The BBC is running a competition called My Story in which the winning stories will be made into a TV series. The top five will be published in a book and most of the entries will make their way onto the BBC web site.
NCS tutor, Joanna Howard, may be able to give you some help in crafting a winning entry. Have a look at her course, Your Story – Writing a Life, which can guide you in writing your unique personal story. A few lessons with Jo and you could be writing a BBC TV episode.
Adult Learners’ Week runs from 9th to 15th May this year and NCS is doing its bit to support it. You can try some course snippets and a complete free course over at the NCS ALW page. Try a course on Archaeology, Health Care or Herbology. It’s all free for Adult Learners’ Week.
Bards in the Bog is the latest idea from Shetland Libraries’ Poet Partner project. Local poets interested in reaching a wider audience are invited to submit poems. Six of the best will be chosen each quarter, to display in public toilets around Shetland. The selection will be made by Shetland’s Poet Partner – well known poet Jen Hadfield. “I’ve always loved the idea of sneaking poetry into unexpected places,” said Jen, “proving that poetry’s place is in the real world, in real time. I’m looking forward to another of the Library’s fantastic open mike events to celebrate the launch of Bards in the Bog.”
The first set of poems will be selected and installed in March. The competition is open to all ages, and poems may be on any subject. The only rule is that they must be short -12 lines or less in length – as the posters need to have large print which can easily be read from a seated position! Poems will also be published on the library website, and there may be a few toilet-related poetry events throughout the year as well.
To kick off the project, there will be a Poet Partner event at Shetland Library on Wednesday 11th February. It will feature a reading from Jen, and the second part of the evening will be ‘open mike’ poetry, which means anyone with a favourite poem to share can come along and read.
Full details are available from the Shetland Libraries web site.
How do you qualify to be a student in the UK? Ideally, you need to be under 25 and looking for a vocational course. Only 1% of the UK education budget is available for older students. This in the face of demographic change which sees 11 million people of pensionable age, many of whom will be looking for something to do post-employment. It is being left to private organisations such as the NCS to provide brain stimulus to our older people, a necessary part of maintaining health into older age.
Science Fiction writer, editor and journalist, Ben Bova credits his early practical training in High School and local newspapers as giving him the solid grounding in writing style and work ethic which shaped his career. Bova was given his first break by his English teacher who put him to work on the school paper. He was later to apply that experience to studying for his journalism degree and working on the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is best known to fans of science fiction as the editor of Analog and author of many books such as Maxwell’s Demons, Mars and Titan. He also co-wrote the story for George Lucas’ film THX 1138.
The popular Skype Internet phone system has found another job – broadcasting the news. Janie Porter of WSTP-TV used a Skype video-phone connection from her laptop to send her story live to the television studio. The quality was good enough to go straight to the public and allowed Porter to set up her own outside broadcast system singlehanded. More from Poynter Online …
Cloisters 22, the latest edition of our magazine is out now. It’s our Christmas edition, with lots more to get your brain teeth into, while your dentures tackle another mince pie. If you want to make any comments please add them to this post.
Have a jolly old Christmas, and a romping New Year. We’re taking a couple of weeks or so to wind down, before embarking on what, we hope, will be a top notch 2009. Keep smiling.
From all at the NCS.
If you have feel you have life experiences that would interest a wider readership, then Joanna Howard’s course could provide you with the tools to create your own memoir or autobiography. Anyone can write down what happened to them, but there are approaches and techniques that make the writing more illuminating for the writer and more interesting for potential readers. This is what “Your Story – Writing A Life” is about.
Have you ever wondered whether you’d make a good psychologist, or just wanted to understand more about why people behave in the ways that they do? Zaynab D’Elia can help you out. “The Wonderful World Of Psychology” is an introduction to this interesting topic. All areas are covered the lesser known with the better known and anyone considering deeper study of Psychology would find this a good place to start.
We are delighted to announce the arrival of Drivel Defence from the Plain English Campaign. This is a software tool that can be used online to check your text for difficult English before including it in your web site. We’re looking forward to using it in the NCS College’s resources. It should be helpful to our students, particularly those who have English as a second language.
So how well does it perform? I loaded the first paragraph from this post into it and scored well for clarity. The only change recommended was that the second last sentence should be rewritten as “We’re looking send to using it in the NCS College’s resources.” Oh, well, back to the drawing board, guys. For now I’d recommend not ticking the box marked “possible alternative words (from PEC A to Z).” It does very well in identifying good sentences, though.