A Free Writing Course and Other Things

I’ve got a few bits and pieces to share this week.

Do you fancy a free ‘Start Writing Fiction’ course?
The Open University are running an eight week course, three hours per week starting on the 28th April. It’s all on-line and the blurb says, “This practical, hands-on course aims to help you to get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters.”
The full details are here. The course is part of the FutureLearn programme which offers lots more free on-line courses in all sorts of subjects.

And talking of courses, a fellow member of Lichfield and District Writers, David Gough, is running a ‘Photography for Writers’ course at Weetwood Hall in Leeds  from April 11th to 13th, as part of the ‘Relax and Write’ 2014 programme. We all know how important it is to offer photographs as part of an article submission package and this is the course to help you take those photographs and thus, hopefully, sell more articles (by the way, I stayed at Weetwood Hall last October and the accommodation is lovely).

If you like filling your Kindle with free and discounted e-books, take a look at Debbie Young‘s Facebook group, Debbie Young’s Kindle-loving Friends. If you like what you see, drop her a message to join the group and be notified of the latest offers – or maybe even promote your own Free Days or Countdown Deals.

Finally, has anybody else read ‘The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul’ by Deborah Rodriguez?
Kirkus Reviews said, “As if Maeve Binchy had written The Kite Runner.” I totally agree with that description. The book is about Sunny, an American woman, who runs a coffee shop in Kabul and the women who come into her life. The story touches on the difficulties and atrocities facing Afghan women today but I felt it glossed over them, rather than allowing the reader to fully appreciate how terrible life can be for females in that country today.
The book is very readable but definitely more Maeve Binchy than The Kite Runner.

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  1. #1 by Nanny Cool on January 26, 2014 - 10:55 am

    Very informative post that I had to share, hope that’s ok. Thank you x

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on January 26, 2014 - 3:41 pm

      No problem, Nanny Cool – thanks for the extra publicity!

  2. #3 by Nanny Cool on January 26, 2014 - 10:56 am

    Reblogged this on Nanny-Cool.

  3. #4 by parlance on January 26, 2014 - 12:11 pm

    The course sounds interesting. I’ve signed up. Thanks for the link. (I’m in Australia, but it seems to be open internationally.)

    • #5 by Sally Jenkins on January 26, 2014 - 3:43 pm

      Hope it’s useful, Parlance. Australia seems a common theme today – Nanny Cool (see earlier comment) has just done a post about her feelings on Australia Day.

  4. #6 by susanjanejoness on January 26, 2014 - 3:41 pm

    Hi Sally, thanks for the links. The writing course sounds good. Also, I like the sound of The Little Coffee Shop. I haven’t read the kite runner, but A thousand Splendid Suns was a gripping read. Slightly sad, but realistic, and makes you realise how lucky we are.

    • #7 by Sally Jenkins on January 26, 2014 - 3:46 pm

      Susan – yes books like A Thousand Splendid Suns make you count your blessings. Really none of us living in the UK should moan! Our troubles are trivia compared with what some people face.

  5. #8 by Helen Lowry on January 26, 2014 - 6:20 pm

    Hi Sally, thanks for this link. I’ve signed up for the course, it sounds good.

    • #9 by Sally Jenkins on January 27, 2014 - 7:35 am

      Let us know how you get on, Helen. Best wishes.

  6. #10 by P. Douglas Hammond on January 27, 2014 - 8:42 am

    Me too; I’m already working my way through the Writers Bureau, but I feel I need a little more help at a more basic level – and this course would seem to provide that. I’m also looking forward to the social side of it.

  7. #12 by Julia Thorley on January 27, 2014 - 9:37 am

    I’ve signed up for the OU course. Thanks for the tip.

  8. #14 by julielees on January 27, 2014 - 12:16 pm

    I, too, have signed up for the course after seeing the link on your site, so thanks for alerting us to it.

    • #15 by Sally Jenkins on January 27, 2014 - 4:37 pm

      No idea what it will be like, Julie, but it’s got to be worth a go for free!

  9. #16 by vegangoth819 on January 27, 2014 - 8:17 pm

    Thank you so much for this link 😀

  10. #18 by Linda on January 28, 2014 - 1:51 pm

    Thanks for the links. I decided against the ‘Start Writing Fiction’ course but I was amazed at how many other free courses there are on offer. All sorts of fascinating distractions …!

    • #19 by Sally Jenkins on January 28, 2014 - 7:13 pm

      The world is full of too many distractions, Linda!

  11. #20 by KH on February 6, 2014 - 8:03 pm

    Hi Sally – thanks for the advice. I wonder could you offer any advice on whether I need to apply for an EIN or ITIN when self publishing on Kindle. Thanks.

    • #21 by Sally Jenkins on February 7, 2014 - 6:32 pm

      Hi Kathy – no, an EIN or ITIN is not compulsory when publishing on Kindle. If you don’t have one the US government will keep 30% of your US royalties. I don’t have one because most of my sales are in the UK and at the moment I don’t think it’s worth the hassle of getting a US Tax number in order to save 30% of very little!

  12. #22 by thischildwill on February 24, 2014 - 9:27 am

    If it is online, I will be looking into it. I have to admit how I hate sitting in a classroom listening to lectures. Thanks for the info.

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