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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.

END NOTE and a little inspiration



Could you write an article about ...

1st Nov. 1993 
The European Union is established with the ratification of the Masstricht

2nd Nov. 1950

Irish-born Novel Laureat, activist and writer, George Bernard Shaw dies aged 94.
4th Nov. 1918

One of the finest modern war poets, Wilfred Owen, is gunned down and killed a week before the end of World War I. See below for a superb example of his work.

5th Nov. 1688

William of Orange lands 40,000 troops at Torbay, Devon and claims the British throne from James II in the time known as the Glorious Revolution.

6th Nov.

Russian composer Tchaikovsky dies, officially, as a result of cholera, however, suicide is thought to be the true cause.

7th Nov. 1879

Russian Marxist, revolutionary and theorist Leon Trotsky is born in Kherson Province in the Ukraine.

8th Nov. 1793

The now world famous Louvre opens as a public museum in Paris.
9th Nov. 1989

The Berlin wall comes down.
11th November

Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations and some European countries. This day remembers military and civilian victims in time of war.

12th Nov. 1840

French sculptor Auguste Rodin is born in Paris.
14th November

Childrens day, India.
15th Nov. 1708

William Pitt the Elder is born in Westminster.
18th Nov. 1978

Jonestown, Guyana sees a mass suicide involving 900 followers of the Peoples Temple.
19th Nov.1703

The Man in The Iron Mask, a French political prisoner, dies at the Bastille in Paris.

21st Nov. 1995 

The Dayton peace accord is signed in Dayton, Ohio ending the Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian war.

22nd Nov. 1869

The fastest clipper ever built, the Cutty Sark, is launched in Dumbarton, Scotland.

24th Nov. 1632

Dutch Jewish philosopher, Baruch Spinoza, is born in Amsterdam.
26th November 

Thanksgiving Day in the USA and Puerto Rico. 
27th Nov. 1940

Martial arts expert Lee Yuen Kam, better known as Bruce Lee, is born in San Francisco.

28th Nov. 1757

William Blake, English poet engraver and painter born in London.  
30th November

St Andrew’s Day – the official national day of Scotland. 

Next month we have expert advice from Simon Whaley on how to put forward the perfect pitch, Ten Top Tips on characterisation plus more useful websites and inspiration.

Here’s my solution for those of you wanting to rest the grey cells for a while. Linkfest ( is a version of Mahjong with a twist.

And finally, this is considered to be the most famous, and in my opinion, quite chilling, poem of World War I by Wilfred Owen.

Dulce Et Decorum Est


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys! An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


If you like this poem as much as I do and wish you could write one as moving perhaps you should consider our poetry writing course. You don’t need to have done any previous poetry writing – we will teach you how to get started, help you improve and show you how to find markets for your work. Just think of it – critics may be describing one of your poems as the best known in the 21st Century!

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 now accepting entries.

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: