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This month we have expert advice from Simon Whaley on how to collate data, Ten Top Tips covers exercising your writing muscles and Student Successes is a corker. Useful Websites looks at sites that provide free access to books and Inspiration is, hopefully, inspirational!

Hello Dearest readers,

It’s that time of year again – cold, rain and blustery winds blowing your umbrella inside out, lovely! Well at least for us poor souls in the Northern hemisphere – it’s not fun. But, I did enjoy Halloween and loved Bonfire night. Did you? Now my mind is fixed on Christmas – yes, it’s nearly Christmas again. Surely someone must be stealing the days and hiding them somewhere. And, as our Poetry Competition closes on 31st Dec, you’d better get your skates on if you want to enter. Remember to leave plenty of time to write, review and perfect your rhythmical literary masterpiece before submitting it for judging.

Right, what have we got for you this month? Well, we’ve gleaned some expert advice from Simon Whaley – he’s advising you on how to keep track of the work you’ve sent out. Ten Top Tips helps you exercise your writing muscles and Student Successes features only one story this month – that’s not because there’s only one to feature, but because it’s such a good story that I wanted to showcase it all by itself. Useful Websites is all about free access to literary works and should help you with your market research.

And skipping back to poetry again, if you can get out and about in December, you might like to learn about Ekphrastic poetry. Anyone know what that is? Give yourself a gold star if you do. For those that don’t, it’s a poem that has the description of another piece of art, such as a painting or sculpture, as its subject matter – think Keats’ Ode to a Grecian Urn. A workshop on Ekphrastic writing is being held on 15th December at Mshed in Bristol Museum from 10-4pm and is £25. More information here.

And finally, why not put your writing skills to good use and participate in the Amnesty International Write for Rights campaign on 10th December . I’m joining in, are you?

Enjoy and, until next month, keep writing!

Shelley

P.S Don’t forget our monthly competitions – this month’s is to win a copy of our Freelance Journalism course.