Exercise the wr…


Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
– Jane Yolen

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Not the novelling kind? Then how about a poetry challenge for April instead? Find out more here.



Hey everybody!
I decided to participate in NaPoWriMo this year! 🙂
Actually, I wanted to take on this challenge last year, but by the time I found out about it April was already begun.
So, I’m joining this year!

For the ones of you who, like me last year, are new to this, a short explanation.

NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.

NaPoWriMo was founded in 2003, when poet Maureen Thorson decided to take up the challenge (modeled after NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month), and challenged other poets to join her. Since then, the number of participants has gotten larger every year, and many writers’ organizations, local, national and even international, organize NaPoWriMo activities.

30 poems in 30 days, I like a challenge! 🙂

If you want to join, check out this…

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Cara Brennan

Love poetry? Want to meet a local poet? Then have a look at this event at South Elmsall Library, as part of Read Regional 2014: http://wakefieldlibraries.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/cara-brennan/

Wakefield Libraries

Read-Regional-poet-Cara-Brennan-author-of-Destroyed-Dresses Cara-Brennan-Destroyed-Dresses-small

There’s an event you mustn’t miss at South Elmsall Library on Saturday 15th March, 11am-12.30pm
Our 2014 Read Regional events will open with a poetry morning. There will be a chance to read and discuss some of the best contemporary poetry together and this will be followed by a reading from her collection ‘Destroyed Dresses’ by Cara Brennan. Cara is a young poet from North Yorkshire and ‘Destroyed Dresses’ is her first pamphlet, 17 poems written while she was a student at Newcastle University. The poems take us on a journey from childhood to early twenties using a dress or item of clothing as a focal point and they are full of vivid detail and emotions the reader will recognise and connect with. ”Most of the things I write are autobiographical. It just seems a more natural way to write, and when I am writing about myself I know it…

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York Literature Festival 2014, 20th-31st January 2014

Next month will see the York Literature Festival take place. Featuring talks and workshops from Germaine Greer, Roger Winston and John Humphrys, there will events for children and adults, readers and writers a like. The festival takes place all over the beautiful historic city and will also feature a performance at York Theatre Royal of Birdsong in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of World War One. Students from York St John University will also be having a showcase of work.

For those who are good at poetry, there is still time to enter the Poetry Competition which closes at midnight on Friday, 28th February 2014. Find out more information and the rules at http://www.yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk/poetry-competition-2014/.

Booking is essential and some events require paying for tickets. Find out more about the festival at the website: http://www.yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk/ The PDF version of the festival programme can be found here.

Costa Book Awards

Costa Coffee has announced its category winners for its Book Awards 2013. The overall Book of the Year Award will be announced on the 28th January 2014.

The Costa Children’s Book Award: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell






The Costa Poetry Award: Drysalter by Michael Symmons Roberts







The Costa Biography Award:The Pike by Lucy Hughes-Hallet





The Costa First Novel Award: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer





The Costa Novel Award: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson






Should Kate Atkinson’s book be announced as the book of the year, it will be the first time a woman has won the main award twice. Good luck to all!

National Poetry Day, October 3rd

As well as posting an A-Z list for sick book lovers, The Guardian has also posted an article about National Poetry Day, which is today! Have a local at the article here.

National Poetry Day is the celebration of the art of writing poetry and pushing the belief that poetry is for everyone, everywhere. I am atrocious at writing poems, especially when it comes to making it rhyme but, in a related art (in my opinion), I am all right at writing song lyrics, or so I have been told.

I should probably start trying to write poetry again as I believe that it is a skill that requires a great amount of finesse and skill to craft a well-written poem, even more so than other types of writing. I also think that the skill of poetry writing is important to the high fantasy genre, a type of writing I seem to have fallen into writing as of late. JRR Tolkien, who is famous for his love of words and great epic poems, used them to great effect in all of his work in Middle Earth. His work is considered the benchmark which every other book in the genre is held to.

I actually think I definitely should practise writing poems as a precaution as it seems I could potentially be writing in the high fantasy genre for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, in November.

Wakefield Lit Fest, 21st-30th September 2013

After a fantastic first year last year, the Wakefield Lit Fest (website here) is back for a second year!

This years theme is Everyone has a story… and will be featuring writing workshops for various art forms, including prose and poetry with the Writer in Residence this year being Steve Dearden and ending with a meet and greet with Darren Shan!

The list of what’s on was released today, with the electronic version of the brochure available here. A list of events and more information can be found on the website, linked above, and some sessions and events are ticketed. Unless stated, all tickets are being sold at the Theatre Royal in Wakefield.

I will be attending as many sessions as possible (and can afford) so if you are in the Wakefield, West Yorkshire area at the end of September, come along and join in and don’t forget to explore the beautiful city and it’s surrounding area!