What If…? 10 Creative Writing Prompts for December

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Here’s this month’s selection of “What If…?” creative writing prompts to inspire you – let’s see what you can do with these!

This selection forms part of what will eventually become Volume 2 of
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. you didn’t care?

2. you didn’t care what the outcome was?

3. Amazon.com went bust?

4. the world’s top 100 companies all went out of business within weeks of each other?

5. nothing ever happened immediately?

6. you woke up a metre (approx 3 feet) shorter?
[submitted by Andrew Garner]

7. all the people who had ever gone missing turned up at once?

8. every household received a book which listed the things you were not allowed to discuss?

9. Native Americans took back their land?

10. you took matters into your own hands?

- – – – – – -

Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers for just £49.95 (or the equivalent in your currency) and you’ll receive:
Our complete collection of 5,000+ writing ideas
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas (4,400 what ifs)
The Date-A-Base Book 2015 and 2016 (plus all future editions!)
The Fastest Way to Write Your Book
How to Win Short Story Competitions
Unlimited use of our exclusive online writing software
Full access to our members-only forums
Free use of our writing/computing advice line
And more… (total value: over £150 and growing)

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ideas4writers: inspiring you since 2002

One of our authors is missing

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

You may remember that we published an ebook by the American ecologist Dr Ellis Silver last year. The book was Humans Are Not From Earth. Dr Silver is supposed to be working on an extended version of the book for us. He sent us an early draft in July and we hoped to have received the final version by now. Unfortunately when we made enquiries as to why it had not yet arrived we learned that Dr Silver was reported missing in August and has not been seen since.

He was due to speak in Portugal on 2nd August, but just hours before the event the organisers received a message, purporting to come from him, saying he was unable to attend. We’ve been advised that there are two worrying things about this message: first, he never cancels this sort of event – it’s completely unheard of; and second, the message (which was sent from his own email account) claims to have been sent ‘from the office of’ Dr. Ellis Silver. This second part is most concerning since he handles his own bookings and doesn’t have an ‘office’ in that sense, so it’s unlikely he would ever use this phrase.

We understand the relevant authorities are working hard to locate him and we’ll update you when we hear anything further. We hope he turns up safe and well in the very near future and have sent our best wishes to his family and colleagues.

(It should be noted that the name Ellis Silver is a pen name we gave him. He was due to speak in Portugal under his real name, which we do not have permission to reveal.)

Announcing: The Date-A-Base Book 2016!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Date-A-Base Book 2015 and 2016We are pleased to announce that The Date-A-Base Book 2016 is now available. (And The Date-A-Base Book 2015 is still available if you haven’t got yours yet!)

The 2016 edition gives details of more than 3,450 newsworthy and notable anniversaries that will occur between January and December 2016, including significant events, discoveries and inventions, and famous births and deaths.

It’s the ideal reference/source book for writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, producers, researchers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners.

Perfect for writing newspaper and magazine articles, TV/radio features and documentaries, organising events and exhibitions, and much more.

For more information (including a complete sample chapter) please click on the links below:

The Date-A-Base Book 2016
The Date-A-Base Book 2015

ideas4writers lifetime members: you can download both of these books free of charge from the Members’ home page. You’ll need to log in at www.ideas4writers.co.uk using your email address and password.

Find out more about becoming a member here (there’s a one-time-only membership fee to join).

50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in May 2015 for you to write about (and make money from!)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I’ve just realised that our blogging schedule has gotten out of sync and we’ve been listing the 2015 anniversaries five months ahead instead of six. To correct this, we’re skipping April and going straight to May. If you need April anniversaries you’ll find more than 350 of them in The Date-A-Base Book 2015 (see below). If you need to work further ahead, The Date-A-Base Book 2016 is out on 26 November.

So… here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in May 2015 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time for research and writing.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.

The Date-A-Base Book 2015 | ideas4writersThe listing below is a small sample of the entries for May from The Date-A-Base Book 2015There are 366 anniversaries for May in the book, which covers the whole of 2015 from January to December and features more than 4,000 anniversaries in total.

Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy of the book many times over.

—–

750 years ago (May/June 1265)
Birth of Dante, major Italian poet, writer, literary theorist and political thinker of the Middle Ages. Best known for The Divine Comedy.

250 years ago (3 May 1765)
The first medical school in the USA was founded. (It is now known as the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The first courses began in Sept 1765.)

200 years ago (20 May 1815)
The Neopolitan War between Naples and Austria ended with the signing of the Treaty of Casalanza.

