Literary Magazines & Publishing, Alternative Media, Links to Good Reading
- Literary Magazines
- Creative Writing Programs
- Writing Contests
- Calls for Submission
- Book Publishers
From poetry to lengthy prose, creative writing can be a great way to express yourself. Of course, even the best students and writers can use a few tips, a little inspiration and a whole lot of help getting their work out there. These blogs offer all of that and more. From blogs that focus on writers still trying to make it in the publishing world to those providing updates from best selling authors, you’ll find all kinds of information geared towards improving and informing your creative writing.
These blogs cover a wide range of issues for students of the written word.
These bloggers are writing on the ‘net and off, still waiting to get their best work published.
Get some advice, inspiration and motivation from these authors doing what they love and getting paid for it.
Improving Your Craft
Get some tips on becoming a better writer from these blogs.
Grammar and Editing
You may have the best ideas but that doesn’t mean much if you can’t write them well. These blogs will help you tune up your writing so it’s publish-worthy.
The ultimate goal for many students and professionals working on creative writing is to get work published. This blogs can help you learn about the business, get your work out there, or even publish it yourself.
These creative writing blogs focus on one particular type of writing, such as mysteries, romance and fantasy.
Most creative writing falls into the category of fiction, so learn more about writing great novels and stories from these blogs.
If verse is more your thing, pay these helpful blogs a visit.
Creative writing is anything where the purpose is to express thoughts, feelings and emotions rather than to simply convey information.
I’ll be focusing on creative fiction in this post (mainly short stories and novels), but poetry, (auto)biography and creative non-fiction are all other forms of creative writing. Here’s a couple of definitions:
Creative writing is writing that expresses the writer’s thoughts and feelings in an imaginative, often unique, and poetic way.
(Sil.org – What is Creative Writing?)
Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.
Writing of any sort is hard, but rewarding work – you’ll gain a huge amount of satisfaction from a finished piece. Being creative can also be difficult and challenging at times, but immensely fun.
Many people think that just because they’ve read a lot of stories (or even if they haven’t!) they should be able to write one. But as Nigel Watts writes:
There is a common belief that because most of us are literate and fluent, there is no need to serve an apprenticeship if we want to become a successful wordsmith. … That’s what I thought until I tried to write my first novel. I soon learnt that a novel, like a piece of furniture, has its own set of requirements, laws of construction that have to be learnt. Just because I had read plenty of novels didn’t mean I could write one, any more than I could make a chair because I had sat on enough of them.
(Nigel Watts, Teach Yourself Writing a Novel)
By all means, if you’re keen, jump straight in and have a go: but don’t be too disappointed if your first efforts aren’t as good as you’d hoped. To extend Watts’ metaphor, you may find that these early attempts have wonky legs and an unsteady seat. There are lots of great books aimed at new fiction writers, and I’d strongly recommend buying or borrowing one of these:
I’d also recommend starting small. Rather than beginning with an epic fantasy trilogy, a family saga spanning five generations, or an entire adventure series … have a go at a short story or a poem.
And if you end up chewing your pen and staring at a sheet of paper, or gazing at a blank screen for hours, try kickstarting your writing with a short exercise. Don’t stop to think too much about it … just get going, without worrying about the quality of the work you produce.
Every November, hundreds of thousands of people just like you do something extraordinary: they write a novel in just thirty days. Want to be part of the coffee-fueled, manic-typing, adrenaline-rush that is National Novel Writing Month? (NaNoWriMo for short). Make sure you sign up by October 31st. The “rules” state that you can’t start writing Chapter 1 until 00.01am on November 1st but you can spend as long as you like before that planning…
Authors’ websites and blogs
I read lots of websites and blogs written by authors and these give real (sometimes harsh) insights into what it’s like to write professionally. One which has been a strong favourite of mine for many years is Holly Lisle’s. Check out her
advice for writers and her weblog. She also has an excellent newsletter which I subscribe to, and some very thorough and helpful e-books on various aspects of writing available for purchase.
Having a theme and a deadline can make a startling difference to a writer’s motivation! If you’re in the UK, Sally Quilford’s competition listings are a comprehensive and regularly-updated list.
I Should Be Writing podcast
This is a practical and inspiring podcast: I Should Be Writing by Mur Lafferty. She describes the podcast as “For wanna-be fiction writers, by a wanna-be fiction writer” (though since starting it several years ago, she’s had considerable success selling her short stories) and focuses on science fiction and fantasy.
