Showing posts from March, 2019

The 500k Gift: Reading to Children for Fun and the Benefits - Raquel Edwards

March saw another World Book Day where children and parents alike competed to see who had the best costume. Celebrated each year, the day pays homage to authors and illustrators united by the innate knowledge that reading is fun. However, while World Book Day began with the aim of giving every child a book, for many today, it is all about the dressing up! I am privileged to write for a publisher,  In The Book , that felt strongly about this diversion from the reading aspect of World Book Day.  We recently conducted a survey which showed only 18% of adults in the UK read to their children for 20 minutes a day. With so much excitement surrounding World Book Day, we were surprised to find this excitement didn’t translate into a passion for reading. And the benefits of reading to kids for 20 minutes or more a day are abundant. You can read the full post from us  here. Did you know that a child’s brain develops the fastest up to the age of five than any other stage in thei

Do you have to be you? N M Browne

So this month I’ve mainly been thinking about Brexit but I’m not going to talk about that. My other obsession has been fake news, social media outrage, and identity politics. I’ve been pondering the way in which writing and the nature of the writer has some how become entwined. I blame Trump for most things but, not in this case, for everything.     To get one important thing out of the way: at the moment we only get to hear the stories written by certain types of people and it is my belief is that such a limitation restricts   us, that we can only gain as a culture and as humans by hearing as many stories from as wide a range of people as possible. I wholeheartedly believe that there should be greater diversity in the arts.    Having said that,  I don’t believe that we can only tell stories that are based on our culture and identity. I mean Shakespeare was probably a man, but Portia, Juliet, Lady Macbeth are not insignificant figures, Emma Bovary, Tess of the D’Urb

What Lies Around Us - Andrew Crofts

Imagine this, fellow writers: You have been paid a million dollars by a Silicon Valley billionaire to ghostwrite the autobiography of your favourite film star – who may even be your secret crush.  As if that wasn’t good enough, every publisher in London and New York is pursuing you, begging you to put in a good word for them, offering eight figure advances. Your employer, however, has far more money and far more marketing muscle than any mere publisher, so you don’t need any of them. You can do the whole publishing process yourself and then hand the finished product over to his marketing machine. Too good to be true? Well, yes actually. This is just the starting point, and one of the many sub-plots, of my forthcoming novel, “What Lies Around Us”, due out from Red Door Publishing in June. Once the ghost gets to California , of course, he discovers there is far more at stake than a mere publishing deal. Everyone he meets seems to have a hidden agenda and som

A Malaysian Celebration of Diversity on World Poetry Day, by Dipika Mukherjee

March 21st, 2019 was World Poetry Day. For those of us lucky enough to be at Lit Books that night in Malaysia, it was a feast of poetry at The Noise of Time - Readings on World Poetry Day . Pusaka  organized fourteen poets to read poetry in 11 languages (Malay, English, Mandarin, Bengali, Arabic, Persian, German, French, Spanish, Malayalam and Russian...with translations into English). Led by organizer and emcee Pauline Tan, the room resonated with the words of Omar Khayyam, Wang Wei, Paul Eluard, Cesar Vallejo, Else Lasker-Schüler, Bei Dao, Mallika Sengupta, Goenawan Mohamad and many other voices, both ancient and contemporary. I chose to read a Bengali poem by Mallika Sengupta, translated brilliantly by Amit Mukerjee  titled Prithibir Ma (Mother of the Universe): Unbound, my hair spread over the sky created dark stormclouds. My green dhanekhali sari became the lush fabric of forests. Stealing the melody from my throat birds chirped into morning song, th