150 years ago (1 May 1865)
The Treaty of the Triple Alliance was signed by Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. The secret treaty prescribed their actions during and after the Paraguayan War.

150 years ago (5 May 1865)
The first train robbery in the USA took place in the village of North Bend, Ohio. The train was derailed by tearing up the tracks, over 100 passengers were robbed at gunpoint, and safes containing thousands of dollars in U.S. bonds were blown open. (The robbers were never captured.)

150 years ago (10 May 1865)
The American Civil War officially ended.

100 years ago (6 May 1915)
Birth of Orson Welles, Academy Award-winning American stage, film and radio actor, director, producer and writer. Best known for the radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds and the film Citizen Kane.

100 years ago (7 May 1915)
World War I: the sinking of the Lusitania. A German U-boat sank the British passenger liner Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. Over 1,000 passengers were killed, including 128 Americans. (After U.S. diplomatic pressure the German naval blockade around Britain was lifted in September, but reimposed in Feb 1917 leading the USA to join the war.)

100 years ago (10 May 1915)
Birth of Monica Dickens, British novelist, writer and children’s author. Helped found the first U.S. branch of the Samaritans. Great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens.

100 years ago (17 May 1915)
The National Baptist Convention of America was established after splitting from the National Baptist Convention in a dispute over the ownership and operation of the Publishing Board.

100 years ago (22 May 1915)
Quintinshill rail disaster, near Gretna Green, Scotland. 226 people were killed and 246 injured when 3 passenger trains collided due to a signalling error, causing a fire that spread to 2 goods trains. It remains the worst rail disaster in the UK (by number of fatalities).

100 years ago (22 May 1915)
Lassen Peak in California, USA erupted. It was the only volcano apart from Mount St. Helens to erupt in the contiguous USA during the 20th century. (There were 3 eruptions in Alaska and 2 in Hawaii.)

100 years ago (23 May 1915)
Italy declared war on its former Triple Alliance partner Austria-Hungary, entering World War I. (Italy also declared war on Germany in Aug 1916.)

100 years ago (27 May 1915)
Birth of Herman Wouk, American novelist. Known for his epic war novels (The Caine Mutiny, Winds of War, War and Remembrance).

100 years ago (31 May 1915)
World War I: the first German Zeppelin air raid on London. 7 people were killed, 35 injured and 7 properties destroyed.

90 years ago (19 May 1925)
Birth of Malcolm X, controversial African American Muslim leader and human rights activist. (Assassinated 1965.)

80 years ago (15 May 1935)
The first section of the Moscow Metro opened to the public. It was the first underground railway system in the Soviet Union.

80 years ago (19 May 1935)
Death of T. E. Lawrence, (‘Lawrence of Arabia’), British Army officer, military strategist, archaeologist and writer. Best known for his activities in the Middle East during WWI and for his autobiographical account The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. (Fatally injured in a motorcycle accident.)

80 years ago (25 May 1935)
American athlete Jesse Owens set 3 world records (long jump, 220-yard sprint and 220-yard hurdles) and equalled the record for the 100-yard dash (all in just 45 minutes) at the Big Ten meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

80 years ago (30 May 1935)
American baseball legend Babe Ruth played his final game.

80 years ago (31 May 1935)
Balochistan earthquake, British India. The city of Quetta (now in Pakistan) was destroyed and about 40,000 people were killed (some sources say up to 60,000).

75 years ago (8 May 1940)
Birth of Peter Benchley, American novelist. Best known for Jaws (later adapted into a blockbuster movie by Steven Spielberg). (Died 2006.)

75 years ago (10 May 1940)
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned. Succeeded by Winston Churchill.

75 years ago (10 May to 22 Jun 1940)
World War II – the Battle of France. Axis victory – the French Third Republic was replaced by Vichy France.

75 years ago (14 May 1940)
World War II: the Netherlands surrendered to Germany.

75 years ago (14 May 1940)
World War II: the Home Guard was established in the UK (as the Local Defence Volunteers). It was nicknamed ‘Dad’s Army’ as it was comprised of volunteers ineligible for military service, usually due to their age.

75 years ago (15 May 1940)
The first McDonald’s restaurant opened, in San Bernardino, California, USA.

75 years ago (20 May 1940)
Holocaust: the first prisoners arrived at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland – 30 German criminals who would become kapos (prisoners who supervised other prisoners, meaning that fewer staff were needed to run the camp). The first mass transport of prisoners arrived on 14th June.

75 years ago (27 May to 4 June 1940)
World War II – the Dunkirk Evacuation. Allied forces launched a massive evacuation of troops from Dunkirk in France across the English Channel to England after they were cut off by approaching German forces. Nearly 340,000 soldiers were rescued in a hastily assembled fleet of 800 boats.

75 years ago (28 May 1940)
World War II: Belgium surrendered to Germany.

70 years ago (2 May 1945)
World War II: the Battle of Berlin (Germany) ended. Allied victory which led to the surrender of all German forces outside Berlin by 8th-9th May, and the end of the war in Europe.

70 years ago (8 May 1945)
World War II: VE day (Victory in Europe) – celebrated as a public holiday.

70 years ago (8 May 1945)
Setif massacre, Algeria. French police opened fire on demonstrators, leading to rioting and reprisal attacks in which approximately 6,000 people were killed. (Estimates range from 1,020 to 45,000.)

60 years ago (14 May 1955)
The Warsaw Pact was established – a Soviet-led mutual defence treaty between eight communist European states during the Cold War. (It was disestablished in Dec 1991.)

60 years ago (18 May 1955)
Partition of Vietnam: Operation Passage to Freedom ended and the border between North Vietnam and South Vietnam was sealed. (The USA and France transported up to 1 million civilians and soldiers from North Vietnam to South Vietnam during the 300-day operation.)

50 years ago (3 or 7 May 1965)
Vietnam War: the first major U.S. Army ground combat unit arrived in South Vietnam.

50 years ago (11 May 1965)
Bengal Cyclone I, India. (A second cyclone hit the same region on 1st June. The two cyclones killed a total of about 47,000 people.)

50 years ago (21 May 1965)
Death of Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, British aircraft designer and engineer.

40 years ago (30 May 1975)
The European Space Agency (ESA) was founded when the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) merged with the European Launch Development Organisation (ELDO).

30 years ago (11 May 1985)
Bradford City stadium fire, England. 56 football fans were killed and at least 265 injured when a flash fire swept through the main stand during a match against Lincoln City.

30 years ago (29 May 1985)
Heysel Stadium disaster, Brussels, Belgium. 39 football fans were crushed to death during rioting at the European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus. (All English football clubs were subsequently banned from playing in European competitions until 1990.)

25 years ago (16 May 1990)
Death of Sammy Davis, Jr., American singer, dancer, actor and entertainer.

25 years ago (16 May 1990)
Death of Jim Henson, American puppeteer, film director and television producer. Creator of the Muppets.

25 years ago (22 May 1990)
North Yemen and South Yemen unified to form the Republic of Yemen.

25 years ago (22 May 1990)
Death of Rocky Graziano, American world middleweight boxing champion (1947-48).

25 years ago (21 or 22 May 1990)
Death of Max Wall, British music hall, stage, film and television comedian and actor. Acclaimed for his serious roles as well as his comic talents.

20 years ago (11 May 1995)
An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus was confirmed in Zaire. 317 people became infected, of whom 245 died.

20 years ago (27 May 1995)
American Superman actor Christopher Reeve was paralysed from the neck down when he was thrown from his horse during an equestrian competition in Virginia. (Died 2004.)

15 years ago (4 May 2000)
Ken Livingstone became the first mayor of London.

10 years ago (29 May 2005)
In a referendum to approve the Constitution of the European Union, French voters rejected it. (Dutch voters also rejected it on 1st June. It was eventually abandoned and replaced by the Lisbon Treaty.)


ideas4writers logo

Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers today for just £49.95 (or the equivalent in your local currency)
(one single payment – nothing more to pay ever)
You’ll receive:
The Date-A-Base Book 2015  (plus the 2016 edition
and all future editions as soon as they’re published
)
Plus:
The Fastest Way to Write Your Book (ebook)
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas (ebook)
How to Win Short Story Competitions (ebook)
Plus:
our complete collection of 5,000+ writing ideas and tips
(conveniently organised into 35 categories and genres)
exclusive access to our very friendly forums
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unlimited use of our writing and computing email helplines
and more
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Click here for full details
We look forward to welcoming you as our newest member

ideas4writers: inspiring you since 2002!

What If…? 10 Creative Writing Prompts for November

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Here’s this month’s selection of “What If…?” creative writing prompts to inspire you – let’s see what you can do with these!

This selection forms part of what will eventually become Volume 2 of
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. no crime was ever punished?

2. no crime ever went unpunished?

3. a crime that was solved became unsolved?

4. nothing ever stayed where you left it?

5. you could feel the magic in the air?

6. there was music everywhere?

7. you got lost on your way to the bathroom?

8. the rooms in your house reorganised themselves during the night?

9. you made a stupid mistake?

10. the label on the jar or tin didn’t match the contents?

- – – – – – -

Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers for just £49.95 (or the equivalent in your currency) and you’ll receive:
Our complete collection of 5,000+ writing ideas
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas (4,400 what ifs)
The Date-A-Base Book 2015 (plus the 2016 preview and all future editions!)
The Fastest Way to Write Your Book
How to Win Short Story Competitions
Unlimited use of our exclusive online writing software
Full access to our members-only forums
Free use of our writing/computing advice line
And more… (total value: over £150 and growing)

Click here to find out more and join today

ideas4writers: inspiring you since 2002

50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in March 2015 for you to write about (and make money from!)

Monday, 20 October 2014

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in March 2015 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time for research and writing.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.

The Date-A-Base Book 2015 | ideas4writersThe listing below is a small sample of the entries for March from The Date-A-Base Book 2015There are 368 anniversaries for March in the book, which covers the whole of 2015 from January to December and features more than 4,000 anniversaries in total.

Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy of the book many times over.

—–

200 years ago (3 Mar 1815)
The USA declared war on Algiers, leading to the Second Barbary War (1815-16, U.S. victory).

200 years ago (5 Mar 1815)
Death of Franz Mesmer, German physician who developed mesmerism – the forerunner of modern hypnotism.

200 years ago (15 Mar – 20 May 1815)
The Neopolitan War (Italy). Austrian victory.

200 years ago (16 Mar 1815)
William, Prince of Orange-Nassau proclaimed the Netherlands a kingdom and himself King William I of the Netherlands and Duke of Luxembourg.

200 years ago (20 Mar 1815)
Napoleon returned to Paris as Emperor of France after escaping from exile. (On 18th June he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo and was detained on the island of Saint Helena for the rest of his life.)

150 years ago (3 Mar 1865)
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) began operating.

100 years ago (3 Mar 1915)
The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was founded in the USA. In Oct 1958 it was dissolved and became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

100 years ago (18 Mar 1915)
World War I – the Battle of Gallipoli: the Allies launched their main attack on Ottoman forts along the strait. Two British battleships, HMS Irresistible and HMS Ocean, and the French battleship Bouvet were sunk by mines.

100 years ago (18 Mar 1915)
Birth of Richard Condon, American novelist. Best known for his political thrillers (The Manchurian Candidate, Winter Kills, Prizzi’s Honor, and more).

100 years ago (27 Mar 1915)
Typhoid Mary (Mary Mallon) was arrested in New York and put into quarantine for the second and final time. She would remain there for the rest of her life. (She had been released from quarantine in 1910 on condition that she cease working as a cook. However, she changed her name and resumed work, causing multiple typhoid outbreaks. She is thought to have infected about 50 people, 3 of whom died.)

100 years ago (28 Mar 1915)
Birth of Jay Livingston, Academy Award-winning American composer and songwriter who collaborated with Ray Evans to write songs for more than 80 films. (Their songs include Buttons and Bows, Que Sera, Sera, and many more.)

80 years ago (11 Mar 1935)
The Bank of Canada began operating.

80 years ago (16 Mar 1935)
Adolf Hitler ordered the rearming of Germany, violating the Treaty of Versailles. He also reintroduced conscription.

75 years ago (6 Mar 1940)
Birth of Willie Stargell, (‘Pops’), American baseball player. (Died 2001.)

75 years ago (9 Mar 1940)
Birth of Raúl Juliá, versatile Puerto Rican-born American stage, film and television actor (Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, and more). (Died 1994.)

75 years ago (13 Mar 1940)
World War II: the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland ended with the signing of the Moscow Peace Treaty. Parts of Finland were ceded to the Soviets, but it retained its independence.

75 years ago (16 Mar 1940)
Death of Selma Lagerlöf, Swedish novelist. The first woman and the first Swedish writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1909).

75 years ago (18 Mar 1940)
World War II: German dictator Adolf Hitler and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass in the Alps. Mussolini agreed to join Germany’s war against France and Britain.

75 years ago (23 Mar 1940 [24th in Pakistan])
The Lahore Resolution was adopted by the All-India Muslim League at its annual convention. This led to the establishment of Pakistan as the world’s first Islamic republic in 1956.

60 years ago (11 Mar 1955)
Death of Sir Alexander Fleming, Scottish bacteriologist. Joint winner of the 1945 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering penicillin.

60 years ago (11 Mar 1955)
Death of Oscar F. Mayer, German-born American founder of the Oscar Mayer processed meat company.

60 years ago (12 Mar 1955)
Death of Charlie Parker, (‘Bird’, ‘Yardbird’), influential American jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader. One of the most important figures in jazz history.

60 years ago (13 Mar 1955)
Death of Tribhuvan, King of Nepal (1911-50, 1951-55). Died in mysterious circumstances. Succeeded by Mahendra.

60 years ago (24 Mar 1955)
Tennessee Williams’s play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened on Broadway.

50 years ago (2 Mar 1965 – 2 Nov 1968)
Vietnam War – Operation Rolling Thunder. The USA and Republic of Vietnam launched a sustained aerial bombardment campaign against North Vietnam.

50 years ago (2 Mar 1965)
The première of the film The Sound of Music in New York City, USA. (UK: 29th March.)

50 years ago (7 – 25 Mar 1965)
Selma to Montgomery civil rights protest marches, Alabama, USA. Martin Luther King, Jr. made three attempts to lead a protest march to the state capitol in support of voting rights for African Americans. (The third attempt succeeded, arriving on 25th March. The first attempt in particular was marred by violence when marchers were attacked by state troopers.)

50 years ago (8 Mar 1965)
Vietnam War: 3,500 U.S. Marines landed in South Vietnam – the first U.S. combat troops to take part in the war. (This marked the beginning of the USA’s main involvement in the war.)

50 years ago (10 Mar 1965)
Neil Simon’s play The Odd Couple opened on Broadway.

40 years ago (5 Mar 1975)
The Homebrew Computer Club held its first meeting in Menlo Park, California, USA. It is considered to have started the personal computer revolution. Several notable computer pioneers and entrepreneurs were members, including the founders of Apple.

40 years ago (15 Mar 1975)
Death of Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate.

40 years ago (16 Mar 1975)
Death of T-Bone Walker, influential American blues musician and songwriter. Named one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

40 years ago (19 Mar 1975)
The film Tommy, a musical based on The Who’s rock opera album Tommy, was released in the USA. (UK: 26th.)

40 years ago (25 Mar 1975)
Death of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. (Assassinated.) Succeeded by King Khalid.

30 years ago (2 Mar 1985)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a screening test for HIV/AIDS, allowing contaminated blood to be excluded from blood transfusions.

30 years ago (7 Mar 1985)
The charity single We Are the World by USA for Africa was released to raise money for famine relief.

30 years ago (15 Mar 1985)
The first .com internet domain name was registered (symbolics.com).

30 years ago (28 Mar 1985)
Death of Marc Chagall, important Russian-born French artist, printmaker and designer.

25 years ago (17 Mar 1990)
The Bastille opera house in Paris, France was officially opened.

25 years ago (18 Mar 1990)
The largest art theft in U.S. history. 13 pieces worth between $300 million and $500 million in total were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. They included works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Manet and Degas. (None have been recovered to date.)

25 years ago (21 Mar 1990)
Namibia gained its independence from South Africa

25 years ago (24 Mar 1990)
Death of An Wang, Chinese-born American electrical engineer, inventor and computer pioneer. Founder of Wang Laboratories. Inventor of the magnetic memory core.

25 years ago (26 Mar 1990)
Death of Halston, American fashion designer.

25 years ago (31 Mar 1990)
Poll Tax riots in London.

20 years ago (1 Mar 1995)
Internet search company Yahoo! was founded.

20 years ago (2 Mar 1995)
The discovery of the top quark was announced by two teams of scientists working at Fermilab in Illinois, USA.

20 years ago (20 Mar 1995)
A terrorist group released sarin nerve gas on the Tokyo underground in Japan, killing 12 people and injuring thousands.

20 years ago (26 Mar 1995)
Seven EU nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain) eliminated their internal border controls and tightened their external borders.

10 years ago (10 Mar 2005)
The first Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Tung Chee Hwa, announced his resignation after widespread protests over his poor governance. He was succeeded by Donald Tsang.