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: ATOM (4 Jun 2009)
Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.6 x 3.2 cm
1. The Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi (Hardcover – 29 Sep 2009)
2. Saturday Night Peter by Peter Kay (Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009)
3. JLS: Our Story So Far by JLS and Dean Freeman (Hardcover – 3 Sep 2009)
4. I am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne (Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009)
5. Take Two: 2005-2009 by Take That (Hardcover – 26 Oct 2009)
6. Cheryl by Sean Smith (Hardcover – 3 Sep 2009)
7. Take One: 1990-1996 by Take That (Hardcover – 26 Oct 2009)
8. Leona: Dreams by Leona Lewis and Dean Freeman (Hardcover – 15 Oct 2009)
9. Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock by Phil Sutcliffe (Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009)
10. Moonwalk by Michael Jackson (Hardcover – 22 Oct 2009)
11. Big Man by Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons, and Don Reo (Hardcover – 22 Oct 2009)
12. Simon Cowell: The Unauthorized Biography by Chas Newkey-Burden (Hardcover – 3 Sep 2009)
13. Moon River And Me: The Autobiography by Andy Williams (Hardcover – 28 Sep 2009)
14. Hail! Hail! Rock’n'Roll: The Ultimate Guide to the Music, the Myths and the Madness by John Harris (Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009)
15. Further Adventures of a Grumpy Old Rock Star by Rick Wakeman (Hardcover – 17 Sep 2009)
16. You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle for the Soul of the “Beatles” by Peter Doggett (Hardcover – 24 Sep 2009)
17. Shirt Box Full of Songs: The Autobiography by Barbara Dickson (Hardcover – 15 Oct 2009)
18. I Know This Much: From Soho to Spandau by Gary Kemp (Hardcover – 3 Sep 2009)
19. Bob Marley: The Untold Story by Chris Salewicz (Hardcover – 17 Sep 2009)
20. Alesha Dixon: Her Story – The Unauthorized Biography by Anna Tripp (Hardcover – 29 Oct 2009)
21. The Beatles: On Camera, Off Guard (Book & DVD) by Mark Hayward (Hardcover – 19 Oct 2009)
22. Diamond is Forever: The Illustrated Story of Neil Diamond and His Music by Jon Bream (Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009)
23. “Westlife”: Our Story by Westlife (Paperback – 28 May 2009)
24. The Jonas Brothers by Sarah Parvis (Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009)
25. The Chancer: Shane Lynch – The Autobiography by Shane Lynch and Steve Legg (Hardcover – 14 April 2008)
26. BOYZONE by ZONE INTERNATIONAL (Calendar – 9 Jan 2009)
27. Alexandra Burke: A Star is Born by Chas Newkey-Burden (Paperback – 5 Oct 2009)
28. Britney Spears: Blackout (Pvg) by Britney Spears (Paperback – 1 April 2008)
29. Beyonce Knowles: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies) by Janice Arenofsky (Hardcover – May 2009)
30. The Virgin Book of Top 40 Charts (Virgin Books) (Paperback – 5 Nov 2009)
31. UK Singles Chart: UK Singles Chart. Music Week, The Big Top 40 Show, British Hit Singles, One-hit wonders in the United Kingdom, UK Official Download Chart, UK Indie Chart, NME by Frederic P. Miller, Agnes F. Vandome, and John McBrewster (Paperback – 5 Oct 2009)
32. Hitman: Forty Years Making Music, Topping Charts & Winning Grammys by David Foster and Pablo F. Fenjves (Paperback – 6 Oct 2009)
33. The X Factor Annual 2010 by Rachel Elliot (Hardcover – 12 Oct 2009)
34. “Britain’s Got Talent” 2010 2010 (Annual) by Rachel Elliot (Hardcover – 12 Oct 2009)
35. The Official “Strictly Come Dancing” Annual 2010 by Alison Maloney (Hardcover – 8 Oct 2009)
36. “Hannah Montana” Annual 2010 (Hardcover – 3 Aug 2009)
37. Adam Lambert (Dream Big: American Idol Superstars) by Chuck Bednar (Paperback – 15 Oct 2009)
38. Kelly Clarkson (Dream Big: American Idol Superstars) by Gail Snyder (Library Binding – 15 Oct 2009)
39. American Idol Panel (Modern Role Models) (Role Model Entertainers) by Jim Whiting (Paperback – 15 Jun 2009)
40. Best Music Writing 2009 (Da Capo Best Music Writing) by Greil Marcus (Paperback – 5 Nov 2009)
Product Descriptions and Buy Online: http://astore.amazon.com/annduniriwri-20
Top 10 This Week 28th Nov 2009 UK
Dan Brown (Author)
Ant McPartlin (Author) …
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Top Gear (Author)
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Product Decriptions and Buy Online: http://astore.amazon.com/annduniriwri-20
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“First Noel” by Jan Pienkowski
This is an absolutely amazing book that made me gasp with surprise when I opened it, so unexpected was the beauty, craftsmanship and presentation of its contents. What was an even bigger surprise is that it isn’t really a book at all, but a Christmas carousel that springs to life as you bend the spine until the hard covers meet at the back. Then you hang it up as the extraordinary piece of art that it is, telling the story of the Nativity through five exquisite cut-out silhouettes with words from the King James Bible.
I have already bought several copies of this magnificent book/decoration and am greatly looking forward to witnessing the delight on the faces of of those I shall give it to. If there ever was a truly appropriate Christmas gift, this is it.
|“A Child’s Christmas In Wales” by Dylan Thomas. This is my absolute favourite Christmas story book. It is basically a celebration of Dylan Thomas’ childhood and especially Christmas in a small Welsh town. It contains some of the most charming and endearing stories ever written on the subject. There should be a mandate to make it compulsory for everyone with childhood memories to read this delightful piece of lyrical writing at least once every Christmas. Now for something really amazing! If you take this link to our Christmas Stories section you will not only be able the read the story, but also hear it being read by the author himself, even though I died in 1953.
