Friday, 31 January 2014
Thursday, 30 January 2014
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Adapted from today's i newspaper website:
New short stories of up to 8,000 words from writers who have been previously published may now be entered into this BBC / Booktrust competition. The competition closing date is 28th February 2014. There's a £15,000 first prize plus a range of runners-up awards on offer. Full details are available on the competition website.
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
My friend Aj and I went to see this movie at the Odeon today as it had been recommended by my Mum-in-law as a feel-good film.
IMDB says it is: The true story of Paul Potts, a shy, bullied shop assistant by day and an amateur opera singer by night who became a phenomenon after being chosen for -- and ultimately winning -- "Britain's Got Talent".
James Corden (The Wrong Mans, Dr Who) stars as Potts, Julie Walters (Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia!) is his Mum, Colm Meaney (Con Air, The Damned United) his Dad and the brilliant Mackenzie Crook (Pirates of the Caribbean, Finding Neverland) plays his best friend and employer Braddon.
The film starts by cataloguing the history of bullying in his childhood, showing us why Potts has a lack of confidence and has us rooting for him trying to follow his dream of becoming an opera singer like his hero Pavarotti. When Braddon intervenes, Paul finally meets his 'girlfriend' who he has been texting (and who he has told that he looks like Brad Pitt) but worrying that even though she says she looks like Cameron Diaz, she may be a bloke. Alexandra Roach (Anna Karenina, The Iron Lady) plays Julz, the girlfriend who 'is a woman' and she suggests he enter the talent contest in order to get enough money together to go to Venice to pursue his dream.
Potts is loving Venice, but struggling to make friends and fit in. Then he is given a chance to sing for his idol Pavarotti and his nerves let him down. Giving up on his dream, he returns to Wales to live an ordinary life. He has to work hard to win back Julz and Braddon helps him get the Manager's job at Carphone Warehouse, but when the chance to sing again comes along in the form of the "Britain's Got Talent" TV show, Julz is the catalyst to ensure that he is given his one chance.
For those of you, like me, that like to play the spot the actor/actress game, don't miss the small appearance by 2 Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps actress Kathryn Drysdale (St. Trinian's, Vanity Fair) and Reggie Yates (Dr Who, Demons Never Die) as Production Assistants on the "Britain's Got Talent" scene.
My Mum-in-law was right, this is a heartwarming film, but it has quite a few flaws. For example, for me, the dubbing when Corden sings is too obvious and detracts as well as distracts, the comedy moments were too few and if Corden was attempting a Welsh accent, I couldn't detect it. That being said, I did enjoy the movie, I just didn't laugh as much as I thought I would.
Tagline: The incredible true story of an underdog who never gave up. 6/10
#OneChance #PaulPotts #JamesCorden
Monday, 27 January 2014
AsparaWriting Festival 2014
Welcome to the first literary festival specifically designed for aspiring writers.No matter what your writing level, our aim is to encourage new writers. At the AsparaWriting festival you will have the opportunity to get to know our guest authors personally, working closely with them in a full day’s workshop. Come to talks by the authors in the evenings, or enjoy special, private dinners with them.
There are nine two-day events during the Festival, each hosted by a different writer. Here you can learn from the professionals about writing crime, history, comic or straight fiction, even poetry. All the writers involved are professionals, with over 300 novels published between them.
For more information about each author and their events, please look to the “Events” tab above. There are links to the locations for workshops and talks under “Venues”, and if you’re coming, why not book a room at the fabulous Evesham hotel too? And if you’re an aspiring writer, don’t forget to check our new Short Story Competition!