Are you a published author? Then you are in the right place to promote your work! Just provide a brief overview (one or two sentences) on your work and how to find out more or buy your book.
To post a comment you can:
- use the 'create news item' link to add details.
- add a comment to the article 'Published authors -post your details here!'
A new book by Dr Meg Barker, senior lecturer in psychology at The Open University, explores the complicated and contradictory rules of relationships.
Dr Barker said: “We are currently in a state of massive uncertainty about relationships. Never before in our history has there been more advice available on who and how to love, and never before have the rules we receive about relationships been more confusing and contradictory. At the same time that everything from official forms to social networking sites seem intent on defining us by our relationships there is less and less clarity about what exactly we’re talking about. If we were honest perhaps we’d all tick the box which says ‘it’s complicated’.”
The book examines the wide variety of rules which exist including those relating to sex, gender and conflict, and looks at both old and new rules of relating, and how these might be useful to people today. For instance with more and more people committing to each other through marriages and other public ceremonies, the book explores the ways in which different people interpret these promises, the tensions that can occur when people have different interpretations, and what alternative commitments may be made if the usual conventions are being rewritten from scratch.
The book is available now, published by Routledge.
Find out more:
About Meg Barker
A new book by Dr Meg Barker, senior lecturer in psychology at The Open University, explores the complicated and contradictory rules of relationships. Rewriting the Rules, (Routledge), asks questions such as: Which to choose from all the rules on offer? Do we stick to the old rules we learnt growing up, or try something new and risk being out on our own? And what about the ...
This is my first Novel and it is about how preparations for, experiences of events and the aftermath of a natural disaster have left a permanent mark on a family.
It is published by Authorhouse.
This is my first Novel and it is about how preparations for, experiences of events and the aftermath of a natural disaster have left a permanent mark on a family. It is published by Authorhouse. 0
This forthcoming book offers an accessible and comprehensive guide to a range of ideas on creativity in education. The book, written by two ex-OU students and tutors provides an overview of the main theories related to creativity and explores the implications for policy and practice. It will be of value in teacher education, postgraduate studies, curriculum design and administration.
This forthcoming book offers an accessible and comprehensive guide to a range of ideas on creativity in education. The book, written by two ex-OU students and tutors provides an overview of the main theories related to creativity and explores the implications for policy and practice. It will be of value in teacher education, postgraduate studies, curriculum design and administration. ...
A thriller writer and former Open University student who ‘returned to the scene of the crime’ as an OU teacher, hopes her second novel will be published before Christmas.
And she believes her studies opened the door to fulfilling her desire to be a successful writer, while combining her work as an associate lecturer for the OU’s Openings course in psychology.
“In the beginning, I studied what interested me, but then the psychology degree was for my work with special needs students,” said Jennie.
Jennie, who now works predominantly as an author and screenwriter, has had much success with her first novel, Death of the Elver Man, which was short-listed for the Impress Prize in 2010 under its original title On the Level. The second novel, The Drowners, is due out towards the end of the year with Jennie aiming to plot out the last two books in the series next year.
“I've found the OU studies invaluable, especially the psychology, which has helped with the crime thrillers. I was considered a failure at school, a waste of a grammar school place. But I know now I can do anything I want if I try hard enough; my self-discipline is so much better than when I was younger.
“I am mildly dyslexic and I have dyspraxia and I find being in a strange place and meeting new people very stressful. With the OU I could control my environment completely.”
She funded her courses through a small council grant for summer schools, and used an instalment plan for many of the modules.
Of all her achievements she is most proud of her French certificate.
“With my dyslexia I was told I would never be able to learn another language, but the
OU language courses are excellent. My BA helped me get a post in an art college teaching Higher and Further Education students and the BSc Psychology enabled me to test and support students with learning difficulties. It has also helped in my new career as a writer of crime thrillers.”
Jennie regularly attends and takes part in readings with other authors, most recently at Middlesbrough Literary Festival in June and the University of Teeside in May.
Find out more:
A thriller writer and former Open University student who ‘returned to the scene of the crime’ as an OU teacher, hopes her second novel will be published before Christmas. Jennie Finch joined the OU as a student in 1980 and completed two degrees (BA Hons and BSc Hons Psychology) as well as post graduate modules and a certificate in French. And she believes her ...
Gabriele has just set up a group to find creative writing partners. Join the group and post a message to find out more.
maybe, just maybe there's someone out there who writes and knows what it is like; someone who has studied at the OU and has experienced the valuable critique and encouragement of her/his study partner. With this group I hope to bring these potential writing partners together. Just drop in a word to say what you do and what you're looking for.
Gabriele has just set up a group to find creative writing partners. Join the group and post a message to find out more. maybe, just maybe there's someone out there who writes and knows what it is like; someone who has studied at the OU and has experienced the valuable critique and encouragement of her/his study partner. With this group I hope to bring these potential writing ...