| “A Christmas Story” by Brian Wildsmith My wife and I purchased this book for our grand-daughter just a few days ago and I can tell you it is absolutely beautiful. The story is lovely and the illustrations are utterly captivating. I keeping picking it up to see what else I can discover within its fascinating detail. I find myself handling it gently as if it was a precious work of art ….. which it probably is.”A Christmas Story” has been a festive best-seller for over ten years and has now been reissued in a min-edition. With gold leaf on every page, and telling a straight-forward yet touching version of the Nativity story, this remarkable book is the ideal Christmas gift, small enough to fit into a Christmas stocking and costing less than a fiver. It has already sold well in excess of 150,000 copies with sales increasing year on year.
|”Nigella Christmas” by Nigella DawsonNigella Lawson writes a good recipe. And here she has also created a gorgeous christmas cookbook. The whole book is evocative of the season – I can almost smell the aromas….. Of course the book contains the basics – Christmas dinner, christmas cake and christmas puddding. But then Nigella plunges off in a number of different directions; chapters include: The More the Merrier (Cocktails, Canapes and Manageable Mass Catering), Seasonal Support (Soups, Salad, Sauces and Serve-later Sides), Come On Over…. (Stress-Free Suppers), The Main Event (this section is red edged so easy to find in the centre of the book), Joy to the World (Christmas Baking and Sweet Treats), All Wrapped Up (Edible Presents and Party Preserves), A Christmas Brunch for 6-8, A Bevy of Hot Drinks, Dr Lawson Prescribes (Let Food be your medicine….). Punctuated throughout with gorgeous photos – it’s a delight just to flick through. I’m certainly thinking on moving away from traditional turkey for christmas dinner after reading the Main Event chapter! Basically Nigella has the whole Christmas covered – this will certainly be one of the front runners in my arsenal for dealing with the Christmas season.|
|“The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore Here is a selection of visual interpretations of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem, by four outstanding illustrators. It recounts the coming of St Nicholas to a New Hampshire village one Christmas Eve in the 1840s. It is a wonderful story known by many us since childhood and captures the timeless magic of that very special evening of the year. All of these books are beautifully illustrated that will add to the delight of the on-looking child as this wonderful poem is read to them. Every home should have a copy.
|“The Night Before Christmas” Illustrated by Mary Engelbreit|
|“Twas The Night Before Christmas” Illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith|
|“The Night Before Christmas” Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson|
|The Oxford Book Of Christmas Poems“ This is a lovely book of Christmas poems, suitable for children as well as adults, It contains many excellent illustrations and some of the poems included in “Christmas Pie” are also contained in this book. The editors, Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark, obviously have excellent taste.
‘This is a superb collection: serious and funny, meditative and prayerful, narrative and in song-form. The illustrations by many artists are beautiful …. an excellent gift.’ The Malvern Gazette.
|“Christmas Poems” by U.A. Fanthorpe This collection brings together the poems U.A. Fanthorpe has been sending out to friends as Christmas cards since 1974. Now readers can enjoy Fanthorpe’s yearly output in its entirety, including some previously unpublished poems. Her subject matter covers a broad range of seasonal characters, from angels to personified Christmas trees, and a variety of styles to match.
“If you love or hate Christmas, believe or disbelieve passionately, or simply value short, pithy poems, this book will surely be a treasure for you. It’s funny, irreverent and godly all at once. Can be given to the aged aunt or the stroppy brat in the sure knowledge that it will make both chuckle and feel it was written for them. I have bought 3 copies (and no, I don’t know the author!)”
|“Christmas Poems” An Anthology by Gaby Morgan A wonderful anthology of beautiful new and classic poems, carols and hymns for Christmas. It captures all the emotion and excitement of the festive season, from anticipation to enjoyment, to the joy of the New Year. Christmas is coming, The geese are getting fat, Please to put a penny In the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny, A ha’penny will do; If you haven’t got a ha’penny, Then God bless you! Anon.|
|“Elizabeth David’s Christmas” Throughout her distinguished career, Elizabeth David wrote many articles on Christmas food, testing her recipes and honing her skills on the Christmas preparations for her sister’s family, which included five children. She put together a file of articles, recipes and notes, intending to publish them as a book, for which, much later, she wrote an introduction, and this file has come to light among her papers. This volume contains the whole of the file of around 150 recipes, together with a selection of articles and her introduction. Designed to take the strain out of providing festive food, from making preparations and using left-overs to avoiding hectic last-minute cooking, this a complete Christmas food book. All the classics are here: mince pies, stuffings, sauces and, of course, turkey, as well as simple first courses, party dishes, ice creams and a range of desserts.The photography is brilliant – the content is fantastic – a great addition to your ‘Elizabeth David’ shelf, or a very good ‘first’ if new to the author! BUY!!!!|
|“Father Christmas” by Raymond Briggs Father Christmas awoke from his dream of summer in the sun, and there it was on the calendar, December 24th, Christmas Eve, the start of his longest night’s work of the year. This book was awarded The Library Association’s Kate Greenaway Medal.|
|“Christmas Book at Bedtime” Featuring Patricia Routledge, Joss Ackland, Miriam Margolyes, Judie Dench and Richard Briers. Perhaps I shouldn’t have included this excellent collection of Christmas readings in the Christmas Books section; but such recordings are often sold as ‘talking books’, so why not. These CDs contain ten seasonal stories from BBC Radio 4′s “Book at Bedtime”. Each has a Christmas theme, and range from the intriguing to the funny to the poignant. They are written by an array of literature’s best-known names, including Laurie Lee and Charles Dickens.|
|“My Very First Christmas Story Book” by Lois Rock and Alex Ayliffe All the episodes of the traditional nativity, such as Jesus’ birth in the stable and the shepherds’ visit are told in the simplest words, accompanied by 12 bold and stylish pictures.|