10 years ago (26 Mar 2005)
Death of James Callaghan, British Prime Minister (1976-79).


ideas4writers logo

Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers today for just £49.95 (or the equivalent in your local currency)
(one single payment – nothing more to pay ever)
You’ll receive:
The Date-A-Base Book 2015  (plus the 2016 edition
and all future editions as soon as they’re published
)
Plus:
The Fastest Way to Write Your Book (ebook)
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas (ebook)
How to Win Short Story Competitions (ebook)
Plus:
our complete collection of 5,000+ writing ideas and tips
(conveniently organised into 35 categories and genres)
exclusive access to our very friendly forums
exclusive online writing software (1-click story outlines and more)
unlimited use of our writing and computing email helplines
and more
(Total value: over £150 – and growing!)

Click here for full details
We look forward to welcoming you as our newest member

ideas4writers: inspiring you since 2002!

What If…? 10 Creative Writing Prompts for October

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Here’s this month’s selection of “What If…?” creative writing prompts to inspire you – let’s see what you can do with these!

This selection forms part of what will eventually become Volume 2 of
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. no one understood anything?

2. everyone knew everything there was to know?

3. everything was conveyed with humour?

4. no decision could be made without making a sacrifice to ensure a good outcome?

5. ghosts served an important purpose?

6. time was neither linear nor uniform and schedules had to be constantly updated to account for the fluctuations?

7. you were digging in your garden when you hit something massive and metallic?

8. the government finally admitted the truth about everything?

9. God was a witness at every civil and criminal trial?

10. Wild animals roamed the streets and no one could do a thing about it?

- – – – – – -

Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers for just £49.95 (or the equivalent in your currency) and you’ll receive:
Our complete collection of 5,000+ writing ideas
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas (4,400 what ifs)
The Date-A-Base Book 2014 and 2015 (plus the 2016 preview and all future editions!)
The Fastest Way to Write Your Book
How to Win Short Story Competitions
Unlimited use of our exclusive online writing software
Full access to our members-only forums
Free use of our writing/computing advice line
And more… (total value: over £150 and growing)

Click here to find out more and join today

ideas4writers: inspiring you since 2002

50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in February 2015 for you to write about (and make money from!)

Monday, 15 September 2014

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in February 2015 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time for research and writing.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.

The Date-A-Base Book 2015 | ideas4writersThe listing below is a small sample of the entries for February from The Date-A-Base Book 2015There are 315 anniversaries for February in the book, which covers the whole of 2015 from January to December and features more than 4,000 anniversaries in total.

Just one published article will cover the cost of your copy many times over.

—–

200 years ago (24 Feb 1815)
Death of Robert Fulton, American engineer and inventor who developed the first commercially successful steamboat.

150 years ago (15 Feb 1865)
Death of Nicholas Wiseman, British cardinal. The first Archbishop of Westminster. He helped to revive Catholicism in England.

150 years ago (20 Feb 1865)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) held its first classes, in the Mercantile Building, Boston.

100 years ago (1 Feb 1915)
Birth of Sir Stanley Matthews, British football player. One of the greatest British players of all time. Particularly noted for his dribbling skills. The first British player to be knighted.

100 years ago (4 Feb 1915)
World War I: Germany announced that it would impose a naval blockade around Britain from 18th February, and British waters would become a war zone. (The blockade was lifted in Sept after pressure from the USA. But it was re-imposed in Feb 1917, leading the USA to enter the war.)

100 years ago (4 Feb 1915)
Birth of Sir Norman Wisdom, British stage, film and television actor and comedian. Best known for his physical knockabout comedy and hapless on-screen character Norman Pitkin which made him a celebrity in unlikely parts of the world. He later played more serious roles to great acclaim.

100 years ago (8 Feb 1915)
The première of D. W. Griffith’s classic silent film The Birth of a Nation, in Los Angeles, California, USA. The controversial U.S. Civil War film was based on Thomas Dixon’s novel and play The Clansman. (Released 3rd Mar.)

100 years ago (12 Feb 1915)
Birth of Lorne Greene, Canadian television actor. Best known for playing Ben Cartwright in Bonanza and Commander Adama in Battlestar Galactica.

100 years ago (13 Feb 1915)
Birth of Aung San, Burmese nationalist leader. Considered the father of modern Burma (now Myanmar). Father of the politician Aung San Suu Kyi. (Assassinated July 1947.)

100 years ago (19 Feb – 25 Apr 1915)
World War I – the Dardanelles Campaign. Ottoman victory. The Royal Navy’s attempts to pass through the Dardanelles in order to disrupt Ottoman shipping were thwarted. The Allies decided to launch a land assault instead, but this also failed.

80 years ago (6 Feb 1935)
The board game Monopoly first went on sale in the USA.

80 years ago (26 Feb 1935)
Nazi Germany reformed the Luftwaffe (military air force). It had been disbanded in 1920 under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles after WWI.

80 years ago (26 Feb 1935)
British radio engineer Robert Watson-Watt demonstrated a working radar system for the first time, in Daventry, UK.

75 years ago (7 Feb 1940)
The première of the Walt Disney film Pinocchio, in New York City, USA.
(Released in USA: 23rd Feb, UK: 13th May)

75 years ago (11 Feb 1940)
Death of John Buchan, British statesman, novelist (Prester John, The Thirty-Nine Steps), biographer and Governor General of Canada (1935-40).

75 years ago (16 Feb 1940)
World War II: the Altmark Incident. Royal Navy sailors boarded the German tanker Altmark and freed 299 British prisoners-of-war. As they were in Norwegian waters, this was a breach of Norwegian neutrality. (This incident convinced Hitler that the Allies would not respect Norway’s neutrality, and Germany invaded Norway on 9th April.)

75 years ago (27 Feb 1940)
Carbon-14 was discovered by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California Radiation Laboratory, Berkeley. (Its presence in organic materials forms the basis of radiocarbon dating.)

70 years ago (3 Feb – 3 May 1945)
World War II – the Battle of Manila, Philippines. The U.S./Philippines successfully recaptured the capital city from Japan and ended Japan’s occupation of the Philippines, but the city was totally destroyed and over 100,000 civilians were killed.

70 years ago (4 – 11 Feb 1945)
World War II – The Yalta Conference, Crimea. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin met to plan the final defeat of Nazi Germany. Stalin also agreed to enter the war in the Pacific within 3 months of the war in Europe ending.

70 years ago (13 – 15 Feb 1945)
World War II: the Bombing of Dresden, Germany. The Allies carried out 4 massive bombing raids, completely destroying the inner city and killing about 25,000 people.

70 years ago (16 – 26 Feb 1945)
World War II – the Battle of Corregidor, Philippines. U.S. Victory. The island was recaptured from the Japanese who had held it since May 1942.

70 years ago (19 – 26 Mar 1945)
World War II – the Battle of Iwo Jima, Japanese Volcano Islands. U.S. victory. (The iconic photo of U.S. Marines raising the American flag on top of Mount Surabachi was taken on 23rd.)

60 years ago (18 Feb – 15 May 1955)
Operation Teapot – the USA successfully detonated 14 nuclear weapons at the Nevada Test Site, with the twin aims of improving nuclear weapons and establishing tactics for ground forces on a nuclear battlefield.

60 years ago (19 Feb 1955)
The South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was established in Bangkok, Thailand, with the primary objective of preventing further Communist gains in the region. (Dissolved 1977.)

60 years ago (24 Feb 1955)
Turkey and Iraq formed the Baghdad Pact – a pact of mutual cooperation similar to NATO. (The UK, Pakistan and Iran joined later that year. It became the Central Treaty Organization [CENTO] in 1959 when Iraq withdrew. It was dissolved in 1979.)

50 years ago (1 Feb 1965)
Peter Jennings became the youngest network news anchorman in the USA at the age of 26, hosting Peter Jennings With the News on ABC.

50 years ago (1 Feb 1965)
Joe Orton’s play Loot was first performed, in Cambridge, England.

50 years ago (15 Feb 1965)
Canada adopted its national flag, the red-and-white maple leaf design.

50 years ago (15 Feb 1965)
Death of Nat King Cole, American jazz/swing/ballad singer and pianist.

50 years ago (18 Feb 1965)
The Gambia gained its independence from the UK.

50 years ago (21 Feb 1965)
Death of Malcolm X, controversial African American Muslim leader and human rights activist. (Assassinated.)

50 years ago (23 Feb 1965)
Death of Stan Laurel, British-born American comic actor and writer (Laurel and Hardy).

50 years ago (28 Feb 1965)
Death of Adolf Schärf, President of Austria (1957-65).

40 years ago (11 Feb 1975)
Margaret Thatcher became the first female leader of the Conservative Party in the UK.

40 years ago (21 Feb 1975)
Watergate Scandal: the former U.S. Attorney General, John N. Mitchell, and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were each sentenced to 2.5 to 8 years in prison for conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

40 years ago (28 Feb 1975)
Moorgate tube crash, London underground, UK. A train failed to stop at the end of the line and crashed into a wall, killing 43 people. (Cause unknown, but thought to lie with the driver rather than a mechanical failure. A new train protection system was introduced as a result.)