Rita is probably best known as the artist who ‘created a face’ for Robert Hooke (1635-1703), regarded as one of the greatest English scientists. His work was overshadowed by that of Sir Isaac Newton. Much mystery surrounds the conflicts which existed between Hooke and Newton and ‘gossip’ suggests that Newton would have burnt any portraits if they did exist.
Rita’s interest in Hooke first started after reading an article in The Daily Telegraph by Oxford academic, Dr Allan Chapman on the tercentenary of Robert Hooke’s death.
“He was saying how awful it was that he had been swept under the carpet and he didn’t have any memorials in London where he worked for nearly 40 years. I started to research him and I was absolutely appalled by the way he’d been treated. I looked on the internet and there were various images of him which looked like they’d come out of a cartoon or Harry Potter film and the poor man was made out to be a sort of monster and yet he did so much for this country.”
Using almost scientific descriptions of him written by his colleagues enabled Rita to create her first portrait and has now created many which she makes available for all to see.
“I put my work on wikimedia to make pictures free to everyone. It’s great to give it away and its opened lots of doors for me. People ask me how much my exhibition is worth and I say ‘60 years of my life’. I’m also making a video with commentary for people who are disabled as there is unfortunately no access for them to the exhibition.”
The OU names many of its buildings after key scientist or academics and the Science Faculty resides in a building named after Robert Hooke. One of Rita's portraits currently hangs there.
Despite having published two books on art/crafts and lettering, 23 books on nutrition/health/special cookery for people with special needs and three books as co-author, Rita still describes herself as someone who “goes with the flow.”
For those who aspire to be artists Rita gives the following advice:
“I think if you are going to do anything creative like writing or arts in particular it’s a very good idea to have a second string to your bow because there will be times when you are bottom of the ladder and you need to be able to turn your hand to something else to earn a living. And secondly don’t give up!”
Find out more:
An exhibition is taking place (22 May-16 June 2012) to celebrate the work of OU Honorary Graduate Rita Greer, who has been an artist and craftsman for 60 years. Rita is probably best known as the artist who ‘created a face’ for Robert Hooke (1635-1703), regarded as one of the greatest English scientists. His work was overshadowed by that of Sir Isaac ...
OU English Literature and Language student Jessica Thompson has just released her debut novel This is a Love Story. The Wembley Observer reporter says she’s delighted to see the fruits of her labour in book shops.
The 24-year-old, whose debut book was released in February, said: “I still have to pinch myself. I wake up in the morning and can’t believe that this is really happening. The most amazing thing was seeing it printed and holding the book, it was a wonderful feeling, it’s nerve wracking but exciting at the same time.”
The book tells the tale of Nick and Sienna, whose eyes meet over a picture of a squirrel performing aquatic acrobatics in the newspaper while they are on the dreaded commute to work. Then they discover they will be work colleagues and spend years in a will-they, wont-they tryst littered with complications. Neither character gives up hope and the book follows them through their lives.
Jessica says that the book pays homage to London, the city that she now lives in: “Being a journalist is extremely complementary to being an author; you hear a lot of stories and hear a lot of emotion. You get quite a good understanding of how people feel about things and how they react to different situations. It has been really valuable, it is inspiring.”
OU English Literature and Language student Jessica Thompson has just released her debut novel This is a Love Story. The Wembley Observer reporter says she’s delighted to see the fruits of her labour in book shops. The 24-year-old, whose debut book was released in February, said: “I still have to pinch myself. I wake up in the morning and can’t believe that this is really ...
Julia Crouch started her career as director and playwright, retrained as a graphic designer to work from home and raise children and, after two creative writing courses with The Open University and support from her tutors, is now working full time as a writer and published author. Would she recommend OU study? “Absolutely,” she says, “the courses have completely changed my life.” Here, she talks to Platform and offers some tips to budding writers...
Little did Julia realise that when she stumbled on a magazine flyer advertising short courses with The Open University that it would lead to a professional writing career. With her third and youngest child at school, Julia had found herself at a crossroads.
“Having not written any fiction (apart from my picture books and plays) since I was a child, I had no idea where to start, or whether I was going to be any good at it. So I thought the A174 presented an ideal opportunity to find out.
"The commitment in terms of time and money was at just the right level for putting my toe in the water.
After a drama degree at Bristol University, Julia’s professional life started as a theatre director and playwright, but children changed that and she needed to work from home. She retrained at a local FE College and spent 10 years as a graphic/website designer but it was during an MA in Sequential Illustration at the University of Brighton that Julia realised she preferred writing over drawing.