| “Christmas Is Coming” by Ailie Busby “Christmas Is Coming” is full of Christmas rhymes that children have read, enjoyed and sung for years, accompanied here by large, amusing, brightly coloured and lively pictures. This book can be enjoyed by children of different ages, albeit on different levels. Preschoolers will enjoy it being read to them, while older children will read it and enjoy the words for themselves. These favourite Christmas rhymes, such as “I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing By”, “Little Donkey” and “Frosty the Snowman” combine the traditional with the modern, never date and can be read and sung time after time, year after year, making this a book to be used and enjoyed every Christmas. The whole book is brought to life by the vibrant and enchanting illustrations created by children’s artist, Ailie Busby.–Susan Naylor
|“Things to Make and Do for Christmas” by Fiona Watt and Ray Gibson Here is an excellent selection of ideas for drawing, painting and printing cards, wrapping paper and gift tags for Christmas. It includes an advent calendar and tree decorations. There are illustrations and photographs of the finished items, along with over 50 stickers to use with the projects.There are many simple Christmas projects to keep children occupied in the run up to Christmas. The instructions are clear and simply written and the illustrations are excellent. There are sheets of stickers included with the book which could have been a bit more comprehensive but these are useful none-the-less.|
|“The Earth From The Air” Photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
also available “The Earth From The Air – 366 Days”
This is not a Christmas related book. So, you may be wondering why I have included it in the Christmas Books section. Well, I have done so because I already have a copy and can tell you without reservation that if you buy anyone this book for Christmas it will undoubtedly be the best book they have ever received. It is stunning and at the same time awe inspiring. It is a truly breathtaking record of the features – natural and man-made – of our planet. ”The Earth From The Air” has been translated into nineteen different languages and has sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.’ Yann’s photographs are so good that the Natural History Museum in London has devoted a department to them.
“This is easily one of the most beautiful books ever seen in print …… if an alien visitors were to ask for one item to sum up life on earth, this book would be the best thing to give them ….” Focus – Book of the Month.
|“The Truth About Christmas” Compiled by Philip Ardagh Who decided to celebrate Jesus’ birthday on 25th December… and why? Who exactly was Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus)? Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? When was the first Christmas card sent? What on earth has a Yule log to do with Christmas? What does “nativity” actually mean? Did Father Christmas really used to wear green? Who invented the advent calendar? What do frankincense and myrrh look like? What do crackers have to do with Christmas? Where do the flying reindeer come from? Was there really once meat in mince pies? What’s all the holly and ivy for? Why are carols called carols? What exactly is a manger? Why are Christmas puddings Christmas-pudding shaped? Why hang Christmas wreaths to celebrate Christ’s birth? Were Christmas trees really introduced to England by Prince Albert? Why have a fairy, not an angel at the top of the tree? These are just some of the questions you’ll find answered in this fact-filled book.|
|“The Story Of Christmas” by Mary Packard, Carolyn Croll (Illustrator)
An illustrated retelling of the story of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus through the keeping of an advent calendar. 24 miniature board books are arranged in sequence and nestled in a backer. The book are numbered 1-24 and are meant to be opened one per day from 1st December through to Christmas Eve. Read in sequence, the four-page books capture the mystery of the first Christmas, from Gabriel’s visit to Mary to the three wise men gazing at a prophetic star to Jesus’s birth in the manger. In addition, children can use the tiny books to adorn the Christmas tree.
| “The Oxford Book of Christmas Stories“ Compiled by Dennis Pepper. This is an excellent companion book to the aforementioned “…Oxford Book Of Christmas Poems”. What I like about this book is that it contains the work of many writers who may be unfamiliar to the reader. Okay, you will come across such well known names such as Charles Dickens and Laurie Lee, but you’re sure to make some new acquaintances. It is somewhat less generously illustrated than its companion but it looks and feels like a nice book. Nice pressy! ’A galaxy of writers and illustrators, a mix of old and new to keep bookworms happy throughout twelve days and more.’ The Sunday Times
|“The Young Oxford Book of Christmas Poems” Michael Harrison & Christopher Start-Clark Editors. Don’t be misled by the title. This is a book to be enjoyed by poetry lovers of all ages who are susceptible to the magic of Christmas. Any poetry book that includes W.H.Auden’s “Well, So That Is That” can’t be just a kid’s book. It really is a wonderful collection of Christmas Poetry with works from such poets as Blake, Clare, Donne, Herrick, Stevenson, de la Mare, Hardy and Rosetti as well as more contemporary writers including Dylan Thomas, John Hedgley, Charles Causley, Sylvia Plath, U.A. Fanthorpe and Ted Hughes. This is an excellent source of material for anyone putting together a rehearsed reading as a Christmas Entertainment ……… as of course are the Christmas Poetry and Christmas Prose sections of the Christmas-Time web site.|
|“Delia Smith’s Complete Christmas“ by Delia Smith. In this collection of her Christmas recipes, Delia Smith demonstrates how you can easily cope with the whole gamut of Christmas entertaining, whilst still having plenty of time to relax with your family and friends. Delia gives advice on how to choose the very best produce from turkeys to chocolates, from glacé fruits to smoked salmon. She shows you how to organise yourself so that you’ve got plenty of time when the family and friends arrive. With her help you can prepare many dishes in advance and with her 36-hour countdown to Christmas lunch you can make sure nothing goes wrong for that most difficult of meals to get right. She gives lots of unusual ideas for Christmas parties from fork buffets to drinks parties, including Cheese Tartlets with Wild Mushrooms, Quails Eggs and Hollandaise and Iced Christmas Pudding topped with glacé fruits marinated in madeira. Over 100 new recipes include 5 different kinds of Christmas cake and foolproof ways to ice them, a complete vegetarian Christmas including Cheese Terrine with Apricot Chutney, and recipes for Christmas gifts such as Chocolate Truffles.
