So, you lot - you lot in the general Manchester area, anyway - what are you up to on the 29th of May, between 9am and 4pm? Because, right, the brilliant Stephanella Walsh from The Creative Identity is running a workshop, and there's a couple of places left, and dudes, you should check it out. What's the deal, you ask? Well, Stephanella describes it as "a one-day intensive session for writers who wish to explore how our education, natural abilities, wishes, experiences and DNA shape what we write and how we write it." Amongst other things you'll get to work out a twelve-month development plan for your writing AND she'll take your proposal/synopsis/first chapter, or whatever, and send you an appraisal within a month of the workshop. Tea and coffee thrown in, too - bargain! It's not hugely expensive and sounds well worth the money. So have a look and a ponder, and see if you can get on one of the few remaining places. I'd go myself, but I'm doing volunteer work with kiddies in Manchester Art Gallery all that weekend. And, ff you don't already read Steph's blog, you should check it out - she's got loads of writing advice and interviews and she's funny, to boot.
Second thing! I found out this afternoon that I've been longlisted for this year's Bristol Prize! I'm massively pleased and even if I don't get onto the shortlist (to be announced in early June) I'll still be delighted. I'm in great company, too - Elizabeth Baines is on the list, and my writing colleagues Frances Gapper and Ben Cheetham, and Marli Roode who graduated from my MA last year, and my twitter pals Diane Becker and Jonathan Pinnock - and loads of others who I'm sure are just as lovely and talented. So huge congratulations to all of them, and cue the breath-holding while the shortlist is decided!