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This month we have expert advice from Esther Newton on the importance of having a Plan B. Plus there are Ten Top Tips on how to create the perfect writing environment, Student Stories to show you what you can achieve, Inspiration to give you something to write about and Useful Websites to help with your research.

Hello Dear Readers,

Firstly, thank you to all those who attended our Short Story Winners event. We had some issues seeing people’s comments (silly Facebook!) but got there in the end! You can see the winners on our website here. And don’t forget to enter our Poetry Competition – it’s open now!

October hosts one of my favourite Pagan festivals – Samhain – or, as it’s more commonly known now, Halloween. I am fascinated with paganism, the gods and rituals and their connection to nature are intriguing. I once worked with a pagan who married in a traditional ceremony – it was spellbinding (sorry!) and gave us the feeling that we’d stepped back in time. October is also the month for celebrating another important pagan symbol – the Apple. World Apple Day, held on the 21st, is a celebration of the 7500 wonderful varieties of this super versatile fruit. It’s funny really – apples are so quintessentially English that it’s hard to believe that they originated in the mystical mountains of China! If you want to know more about apples see this great website.

Next month is Vegan Month, another cause that features heavily in my life. I’m not a fulltime vegan (I just love cheese way too much – pizza would not be the same without it!), but I am vegetarian and eat lots of vegan food, so I’m looking forward to that. What are you looking forward to in the next couple of months and, more importantly, could you write an article about it?

So, on to business! This month we have expert advice from Esther Newton on what to do when your Plan A ends up down the tubes. Ten Top Tips helps you create the perfect writing environment and Student Stories are as inspirational as ever – we love that you do so well and take the time to tell us, and other students, about it – thank you! Useful Websites has one to help you find interesting dates, one to help you find interesting facts and another to help you research faith in all its forms.

If you can get out and about this month, the Brighton Dome has a storytelling event that sounds interesting. Telling Tales will be held on 10th November, I’ll let them tell you what it is: “Practise your storytelling skills in an informal setting. Try out your new stories, learn new skills, get feedback and encouragement, share ideas and meet other storytellers.” It’s only for two hours, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, and costs £4.00.

And, don’t forget, November is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Why not have a go? If you do, let us know how you get on please.

Enjoy and, until next month, keep writing!

Shelley

P.S Don’t forget to enter our monthly competitions – this month’s prize is a Fiction Writing course.