We are proud supporters of The St. Elizabeth Hospice.
Support St. Elizabeth Hospice with your creativity…
You can support the Hospice and get creative with your writing talent by entering the The Henry Buckmaster Short Story Competition. Tell your story and support those who work to help others! ( We are remembering Henry too…).
The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18
To enter please make a donation to St. Elizabeth Hospice of £10 or more per entry. You may enter more than once.
We ask that your short story is a maximum of 3,000 words long
We ask that your short story is based around the themes of family, community or compassion
The competition is now open and will close at midnight on Sunday 14 June.
The winner will be announced on National Writing Day, the 26 June.
How To Enter
Once you have made your donation of £10 (if you are able to give more it would be very much appreciated) on the Here Together JustGiving Page we will be in contact with you regarding sending in your short story. The deadline for entries is midnight on Sunday 14 June.
In the U.S. the Smithsonian Institution has created an Open Access resource of staggering diversity.
Swiss/German side chair, late 17thC – early 18thC – Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
“Smithsonian Open Access,where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo”.
As always with Open Access resources, despite millions of electronic artifacts in the Public Domain on the Smithsonian web pages, some do have license/usage restrictions. Always check before use!
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966
For the inquisitive, there is a wealth of subject matter and themes to explore on the Smithsonian pages. Whether your interest is art, ceramics, photography, science or zoology…there will be a reservoir of interesting items to peruse.
A search of the archive for ‘film’ produces a delightful range of posters, lobby cards and images of garments worn in Hollywood movies.
Or, if crime fiction is your thing, you can even begin the calendar of events in the company of Val McDermid at the launch event: How the Dead Speak. On February 28th in the evening at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford.
Young Essex has not been forgotten either – with a full range activities for the young reader. We particularly like the Manifesto for Essexlaunch, where young people can give voice to their thinking about Climate Change.
Also for Young Essex is a great idea, the pop-up storytelling armchair. Springing into events across a range of different locations in Chelmsford, Basildon and Harlow.
‘A super comfy treat for book lovers young and old to enjoy their favourite stories out loud! Free and open to all – come along and hear a story…’
Writing in The Guardian in late 2014 the author Rupert Wallis was minded to tell us that ‘…more and more not-so- young adults are reading YA fiction’ – which he declared was no bad thing. He went on…
‘The power of YA fiction to generate an emotional resonance around death should not be underestimated in UK society, where young adults spend a lot of time immersed in the artificial realities of cyberspace and gaming’.
Source: The Guardian, 18th August 2014.
Buy this book here, with free delivery…
Lynda Haddock, in her first novel, has wonderfully underscored the sentiment with her first novel Ellen Lives On. The book features the journey, the exploration of a new life and the acquisition of a new set of values, by the teenager Ellen.
For Ellen the journey is mapped from the suicide of her mother, an emergent rally to the cause of education and her exodus to the Metropolis in search new friends, political engagement and the forming of a new identity for herself.
‘One way of tackling the difficult questions raised by death is to feel connected to one another in addressing them, to feel human together…’ writes Wallis in his article. Indeed, the sensitively written, clear narrative from Lynda Haddock stirs up the emotions and will clearly illuminate a shared experience for teenagers suffering loss.
The new novel was enjoyed by the Books go Walkabout team in our office. Sue Martin, writing for our new season book list opined…
”A desperately moving novel about a young girl whose life changes forever when she returns home to find that her mother has committed suicide.
Ellen, a scholarship girl at a local grammar school in the 1970’s, finds that life is uncomfortable and fraught as soon as you are no longer the ‘norm’ pupil, let alone the trauma of discovering that she is alone in the world. Alone, that is, apart from her Grandfather, who is elderly and lives a long way from Ellen.
Taken in by her aunt and uncle, Ellen finds the welcome is short lived and that she is a burden to the family, simply used as the girl in the house to do all the chores. Her uncle tells her the sooner she finishes school and starts a job the sooner she can pay for her living.
After a series of heart-wrenching problems with friends, teachers and those who were meant to be supporting her, Ellen goes on the run. She finds friendship with people in a squat, her grandfather is taken into hospital and she abandons any hope of a career with prospects.