|“Christmas“ by Stella Ross Collins. With all royalties going to the NSPCC, Stella Ross Collins’ Christmas! would always be a worthwhile project. That it should be charming, informative and beautifully produced is therefore a bonus. A collection of traditions and recipes associated with the Christmas season from all over Europe. An introductory survey of Christmas practices country by country serves as a reminder that, across Europe, celebrations take place from St Nicholas’ day at the beginning of Advent through to Twelfth Night. Explanations of the significance of the different festivals and the traditions associated with them are followed by similar discussions of the major Christmas motifs–trees, logs, wreaths, music, cribs, stockings, cards, presents and all. Nearly half the book is devoted to festive food and drink, and a cheering selection it is, with abundant recipes for goose and turkey, spiced beef and salt cod, hams, special soups, carp and venison, as well as any number of cakes, puddings, mince pies, rich breads and biscuits. A few warming drinks and cordials round off the selection. As a poet and a musician, Stella Ross Collins writes sensitively of the magic of ritual and tradition. Robin Davidson|
|“The Penguin Book of Carols” Edited by Ian Bradley. This is a companion volume to “The Penguin Book of Hymns”, that was also compiled by Ian. It
features 100 classic carols lyrics, each accompanied by an account of the song’s origins and history.
|“Horrible Christmas” by Terry Deavy. All your kids need to know about Christmas in one small hardback book! Terry Deary certainly knows a lot about Christmas, from its ancient beginnings to the twenty-first century. But this is no dreary reference material, it’s a fun book. You know, the kind that kids, and grown-ups for that matter, actually like to read instead of looking it up on the Internet!|
|“Christmas Fairy Tales” Neil Philip editor. Isabelle Brent Illustrator. This collection of fairy tales aims to capture the true spirit of Christmas – a spirit of magic, fantasy and joy. It contains tales from Hans Christian Andersen, Ruth Sawyer, Mary de Morgan and Frank Stockton.|
|“Christmas Treats” by Sarah Perry. Sarah Perry has put together a magical array of recipes and craft projects for the whole family to create together.|
|“Classic and Contemporary Christmas Cakes” by Naden Hurst & Julie Springall. Christmas brings out all the creative and traditional elements in all of us, and nowhere is this more evident than in the cake that takes centre place in your festive feast. Here, Nadene Hurst and Julie Springall present over 20 exquisite cake designs to suit every taste and style. From classic, traditional designs to contemporary cakes with a modern feel, this book has the perfect cake for any Christmas party. Classical and stylish, but always conveying a festive theme, these cakes will provide ideas and inspirations for cake decorators of all abilities. Winter scenes, religious themes and Christmas wreaths and flowers are all featured, together with complete sugar-paste cakes and individual slices. Many of the cakes have been designed with the time-conscious decorator in mind, ensuring that even the most busy sugar-crafter can create something simple but attractive when time is at a premium. Simple step-by-step text, together with beautiful, full colour photography demonstrates every stage of the cake decorating process. Covering a range of skills, from cutting and modelling to moulding and ornate royal icing, Classic & Contemporary Christmas Cakes has designs to suit beginners and experienced decorators alike. No matter how traditional or contemporary you like your Christmas table, this book is sure to have the perfect cake design for you.|
|“Collin’s Christmas Treasury” Stephanie Nettell Editor. Ian Penny Illustrator. A selection of classic material dealing with the birth of Christ, the enjoyment of Christmas as a family event, the traditions of giving and receiving, and how Christmas is so different in other places and past times. The collection includes work by A.A. Milne, Ogden Nash and Charles Dickens.|
|“The Faber Book Of Christmas” Simon Rae Editor. From the abundant writing on Christmas – historical, literary, popular, mythical – comes this eclectic anthology which includes familiar pieces by Betjeman, Auden, Hardy and Dickens, as well as more obscure extracts. The selection ranges from Milton’s “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” to Wendy Cope’s rueful “A Christmas Poem”, and from accounts of Christmas Day at the North Pole, and in the trenches in 1914, to Christmas as celebrated by the England cricket team in Australia. ’Simon Rae’s brilliant The Faber Book of Christmas is a bold collection of musings on Christmas past, present and future and scopes the centuries for poems, stories, essays and anecdotes from the pens of the mighty, logging all the emotions that enforced merriment can bring on the hardworking soul. From musings on the traditional and sneaky peaks into the mindsets of those for whom Christmas is something of a chore, Rae pulls the likes of Wendy Cope and John Milton together with Auden and Dickens while scanning all things Jingle Bells across the world: Susan Harrison|
“How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss’s small-hearted Grinch ranks right up there with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling Christmas kill-joy of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above Whoville. He finds the noisy holiday preparations and infernal singing of the happy little citizens below extremely annoying. So, he decides this frivolity must stop. His “wonderful, awful” idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville, and strip the cheerful Whos of their Christmas goodies.
