The Date-A-Base Book 2020 is here!

cover20_3d_247x264_transThe Date-A-Base Book 2020 is now available!

Details of over 1,800 newsworthy and notable anniversaries in 2020, including important events, inventions, discoveries, significant births and deaths, and more.

Get your copy now at


(Lifetime members can download it free of charge from the members’ area.)

The printed version should go on sale within the next few days – though you will have to buy it from Amazon rather than our own website. We’ll post another message here as soon as it’s available.


Writers Bureau 2018 Limerick Competition Now Open

The Writers Bureau 2018 Limerick Competition is now open, with £620 worth of prizes.

Prizes are:

1st Prize – £100 plus the choice of a Writers Bureau course (worth over £370)

2 x Runners-up Prizes – £50 plus free membership to The Association of Freelance Writers (worth £24.99)

Winners will be published on the competition website and promoted on The Writers Bureau’s social media platforms.

Limericks were popularised by the nonsense poet, Edward Lear, in the nineteenth century and they’ve been a comic staple ever since. They are frequently uncomplimentary and often downright bawdy – a joke form as memorable as they are witty.

The judge this year is Diana Nadin, Director of Studies at The Writers Bureau. She says, “I love a good limerick and I was made to laugh out loud at many of last year’s entries so I’m looking forward to reading this year’s submissions. Limericks are a good way to let your writing hair down, have a laugh and have a good play with words. And, there’s a chance to win a great prize too!”

Entry fee: £5 for 4 limericks, and £1 for each extra limerick.

Closing Date: 31st July 2018.

Winners will be announced by 31st August 2018.

For full competition details and to read the winners  of previous competitions visit their website at:

The Date-A-Base Book 2019 paperback

dab2019The Date-A-Base Book 2019 is now available in print as well as a PDF ebook.

The printed version is a large-format paperback.
Size A4 (approx 11.5″ x 8.5″).
100 pages.

To buy the PDF ebook version please go to our website:

To buy the paperback version please go to Amazon:

The Date-A-Base Book 2019 is here!

cover19_3d_transThe Date-A-Base Book 2019 is now available!

Details of 1,500 newsworthy and notable anniversaries in 2019, including important events, inventions, discoveries, and significant births and deaths.

Buy your copy at

(Lifetime ideas4writers members can download it free of charge from the members’ area.)

As previously advised, we’ve gone back to our old format, with only the top 1,500 most significant (and useful) events of the year included. This makes it much faster to produce.

We are only producing the chronological version this time, not the “grouped by date” version. But as there are only about 8 pages for each month, you should be able to find the dates you need quite easily.

We should be able to get the printed version on sale within the next few days – though you will have to buy it from Amazon rather than our own website. The advantage is that wherever you live, you should only have to pay local shipping rates rather than airmail from the UK. Unfortunately, it will have a regular paperback binding, not the spiral wire binding we’ve used for the last few years. We’ll post another message here as soon as it’s available.

Is there any demand for a Kindle version? Please let us know in the comments or email Kindle editions have never sold particularly well when we’ve tried them in the past. If there’s no demand, we’d rather get on with producing the 2020 edition.

Best wishes


The Date-A-Base Book 2019 – saved!

Great news, folks!

Thanks to some creative thinking, we’ve finally managed to save The Date-A-Base Book series. Work on the 2019 edition is now well underway and we hope to release it around the middle of March.

We’re going back to our original format of listing the top 100 – 120 anniversaries per month – as judged by me.

Listing 400 anniversaries per month, as we did in the most recent editions, was unsustainable and unprofitable. And, fascinating as they were, I’m not sure they were really of that much use to people.

We’re going to go straight on and work on the 2020 edition as soon as the 2019 edition is completed. Hopefully, that one will be available around the end of April.

Then we’re going back to updating and rereleasing the ideas collection books. The next ones will be Fantasy (May), Mystery & Suspense (May), Comedy (June), Characters (July), and Writing for Children (August).

New Book: 122 Down-to-Earth Ideas for Science Fiction Writers

sf220Here’s the third book in our rebranded series of ideas, story starters and writing prompts for writers.

All of the ideas have been edited and updated;
there’s a lovely new cover;
the Kindle price has been slashed to just 2.99;
and it’s available in paperback for the first time too!

It’s only available from Amazon, and to comply with their exclusivity requirements, we will no longer be selling it on the ideas4writers website.

A lot of work went into this one. The writing is better, the ideas are clearer, and there are lots of new bits.