'I think the major thing I took away with me was the ability to treat my writing seriously and to carve out time to do it'
“A174 was an ideal introduction and A215 taught me so much about the technical side of writing, as well as firing off all sorts of creative possibilities and opening up my reading and my critical thinking. I think the major thing I took away with me was the ability to treat my writing seriously and to carve out time to do it. The tutors were marvellous, and particularly good at giving me the confidence I so badly needed.
“The courses have completely changed my life - two years after completing A215, I had finished my second novel and got an agent and a three book deal with a major publisher, as well as a whole host of foreign sales. I was able to give up my other work and now I write full time, in between talking, reading and lecturing at festivals and courses.”
Julia says encouragement from her tutors played a key role in boosting her confidence and it was the suggestion to enter National Novel Writing Month – a scheme to write a whole novel in one month, without looking back at what you’ve written - that really set her going.
'The courses have completely changed my life - two years after completing A215, I had finished my second novel and got an agent and a three book deal with a major publisher'
“My A215 tutor John O'Donoghue suggested it to me, and I realised that, like A174, it presented a great, low-commitment way of finding out if I could write long fiction - just one month of heavy duty sprint – 1,700 words every day for the whole month of November.
“The idea is you never go back and read what you've written and you never edit - you just put your head down and write until, 50,000 words later, you have reached the very quick and dirty end of your story. After my second NaNoWriMo sprint, I spent a year editing what I had produced, and that formed the basis of my first published novel, Cuckoo.”
Julia’s second book, Every Vow You Break, is about to hit the shelves and she’s currently working hard on her third, mostly from a shed in the bottom of her Brighton garden.
"I now also have a much more varied life, with many more outings both on book business and for research and what I call 'feeding my beast' - living a life that nourishes my writing.
"I hope I'll get another book deal after this one (I'm shortly due to deliver the third out of the three) and that I can carry on writing books well into my dotage.”
Would Julia recommend OU study to others?
“Of course! Absolutely and unreservedly. Whether to get professional qualifications or to follow or develop an interest, it's a fantastic way of fitting study around a life. Particularly if that life involves a lot of evenings in on your own while your children sleep!”
- It's contradictory really - you have to have self-belief and a thick skin, but you also have to be able to accept and respond to criticism without getting defensive.
- You'll never have anything to edit until you have written it. So write first, THEN go back and edit. Never, ever let anyone see your work until you are happy with it. Then be prepared to change it again and again.
- I suppose the nutshell of that is be serious about your work, but don't be precious about it.
- Write every day. Read widely. Read fiction, read books about writing.
- Make sure you get enough exercise. Make sure you get out and see the world.
- The other thing to bear in mind is that EVERYONE I have met in publishing has been lovely. They are there to nurture and encourage good work. When you're on the outside looking in, it's easy to demonise those you see as the gatekeepers between you and publication. But they are there for a good reason. Listen to what they say.
You can find out more about Julia and her work at: juliacrouch.co.uk
Julia Crouch started her career as director and playwright, retrained as a graphic designer to work from home and raise children and, after two creative writing courses with The Open University and support from her tutors, is now working full time as a writer and published author. Would she recommend OU study? “Absolutely,” she says, “the courses have completely changed my ...
Roxy Freeman grew up in a travelling family and learned to milk goats, ride horses, dance and forage for food. And then she stumbled on academia, which opened up a whole new world. Now an OU graduate and journalist with a bestselling memoir, Roxy talks to Platform about her journey...
“I grew up on the road, my family was always on the move and education was not a priority. I learned a lot of things growing up in a traveling family. But my skills were practical not academic. I could cook, milk goats, ride horses, look after babies and children, dance and forage for food.
“I value the lessons I learned as a child and they have helped me get on in life, but I craved more. I started my formal education at the age of 22. The first year was a struggle but learning for the first time was a revelation. It felt like someone had switched my brain on for the first time.
Roxy tried traditional university before she found the OU but couldn’t get along with the inflexible hours, the travel to campus and the inability to fit work around a rigid study plan.
“The timetable made it impossible for me to work at all. I had no financial support what so ever and lived a 40 minute drive away from the campus. I realised that there was no way I could support myself if I continued with the course. I couldn’t fulfill my study dreams, but I wasn’t ready to throw them away either, so started looking for an alternative option, something that would work around a part time job and was a bit more flexible. The OU sounded ideal. I found a course online and within just a few weeks received my first bundle of study material.”
Roxy studied for a BA in European Studies but confesses to not having a career plan when she started out. Little did she realise that her OU degree would help discover a passion for writing and open the door to a career in journalism.
'I found that changing my scenery often gave my studies an extra boost. None of my friends attending traditional universities had that freedom, and none of them graduated debt free like I did!'
“I wanted to know more about the continent I called home and the modules sounded interesting. I studied history, economics, governance and politics and did a diploma in Spanish language. By the time I graduated I knew I loved writing and research so I went on to do an NCTJ (National Council for Training of Journalists) certificate in journalism at a local college.”
