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

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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.)

- – – – – – -

Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers for just £49.95
(or the equivalent in your local currency) and you’ll receive
The Date-A-Base Book 2015  (plus the 2016 preview edition
and all future editions as soon as they’re published
)
The Fastest Way to Write Your Book
The Fastest Way to Get Ideas
How to Win Short Story Competitions
our complete collection of 5,000+ writing ideas (in 35 categories)
PLUS unlimited use of our forums,
exclusive online writing software,
writing/computing helpline, and more.
(Total value: over £150 – and growing all the time!)
Click here for full details

ideas4writers: inspiring you since 2002!

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?

- – – – – – -

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 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
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

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.

We are 12 – we have gifts (for you)!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

ideas4writers is 12 years old today. Amazing! Let’s celebrate!

  • First off, we’re knocking 50% off The Date-A-Base Book 2014.
  • Second, we have a buy-one-get-one-free offer on all of our idea collections. Buy any one of the 35 ebooks in the collection between now and the end of August, then email us to say which other one you’d like to receive and we’ll email it to you as a gift. Note: the one you buy must cost more than (or the same as) the one you request as a gift. (If you buy more than one then you can request more than one gift.)

    If you buy the Kindle version, email us a copy of your receipt from Amazon and tell us which other book(s) you want to receive. We can send them to you in Kindle format, but you’ll need to know how to load them onto your Kindle (or other device).

  • We’re also working on something special for ideas4writers lifetime members (because they’ve already got all the things mentioned above). It’s not quite ready yet, but at the beginning of September we’re going to give you a sneak preview of The Date-A-Base Book 2016, at least a couple of months before the rest of the world gets to see it. This version will only contain births and deaths (not events) and it won’t have been proofread, but all the entries will have been cross-checked and certified as correct.
  • And once The Date-A-Base Book 2016 is finished and on sale, we’ll also be launching our new editing, copy editing and proofreading service – exclusively for lifetime members. This service was previously only available to customers of our i4w2 ethical self-publishing service (which is now closed), but we’ll be opening it up to all lifetime members. Look out for more details later in the year.

In exchange for all these gifts, and since it’s our birthday, we’d love to receive something from you in exchange. How about telling us how ideas4writers has helped you, or how you’ve benefited from any of our products or services? Please leave a comment on our blog, email us at mail@ideas4writers.co.uk, or post a nice Customer Review on any of our product pages on Amazon.

We are hugely grateful for your continued support. Our aim is to keep doing what we do … but also to do it better and do more of it!

Dave and Kate

What If…? 10 Creative Writing Prompts for August

Tuesday, 5 August 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. Hitler was a time traveller?

2. humans evolved from spiders?

3. you didn’t go to bed?

4. when you were 18 years old you were given a box containing all the pieces of your life and you could lay them out in any order you liked?

5. there were no clouds?

6. you were not allowed to take anything with you when you travelled?

7. humans had to return to the sea to spawn?

8. humans had to return to their birthplace to spawn?

9. it was the last thing you were expecting?

10. nothing ever turned out the way it was predicted to?

- – – – – – -

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 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
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 January 2015 for you to write about (and make money from!)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in January 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 January from The Date-A-Base Book 2015There are 357 anniversaries for January 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.

—–

750 years ago (20 Jan 1265)
The first English parliament was convened in Westminster Hall (now Westminster Palace), London by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester. (It was dissolved by King Henry III on 15th Feb.)

500 years ago (1 Jan 1515)
Death of King Louis XII of France; succeeded by Francis I.

200 years ago (8 Jan 1815)
War of 1812 – the Battle of New Orleans; U.S. Victory. The last major battle of the war.

200 years ago (15 Jan 1815)
Death of Emma, Lady Hamilton, mistress of British naval hero Lord Nelson.

150 years ago (16 Jan 1865)
American Civil War: U.S. General William Sherman issued his Special Field Orders number 15, which provided land along the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida for settlement by freed slave families and other African Americans living in the area.

150 years ago (16 Jan 1865)
The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper was launched in the USA (as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle).

150 years ago (31 Jan 1865)
American Civil War: Robert E. Lee became general-in-chief of the Confederate forces.

150 years ago (31 Jan 1865)
Birth of Henri Desgrange, French cyclist and sports journalist who organised the first Tour de France in 1903.

100 years ago (1 Jan 1915)
World War I: the British battleship HMS Formidable was torpedoed and sunk by German forces while on exercise in the English Channel. 547 crew were killed.