“Images Of Christmas” by Elaine Wilson & Dorothy Boux. Christmas means different things to different people. In this book the work of a number of British, European and American writers is used to evoke the traditions, memories and feelings associated with christmas, sometimes in prose, sometimes in verse, and at other times by carol complete with its musical setting. Using a quill pen to transcribe every page in calligraphy, Dorothy Boux has embellished each with an original drawing, making subtle use of colour to convey the different moods. The book opens with the mystic atmosphere surrounding the birth of Christ, followed by the tenderness and peace radiating from the cradle as the child is visited by the magi and shepherds. Then Christmas as a joyful family occasion round the fire, with the excitement of the children, the presents, the Christmas tree, the decorations and the food. In contrast there is the countryside in winter, the nostalgia and loneliness of a soldier at war and a sailor at sea on Christmas day. The book closes with a moving letter written during the Italian Renaissance which reads like a hymn to peace, life and love. “Michael Foremen’s Christmas Treasury”
A treasury of Christmas stories and verse, chosen by Michael and illustrated in colour.
“Vegetarian Christmas” by Rose Elliot.Rose Elliot brings together imaginative and tasty recipes for the festive season that, including: nibbles and buffet goodies; celebration centrepieces and vegetarian side dishes; Christmas puddings and desserts; sweet cakes and biscuits; and six fully planned-out Christmas Day menus.
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. This is the Classic Christmas story where phantoms of the imagination intervene to convert a mean and selfish old codger into warm and caring human being. Mind you, one cannot help but have a sneaking sympathy for the leading character, Scrooge, who intensely dislikes the indulgences of Christmas. Like George Bernard Shaw (See “An Absurd Institution” in the Christmas Prose section.) he’s not happy with the idea of people wasting their money in order to swell the pockets of commercialism. He might also have said that many people have lost sight of the reason why we celebrate Christmas; but he doesn’t.
“The Adventure Of The Christmas Pudding” by Agatha Christie. First came a sinister warning to Poirot not to eat any plum pudding…then the discovery of a corpse in a chest…next, an overheard quarrel that led to murder…the strange case of the dead man who altered his eating habits…and the puzzle of the victim who dreamt his own suicide.
“The Little Big Book of Christmas” by Tim Shaner Designed by Tim Shaner and lavishly illustrated throughout with nineteenth-century artwork, this book will remind you of the origins of Christmas, the roots of modern celebration, and the current significance of the holiday in each of our lives. There have been many successful Christmas titles before The Little Big Book of Christmas, but none so complete, timeless, and delightful, and none in such a beautifully designed format. A great big fat international Christmas book chock-full of stories, songs, biblical verse, Christmas lore, and some of the very best holiday recipes, including New England Eggnog, Classic Sugar Cookies, Hot Chocolate with
Peppermint Sticks, A Brownie Christmas Tree, Swedish Gingerbread Cookies, Refrigerator Cookies, and Scandinavian Glogg. “Making of the Modern Christmas” by J M Golby and A W Purdue
The story of Christmas, from its beginnings as a pagan celebration with mistletoe, holly and wreath decorations and the old Saturnalian custom of cross-dressing – continued today with the pantomime’s “principal boy”. The book also covers the practice of superiors waiting upon those of lower rank during the Christmas season – still seen in the British Army – and the election of a Lord of Misrule which was a popular custom in the 14th century. The author reveals how the Victorians enlarged celebrations into something like the Christmas season of today, with singing, dancing, plum pudding, decorated trees, street carolling, Christmas cards and Santa Claus. The book also covers the history of Christmas through the 20th century, discussing the two world wars, the influence of television and film, the Queen’s speech and the increasing commercialization of the season. The many illustrations include famous examples such as Roosevelt and Churchill leaving the White House for Christmas service in 1941 and the Christmas tree at Windsor.
“Trade Secrets: Christmas” by Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders
From dinner parties to decorations, Christmas travelling to Christmas tension – the experts give the inside story on how to survive the festive season.
From dinner parties to decorations, Christmas travelling to Christmas tension – the experts give the inside story on how to survive the festive season.
Developed from BBC 2′s hugely successful television programme – where professionals from a wide range of trades and occupations give hints and tips taken from a lifetime of doing the job – it is both practical and succinct. Beautifully illustrated throughout in colour, Trade Secrets: Christmas contains all the practical hints, tips and shortcuts to ensure that you can get the most out of Christmas! The Book of Christmas” by Thomas K Hervey, R Seymour (Illus.) & Steven Roud (Trans.)