But her OU journey wasn’t all plain sailing – it’s no mean feat studying in isolation and spending summers revising when your friends are enjoying holidays. But it was worth it, says Roxy.
“My OU study had its highs and its lows. It takes a hell of a lot of determination and dedication to complete a degree, especially when you’re doing most of it on your own. Sometimes it felt like an uphill battle, but I was lucky to have some excellent tutors that I could call or email when things got tough.
“My exams always seemed to fall at the end of summer, so when my friends were all enjoying their holidays and going to festivals I was locked away with a pile of books. But it also offered a lot of freedom. I spent a few months of every year abroad, I’d do some extra shifts at work and then pile all my books into my car and go to Ireland, France or Spain and stay with family or friends. I found that changing my scenery often gave my studies an extra boost. None of my friends attending traditional universities had that freedom, and none of them graduated debt free like I did!”
'Getting a degree gave me confidence in my writing and confidence in myself, without those things I would never have written my book'
Roxy gained new contacts following the article including an editor from Simon and Schuster who spotted the potential in both her writing and her personal story.
“A year later I completed my book, Little Gypsy: A Life of Freedom, a Time of Secrets. It went straight into the bestseller’s charts and has had some great reviews. Getting a degree gave me confidence in my writing and confidence in myself, without those things I would never have written my book.”
Roxy has also written on issues that travelers and gypsies face and hopes to help dispel some of the negative stereotypes.
“But I don’t want to only write about my life and experiences,” she says. “I love to write and I think a good writer can write about anything. One of my main passions is cooking and I love to write about food. I recently started a food blog, I love documenting my foodie exploits and sharing some of my foraging experiences.
What’s next for Roxy? She’s busy with journalism and writing and aspired to be a food writer one day, but for now she’s content to simply see what happens next.
“Little Gypsy caused quite a whirlwind, and six months after its release my life is only just settling down again. I’m not sure about embarking on another book just yet but when the inspiration takes me I’ll get to work.”
Find out more
Roxy Freeman grew up in a travelling family and learned to milk goats, ride horses, dance and forage for food. And then she stumbled on academia, which opened up a whole new world. Now an OU graduate and journalist with a bestselling memoir, Roxy talks to Platform about her journey... “I grew up on the road, my family was always on the move and education was not a priority. I learned a ...
For your chance to win a copy of OU MBA graduate Bridget Grenville-Cleave’s new book, Positive Psychology, A Practical Guide, just tell us what goal you have set yourself in 2012.
Bridget has just published her third book which is the scientific study of the positive aspects of human life, such as happiness, confidence and achievement; it focuses on understanding and promoting what makes life worth living rather than on treating mental illness. For your chance to win a copy, tell us what goal you have set for yourself in 2012 in the comments section below this competition. And if you want to elaborate on how you intend to motivate yourself to achieve it, even better!
Please note you’ll need to be logged in with your OU username and password (or guest log in) to be able to comment. You’ll also need to send us an email with the subject header ‘Psychology book comp’ stating your goal to email@example.com with your full name and address by no later than 31st January.
Terms and conditions
This competition opens on 11/01/12 and closes on 14/02/2012. Prizes must be taken as offered and are not transferable or exchangeable for a cash equivalent. Only one entry per competition per person. This competition is open to all except employees of The Open University. Entries must be received by 14 February 2012. The promoter accepts no responsibility for any entries that are incomplete, illegible, corrupted or fail to reach the promoter by the relevant closing date for any reason. The winner will be picked at random on closing date, and will be notified within 14 days by email. The name and town of the winner will be published on Platform. The editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Entries are taken as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
Bridget is one of the first qualified positive psychologists to practice in Europe and her latest book is full of straightforward advice, case studies and step-by-step instructions to making your life even better.
For your chance to win a copy of OU MBA graduate Bridget Grenville-Cleave’s new book, Positive Psychology, A Practical Guide, just tell us what goal you have set yourself in 2012. Bridget has just published her third book which is the scientific study of the positive aspects of human life, such as happiness, confidence and achievement; it focuses on understanding and promoting what ...
Positive psychology is the scientific study of the positive aspects of human life, such as happiness, confidence and achievement; it focuses on understanding and promoting what makes life worth living rather than on treating mental illness.
Bridget is one of the first qualified positive psychologists to practice in Europe and her latest book is full of straightforward advice, case studies and step-by-step instructions to making your life even better.