100 years ago (2 Jan 1915)
World War I: German Army Major Karl von Zinglery reported that chlorine gas had been used against British forces, killing 140 of them. This was the first known use of chemical warfare in WWI.

100 years ago (13 Jan 1915)
Avezzano Earthquake, Italy. Over 30,000 people were killed.

100 years ago (19 – 20 Jan 1915)
World War I: the first German Zeppelin air raid on Britain. 24 bombs were dropped on Great Yarmouth, Sheringham, King’s Lynn and surrounding villages in Norfolk, killing 4 people and injuring 16.

100 years ago (21 Jan 1915)
Kiwanis International, a worldwide network of community service / educational clubs, was established in Detroit, Michigan, USA.

100 years ago (25 Jan 1915)
Alexander Graham Bell inaugurated the first U.S. transcontinental telephone service (AT&T). Bell (in New York City) called his former assistant, Thomas Watson (in San Francisco).

100 years ago (26 Jan 1915)
Rocky Mountain National Park was established in Colorado, USA.

100 years ago (28 Jan 1915)
The United States Coast Guard was established when the Revenue Cutter Service and the United States Life-Saving Service were merged.

100 years ago (30 Jan 1915)
Birth of John Profumo, British politician, Secretary of State for War who was forced to resign over the 1963 Profumo Affair – one of the most infamous sex scandals of the 20th century.

80 years ago (8 Jan 1935)
Birth of Elvis Presley, (‘The King’), iconic American rock and roll singer, guitarist and actor. (Died 1977.)

75 years ago (8 Jan 1940)
World War II: food rationing began in Britain (bacon, butter and sugar).

75 years ago (31 Jan 1940)
The first Social Security cheque in the USA was issued to Ida May Fuller of Vermont.

70 years ago (2 – 3 Jan 1945)
World War II – the Burma Campaign – the Allies landed on the west coast of Burma and occupied Akyab Island, which the Japanese had abandoned. (The Allies secured the entire southern coast by the end of the month.)

70 years ago (17 Jan 1945)
World War II: the Soviet Red Army liberated Warsaw, Poland. The city had been almost completely destroyed by the Germans.

70 years ago (27 Jan 1945)
Holocaust: the Soviet Red Army liberated Auschwitz concentration camp in southern Poland. It was the largest Nazi concentration camp. At least 1.1 million prisoners died there.

70 years ago (27 Jan 1945)
World War II: Nazi occupiers blocked food transportation to the densely populated western Netherlands. It was already experiencing famine due to a severe winter, destroyed bridges and docks, and flooded farmland. Around 22,000 people died during the ‘Hunger Winter’.

50 years ago (4 Jan 1965)
Death of T. S. Eliot, American-born British poet, playwright, literary critic and editor. Winner of the 1948 Nobel Prize for Literature.

50 years ago (24 Jan 1965)
Death of Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister (1940-45, 1951-55). One of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th Century. Named ‘the Greatest Briton of all time’. Winner of the 1953 Nobel Prize for Literature.

40 years ago (8 Jan 1975)
Ella T. Grasso became Governor of Connecticut. She was the first female governor in the USA to be elected in her own right (i.e. she did not succeed her husband).

40 years ago (30 Jan 1975)
The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary was established as the first national marine sanctuary in the USA. It is the site of the wreck of the USS Monitor, which sank during the U.S. Civil War off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and became an artificial reef.

30 years ago (1 Jan 1985)
The first mobile phone call in the UK was made by comedian Ernie Wise. He called Vodafone’s head office in Newbury, Berkshire from St. Katherine Docks in London.

30 years ago (1 Jan 1985)
The television channel VH1 launched in the USA. (VH1 stands for Video Hits One and is aimed at a more mature audience than MTV.)

30 years ago (7 Jan 1985)
Japan launched its first interplanetary spacecraft, Sakigake, on an experimental mission to Halley’s Comet. It was first deep space probe launched by a country other than the USA or USSR.

30 years ago (10 Jan 1985)
The Sinclair C5 electric tricycle was launched in the UK. Immediate concerns were raised about its safety in traffic, and it was ridiculed in the media. It was not a commercial success.

30 years ago (17 Jan 1985)
British Telecom officially retired the iconic red telephone box.

25 years ago (6 Jan 1990)
Death of Ian Charleson, Scottish stage and film actor (Gandhi, Chariots of Fire). The first British celebrity whose death was publicly attributed to AIDS.

25 years ago (8 Jan 1990)
Death of Terry-Thomas, British comedy film actor. Noted for playing disreputable members of the upper classes.

25 years ago (10 Jan 1990)
Time Inc. and Warner Communications completed their merger to become Time Warner.

25 years ago (15 Jan 1990)
Death of Gordon Jackson, Scottish radio, film, television and stage actor. Best known for his TV roles as Hudson the butler in Upstairs, Downstairs and George Cowley in The Professionals.

25 years ago (20 Jan 1990)
Death of Barbara Stanwyck, award-winning American stage, film and television actress.

25 years ago (25 Jan 1990)
Death of Ava Gardner, American film actress.

25 years ago (31 Jan 1990)
The first McDonald’s fast food restaurant in the Soviet Union opened in Moscow.

20 years ago (1 Jan 1995)
The World Trade Organization began operating.

20 years ago (3 Jan 1995)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that the cumulative total of reported AIDS cases had passed the one million mark, with cases reported in 192 countries. (Including unreported cases, the total was estimated to be approximately 4.5 million.)

20 years ago (9 Jan 1995)
Russian cosmonaut Valeri Poliakov became the first person to spend an entire year (366 days) in space in a single mission. (His mission to the Mir space station lasted for 437 days.)

20 years ago (17 Jan 1995)
The Kobe earthquake (also known as the Great Hanshin earthquake), Japan, caused massive damage (over £64 billion/$102 billion) to the region’s infrastructure and industry. More than 6,400 people were killed.

20 years ago (24 Jan 1995)
Opening statements began in the O. J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles, California, USA. (Simpson was acquitted in October.)

10 years ago (1 Jan 2005)
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act came into effect in the UK, allowing the public to access documents about the workings of local and national government and other public bodies.

10 years ago (1 Jan 2005)
Death of Shirley Chisholm, American politician. The first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress.

10 years ago (5 Jan 2005)
The dwarf planet Eris was discovered. It is the largest of the dwarf planets (27% more massive than Pluto).

10 years ago (14 Jan 2005)
The European Space Agency’s Huygens probe landed on Saturn’s moon Titan and sent back the first detailed pictures of the surface, along with measurements of the environmental conditions there.

10 years ago (26 Jan 2005)
Condoleezza Rice became U.S. Secretary of State – the first African American woman to hold the post.

- – – – – – -

Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers for just £49.95 (or the equivalent in your local currency) and you’ll receive The Date-A-Base Book 2015  (plus and all future editions as soon as they are published) as well as The Fastest Way to Write Your BookThe Fastest Way to Get Ideas, How to Win Short Story Competitions, our complete collection of 5,000+ writing ideas, unlimited use of our forums and exclusive online writing software, and more.
(Total value: over £150 – and growing all the time!)
Click here for full details

ideas4writers: inspiring you since 2002!

What If…? 10 Creative Writing Prompts for July

Monday, 7 July 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 told lies for a living?

2. clouds were poisonous?

3. the earth was transparent – e.g. made of glass, crystal or diamond?

4. everyone had to write and publish a book by their 50th birthday?

5. humans only had one eye?

6. you couldn’t feel pain?

7. everyone had to spend a year (or two) working for a charity?

8. you couldn’t keep up with the demand?

9. you picked your partner (life, business or other) from a catalogue or database?

10. smoking was made compulsory?

- – – – – – -

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 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
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 December 2014 for you to write about (and make money from!)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in December 2014 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 2014The listing below is a small sample of the entries for November from The Date-A-Base Book 2014There are 221 anniversaries for December in the book, which covers the whole of 2014 from January to December and features more than 2,650 anniversaries in total.

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

The Date-A-Base Book 2015 (full version) is also available

—–

200 years ago (2 Dec 1814)
Death of the Marquis de Sade, French aristocrat, writer and philosopher. Best known for his perverse sexual preferences and violent erotica which gave rise to the term ‘sadism’.

150 years ago (8 Dec 1864)
Death of George Boole, British mathematician who invented Boolean algebra (also called Boolean logic), which forms the basis of modern computer circuits and programming.

150 years ago (21 Dec 1864)
American Civil War: General Sherman’s March to the Sea ended and his Union forces captured Savannah, Georgia.

125 years ago (6 Dec 1889)
Death of Jefferson Davis, first and only President of the Confederate States of America.