Christmas and its festivities have drawn on many elements from many celebrations. This book aims to give a renewed sense of meaning and history to what, for some, is a banal commercial enterprise. In detail, it documents the practices and customs of each of the special days of the season.
“Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham John Grisham has turned a satirical eye on the overblown ritual of the festive season, and the result is Skipping Christmas, a modest but funny novel about the tyranny of December 25. Grisham’s story revolves around a typical middle-aged American couple, Luther and Nora Krank. An accountant, Luther estimates that “a year earlier, the Luther Krank family had spent $6,100 on Christmas”, and had “precious little to show for it”. Consequently, he makes an executive decision, telling his wife, friends and neighbours that “We won’t do Christmas”. Instead, Luther books a 10-day Caribbean cruise. All goes well until people get wind of the Kranks’ subversive scheme. Everyone, from Christmas card salesmen to horrified neighbours, besieges the couple with questions. ‘What about the Christmas party, carols and the erection of Frosty the Snowman?’ Then, things start to turn nasty in the local neighbourhood.
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|Title: The Great Fire: A Novel
Author: Shirley Hazzard
Publisher: Virago Press Ltd; New edition edition (6 May 2004)
Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.4 x 2.2 cm
More than twenty years after the classic The Transit of Venus, Shirley Hazzard returns to fiction with a novel that in the words of Ann Patchett “is brilliant and dazzling…”
The Great Fire is an extraordinary love story set in the immediate aftermath of the great conflagration of the Second World War. In war-torn Asia and stricken Europe, men and women, still young but veterans of harsh experience, must reinvent their lives and expectations, and learn, from their past, to dream again. Some will fulfill their destinies, others will falter. At the center of the story, a brave and brilliant soldier finds that survival and worldly achievement are not enough. His counterpart, a young girl living in occupied Japan and tending her dying brother, falls in love, and in the process discovers herself.
In the looming shadow of world enmities resumed, and of Asia’s coming centrality in world affairs, a man and a woman seek to recover self-reliance, balance, and tenderness, struggling to reclaim their humanity. The Great Fire is a story of love in the aftermath of war by “purely and simply, one of the greatest writers working in English today.” (Michael Cunningham)
|Saturday Night Peter by Peter Kay|
| Peter Kay’s new biography charts the hilarious journey his career took as he developed and honed his comedy act in pubs and clubs across the country.
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Title: Always and Forever: Katie The Rose of Tralee
Author: Annette J Dunlea
Paperback: 170 pages
Publisher: AD Press (25 Aug 2009)
Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.8 x 1 cm
Sweet Tale of a Rose by Marisa Reidy
The supernatural love of a fictional Rose of Tralee is the subject of a new book. Always and Forever: Katie the Rose of Tralee by Annette Dunlea.
The book described as a sweet Irish tale of two farmer’s children falling in love and marrying is set in Tralee in the 1980s and centres on Katie’s coming of age. She wins the Rose of Tralee festival and on that night her boyfriend goes on bended knee and proposes. It is the beginning of the rest of her life. They marry and a terrible fate falls on the family. –The KerryMan Newspaper April 15th 2009
This is a sweet Irish tale of two farmers kids falling in love and marrying. This historical fiction is set in Tralee Co.Kerry in the 1980s and centralizes in Katie’s coming of age. She wins The Rose of Tralee Festival and on that night Ronan goes on bended knee and proposes to her. It is the beginning of the rest of her life. They marry until a terrible fate falls on the family. Is love forever, is marriage for ever ? This is a sweet tale of supernatural love. It has Irish charm a tale of past Ireland like The Quiet Man. It will be a classic as long as woman fall in love and men marry.
From the Publisher
An Irish Love Tale With A Twist
From the Author
Always and Forever is my second novel. It is a highly fictionalized version of my aunt dying of cancer and organizing her own funeral. Also my great grand-dad married two sisters.
From the Inside Flap
To My Mum Frances
This is for you
From the Back Cover
Katie Bowen and Ronan O’Hanlon are love’s young dream. They date and after a bad start fall head over heels in love. On the night she wins the Rose of Tralee festival Ronan goes on bended knee under the moonlight and proposes to her. Her life turns around from this day forward. They have a three day wedding and honeymoon in Geneva and build a beautiful new home on the farm. They soon have a family and live an idyllic life on tragedy strikes. This is a tale of supernatural love.
About the Author
Annette Dunlea is an Irish author. She has written an anthology of poetry and two novels : The Honey Trap and Always and Forever.She writes books for a living short stories and reviews by commission and poetry for pleasure.
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Mar 2009)
Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Collins (1 Oct 2009)
Product Dimensions: 25 x 19.4 x 3.8 cm
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (3 Nov 2005)
Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.7 cm
best crime, thriller & mystery books of 2009.