Eventually Social Services find Ellen and her life starts to rebuild, but never back to where it was and with very little hope of the future that had been planned.
A moving and poignant story for Young Adults and a thought provoking debut novel for Lynda Haddock.”
It is also, in its way, a primer for adults, the ‘not so young’ in Wallis’s narrative, to recognise the strains and pains of a teenager going through this crisis, such is the insight afforded the reader of any age by Lynda Haddock’s writing.
Lynda Haddock’s work joins a solid tradition of novels that seek to offer reflection and a way forward in the face of death and loss. From The Fault in Our Stars by John Green to Jacqueline Wilson’s Vicky Angel – the Haddock narrative deals with death, yes, but also in the exploration of self, equality and values – all of which are significant markers for young adults as they march forward into the 21st Century.
For Wallis ‘…the true significance of death in YA is that authors are reflecting back what they see everyday; namely, that death is ominously prevalent these days, whether in fiction or a national news broadcast or the obituary columns‘.
This is certainly true of the author Lynda Haddock, whose professional life before her novel encompassed education and the specialist support of children experiencing difficulty in their lives. The storytelling resonates with it.
The experience tellingly shows in the novel Ellen Lives On, and we hope it might become a staple of your library of resources – tendering a way into loss and bereavement that will be recognised by any teenager, whatever their culture, age or background.
We would commend Lynda Haddock’s publisher to note that the YA Book Prize for 2019 is now open for nominations.
Here at ConsEast Towers we are already planning the new season voluntary and fund-raising support.
Discover thirty years of help here…
This year we are supporting St. Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich. If you are within reach of the hospice, and have time and skills to help the team deliver this great, supportive work, then the web link below is for you.
”We started thanks to the foresight and commitment of the local community and medical experts who laid the groundwork to open the hospice.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the then East Suffolk District Health Authority and other groups began discussions about establishing a hospice in east Suffolk. The Health Authority was unfortunately unable to fund the project so an appeal committee was formed.
In 1983, a public fundraising appeal was launched with the aim of raising £1 million”. Source: St Elizabeth web pages.
The rest, as they say is history. But you still have a chance to take part in this important service, and work with great people at St. Elizabeth Hospice as a volunteer.
The JDRF Gift Packages enable you to select a gift to your value, so that your purchase has even more impact on the work of JDRF, our favourite charity.
How does it work?…
‘Select and order your gift. JDRF will send you a …pack containing a premium gift card that is blank for your own message and a brief description of your gift. We also include a letter from us explaining how this gift can help people with type 1, all wrapped up in a blue gift envelope. You can then personalise and send your gift to a friend or loved one’.
Together, these 17 women—the “Primadonnas”—have worked to create a festival of brilliant writing, borne out of a desire to give prominence to work by women and spotlight authors from the margins—and to create a thoroughly joyous and accessible experience. There will be live music, films and comedy and all sorts of writing represented. ‘ Source: Primadonna web pages.
The dictionary defines a primadonna as a temperamental person, an unpredictable person, a self-important person! However, the event will be characterised by impeccable behaviour and scintillating intellectual challenges, given the stellar line-up of originators above.
The origins of the title are in the 18th Century, in Italy of course, where a literal translation is ‘first lady’. A veritable melange of premier writing and performance talent, we are sure.
E.M. Forster wrote …Beauty ought to look a little surprised: it is the emotion that best suits her face. The beauty who does not look surprised, who accepts her position as her due – she reminds us too much of a primadonna.
We are in for a surprising event, undoubtedly. Packing our tent and weekend bag as we write…
“Discover the extraordinary story behind one of humankind’s greatest achievements: through more than 100 objects spanning 5,000 years and seven continents
Follow the remarkable evolution of writing from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs carved in stone and early printed text such as William Caxton’s edition of The Canterbury Tales, to the art of note-taking by some of history’s greatest minds, and on-wards to the digital communication tools we use today.” Source: The British Library web pages
This new exhibition provides wonderful insights into the both the future of writing and the past development of the craft.
From quill pen to digital tablet, how we create and communicate has been beautifully illustrated for us, ‘…in an interactive exhibition gives you the chance to reflect on works of genius that wouldn’t exist without the writing traditions of civilisations past’.