you are thinking of entering our Poetry and Short Story Competition the following two events could come in very handy. You might want to consider attending a ‘Writing Successful Short Stories’ workshop with Alison Clink on Wednesday May 27th from 6.30-8.30pm at Costa Coffee, located in Waterstones in Bath. The cost is £22.00 and further details can be found here.

Or you could visit a small town located on the Seine in France and attend a thirteen day fiction workshop with Sarah Van Arsdale from 1st June. As the blurb says ‘Our mornings will begin with breakfast, followed by the writing workshop with lightning-round writing exercises, compassionate yet incisive critiques, and readings by French authors. Bring something you're already working on, or bring just your desire to write. We'll dive into fiction, memoir, and the mysterious realm between the two, and we'll laugh a lot.’ The workshop also includes some great days out including champagne tastings, Paris and Troyes. It costs 2900 Euros all inclusive based on two sharing and you should email jycoffre@camac.org for further information and to book your place.

The last event I am going to feature is one I fancy going to myself. I think I’ll have to convince senior management that I should try out these events so that I can give firsthand feedback on them – wish me luck! This is a five day memoir writing and publishing workshop starting on June 14th with best selling author Rebecca Walker in Maui. It covers items such as theme, voice, structure and genre, plus marketing your work and how to approach publishers. There will be plenty of time left over to explore the island and learn how to paddle-board, if you want to of course. There are only three places left for non-local writers so you’ll have to hurry if you want to attend this one. The cost is $1995.00 for seven night’s accommodation and you can get further information here. If you attend this one, please send me some pics so I can be quietly envious.

The next edition of Chapter and Verse is accepting submission on the themes of ‘The Reward’ and ‘Rejection’. Send your work to candv@writersbureau.com for 30th June deadline.

Have a happy month!

Shelley

P.S. Don’t forget our annual Poetry and Short Story Competition is now accepting entries. First prize is £1000 for each category and the entry fee is only £5.00, further details here.