‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls is a young adult novel, featuring stunning occasional illustrations by Jim Kay. The story was first conceived by Siobhan Dowd, a well-known children’s writer, but when she passed away before she could complete the work her publisher, Walker Books, commissioned Ness to complete the work. In subsequent … Continue reading

Filed under : On Reading
Author : nike

The Stella Prize

The Stella Prize came into place partly as a result of the debates that erupted in the Australian literary landscape after a series of literary award shortlists had few, or no, women on them. The ensuing debates about the visibility and worth of women’s contribution to literature, gender bias in … Continue reading

Author : nike


The second half of the seventeenth century is known, in the Netherlands, as the golden age of the Dutch republic or – more simply – the golden era. But just prior to this period of increased wealth and prosperity, a group of artists and intellectually met regularly at the castle … Continue reading

Filed under : On Travel
Author : nike

Keats-Shelley Prize 2013

While I was visiting the Brontë Parsonage Museum, I picked up a flyer for a wonderful competition you might like to enter. The competition includes two categories: a poem on the theme of NOISE (up to 40 lines) an essay on the work and lives of the Romantics and their circle … Continue reading

Author : nike

It’s snowing in Haworth

A long, slow, cold day in the north of England. In the morning, as I walked from my hotel to the train station, the sky was a deep, bruised colour, and as the train pulled out of York snow began to fall. By the time I reached Haworth the fields … Continue reading

Filed under : Miscellaneous Ramblings
Author : nike

A walk in York

I went for a lovely ambling walk in the city of York today, with the charming, ebullient and very engaging local historian, Chris Kelly. I have to make notes for the exam he threatened, but in the meantime, here are some of the very wonderful things I discovered with his … Continue reading

Author : nike

Three good things

One of my best friends in the whole world taught me about keeping a gratitude journal. It’s not something I do regularly, mostly cos this year I’m too busy keeping my four-minute diary (I learned how from the totally awesome Lynda Barry, who tumblers at The Near-Sighted Monkey). But today, … Continue reading

Author : nike
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