125 years ago (16 Dec 1889)
Birth of Sir Noël Coward, British playwright, actor, singer and composer. Best known for his comedies of manners (Private Lives, Design for Living, Brief Encounter, Blithe Spirit and more).

125 years ago (25 Dec 1889)
Birth of Lila Bell Acheson, American magazine publisher and philanthropist who founded Reader’s Digest with her husband.

100 years ago (10 Dec 1914)
Birth of Dorothy Lamour, American film actress and WWII pin-up. Best known for the Road to… comedies with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

100 years ago (21 Dec 1914)
World War I: the first German air raid on Britain. A German plane dropped a bomb in the grounds of a rectory in Dover. No one was injured. (Britain’s first air raid casualties were on 19th Jan 1915 when a German Zeppelin bombed Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.)

100 years ago (24 – 25 Dec 1914)
World War I: the Christmas truce. British and German troops observed an unofficial ceasefire at several points along the Western Front, singing songs and exchanging greetings from their trenches and even crossing into ‘no man’s land’ to exchange food and souvenirs and play football.

100 years ago (26 Dec 1914)
Birth of Richard Widmark, American film, stage and television actor.

75 years ago (1 Dec 1939?)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer made his first-ever appearance, in a children’s colouring book given away by Montgomery Ward stores in the USA. (Approximate date; it was launched for the 1939 Christmas season.)

75 years ago (2 Dec 1939)
LaGuardia Airport in New York City, USA began operating (as the New York Municipal Airport).

75 years ago (12 Dec 1939)
DuPont began producing nylon commercially at its new plant in Seaford, Delaware, USA.

75 years ago (13 Dec 1939)
World War II – the Battle of the River Plate – a naval battle in the South Atlantic. Allied victory. Following the battle, the British tricked the Germans into scuttling their battleship Admiral Graf Spee on 17th Dec, leading its captain, Hans Langsdorff, to commit suicide on 19th December.

75 years ago (15 Dec 1939)
The U.S. première of the film Gone with the Wind. (Released: 17th Jan 1940.)

75 years ago (23 Dec 1939)
Death of Anthony Fokker, pioneering Dutch aircraft manufacturer.

75 years ago (27 Dec 1939)
The city of Erzincan, Turkey was destroyed by an earthquake which killed more than 30,000 people. The damage was so extensive that the city was abandoned and reconstructed on a new site to the south.

70 years ago (16 Dec 1944 – 16 Jan 1945)
World War II – the Battle of the Bulge (Belgium). Allied victory. (The last major German counter-offensive of the war.)

60 years ago (2 Dec 1954)
The U.S. Senate censured Senator Joseph McCarthy for bringing the Senate into ‘dishonour and disrepute’ in his investigation of suspected communists in the government, military and other areas of society.

60 years ago (23 Dec 1954)
The world’s first successful kidney transplant was carried out in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. (Anti-rejection drugs were not available until 1964 so transplants were only carried out between identical twins until then.)

50 years ago (8 Dec 1964)
Death of Simon Marks, 1st Baron Marks of Broughton, British businessman who transformed his father’s Marks & Spencer market stalls into one of Britain’s leading retailers.

50 years ago (9 Dec 1964)
Death of Dame Edith Sitwell, British poet and critic, also noted for her formidable personality and eccentric appearance.

50 years ago (11 Dec 1964)
Death of Sam Cooke, American soul/pop/gospel/R&B singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur. Regarded as one of the founders of soul music (shot dead by a motel manager, circumstances unknown).

50 years ago (12 Dec 1964)
The Republic of Kenya was declared on the first anniversary of its independence. Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta became its first President.

50 years ago (22 Dec 1964)
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird made its first flight, in California, USA. (It is the world’s fastest manned air-breathing jet aircraft.)

40 years ago (13 Dec 1974)
Malta declared itself a republic.

40 years ago (24 Dec 1974)
British politician John Stonehouse was arrested in Australia (on suspicion of being Lord Lucan). He had faked his death on 20th Nov by leaving a pile of clothing on a beach in Miami, Florida, USA.

30 years ago (3 Dec 1984)
Bhopal Disaster: a poisonous gas leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in India killed thousands of people and left 120,000 with health problems.

30 years ago (3 Dec 1984)
Terrorists hijacked a Kuwaiti airliner bound for Pakistan and forced it to land in Tehran, Iran. Women, children and Muslim passengers were released and the rest were held hostage for 5 days until Iranian authorities stormed the plane. Two American passengers were killed. The terrorists were thought to be linked to Hezbollah.

30 years ago (10 Dec 1984)
South African Anglican bishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

30 years ago (28 Dec 1984)
Rajiv Gandhi won a massive victory in the Indian general election after being persuaded to stand for his assassinated mother’s Congress Party.

25 years ago (3 Dec 1989)
East German leader Egon Krenz resigned, along with the entire Politburo and the Communist Party’s Central Committee, ending communist rule in East Germany.

25 years ago (3 Dec 1989)
U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev announced the end of the Cold War at a meeting in Malta.

25 years ago (6 Dec 1989)
The École Polytechnique Massacre (also called the Montreal Massacre), Canada. A gunman killed 14 female university students and injured 14 others (both male and female) before killing himself. His suicide note blamed feminists for ruining his life.

25 years ago (10 Dec 1989)
The collapse of communism in Czechoslovakia. The President/Communist leader of Czechoslovakia, Gustáv Husák was forced to appoint the country’s first non-Communist government since 1948. He then resigned. He was succeeded by Václav Havel on 29th December.

25 years ago (14 Dec 1989)
A democratic presidential election was held in Chile, ending General Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship. (Patricio Aylwin was inaugurated as president on 11th March 1990.)

25 years ago (14 Dec 1989)
Death of Andrei Sakharov, Russian nuclear physicist and dissident. Winner of the 1975 Nobel Peace Price for his work as a human rights campaigner.

25 years ago (17 Dec 1989)
The first episode of The Simpsons was broadcast on the Fox network in the USA.

25 years ago (20 Dec 1989 – 31 Jan 1990)
The U.S. invasion of Panama. Following Panama’s declaration of war against the USA on 15th Dec, the USA invaded Panama to safeguard the lives of U.S. citizens living there, to defend democracy and human rights, to combat drug trafficking, and to protect the neutrality of the Panama Canal. Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega was overthrown and taken to the USA for trial. (He was later sentenced to 30 years in prison.)

25 years ago (22 Dec 1989)
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was reopened, effectively reuniting East and West Germany.

25 years ago (22 Dec 1989)
Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausçescu was overthrown in a revolutionary coup. (Executed on 25th December for crimes against the state.)

25 years ago (22 Dec 1989)
Death of Samuel Beckett, Irish writer, playwright, poet and literary critic (Waiting for Godot, Endgame and many more). Winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize for Literature.

20 years ago (11 Dec 1994)
First Chechen War: Russian troops invaded Chechnya.

15 years ago (31 Dec 1999)
Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation and said that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would take over with immediate effect.

10 years ago (1 Dec 2004)
Death of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Prince consort of Queen Juliana. Father of Queen Beatrix.

10 years ago (7 Dec 2004)
Hamid Karzai was sworn in President of Afghanistan.

10 years ago (16 Dec 2004)
The Millau Viaduct in southern France opened. It is the tallest bridge in the world.

10 years ago (17 Dec 2004)
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act came into effect in the USA. It was the biggest overhaul of U.S. intelligence-gathering for 50 years and established the National Counter-terrorism Center and the position of Director of National Intelligence.

10 years ago (26 Dec 2004)
Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami (also called the Boxing Day Tsunami). A massive undersea earthquake near Sumatra caused a devastating tsunami that swamped coastal areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Africa. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history, killing over 230,000 people in 14 countries.

10 years ago (31 Dec 2004)
Taipei 101 opened in Taiwan. (It was the tallest skyscraper in the world at that time. Surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in Jan 2010.)

- – – – – – -

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(Total value: over £150!)
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What If…? 10 Creative Writing Prompts for June

Tuesday, 3 June 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!

Starting from this month we are beginning a brand new collection, which will eventually form part of Volume 2 of The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. you had many regrets and set out to fix them all?

2. every town/city had its own god?

3. everyone had their own god?

4. cars were sentient beings with unique personalities?

5. computers were sentient beings with unique personalities?

6. smartphones were sentient beings with unique personalities?

7. someone had made a sex tape in which you featured – without your knowledge (bonus: and then it happened again!)?

8. one of your private family photos was used in an advertisement without your permission (bonus: and then it happened again!)?

9. you received a ridiculously expensive birthday present but had no idea who had sent it?

10. someone you hate organised a party in your honour?

- – – – – – -

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 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
And more… (total value: over £150)

Click here for full details

ideas4writers: inspiring you since 2002


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