Crime, Thrillers & Mystery
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest
The Scarpetta Factor
Product Descriptions and Buy Online: http://astore.amazon.com/annduniriwri-20
#1 The Lacuna
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by Gil Adamson
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|Format:||Hardback 304 pages|
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Ever since being brought up by The Beatles, Frankie Boyle has been a tremendous liar. Join him on his adventures with his chum Clangy The Brass Boy and laugh as he doesn’t accidentally kill a student nurse when a party gets out of hand. I don’t think anyone can have written an autobiography without at some point thinking “Why would anyone want to know this shit?” I’ve always read them thinking “I don’t want to know where Steve Tyler grew up, just tell me how many groupies he f**ked!”‘ So begins Frankie’s outrageous, laugh-out loud, cynical rant on life as he knows it. From growing up in Pollockshaws, Glasgow (‘it was an aching cement void, a slap in the face to Childhood, and for the family it was a step up’), to his rampant teenage sex drive (‘in those days if you glimpsed a nipple on T.V. it was like porn Christmas’), and first job working in a mental hospital (‘where most evenings were spent persuading an old man in his pants not to eat a family sized block of cheese’), nothing is out of bounds. Outspoken, outrageous and brilliantly inappropriate, Frankie Boyle, the dark heart of Mock the Week, says the unsayable as only he can. From the TV programmes he would like to see made (‘Celebrities On Acid On Ice: just like Celebrity Dancing On Ice, but with an opening sequence where Graham Norton hoses the celebrities down with liquid LSD’), to his native Scotland and the Mayor of London (‘voting for Boris Johnson wasn’t that different to voting for a Labrador wearing a Wonder Woman costume’), nothing and no one is safe from Frankie’s fearless, sharp-tongued assault. Sharply observed and full of taboo-busting, we-really-shouldn’t-be-laughing-at-this humour, My Shit Life So Far shows why Frankie Boyle really is the blackest man in show business.
Barnes and Noble:
In this riveting debut of breathtaking scope, a young girl discovers her father’s darkest secret and embarks on a harrowing journey across Europe to complete the quest he never could — to find history’s most legendary fiend — Dracula.
When a motherless American girl living in Europe finds a medieval book and a package of letters, all addressed ominously to “My dear and unfortunate successor…” she begins to unravel a thread that leads back to her father’s past, his mentor’s career, and an evil hidden in the depths of history.
In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright — a hunt that nearly brought her father to ruin and may have claimed the life of his adviser and dear friend, history professor Bartholomew Rossi. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler, the historical Dracula, have to do with the 20th century? Is it possible that Dracula has lived on in the modern world? And why have a select few historians risked reputation, sanity, and even their lives to learn the answer?
So begins an epic journey to unlock the secrets of the strange medieval book, an adventure that will carry our heroine across Europe and into the past — not only to the times of Vlad’s heinous reign, but to the days when her mother was alive and her father was still a vibrant young scholar. In the end, she uncovers the startling fate of Rossi, and comes face to face with the definition of evil — to find, ultimately, that good may not always triumph.
About the Author
ELIZABETH KOSTOVA graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.
Top 10 Bestsellers
Beautiful and informative, surprising and smart, The Elements will appeal to your inner geek (even if you didn’t know you had one). With unique stories, bizarre facts, and dazzling photographs of the 118 elements in the periodic table, this book will charm and delight anyone interested in science.
Recommended by Tessa, Powells.com
Author: Lily Tuck
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: HarperPerennial (1 Aug 2005)
Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.4 x 2.2 cm
The Honey Trap by Annette J Dunlea
Always and Forever by Annette J Dunlea
Currently Writing: Cry of The Quiet
Author Website: http://www.annettedunlea.com
A reader (thanks Dana!) wrote to me thanking me for the recent reading plans that Esteban and I have put together (mentioned here, here, and here), and asked if I could reformat them and present them as PDF files that preserve the formatting, to fit on as few pages as possible. So, I’ve created separate files for the 2009 NRSV Reading Plan, the 2009 NETS Reading Plan, and the 2009 Psalms Reading Plan. The files are also all linked to on the updated 2009 Eastern Orthodox Bible Reading Plan page. The first two, which include both the Old Testament and New Testament readings, both can be printed on two sheets of paper, double-sided. The Psalms file will fit on one sheet, double-sided. So, it will take only three folded sheets of paper tucked into your Bible, which certainly won’t damage the binding, to have a handy printed schedule of this set of plans, if one wants to follow them.
I thought I’d take a moment to describe the reason that I’ve called these “Eastern Orthodox Bible Reading Plans” rather than just something more generic. Firstly, the Psalms reading plan is the traditional Eastern Orthodox schedule for reading the Psalms in monasteries. Secondly, the adapted Optina plan for reading the New Testament is directly from Orthodox traditional reading practices, though slightly adapted. Thirdly, when I orginally set up a reading plan including all the books in the NRSV, it was specifically because the deuterocanonical or apocryphal books are all, to one degree or another, included in the Orthodox canon, yet no other annual reading plan included all those books. That plan was thus an attempt to provide pious Orthodox readers with a schedule that would appropriately reflect the Tradition of the Orthodox Church.
The above-mentioned readings are in no way intended to replace the liturgical cycle of readings in the Orthodox Church. Readers of the above plans are encouraged also to read the specified passages for each day of the Church calendar. All of this may seem like too much reading, but when we consider how much television we watch, how much music we listen to, how much news we read, and how much time we simply waste on the internet, the amount of Bible reading involved in this plan and in the liturgical readings of the Church are by no means oppressive or unrealistic. But if a reader is overwhelmed, read the Church’s daily liturgical readings, and abandon the above plan until you have time for it.
If you have any suggestions on improvements for the plans or the formatting of the files, please contact me.
Posted in Eastern Orthodoxy on Saturday, 24 January 2009 at 9:20 pm