Welcome to the book blog of writer and creative writing tutor, Diane Paul.

Thanks to the publishers and kind PR people who send me books and releases about their clients' books for review. Press releases and review copies of fiction and non-fiction are always welcome. (No sci-fi, fantasy or erotica please.)

Due to the barrage of requests from self-published authors for reviews, I'm unable to deal with them all, although I'm sometimes drawn to non-fiction for the subject matter. And because I love print books, the smell, the touch of the paper and the sight of the words, I don't have an electronic reader or review e-books.

E-mail to: bookblogforbookworms@keywordeditorial.com for the postal address.

My writing website: http://www.keywordeditorial.com/

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Read and Write Fest in Sheffield

A few weeks ago, I trained it to Sheffield and walked straight into a wonderland of water fountains as I left the station. I don't hear a lot about Sheffield, living in Manchester but I didn't imagine it would sweep me off my feet the moment I left the station. On my right gleamed a huge metal water wall which accompanied me all the way down to the road and put me in a good mood. Clever. I wished the boffins at Manchester's Piccadilly Station would come up with something as creative, inspiring, innovative and welcoming to visitors after a long train journey. I didn't see a great deal more of Sheffield as I was heading for a meeting opposite the station for creative writing tutors of the Open College of the Arts and remained there all day but I'm assured the city centre is just as original.

Off the Shelf

So I lift my hat (or would do if I could find one to fit my little head) once again to their annual writing and reading festival, Off the Shelf which happens this year from 9-30 October all over Sheffield. The activities they've put together are too numerous to go into in this small space but it's worth sending for a brochure to see what's on among the author visits, workshops, poetry, storytelling, talks, exhibitions, competitions and more...whew, I'm fair out of breath now. You can get one by emailing offtheshelf@sheffield.gov.uk or phone 0114 273 4400 or you can download one from the Off the Shelf website.

What's On?

Let's have a cherry pick..
  • Crime writer Val McDermid discusses her latest novel Trick of the Dark set in Oxford's colleges on 9 October at the Showroom Cinema;
  • Jenny Eclair is at the Pennine Theatre on 13 October with her new book, Chin Up Britain! based on her successful stage show Grumpy Old Women;
  • an interesting event at the Sheffield City Hall Ballroom on 27 October with Manchester Camerata, is themed around 'letters'. 'The Yiddishbukk by Osvaldo Golijov was written in 1992 based on remnants of verses quoted in a letter from Kafka to Milena. The music commemorates three children interned by the Nazis, the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer and Leonard Bernstein. An extract from The Diary of Anne Frank will be included';
  • Alastair Campbell will be at The Octagon on 28 October reading from his political memoirs Prelude to Power, answering questions and explaining why, being a Yorkshireman, he supports Burnley FC;
  • You can attend a first rate Masterclass with poet John McAuliffe on 24 October;
  • Or attend Write Down Your Street Free Workshops working with professionals, creating your own story or poem saying what's good about where you live; free writing workshops go on until February all over the city ending with a showcase, open mic and exhibition of work;
  • Finally, as I've no more space, Sheffield Readers' Day 2010 is worth attending. It takes place in the Town Hall with special guest, Jack Sheffield and books offered by Bloomsbury, so this sounds like the big one. The authors will all be there: Howard Jacobson, just short listed for the 2010 Man Booker with The Finkler Question; Jane Rusbridge with her first novel, Devil's Music; Anne Zouroudi, a local writer with The Lady of Sorrows, Louise Levene, the Sunday Telegraph critic and Radio 4 presenter introducing her first novel, A Vision of Loveliness and Marika Cobbold, Swedish author with Aphrodite's Workshop for Reluctant Lovers, love, angst and divine intervention and we all need a bit of that.

You can follow the festival on Facebook - Off the Shelf Festival of Writing and Reading,
also on Twitter - otsfestival or checkout the website on http://www.offtheshelf.org.uk/

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