30 years ago (16 Feb 1985)
The Islamic militant group and political party Hezbollah was founded in Lebanon.

30 years ago (19 Feb 1985)
The first episode of the BBC TV soap opera EastEnders was broadcast in the UK.

30 years ago (20 Feb 1985)
The sale of contraceptives was legalised in Ireland.

30 years ago (28 Feb 1985)
The IRA carried out a mortar bomb attack on a police station in Newry, Northern Ireland. 9 Royal Ulster Constabulary officers were killed – the RUC’s highest loss of life on a single day during the Troubles.

25 years ago (2 Feb 1990)
The President of South Africa, F. W. De Klerk, lifted a 30-year ban on the African National Congress (ANC) and other opposing political parties and anti-apartheid groups.

25 years ago (7 Feb 1990)
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union agreed give up its 70-year monopoly on political power.

25 years ago (11 Feb 1990)
Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years. (He became President of South Africa in 1994.)

25 years ago (11 Feb 1990)
American boxer James ‘Buster’ Douglas became world heavyweight champion when he knocked out Mike Tyson in one of the greatest upsets in boxing history.

25 years ago (24 Feb 1990)
Death of Malcolm Forbes, American publisher of Forbes magazine, founded by his father. Known for his promotion of capitalism and for his opulent lifestyle.

25 years ago (24 Feb 1990)
Death of Johnnie Ray, influential American singer, songwriter and pianist. Hugely popular in the 1950s. Known for his early rock and roll style and wild stage persona.

20 years ago (26 Feb 1995)
Barings Bank, the oldest merchant bank in London, collapsed after its chief trader in Singapore, Nick Leeson, lost £827 million ($1.3 billion) on unauthorised transactions.

20 years ago (28 Feb 1995)
Denver International Airport opened in Colorado, USA

10 years ago (14 Feb 2005)
Death of Rafic (also spelled Rafik/Rafiq) al-Hariri, Prime Minister of Lebanon (1992-98, 2000-04). His assassination triggered massive political change in Lebanon, including the Cedar Revolution and the withdrawal of Syrian troops.

10 years ago (16 Feb 2005)
The Kyoto Protocol came into effect. The international treaty obliges industrialised nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

10 years ago (18 Feb 2005)
Hunting wild mammals with dogs was banned in England and Wales. (Hunting foxes with dogs had already been banned in Scotland.)

- – – – – – -

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What If…? 10 Creative Writing Prompts for September

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Here’s this month’s selection of “What If…?” creative writing prompts to inspire you – let’s see what you can do with these!

This selection forms part of what will eventually become Volume 2 of
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. nothing really mattered?

2. all ink became invisible after 12 months (or a period of your choice)?

3. an enemy could prevent one of your limbs or organs from functioning properly?

4. no human had ever seen the stars or planets or anything else outside the earth’s atmosphere?

5. people had babies by carving them from rocks or wood and leaving them on mountain tops during storms to have life infused into them?

6. no decision could be made without consulting a horoscope?

7. you were the most notorious person in your town/city?

8. elephants were used as computer components because of their famous memory powers?

9. you could transfer part of your lifespan to another person?

10. everything was adequately funded?

- – – – – – -

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Our complete collection of 5,000+ writing ideas
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas (4,400 what ifs)
The Date-A-Base Book 2014 and 2015 (plus 2016 preview and all future editions – free!)
The Fastest Way to Write Your Book
How to Win Short Story Competitions
Unlimited use of our exclusive online writing software
Full access to our members-only forums
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And more… (total value: over £150 and growing)

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The Date-A-Base Book 2016 – preview

Saturday, 30 August 2014

We are pleased to announce that The Date-A-Base Book 2016 (preview edition) is now available – exclusively for ideas4writers lifetime members.

This edition gives details of over 1,500 notable births and deaths that will occur during 2016. (It contains very few events, discoveries or inventions as we’re still working on those.)

All the dates have been cross-checked and confirmed, but the book has not yet been fully formatted or proofread. It’s a bit rough-and-ready, but perfectly usable, and if you’re itching to get ahead of the competition and write about anniversaries in 2016 then you’ll find this just the thing.

ideas4writers lifetime members: download your copy now from the members’ home page at www.ideas4writers.co.uk – you’ll need to log in first.

Non-members: you can find out how to become a member here.
(Once you become a member you’ll also be able to download every edition we publish in the future, at no additional cost.)

The full version should be completed by 1st November.


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