Speaking to Platform at a time when many of us are thinking about New Year’s resolutions and developing good habits, Bridget offers readers some helpful pointers, based on some of the latest research in positive psychology:
Focus on creating approach goals
According to psychology research, avoidance goals (those with negative outcomes which we work to avoid) are stressful because constantly monitoring negative possibilities drains our energy and enjoyment, eventually taking its toll on our well-being. On the other hand if we set approach goals i.e. those with positive outcomes which we work towards, our focus is on achieving the presence of something positive, which is more energizing and enjoyable. According to psychologists this ultimately leads to greater well-being too.
Increase your intrinsic motivation
Being intrinsically motivated (i.e. doing something because you want to, not because you have to) is an essential part of goal achievement. Intrinsic motivation can be increased by ensuring that, in identifying and pursuing your goal, three basic psychological needs are met: i) control, ii) competence and iii) connection. If your goal is not freely chosen, how might you change it so that you increase the amount of control that you have? To increase your level of competence, why not seek regular and constructive feedback on your performance from a trusted friend, colleague or mentor? And how might you ensure that you have positive support from those around you in achieving your goal?
Develop your self-control and commitment
Fortunately for us, self-control is like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. This means that being more disciplined in one domain of your life can help you develop greater self-control in other areas. The key to self-control is to try to create new habits which simply become part of your day-to-day routine; after a while you don’t need much self-control at all.
Research into goal commitment suggests that it makes a difference to your self-motivation whether you focus on the progress you’ve already made, or whether you focus on the things that you have left to achieve. If you are fully committed to your goal, you can maintain your self-motivation by focusing on what you have left to do. But if your commitment is less than 10 out of 10, you can increase your self-motivation by focusing on what you have already accomplished.
Finally, remember that not all goals are equal in the well-being stakes: make sure yours are intrinsic, congruent and in harmony with each other.
To find out more about Bridget’s work or to order her book, visit her website.
For your chance to win a copy of Bridget's book, see our competition. Share your goal for 2012 and be in with a chance of winning...
Bridget Grenville-Cleave, OU MBA alumnus and psychologist, has just published her third book, Positive Psychology, A Practical Guide and in a chat with Platform offers some tips for thinking positively in 2012. There's also a chance to win a copy of the book... Positive psychology is the scientific study of the positive aspects of human life, such as happiness, confidence ...
For those who submitted a question there was also a chance to win a signed copy of The Impossible Dead. Thank you to everyone who posted a question,. The winner is: David McIlveen
Here are Ian's responses to your questions:
The local colour of the various locations in Scotland shine through in your books and make it all so real, living in Aberdeen I have often walked near places you've written about and half expected to see your characters pass me in the street. Where do you start if you're needing that sort of local flavour in a location that is new to you? Beth Scott
Well, it certainly helps to spend time in a place if you intend writing about it. Even a day spent tramping the streets will give you a sense of the place. For the Aberdeen scenes in 'Black and Blue' I checked into a hotel just of Union Street for three or four days. I did a lot of walking, and asked a lot of questions.
I have just come back from a weekend break in Edinburgh and loved it! Which other major city would you set your books in and why? Maz Loton
I'm not sure which other city I would set my books in. I like Vancouver and Ottawa and Halifax (in Canada), and see some similarities between them and Edinburgh. Writing about them would be a good excuse to go stay there for a while....
Do you envisage more Malcolm Fox adventures coming along, or is he just making "guest appearance books" with his team from time to time? Debbie Pitt
I don't really know. When I begin planning a new book, I get the theme and story first, then decide which main characters would help me explore both. In real life, cops only join internal affairs for a short time (between 2 and 5 years), so Malcolm will eventually go back to 'normal duties'.
How do you find your continual inspiration and do you write in a good old fashioned book for ideas and research or do you write direct onto a word processor? Ray Packham
Inspiration comes from anywhere. Maybe a news story that makes me think 'what if...?' Or someone might tell me an anecdote. Or an idea might just pop into my head fully-formed. I then do some thinking/mulling, and scribble down ideas and such like. Then I type these up. When I start the actual book, I type all of it on my coal-fired laptop.
How much of yourself went into Rebus? Were you a dark and moody heavy drinker? Ian Simmins Was I dark and moody? I suppose I was. I spent a lot of time on my own and was never terribly gregarious. I had no direction in my life. I lost my mother when I was nineteen and I was maybe listening to too much 'dark' music (Joy Division, Throbbing Gristle, The Cure). But that's not to say Rebus is 'me'. It's just that he is imbued with some of that darkness from the man in his early twenties who invented him.
I have read nearly all the Rebus books, and some short stories too. I wonder where he is now? He had no life outside the job. Has he really retired? Is he sitting in the corner of the Oxford all day, doing the crossword and downing pints? Does Siobhan drop in now and again? Has he been beaten up by some lowlife as he staggered home, now he hasn't a badge? I can't believe I care so much, but I do! David McIlveen
As was hinted at in the 'final' Rebus book, Rebus himself is almost certainly working for the Cold Case unit of the Edinburgh police. They have also changed the retirement age, so it is possible he has asked to re-enlist. He certainly has not gone 'gentle into that good night'. And he still sees Siobhan.
Will you bring back Rebus? Anthony Blacker
I think so, yes. We have some unfinished business, Rebus and I....
How would you get away with murder? Phillip Tennant
I've been told by fire officers that one good way to get away with murder is to get someone blind drunk, then simply turn the heat up under a chip-pan and leave them in the kitchen. Another tip is to murder someone who won't be missed - a vagrant or similar. You're welcome...
Which was your favourite OU course and why? Christine Carrot
'Listening to Music' was interesting. I discovered that for over 40 years I had been hearing music passively rather than actively listening to it. The elder of my two sons also did the arts foundation year and I enjoyed sneaking a read of some of his course materials, and my wife has been an OU student for about ten years.
Are there OU courses currently, or possible ones in the future, that Rebus could deliver & Fox could take? (Not sure how you'd get Rebus into the teaching role but it would be fascinating to see the results) THEN you could work in the import of libraries & librarians LOL Lana Kamennof-Sine
I dread to think what OU courses Rebus could teach! I don't think I would trust him to impart the correct twenty-first century views to the students. He's too much of a throwback. But I can envisage Malcolm Fox doing all sorts of courses and modules. He is not set in his ways and is willing to learn - unlike Rebus!
Find out more
In celebration of the release of his new book The Impossible Dead, author Ian Rankin answers questions submitted by The Open University community via Platform. Ian is the UK’s number one bestselling crime author and an OU honorary graduate. For those who submitted a question there was also a chance to win a signed copy of The Impossible Dead. Thank you to ...
Henry Stead, Research Student (Classical Studies) has won third prize in the prestigious The Times Stephen Spender Prize 2011, awarded for an original translation of poetry into English. His winning entry is a translation from Latin of an extract of Seneca's powerful tragedy, ‘Medea’.
The prize set up by the The Times and Stephen Spender Trust, hopes to encourage and stimulate a new generation of literary translators. Stephen Spender was himself a fine translator of poetry.
Email to request a free booklet containing the winning translations and commentaries.
One of the judges, Prof Edith Hall, comments: "As a theatre enthusiast, I was delighted with the taut speakability of Henry Stead’s excerpt from his version of the grim Senecan Medea. I hope that it will encourage others to submit translations from verse drama, a category of translation in which poets such as Ted Hughes and Tony Harrison have recently shown English can be most effective."
Find out more:
- Henry's winning poem
- Classical studies at the OU
- The Times Stephen Spender Prize for poetry translation 2011
Henry Stead, Research Student (Classical Studies) has won third prize in the prestigious The Times Stephen Spender Prize 2011, awarded for an original translation of poetry into English. His winning entry is a translation from Latin of an extract of Seneca's powerful tragedy, ‘Medea’. The prize set up by the The Times and Stephen Spender Trust, hopes to encourage and stimulate ...
Platform will be interviewing Ian - who is also an OU honorary graduate - to help celebrate the release of his new book The Impossible Dead - and we'd like you to submit your questions.
For those familiar with Ian Rankin novels, this latest in the series sees the return of Malcolm Fox and his team from Internal Affairs. They've been sent to Fife to investigate whether fellow cops covered up for a corrupt colleague, Detective Paul Carter. But what should be a simple job is soon complicated by intimations of conspiracy, cover-up - and a brutal murder, a murder committed with a weapon that should not even exist. The spiralling investigation takes Fox back in time to 1985, a year of turmoil in British political life.
Ian was born in Cardenden, Fife, in 1960, and completed an MA in English Language and Literature at the University of Edinburgh. His first crime novel, Knots and Crosses, was published in 1987. The hero of that book, Detective Inspector John Rebus, has gone on to appear in another 14 novels.
As well as receiving an Honorary Degree, he and his wife have studied with the OU and his mother-in-law was a tutor.
If you are interested in winning a signed copy of his latest book, please post your question in the comments box below by Monday 7 November. Please note that you'll need to be logged in to Platform with your OU username and password (or guest account) in order to post comments. Alternatively you post via Facebook (below) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A winning question will be selected and put to Ian Rankin and the interview will be published on Platform at the end of November.
Find out more about OU modules:
Other Platform groups you may be interested in joining:
Photo by: Rankin
Platform is offering you the chance to put a question to the UK’s number one bestselling crime author Ian Rankin. Platform will be interviewing Ian - who is also an OU honorary graduate - to help celebrate the release of his new book The Impossible Dead - and we'd like you to submit your questions. For those familiar with Ian Rankin novels, this latest in the series ...
Although my book 'Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan way' is non fiction, my ambition is to publish a novel. I'm working on one at the moment, but it's very slow work. Jenny Bond has put together a nice piece about how studying at the OU helped my writing.
Hi everyone! Although my book 'Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan way' is non fiction, my ambition is to publish a novel. I'm working on one at the moment, but it's very slow work. Jenny Bond has put together a nice piece about how studying at the OU helped my writing. Cheers. Mike.
The book (featured on thebookseller.com) advises dentists to manage their practices according to the leadership techniques of a legendary Mongolian warlord. Read the full story.
Michael's book joins an list of former winners including Living with Crazy Buttocks, Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, How to Avoid Huge Ships, and Highlights in the History of Concrete.
A former dentist, Michael had to retire after developing osteo arthritis in his hands and wrists. He say "I had several articles published in the dental press, but my ambition had always been to write a book about practice management. As a scientist by training, my writing lacked a certain depth and 'flare'."
To help his writing Michael studied with the OU in Latin, Ancient Greek, Myths in the Greek and Roman worlds, and 5th Century Athens; He also studied archaeology and the philosophy of history at Leeds uni. "All of these courses helped to sharpen up my writing in a way that had I not done the courses, it would never have been. Latin is such a grammatically precise language, and having to write clearly and concisely, and adhere to word limits, were all valuable lessons."
Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way is the go-to guide of how to build an empire within your place of dentistry. Young, a former dentist and teacher of clinical dentistry, argues that despite the West viewing the legendary despot Khan in negative terms, his warmongering tenacity is required to build a successful business.
Find out more:
Former dentist Michael R Young won the award for his book: Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way. The book (featured on thebookseller.com) advises dentists to manage their practices according to the leadership techniques of a legendary Mongolian warlord. Read the full story. Michael's book joins an list of former winners including Living with Crazy ...
Platform caught up with Peter to find out more about his OU study, how it has helped him become an author, his views on Kindles and just what inspired that book title?
What did you study with the OU and how has it helped you write your books?
I studied the OU management courses from the ground up, the slow way, via the Diploma in Management and then the MBA over a total of 6 years, plus an additional year to study financial strategy, which I considered essential in a well-rounded MBA. For many years after, I took other OU modules outside my specialism - Child Development, Philosophy, Classical Music, Systems Thinking and so on. The OU was one of the major formative experiences of my life and helped me leave a well paid job and start my business nearly 18 years ago. Studying with the OU helped me write the books in three ways:
1. The process of writing assignments on real life taught me to write in ways that balance the major learning styles (theory, experience, reflection and pragmatism). I would not have been able to write my 4 books without having done the OU MBA.
2. It gave me a rich tapestry of models and concepts which have gradually synthesised with my experience as a business consultant over the years. I eventually distilled this rich mixture of learning down into "Best Practice Creativity", "Sex, Leadership and Rock'n'Roll" and "Punk Rock People Management".
3. The OUBS gave me the confidence to gain access to the kind of people who have helped me along the way, such as Professor Charles Handy, Tom Peters, The Rt Hon Peter Jay and BBC One TV and Radio 4 / 2. These days, it is not enough to write a book - you also have to be a master of marketing to get the product to your readers and I have no background or training in this area, save for promoting rock and punk bands in my early years.
In case anyone is wondering, I am NOT suggesting that HR people should don mohicans, smash up the reward system and pogo at the office party. I am using punk rock in the sense that punk was about simplicity, brevity and authenticity. Much of the stuff emanating from the HR institutes is about the opposite of these things. Busy managers need short, simple and decent ways of handling people management if they are to generate high performance at work. So Punk Rock People Management is for anyone who manages or has to get things done through people. In terms of what it is about, the subtitle describes exactly what's on offer: A no-nonsense guide to hiring, inspiring and firing staff. It follows the time-honoured 'life, sex and death HR lifecycle': Getting a job, getting on with the job and getting out of a job.
I spent a lot of my early life playing in punk rock and rock bands, plus following bands such as The Damned, The Doctors of Madness, Siouxie and the Banshees, John Otway, Doctor Feelgood et al., having also played with John Otway, Wilco Johnson and Norman Watt Roy, Ian Dury's bass supremo. I love all forms of music, even the pomp and circumstance progressive rock that preceded punk rock and which it aimed to eradicate. Some punk music combines intelligence with brevity and this captured the nexus of what I wanted to do. Just think of the sheer genius of Ian Dury's words and music, Joe Strummer, Elvis Costello and one or two others in the genre. In a way, the values behind the OUBS Creativity, Innovation and Change (B822) course are essentially all about authenticity and challenging existing paradigms. I guess that makes its originators Jane Henry, John Martin and David Mayle honorary Punk Rock Management Professors. A kind of academic version of The Sex Pistols!
In the spirit of punk you have made each chapter just two pages long. How have you condensed the information to make it quick and simple?