Here’s the new description:

Write science fiction stories your readers will never forget!

Banish those ponderous, over-used plots; clichéd, one-dimensional characters; and stories that lack imagination and depth. Your plots will be huge, entertaining and fresh; your heroes, villains and aliens will be authentic, memorable and extraordinary; and your stories will be out of this world.

The 122 ideas in this book include:

  • How to create unique story ideas
  • How to predict the future
  • How to use (and misuse) technology
  • Everything you need to know about time travel
  • How to write alternative history stories
  • Everything you need to know about aliens
  • How to change the way the universe works
  • How to create your own worlds and universes
  • And much more

Plus you’ll get 33 great scene and storyline ideas you can use immediately or adapt as you wish

If you’re ready to take your readers on the journey of their lives, buy 122 Down-to-Earth Ideas for Science Fiction Writers today!

Here are those all-important links:

Kindle edition:

Help us save the Next Year’s News series!

dab1718As you may have heard, we haven’t been able to produce the 2019 edition of Next Year’s News (formerly known as The Date-A-Base Book). Unfortunately, we don’t have the funds to do it. Producing a research-intensive book like this takes several months of full-time work. And that means we need to sell enough copies to cover the cost of our time in producing it. The 2017 and 2018 editions did not cover their costs. So we’ve had to switch our attention to other projects that generate an income.
We know that many of you were dismayed when we announced the series was ending. We were dismayed too. We know that some of you had come to rely on it, and used it to generate your own income. But, sadly, the books were losing us a lot of money.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been trying to save the series. We’ve tried to recruit someone to run a crowdfunding (Kickstarter) campaign for us, with the aim of pre-selling 1,500 copies of the 2019 edition. Sadly, that effort has failed because no one with any crowdfunding experience has come forward.
But there is another way. We’re going to make one final, last-ditch attempt to save the series. And this is where we need your help.
We’re going to try and sell as many copies of the current 2018 edition as we possibly can, and see if we can raise the funds that way instead.
In order to save the series, we need to sell an absolute minimum of 1,200 copies. So far, we’ve sold just 130 – but at least we’re past the 10% mark.
We need your help to get a big word-of-mouth campaign going, and really get those sales flooding in.
Please will you help us spread the word? Let’s see if we can reach our target of 1,200 copies and save the series.
If you know anyone who would benefit from a copy of Next Year’s News 2018, please will you either buy them a copy or send them to so they can get one for themselves?
A note about printed copies:
As we only sold 30 printed copies of the 2017 edition, the 2018 edition is only available electronically (as a PDF file). But the PDF file is printable, so you could make your own printed copy. Or you should be able to take the file to any high street print shop and ask them to make you a spiral-bound copy with card covers.
Here are just a few of the ways in which people are using the book. Do you know anyone who works in any of these industries?
  • TV/radio/production companies use it to as a source of ideas for shows about upcoming historic anniversaries. They also use it as a source of ideas for features and snippets to include within other shows.
  • News websites, newspapers and magazines use it for their “on this day in history” features.
  • Writers and journalists use it for ideas for newspaper and magazine articles that tie in with upcoming anniversaries. This is a fairly untapped market, as very few people are doing it. Yet the articles are reasonably easy to research and write – and there are thousands of ideas for them in each book.
  • Novelists and filmmakers use it as a source of ideas, and also for historically accurate background details and sub-plots.
  • Museums use it for exhibition ideas.
  • Historians use it as a source of ideas for their books, articles and lectures.
  • And other people are using it in all sorts of interesting ways.
Can you think of anyone who could benefit – and potentially make money – from their copy?
We are ready and willing to begin work on Next Year’s News 2019, just as soon as we sell enough copies of the 2018 edition to cover the cost of producing it.
We will produce a half-length version within three months of starting work on it, and the full version within five months. If we sell enough copies of the 2019 edition, we will go straight on to produce the 2020 edition, aiming to have it finished by October 2018, and then the 2021 edition, aiming for a spring 2019 release.
But all of this depends on us selling enough copies of the current 2018 edition. If we don’t reach our target, then we will have no choice but to end the series, with the current edition being the last.
Once again, we urge you to help spread the word and/or buy extra copies of the 2018 edition for people you know. Let’s see if we can save this series, and maybe even give it a whole new lease of life. It would be such a shame to lose it.
Thank you for your time.
Here’s the link to get the 2018 edition again: