Archive for the ‘ideas4writers’ Category

NEW: Discuss What Ifs in our Facebook Group

Monday, 9 January 2017
dave_small

Dave Haslett, founder, ideas4writers

 

Hello fellow writers!

If you go to the ideas4writers Facebook group you’ll see an exciting new feature. Each day we’re choosing one of the What Ifs we posted on the blog at the beginning of each month, and we’re discussing it in depth, expanding and enlarging on it, and looking at the story possibilities in each one. I hope you find it useful. It’s certainly stretching my imagination!

The Facebook group is open to anyone who wants to join. Just go to the group and click the Join button and I’ll grant you access the next time I’m on Facebook. You don’t need to be a member of the ideas4writers website or the blog. Your friends can join too – just let them know where to find us. The more people who join, the better the discussions should be, and the more ideas we’ll get for bigger and better stories.

In case the link above isn’t working, the ideas4writers Facebook group is at: www.facebook.com/groups/ideas4writers

WEBSITE UPDATE

If you’re a member of the ideas4writers website, you might have spotted that our forum software has died. We’re going to redesign the site over the next few months, so it seems silly to replace the forum software with something else, only to have to scrap it again when the new site launches. So we’re using the Facebook group as our forum for now, and directing all our members there instead.

When the new website launches, the forum will be at the front of the site, not hidden away in the members’ section, so everyone will be able to use it.

DAVE’S NEWS

I hope you’ve made a great start to your writing in 2017. I have huge plans for the year, and I’ve made a big wall chart with all the projects and timelines I’ll be working on. It looks … scary. But just about doable with a lot of work (and no procrastinating).

You might know that I get most of my ideas while I’m out walking, so when I saw the Walk 1,000 Miles in 2017 challenge, I immediately signed up for it. As I write this I’ve just completed the walk for day 9 and my total so far is 33 miles (8 miles more than the target) so it’s going well – I could even afford to take a couple of days off. Snow is forecast for the end of the week, which might limit the walks for a few days. (But I’ll believe it when I see it – it rarely snows here.)

I’m planning to do some longer walks over the summer. There are about 50 walking routes through the Blackdown Hills, about 20 minutes from here, that I haven’t explored yet. I’m also part of a walking group, but they only walk on Wednesday evenings between May and August.

If I’m walking on my own (which is most of the time – the rest of the family are not walkers!) I take my phone and headphones with me and listen to podcasts to keep me company. They help the miles fly by, and don’t inhibit the flow of ideas. I have Evernote on my phone, so it’s easy to note down (or speak) each idea as it occurs, or take a quick photo, and file it in the relevant section.

The podcasts I listen to are: The Creative Penn, the Sell More Books Show, Write 2B Read, and a new one called the Book Launch Show. I also download and listen to the Radio 4 shows The News Quiz and the The Now Show when they’re on – but they’re not on at the moment.

I must leave you now as it’s 9 pm and I have a chapter to write before bedtime. I hope to connect with you in the Facebook group. Or I’ll see you here this time next week with 50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in July 2017 for you to write about.

Next Year’s News: 50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in June 2017 for you to write about

Monday, 19 December 2016

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in June 2017 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time to find markets, and research and write your articles.

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 2017The listing below is a small sample of the entries for June from The Date-A-Base Book 2017
There are 326 anniversaries for June in the book (more than six times more than listed here). The book covers the whole of 2017 from January to December and features more than 4,000 anniversaries in total.

If you need to work further ahead, Next Year’s News 2018 (the new name for the Date-A-Base Book series) is also available!

Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy many times over – and the book also explains how to get your articles published.

1000 years ago (5 Jun 1017)
Death of Sanjo, Emperor of Japan (1011-16).

500 years ago (18 Jun 1517)
Birth of Ogimachi, Emperor of Japan (1557-86).

300 years ago (24 Jun 1717)
Freemasonry: the first Grand Lodge was founded in London. (It is now the United Grand Lodge of England.)

200 years ago (26 Jun 1817)
Birth of Branwell Brontë, British artist, writer and poet. Brother of the writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë.

200 years ago (30 Jun 1817)
Birth of Sir Joseph Hooker, British botanist. One of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (1865-85). He was also a close friend of Charles Darwin and encouraged his work.

150 years ago (8 Jun 1867)
Birth of Frank Lloyd Wright, famous American architect.

150 years ago (17 Jun 1867)
Birth of John Robert Gregg, Irish-born American publisher who developed Gregg Shorthand – the most popular form of shorthand in the USA.

125 years ago (3 Jun 1892)
Liverpool Football Club was officially founded in England.

125 years ago (6 Jun 1892)
The Chicago ‘L’ rapid transit system began operating in Illinois. It is one of the largest and busiest city transit systems in the USA.

100 years ago (4 Jun 1917)
The Order of the British Empire was established by King George V. It is an order of chivalry awarded to people who make a significant achievement for (or contribution to) the United Kingdom. There are 5 classes: Knight/Dame Grand Cross (GBE), Knight/Dame Commander (KBE/DBE), Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE), Member (MBE).

100 years ago (4 Jun 1917)
The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded.

100 years ago (5 Jun 1917)
World War I: the first WWI draft registration day was held in the USA. About 10 million men aged 21 – 31 registered for military service. Registration was compulsory. (By the end of the war in 1918 about 2.8 million American men had been drafted, and a further 2 million had joined the armed forces as volunteers.)

100 years ago (7 Jun 1917)
Lions Clubs International was founded.

100 years ago (11 Jun 1917)
Alexander I became King of Greece following his father Constantine I’s abdication. (Constantine went into exile in Switzerland.)

100 years ago (13 Jun 1917)
World War I: Germany carried out its deadliest air raid of the war. Gotha G.IV heavy bombers attacked London, killing 162 people and injuring 432. One of the bombs fell on a primary school in Poplar, where 16 children were killed.

100 years ago (15 Jun 1917)
Death of Kristian Birkeland, Norwegian physicist, astrophysicist, educator and explorer. Known as ‘the first space scientist’. Best known as the first person to determine the nature of the aurora borealis. He also invented a process for fixing nitrogen from the air (the Birkeland–Eyde process) and made numerous other contributions to science. He was nominated for a Nobel Prize 7 times, but never won.

100 years ago (17 Jun 1917?)
Birth of Dean Martin, (‘the King of Cool’), popular American stage, film and television singer, actor and comedian. A member of the Rat Pack. Noted for his seemingly effortless charisma and performances. Well known for his comedy partnership with Jerry Lewis. He also hosted the TV series The Dean Martin Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast. (Several sources give his date of birth as 7th June but we believe 17th is correct.)

100 years ago (23 Jun 1917)
Ukraine was founded (as the Ukrainian People’s Republic). It proclaimed independence from Russia in January 1918.

100 years ago (26 Jun 1917)
World War I: the first troops from the American Expeditionary Forces arrived in France under the command of General John Pershing. They were the first U.S. forces to fight in WWI.

80 years ago (3 Jun 1937)
Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, married Wallis Warfield in France.

80 years ago (30 Jun 1937)
The 999 emergency telephone service went into operation in London – the first such service in the world. It began operating in other major UK cities after WWII and was extended nationally in 1976.

75 years ago (1 Jun 1942)
Liberty Brigade, an underground newspaper published in Warsaw, Poland, revealed the first details of the Nazi extermination camps and the gassing of tens of thousands of Jews at Chelmno.

75 years ago (3 Jun 1942 – 15 Aug 1943)
World War II – the Aleutian Islands Campaign, Alaska, USA. Allied victory. Japanese forces occupied the islands of Attu and Kiska but were eventually ejected by a combined US/Canadian force, though this took time because of the difficult terrain and weather conditions.

75 years ago (4 – 7 Jun 1942)
World War II – the Battle of Midway. The USA defeated Japan in the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign.

75 years ago (4 Jun 1942)
Death of Reinhard Heydrich, German Nazi official. Heinrich Himmler’s chief lieutenant in the SS. He played a key role in organising the Holocaust, and chaired the Wannsee Conference (20th January 1942). (Assassinated. The Czech village of Lidice was destroyed on 10th June in retaliation for his death.)

75 years ago (12 Jun 1942)
Anne Frank received her famous diary for her 13th birthday. She used it to document her life over the next 2 years as her family hid from the Nazis. It was first published in the Netherlands in June 1947 (as The Secret Annex: Diary Notes from 14 June 1942 to 1 August 1944). An English translation was published in the UK and USA in 1952 (as The Diary of a Young Girl).

75 years ago (25 Jun 1942)
World War II: Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower (later U.S. President) took command of U.S. forces in Europe.

60 years ago (1 Jun 1957)
The Casio Computer Company was founded in Japan.

60 years ago (1 Jun 1957)
The first premium bond prize draw took place in Britain.

60 years ago (27 Jun 1957)
Britain’s Medical Research Council reported that there was a cause-and-effect relationship between smoking and lung cancer. As a result, the Minister of Health said he had a duty to warn the public of the risks smokers faced. (In 1954 the then Minister of Health had said there was no firm evidence of a link, only a presumption of one.)

50 years ago (1 Jun 1967)
The album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles was released.

50 years ago (3 Jun 1967)
Death of Arthur Ransome, British children’s writer. Best known for his Swallows and Amazons series of 12 novels.

50 years ago (4 Jun 1967)
Stockport air disaster, Greater Manchester, England. A British Midland Airways plane crashed in an open area near the centre of Stockport after suffering fuel starvation due to a leaking valve. 72 of the 84 people on board were killed. All 12 survivors were seriously injured.

50 years ago (6 Jun 1967)
Six-Day War: Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser closed the Suez Canal by scuttling ships on both sides of it. It remained closed until 1975. 15 cargo ships (the ‘Yellow Fleet’) were trapped in the canal for 8 years.

50 years ago (7 Jun 1967)
Death of Dorothy Parker, American short story writer, poet and critic. Renowned for her witty remarks. She was also blacklisted by Hollywood for her involvement in left-wing politics.

50 years ago (10 Jun 1967)
Death of Spencer Tracy, Academy Award-winning American actor. One of the greatest male leads during Hollywood’s Golden Age. His films include Father of the Bride, Bad Day at Black Rock, Inherit the Wind, Judgement at Nuremberg, How the West Was Won, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and many more.

50 years ago (12 Jun 1967)
The Soviet Union launched its Venera 4 spacecraft on a mission to Venus. It became the first craft to enter another planet’s atmosphere and return data. It found that Venus’s atmosphere was extremely hot and far denser than expected. It might also have been the first spacecraft to land on another planet. (Venera 3 might have been the first – it possibly crash-landed on Venus in March 1966, but its communications system failed before it reached the planet and its fate is unknown. The first successful landing on Venus was achieved by Venera 7 in 1970.)

50 years ago (16 Jun 1967 to 18th)
The Monterey Pop Festival was held in California, USA. It featured the first major U.S. public appearances by Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Ravi Shankar, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding. It also inspired the Woodstock Festival held in 1969. (Jimi Hendrix famously set fire to his guitar on stage at this event – an act he had first performed in London on 31st March.)

50 years ago (20 Jun 1967)
American world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali was convicted of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted into the U.S. Army. His conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1971, but it left him unable to box between the ages of 25 and 29 – what should have been the peak of his career.

50 years ago (27 Jun 1967)
The world’s first ATM (cash machine) went into operation at Barclays Bank in Enfield, north London, UK. Comedy actor Reg Varney made the first withdrawal.

50 years ago (29 Jun 1967)
Death of Jayne Mansfield, award-winning American stage and film actress. One of Hollywood’s leading blonde bombshells of the 1950s. (Car crash.)

40 years ago (10 Jun 1977)
Apple Computer released the Apple II – the first personal computer to feature colour graphics. It cost $1,298 (£835).

40 years ago (16 Jun 1977)
Leonid Brezhnev became Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union (equivalent to ceremonial head of state). He held the position until his death in November 1982.

40 years ago (26 Jun 1977)
Elvis Presley performed his last concert, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

30 years ago (12 Jun 1987)
During a visit to Berlin, Germany to celebrate the city’s 750th anniversary, U.S. President Ronald Reagan gave a historic speech in front of the Berlin wall, challenging Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to ‘tear down this wall’. (The wall was demolished in November 1989.)

25 years ago (17 Jun 1992)
START II arms reduction treaty: U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin attended two arms reduction summit meetings where the treaty was agreed. (The first meeting was held in Washington, D.C. on this day and the second was held in Moscow in January 1993.)

25 years ago (22 Jun 1992)
Andrew Morton’s controversial book Diana: Her True Story was published. It claimed that Diana, Princess of Wales was deeply depressed and unstable and had attempted suicide a number of times.

20 years ago (12 Jun 1997)
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre opened in London. It is a reconstruction of the original theatre of 1599, located about 750 feet (230 metres) from the original site. The project to rebuild it began in 1970 and was led by the actor and director Sam Wanamaker (who died in 1993).

20 years ago (25 Jun 1997)
The Soufrière Hills volcano on Montserrat erupted, killing 19 people. Over the next few months it destroyed the capital, Plymouth, and rendered half the island uninhabitable. About two-thirds of the population have been evacuated. (At the time of writing it is still erupting.)

20 years ago (26 Jun 1997)
The first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling, was published in the UK. (USA: September 1998 as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.)

10 years ago (29 Jun 2007)
Apple released the first iPhone.


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Available now: Next Year’s News 2018

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Next Year's News 2018Next Year’s News is the new name for our popular “The Date-A-Base Book” series.

Inside you’ll find details of over 5,000 newsworthy and notable anniversaries in 2018, including events, discoveries, inventions, births and deaths.

It’s the ideal (some would say essential!) reference for all writers, journalists, researchers, TV/radio producers and film-makers.

 

Size: 8.5″ x 11.5″. 357 pages.

The ebook (PDF) version is available now. Printed copies will be available in January.

The price is unchanged from last year: £9.99 (US$12.49).

Get your copy now at www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2018

The Date-A-Base Book 2017 is also available.

ideas4writers lifetime members: this ebook is included in your membership. You can download it from the members’ home page after logging in at www.ideas4writers.co.uk.

What If? 30 Creative Writing Prompts for November

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Hello! Here’s this month’s selection of What Ifs to stimulate your writing brain. Let’s see what can you do with these! Some are deliberately vague or ambiguous so you can interpret them in different ways.

There’s one for each day of the month. If you need more, please take a look at our book The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. everyone was illiterate?

2. your destination kept getting further away?

3. there were no depths you wouldn’t sink to?

4. you were a cause of dismay?

5. you couldn’t wipe the smile off your face?

6. you couldn’t see through all the tears?

7. sharks could fly?

8. your whole life was sponsored – by a product, brand, organisation or individual?

9. you needed someone killed?

10. words didn’t have vowels?

11. words didn’t have consonants?

12. you accidentally researched the wrong subject and discovered something extraordinary?

13. you were frozen to the spot?

14. you had nothing to do?

15. there was nothing you could have done?

16. you could have done something but you chose not to?

17. a great revelation was revealed?

18. it all suddenly made complete sense?

19. you doubled the amount of exercise you were getting?

20. you had twice as many ideas?

21. you opened it and then decided you didn’t want it after all?

22. you liked to keep people on their toes?

23. you always made a point of rejecting the first one?

24. you were microscopic?

25. you owned the world’s biggest company?

26. you were fired from the company you founded?

27. you managed your kids’ band, and they suddenly became huge?

28. you had to make a life-or-death decision every single day?

29. you were poisonous?

30. you caused an earthquake?

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What If? 31 Creative Writing Prompts for October

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Hello! Here’s this month’s selection of What Ifs to stimulate your writing brain. Let’s see what can you do with these! Some are deliberately vague or ambiguous so you can interpret them in different ways.

There’s one for each day of the month. If you need more, please take a look at our book The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. there was no oil on Earth?

2. there were no precious metals on Earth?

3. there were no precious gems on Earth?

4. all humans were deaf?

5. you were sued for more money than you were worth?

6. someone carried out a threat they had made against you?

7. you were bullet-proof?

8. you could stop bullets from being fired?

9. you were seconds away from launching your new book on TV/radio when the government sent a message to say they were banning it?

10. they had the wrong man (or woman)?

11. you didn’t know it worked like that?

12. you were regarded as a medical oddity?

13. people thought you were weird?

14. you shunned all medicines and pills?

15. you thought you were ready, but you weren’t?

16. you were prepared for anything … except that?

17. the one person you thought you could trust let you down?

18. it ended in a fist fight?

19. someone died at your workplace today?

20. you had to deliver a baby?

21. you had to perform surgery?

22. you failed to notice the hidden camera?

23. you made a list of impossible things and set about doing them?

24. you were a doctor to the dead?

25. the hospital called to say there had been a terrible mistake?

26. the police groaned whenever your name was mentioned?

27. your company was forced to recall a product you had produced?

28. your new product/invention saved people millions, but put an entire industry out of work?

29. they couldn’t wait to see what you had in store?

30. you were embarrassed at the way you used to be?

31. you were embarrassed at what you had become?

Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers
and get all 40+ of our ebooks for just £49.95

(Other currencies also accepted)

Price if purchased individually: £214.56
Save: £164.61

Click here to find out more or email us to ask a question

ideas4writers: inspiring you since 2002

Next Year’s News: 50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in March 2017 for you to write about

Monday, 19 September 2016

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in March 2017 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time to find markets, and research and write your articles.

For more details about how to do this, download our free booklet:
Ditch Your Day Job – the easiest way to make a living as a writer.

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 2016The listing below is a small sample of the entries for March from The Date-A-Base Book 2017
There are 357 anniversaries for March in the book (more than seven times more than are listed here). The book covers the whole of 2017 from January to December and features more than 4,000 anniversaries in total.

Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy many times over – and the book also explains how to get your articles published.

400 years ago (21 Mar 1617?)
Death of Pocahontas, Native American daughter of Powhatan, paramount chief of the tribal nations in the Tsenacommacah, Virginia. She was captured by English settlers and held for ransom, but chose to stay with them and convert to Christianity rather than return to her own people. She married an English tobacco planter and moved to England with him. (Her funeral took place on this date, but her date of death is uncertain.)

300 years ago (2 Mar 1717)
The first ballet to be performed in England: The Loves of Mars and Venus by John Weaver, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London.

250 years ago (15 Mar 1767)
Birth of Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States.

200 years ago (4 Mar 1817)
James Monroe was inaugurated as the 5th President of the United States. He was the last president who was also a founding father.

200 years ago (8 Mar 1817)
The New York Stock Exchange was founded.

150 years ago (1 Mar 1867)
Nebraska became the 37th state of the USA.

150 years ago (2 Mar 1867)
The U.S. Congress passed the first Reconstruction Act (of four) following the end of the U.S. Civil War. States which had seceded from the Union had to meet the conditions of the Act before they would be readmitted.

150 years ago (5 Mar 1867)
Fenian Rising: failed Fenian uprisings against English rule took place in Cork, Limerick and Dublin, Ireland. 12 people were killed.

150 years ago (16 Mar 1867)
British surgeon Joseph Lister published the first article outlining his discovery of antiseptic surgery, in the medical journal The Lancet. He explained how his use of carbolic acid (now known as phenol) to sterilise instruments and clean wounds had significantly reduced infections.

150 years ago (21 Mar 1867)
Birth of Florenz Ziegfeld, American theatrical producer. Best known for the Ziegfeld Follies revue show, as well as a string of successful Broadway shows including Show Boat.

150 years ago (25 Mar 1867)
Birth of Arturo Toscanini, acclaimed Italian conductor.

150 years ago (30 Mar 1867)
The USA purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire for $7.2 million (£4.6 million) – about 2 cents per acre. (It became a U.S. state in 1959.)

100 years ago (2 Mar 1917)
The people of Puerto Rico were granted U.S. citizenship when U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act into effect.

100 years ago (2 Mar 1917)
Birth of Desi Arnaz, Cuban-born American bandleader, musician, actor and television producer. Husband of the actress Lucille Ball. Best known for his role as Ricky Ricardo in the TV sitcom I Love Lucy, and for his internationally acclaimed Latin music band, the Desi Arnaz Orchestra.

100 years ago (4 Mar 1917)
Jeannette Rankin from Montana took office as the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress.

100 years ago (6 Mar 1917)
Birth of Frankie Howerd, British comedian and comic actor. Best known for the stage show A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the TV series Up Pompeii!, and as a member of the Carry On… team.

100 years ago (7 Mar 1917)
The world’s first jazz record was released: Livery Stable Blues by the Original Dixieland Jass Band. (The spelling of jass was changed to jazz later that year.)

100 years ago (8 – 12 Mar 1917)
The February Revolution, Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), Russia. This resulted in Tsar Nicholas II’s abdication (on 15th) and the end of the Russian Empire as Russia became a republic. (It is known as the February Revolution because Russia was still using the Julian calendar, under which the dates were 23rd – 27th February 1917.)

100 years ago (8 Mar 1917)
Death of Ferdinand, Graf von Zeppelin, German rigid airship manufacturer. Founder of the Zeppelin airship company.

100 years ago (16 – 18 Mar 1917)
World War I: Germany sank 3 U.S. ships in the Atlantic without warning: the SS Vigilancia, the SS City of Memphis and the tanker Illinois. On 2nd April U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declared that enough was enough and asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany, which was granted on 6th April.

100 years ago (27 Mar 1917)
Birth of Cyrus Vance, U.S. Secretary of State (1977-–80).

100 years ago (31 Mar 1917)
The USA formally took possession of the Danish West Indies, which it purchased from Denmark under the Treaty of the Danish West Indies. The territory was renamed the U.S. Virgin Islands.

80 years ago (15 Mar 1937)
The first blood bank in the USA was established by Bernard Fantus at Cook County Hospital, Chicago, Illinois. (The world’s first blood bank was established in the Soviet Union in 1930.)

75 years ago (8 Mar 1942)
World War II: Dutch forces on Java surrendered to the Japanese.

75 years ago (8 Mar 1942)
World War II: the Bombing of Essen (Germany). The first attack on a German city by the British RAF following the Area Bombing Directive (14th February 1942) which authorised the bombing of civilian areas. A small number of houses were damaged or destroyed and 10 people were killed. (There were larger raids over the following two nights and later in the month.)

75 years ago (12 Mar 1942 – or 9th?)
Death of Robert Bosch, German engineer and industrialist. Founder of the Bosch company which developed the spark plug and magneto and later became one of the world’s largest engineering and electronics companies.

75 years ago (14 Mar 1942)
The first successful use of penicillin to treat a patient. Anne Miller, who was dying of streptococcal septicaemia, was given an injection of penicillin by doctors Orvan Hess and John Bumstead at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Connecticut, USA. She showed signs of improvement within 24 hours and made a full recovery. (Her treatment used up half of the USA’s entire stock of penicillin.)

75 years ago (16 Mar – 1 Apr 1942)
Holocaust: the Nazis began exterminating Jews in gas chambers. 15,000 Jews from the Lwów Ghetto in Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine) were transported by train to Belzec, where the first extermination camp began operating on 17th March.

75 years ago (19 Mar 1942)
The Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA) was established in the USA.

75 years ago (27 Mar 1942)
Capitol Records was established in Los Angeles, California, USA (as Liberty Records – it was renamed Capitol Records in May). It opened its first office on 4th June.)

60 years ago (4 Mar 1957)
The Standard & Poor 500 stock market index (commonly known as the S&P 500) was introduced.

60 years ago (6 Mar 1957)
The Gold Coast declared its independence from the UK and changed its name to Ghana. It was the first African nation to declare independence from European colonisation.

60 years ago (25 Mar 1957)
The Treaty of Rome was signed, creating the European Economic Community which was founded on 1st January 1958. (It was renamed the European Community in 1993 and was dissolved in 2009 having been replaced by the European Union).

50 years ago (6 Mar 1967)
The first North Sea gas was pumped ashore at Easington in County Durham, England. This led to a 10-year programme to convert all of the nation’s gas appliances from town gas (coal gas) to North Sea gas.

50 years ago (6 Mar 1967)
Death of Nelson Eddy, American baritone singer and actor. A crossover star of both opera and film musicals. The world’s highest-paid singer during his heyday. Best known for the films he starred in with Jeanette MacDonald, including Rose Marie, Maytime, New Moon and more. He introduced millions of young Americans to classical music and inspired many of them to take up musical careers.

50 years ago (18 Mar 1967)
Torrey Canyon oil spill, Cornwall, England. The supertanker SS Torrey Canyon hit a rock on a reef between the Cornish mainland and the Isles of Scilly while attempting to take a shortcut to South Wales. 32 million gallons of crude oil were spilled – the worst spill in UK history. Hundreds of miles of coastline were affected in the UK, France and Spain. The RAF and Royal Navy bombed the ship and attempted to set fire to the oil to burn it off, but met with limited success (25% of the bombs missed the large, stationary target). First-generation dispersal agents/detergents/solvents used on the spill were highly toxic. 15,000 sea birds were killed. The government was heavily criticised for its handling of the incident.

40 years ago (4 Mar 1977)
Vrancea earthquake (also known as the 1977 Bucharest earthquake), Eastern Carpathians. 1,578 people were killed and more than 11,300 injured, mainly in Bucharest, Romania. About 35,000 buildings were damaged, which led the Romanian government to impose stricter building standards on construction.

40 years ago (27 Mar 1977)
Tenerife airport disaster, Canary Islands. Two Boeing 747 jumbo jets collided on the runway in heavy fog. 583 people were killed – the deadliest accident in aviation history.

30 years ago (4 Mar 1987)
In a nationally televised address, U.S. President Ronald Reagan accepted full responsibility for the Iran-Contra scandal and admitted making mistakes, saying his heart and best intentions told him he did not trade arms for hostages, but the facts and evidence said he did.

30 years ago (6 Mar 1987)
The British ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized off Zeebrugge, Belgium after it set sail with its bow doors open. 193 people were killed.

30 years ago (19 Mar 1987)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved AZT, a drug used in the treatment of AIDS and found to prolong the lives of patients.

25 years ago (3 Mar 1992)
Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia following a referendum held on 29th February and 1st March. (Independence was recognised internationally on 6th April, leading to the Bosnian War.)

25 years ago (5 Mar – 29 Apr 1992)
The trial of four Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers who were caught on videotape beating motorist Rodney King took place in Simi Valley, California, USA. The jury acquitted all 4 defendants of assault, acquitted 3 of them of using excessive force and could not agree a verdict of excessive force on the 4th defendant. The shock result is thought to have led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots (29th April) in which 53 people were killed.

25 years ago (9 Mar 1992)
Death of Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel (1977-–83). Joint winner of the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.

25 years ago (13 Mar 1992)
Erzincan earthquake, eastern Turkey. About 500 people were killed and 2,000 injured.

25 years ago (17 Mar 1992)
In a referendum the people of South Africa voted to back political reform and end apartheid.

20 years ago (13 Mar 1997)
The Net Book Agreement was abolished in Britain after being ruled anti-competitive by the Restrictive Practices Court. The agreement had allowed publishers to fix the price of books, preventing them from being sold at a discount. (Some retailers had deliberately damaged or defaced copies in order to sell obsolete stock at a lower price, as the agreement only covered books that were ‘new’.)

20 years ago (26 Mar 1997)
Police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate religious cult who had committed suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA. (Cult members apparently believed this would allow their souls to reach an alien spacecraft that was following Comet Hale-Bopp, and they would then be transported to a level of existence above human.)

10 years ago (4 Mar 2007)
2007 Estonian parliamentary election. This was the world’s first nationwide election in which online voting was allowed. The incumbent Prime Minister Andrus Ansip was re-elected. 3.4% of voters (30,275 citizens) voted online.

10 years ago (31 Mar 2007)
The first Earth Hour was held in Sydney, Australia. 2.2 million participants switched off all their non-essential electric lights for 1 hour – including the floodlights on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. In March 2008 it became a global event.


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Reviewers and bloggers wanted!

Monday, 12 September 2016

dab_cover_17We’re looking for reviewers and bloggers who would be interested in reviewing The Date-A-Base Book 2017.

The book gives details of more than 3,800 newsworthy anniversaries in 2017, including significant historic events, inventions, discoveries, births and deaths. We publish them months in advance to allow time for research, writing and editing.

We believe it’s the ideal reference/source book for writers, journalists, editors, TV and radio producers, researchers, film-makers, teachers, speakers, event planners and quiz setters.

If you’d be willing to review it, and your blog or website is aimed at this sort of audience, please contact us by email (mail@ideas4writers.co.uk) giving the address of your blog or website. We’ll send you a free PDF copy by return.

How to Win Short Story CompetitionsIf The Date-A-Base Book 2017 doesn’t appeal to you or your audience, how about How to Win Short Story Competitions? Ask for a free review copy of that one instead – or as well!

Thanks in advance for your help.

Book updates

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Hello! A couple of book updates to tell you about:

kindle cover 2017 smallThe Date-A-Base Book 2017 is now available on Kindle

Get yours here: UK : USA
(Other countries please search for it in the Kindle Store)

If you send us your Amazon receipt after buying it we’ll also send you the PDF version, which is designed for bigger screens and is also printable.

Printed copies should be available from our website in about 2 weeks – we just sent it off to the printers today.

To buy the PDF version please visit www.ideas4writers.co.uk/2017

Ditch Your Day JobWe’ve also updated Ditch Your Day Job! The easiest way to make a living as a writer. It’s now been updated for 2016, and although the main text is little changed from the original 2015 edition, it now includes the complete Date-A-Base listing for September 2016 (around 300 entries). There’s also a detailed example of one of the entries from that month that shows you how you could write multiple articles about it and find suitable (paying) publications to send them to. The most profitable use of your time is to get the articles accepted before you even write them, guaranteeing that you get paid for everything you write. See the book for more details – it shows you exactly how to do this.

The PDF version is a free download from our website (www.ideas4writers.co.uk), or there’s a small charge (99p) if you want the Kindle version (UK : USA).

As it’s such a short book (only 15 pages for the main text + another 36 pages for the list of anniversaries) there’s no printed version. But the PDF version is printable.

Brassica Park update

Dave has completed Act 1 (15 chapters) of his new novel Brassica Park. But he’s having to take some time out to write a business plan for the swimming pool campaign charity he chairs – it has to be presented to the Town Council during the third week of March. Hopefully he’ll back up to full novel-writing speed straight after that, and will be able to crack on with Act 2.

What If? 29 Creative Writing Prompts for February

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Here’s this month’s selection of What Ifs to stimulate your brain – what can you do with these? Some of them are deliberately vague or ambiguous so you can interpret them in different ways!

There’s one for each day of the month. If you need more please take a look at our book The Fastest Way to Get Ideas – 4,400 Essential What Ifs for Writers.

What if…

1. the FTSE or Dow Jones share index fell to 0?

2. green was no longer a colour?

3. you thought you were a robot?

4. someone cast a spell on you – with or without your knowledge?

5. you suffered a crisis of conscience?

6. you were in a Catch-22 situation?

7. you learned that someone, who was not your partner, was in love with you?

8. someone was injuring all the children in a particular class, in alphabetical order?

9. every time you drove along a particular road you came across the same person standing/sitting/lying there and had to drive around them?

10. one of the major countries of the world was at war with every other country?

11. you tried to learn something as an adult that just about everyone else had learned as children?

12. every year you set yourself a new challenge?

13. you retreated into your mind to escape your real-life situation?

14. everyone you met today seemed to come from a place you had never heard of?

15. someone walked into a police station and announced that he/she had killed God?

16. the residents of a small island nation that you had never visited elected you as their monarch?

17. you were the child of a monarch and expected to inherit the role – but the populace hated you?

18. you were one of a small number of survivors and were given an essential role within the group that you had little or no prior experience of?

19. you were rehired to do a job you had left years ago?

20. you were given the task of listing 101 great things about the place you lived in, but you could only think of 5?

21. you experienced the downsides of celebrity?

22. you quickly learned a new skill and became highly renowned after discovering you had a talent for it, but you incurred the wrath of those who had been struggling with it for years?

23. the greatest hurricane the world had ever known made it all the way across the Atlantic without losing any of its strength?

24. it was declared that one of the world’s most notorious serial killers, who had been in prison for decades, was in fact entirely innocent?

25. whenever you held a book-signing session someone in the queue was killed?

26. you were asked to help the police track down someone you had once worked with?

27. you were left a business in a will, and were required to turn it from the third-biggest in town to the biggest within five years or you would forfeit both the business and the millions you would inherit if you succeeded?

28. you made the most of the freedom that comes with electronic/self-publishing and invented an entirely new genre (or hybrid genre)?

29. during your wedding ceremony your spouse-to-be said, loudly and clearly, someone else’s name rather than yours?

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Price if purchased individually: £214.56
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50 Newsworthy Anniversaries in June 2016 for you to write about (and make money from)

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in June 2016 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time to find markets, and research and write your articles.

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 2016The listing below is a small sample of the entries for June from The Date-A-Base Book 2016
There are 301 anniversaries for June in the book, which covers the whole of 2016 from January to December and features more than 3,450 anniversaries in total.

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

If you need to work further ahead, The Date-A-Base Book 2017 is also available.

—–

200 years ago (13 Jun 1816)
The Gas Light Company of Baltimore was founded in Maryland, USA. It was the first gas company in the Western hemisphere. (It later became the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, then became part of Constellation Energy, which later became part of Exelon.)

200 years ago (19 Jun 1816)
Battle of Seven Oaks (near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) between the North West Company and the Hudson Bay Company. North West Company victory.

150 years ago (7 Jun 1866)
Death of Seattle (also spelled Sealth or Seathl), Native American leader. Chief of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes of the Puget Sound area. The city of Seattle, Washington is named after him.

150 years ago (14 Jun – 23 Aug 1866)
Austro-Prussian War (also known as the Seven Weeks’ War). Prussian victory.

150 years ago (26 Jun 1866)
Birth of George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, British aristocrat and Egyptologist who financed Howard Carter’s search and excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

100 years ago (3 Jun 1916)
The National Defense Act came into effect in the USA. It expanded the Army and National Guard, established the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, began the creation of an Army aviation division, and allowed the federal government to produce and stockpile gunpowder to ensure its immediate availability.

100 years ago (5 Jun 1916 – Oct 1918)
World War I – the Arab Revolt (Ottoman Empire).

100 years ago (5 Jun 1916)
Death of (Horatio) Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener (Lord Kitchener), British Army officer, field marshal and colonial administrator. Secretary of State for War (1914-16). Best known today for his appearance on the iconic posters which encouraged men to sign up for army service. (Killed when his ship HMS Hampshire hit a German mine near the Orkney Islands, Scotland.)

100 years ago (8 Jun 1916)
Birth of Francis Crick, British biophysicist. Joint winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering the molecular structure of DNA.

100 years ago (12 Jun 1916)
Birth of Irwin Allen, (‘the Master of Disaster’), Academy Award-winning American film, television and documentary producer and director (Lost in Space, The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno and more).

100 years ago (21 Jun 1916)
Birth of Joseph Cyril Bamford, British businessman and engineer who founded JCB, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of mechanical diggers, backhoes, excavators and other construction equipment.

100 years ago (23 Jun 1916)
Birth of Sir Leonard (‘Len’) Hutton, British cricketer (Yorkshire and England).

100 years ago (24 Jun 1916)
American actress Mary Pickford signed a contract with Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players film company which granted her a record-breaking salary of $10,000 a week as well as full control over the production of the films she starred in. (Some commentators say this was the first million-dollar film contract.)

90 years ago (23 Jun 1926)
The College Board administered the first SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) in the USA.

80 years ago (7 Jun 1936)
The Steel Workers Organizing Committee (a trade union) was established in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. (It was disbanded in 1942 and became the United Steel Workers of America.)

80 years ago (26 Jun 1936)
The first practical helicopter, the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, made its first successful test flight in Bremen, Germany. (The first successful helicopter flight was made by the Breguet-Dorand ‘Gyroplane’ in France exactly 1 year earlier, on 26th June 1935.)

80 years ago (30 Jun 1936)
Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone with the Wind was published.

75 years ago (1 Jun 1941)
World War II: the Battle of Crete ended. Crete surrendered to Germany.

75 years ago (2 Jun 1941)
Death of Lou Gehrig, (‘Iron Horse’), American baseball player. He died of a rare degenerative disorder of the nervous system, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

75 years ago (4 Jun 1941)
Death of Kaiser Wilhelm II (also known as William II), last Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia.

75 years ago (6 Jun 1941)
Death of Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-born American car designer and racing driver. Co-founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company.

75 years ago (12 Jun 1941)
The Inter-Allied Declaration (also known as the The Declaration of St. James’s Palace) was signed in London. Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the exiled governments of Europe agreed to work together, both in war and in peace. It was the first step towards the establishment of the United Nations.

75 years ago (14 Jun 1941)
The June deportation. The Soviet Union carried out the first in a series of mass deportations of tens of thousands of people from the Baltic states, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova. The men were sent to Siberian prison camps where they later died, while the women were resettled in other parts of the Soviet Union.

75 years ago (20 Jun 1941)
The U.S. Army Air Forces was established, replacing the U.S. Army Air Corps. (In September 1947 it became the U.S. Air Force.)

75 years ago (22 Jun – 5 Dec 1941)
World War II: Operation Barbarossa – the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The largest military operation in history. Soviet victory – the German invaders were repelled when they reached Moscow and then driven out of the country by a Soviet counter-attack. The operation began with the Battle of Bialystok-Minsk (22nd June – 3rd July. German victory.)

75 years ago (22 Jun 1941)
Holocaust: Nazi Germany’s death squads (Einsatzgruppen) began the systematic killing of Jews, initially in the Soviet Union, but later throughout Occupied Europe. (Exact date uncertain, but it immediately followed the German invasion of the Soviet Union – see above.)

75 years ago (29 Jun 1941)
Birth of Stokely Carmichael, Trinidad-born American black activist. Leader of black nationalism in the USA. Member of the Black Panthers. Originator of the phrase ‘black power’.

70 years ago (1 Jun 1946)
Television licences were introduced in Britain.

70 years ago (6 Jun 1946)
The National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded in the USA (as the Basketball Association of America).

60 years ago (3 Jun 1956)
British Rail renamed its Third Class service as Second Class. (Second Class had been abolished in 1875, leaving First Class and Third Class. Second Class was renamed Standard Class in May 1987.)

60 years ago (19 Jun 1956)
Death of Thomas J. Watson, American businessman. Chairman and CEO of IBM who built the company into the world’s largest manufacturer of data-processing equipment. Named ‘the world’s greatest salesman’.

60 years ago (23 Jun 1956)
Gamal Abdel Nasser became President of Egypt.

60 years ago (29 Jun 1956)
The Federal Aid Highway Act came into effect in the USA. It authorised the construction of the Interstate Highway System – the largest public works project in U.S. history at that time. (Construction was meant to take 10 – 12 years but it actually took 35 years. The system was finally declared complete in October 1992.)

50 years ago (2 Jun 1966)
NASA’s space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the Moon to collect data for the Apollo programme. It was the first U.S. craft to soft-land on another extraterrestrial body. (The Soviet Union’s Luna 9 had achieved the same feat 4 months earlier, on 3rd February.)

50 years ago (3 Jun 1966)
NASA launched its Gemini 9A manned spacecraft on a 3-day mission. (It landed safely on 6th June. The original crew of Gemini 9 were killed in a plane crash on 28th February.)

50 years ago (8 Jun 1966)
Topeka, the state capital of Kansas, USA was devastated by a F5-rated tornado. It caused more than $100 million in damage, making it one of the costliest tornadoes in U.S. history. 16 people were killed, 450 injured, and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed.

50 years ago (8 Jun 1966)
The National Football League and the American Football League announced their merger. They would maintain separate leagues for the 1966 – 1969 seasons and then merge before the 1970 season, when they would form a combined league with 2 conferences. The combined league was called the National Football League (NFL).

50 years ago (13 Jun 1966)
The U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Miranda vs. Arizona decision. It ruled that police had to inform suspects of their constitutional rights (commonly known as the Miranda rights) before questioning them.

40 years ago (16 Jun 1976)
Soweto uprising, South Africa. Up to 20,000 black high school students held a protest rally in the streets of Soweto following the Afrikaans Medium Decree which ruled that black schools must teach subjects in Afrikaans as well as English. (Afrikaans was closely associated with apartheid and its popularity was in decline.) Police opened fire on the protesters, killing between 176 and 700 of them (the official figure was 23). Over 1,000 were injured.

40 years ago (29 Jun 1976)
The Seychelles gained its independence from the UK.

30 years ago (22 Jun 1986)
The ‘Hand of God’ goal: Argentine football player Diego Maradona scored a goal against England using his hand in the quarter-final of the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico City. (The referee mistakenly thought he had used his head, so allowed the goal. England were knocked out of the World Cup as a result and Argentina went on to win it.)

25 years ago (12 Jun 1991)
Russian presidential election. Boris Yeltsin became the first directly elected President of Russia. (Inaugurated 10th July.)

25 years ago (14 Jun 1991)
Death of Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Academy Award-winning British stage, film and television actress.

25 years ago (15 Jun 1991)
Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, erupted. The eruption was 10 times bigger than Mount St. Helens in 1980. 847 people were killed, mostly by roofs collapsing under the weight of wet ash. Hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land and forests were destroyed.

25 years ago (17 Jun 1991)
Apartheid: the South African Parliament voted to repeal the Population Registration Act (1950), which required that all inhabitants be classified according to their race. This eventually led to the abolition of apartheid.

25 years ago (25 Jun 1991)
Croatia and Slovenia gained their independence from Yugoslavia.

20 years ago (15 Jun 1996)
The centre of Manchester, England was devastated by an IRA bomb. 200 people were injured and the city centre had to be redeveloped because of the immense amount of damage.

20 years ago (20 Jun 1996)
Scientists announced that a vast freshwater lake (Lake Vostok) had been discovered 4 km (2.5 miles) beneath the ice in Antarctica.

15 years ago (1 Jun 2001)
8 members of the Nepalese royal family, including the King and Queen, were massacred by Crown Prince Dipendra, the heir to the throne. He then shot himself and died 3 days later. Gyanendra was crowned as the last King of Nepal on 4th June.

10 years ago (23 Jun 2006)
Death of Aaron Spelling, prolific American television and film producer (Charlie’s Angels, T. J. Hooker, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Hart to Hart, Beverly Hills 90210, Charmed and many more).


Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers
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Price if purchased individually: £214.56
Save: £164.61

Click here to find out more or email us to ask a question

ideas4writers: inspiring you since 2002


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