This was really difficult. I recall that Winston Churchill said that he needed more time to write a 3 minute speech than a 3 hour one. He is right and I was chatting on this very subject with Tom Peters a few weeks ago. To write a chapter which is just two pages long requires huge amounts of discipline and creativity if you are to avoid the trap of just removing the content. I did this by:
1. Reducing the ‘size’ of each topic to manageable proportions e.g. appraisal, conflict, selection etc.
2. Setting out a simple 3 part structure for every chapter: A critique of traditional HR practice in a particular area; the punk rock HR alternative and; three pithy tips on how to get started.
3. I ruthlessly edited it to remove all unnecessary words – I read the whole thing out to my I Mac and then edited it again so that it wrote like it might be read out, as many of the chapters lend themselves to keynote speaker events.
4. Finally I applied some devices to improve the book’s ‘stickiness’ – a bit of alliteration and rhyming to help things along.
All of this bearing in mind that the content is still more important than the delivery vehicle. It’s really a matter of tremendous goal focus and then following through with precision. I’m absolutely sure that the approach leaves people wanting more in some of the areas I’ve covered. We can always do more detail but we live in a busy world and I aimed to make it possible for people to be able to read a chapter and gain value from it in less time than it would take to pogo to a Sex Pistols or Linkin Park song.
Do you think Kindles and reading online is more popular than print nowadays?
Decca records rejected The Beatles in 1962, saying that ‘Groups with guitars are finished’– they were wrong! My hunch is that the same is true of print books. However, certain types of reader clearly prefer to read books on a Kindle. Reading online is very popular, as Amazon report that more than 50% of books are read in this way. Kindles are not so good for books where you don’t always read from start to finish or you might want to compare something on one page with another etc. For the ‘bookish’ person, I feel that print books as a format will be with certain types of reader for a very long time just as CD’s have not completely eradicated other music formats. For this reason, Punk Rock People Management is available as a print book, a kindle version and a free pdf download.
What is next for you….?
In business, I’m off to Greece shortly to give an HR keynote on how companies can rebuild themselves after the economic meltdown. Also some long term management development (without the punk rock) in The United Arab Emirates and a follow on keynote from Tom Peters in South Africa. In music, I am working on some corporate conference offerings with my colleagues John Howitt, session musician to Celine Dion, Anastasia and Shirley Bassey and Bernie Torme, lead guitar player to Ozzy Osbourne and Ian Gillan. In writing, I am constantly busy with The Rock’n’Roll Business Blog – I have a backlog of books to release – one lengthy tome on innovation, a follow up micro book ‘Hard Rock Marketing’ and a possible book of ‘business poetry’. I may even choose to revisit the MBA as it has been some time since I experienced the OU magic as a student. There isn’t time at the moment, but I am also planning to release a new album of electronic guitar soundscapes in 2012, inspired by the work of Bill Nelson of Be-Bop Deluxe, who I am proud to know and who has been a continuous inspiration since my teenage years.
Find out more:
- Buy Punk Rock People Management
- Connect to Peter on LinkedIn
- Read his ROCK’N’ROLL BUSINESS BLOG
Business Author and OU alumnus Peter Cook has just released his latest book. Curiously titled “Punk Rock People Management”, it takes a critical look at Human Relations and offers some short and straightforward advice on hiring, inspiring and firing staff. In the spirit of punk, Peter has made each chapter just two pages long – ideal for busy people and ...
OU student and tutor Emily Bullock has won the 2011 Bristol Short Story Prize with her brilliant story 'My Girl'.
OU student and tutor Emily Bullock has won the 2011 Bristol Short Story Prize with her brilliant story 'My Girl'. BristolPrize interviewed Emily shortly after winning the award. To see the full interview, visit the BristolPrize website. Emily is currently tutoring for the Open University in Literature and Creative Writing, she is also working on a Creative Writing PhD ...
This is the very first time I am taking part in a forum: 2 reasons: first: don't really know how to do it and second: being to busy.
Yes I am a self-published author. One day I was feeling very low and I wanted to do something to prove to myself that I could do it and that my existance was real. So I wrote a small recipe book and published it all by myself. It could be ordered from Waterstones.
Now I want to publish a novel and it is harder, especially because I don't have enough time to consacrate to it.
So I would like to hear stories of how other people managed to publish their works, time when it was hard to do it and times when one had to fight, feel a great determination, feel disappointed maybe, perseverance, any ideas and feedbacks are welcome. Thank you.
This is the very first time I am taking part in a forum: 2 reasons: first: don't really know how to do it and second: being to busy. Yes I am a self-published author. One day I was feeling very low and I wanted to do something to prove to myself that I could do it and that my existance was real. So I wrote a small recipe book and published it all by myself. It could be ordered from ...