Monday, 16 March 2009

Adele Parks in print

Another lovely little page 2!

Click to read full-size!

My proudest uni achievement to date

It hit the news stands this morning. I love it! I had a sneak preview pdf sent to me at the weekend after OK-ing my picture... and it's even better than I imagined.

Click to read full-size!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Second- hand rummaging

Forgive me, as I have not added to the sales of all these wonderful authors. But I must be excused for my student budget! Look at all of the goodies I found in charity shops today.... a lot of the books I've been meaning to buy, but never actually got around to it!

Lucky - Alice Sebold
Playing Away, Still Thinking of You, Husbands - Adele Parks
The Self-Preservation Society - Kate Harrison
Lipstick Jungle - Candace Bushnell
You Drive Me Crazy - Carole Matthews
The Bride Stripped Bare - Anon
Happy reading!!!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Adele Parks ‘In Conversation With…’

(The Demon)

Women’s fiction writer Adele Parks attended De Montfort University’s Cultural Exchanges week to give students an insight into the world of publishing.

Adele Parks, 40, has written eight bestselling novels, all together selling one million copies in the UK and having been translated into 15 different languages.

In conversation with DMU English lecturer Imelda Wheelehan, Adele gave a short reading of her latest novel, Tell Me Something, before sharing her own views on her writing, the term ‘chick-lit’ in general, and her experience of getting published.

Of her eighth novel, Tell Me Something, Adele explained the different direction she took in her first attempt to create a romantic heroine.

She said: “I always write about strong characters and for a change I created Elizabeth, a hopeless romantic and utter dreamer who has this belief that you can write a list about your perfect man, ticking them off as you go along.

“She had such a perfect man on paper but no idea of how to make it work. She lives in stereotypes and is so romantic that she can’t see the reality of it all.”

Asked if this new direction led onto her being classic ultimately as a ‘chick-lit’ writer, Adele explained how she felt to be put into the much debated about genre.

“At first I didn’t notice I was part of it, because I’ve always just written the books I wanted to write. I am very mixed towards the term, and I think the problem with ‘chick-lit’ is that it cuts off as many people as it includes.

“It’s great that we’ve come to an age where women get the same opportunity for book deals as men, but then after that all we see women write about is clingy, clumsy women who are forever seeking a man to feel complete in their lives.

“’Chick-lit’ is generally so nice, and a lot of it is a little bit like living in a 1950s movie where they will all get their happy endings – and I realise we only live there half of the time, not all of the time, so even though I’ve created Elizabeth my heroines don’t always get their happy ever after.”

Adele, who studied English Literature at Leicester University, also warned that the idea of a book deal is not always what it is made out to be.

She said: “You put yourself out there as a novelist, much more than I anticipated. I had no idea of the impact it would have on my private life and my family’s private life.

“But there does seem to be an idea of ‘chick-lit’ writers having these high advances for their books and leading glamorous lives. But your advance is almost buying you in, it isn’t what you continue to be paid for the whole of your contract. It’s very misleading. My advice would be to not write a book for that reason.

“I’m finding it harder to maintain a glamorous identity. I’m not naturally glamorous, I don’t wear skirts. However, people always check out my shoes because of the shoes on every cover of my book!

Asked if she would consider writing for other genres in the future, Adele said: “I would, but I would have to start over again and probably write under a pseudonym. However, my experiences have changed so much throughout the years that on comparing my first and latest novel, you would think they were by two completely different authors anyway.”

Friday, 6 March 2009

Adele Parks

Me and Adele Parks, yay!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

A great opportunity

I wonder how many 1,000s of graduates will apply for this job?!

The Robert Warren Scholarship

The News of the World is delighted to announce the 2009 Robert Warren Graduate Scholarship in journalism - named in memory of one of the greatest journalists ever to grace British newspapers.

In an unparallelled 45 years with Britain's biggest Sunday newspaper, Bob, as all his friends knew him, filled a range of roles from reporter to news editor and executive editor. He passed away in early January, aged 73, and was known throughout the industry for the time and help he would give to young journalists. Prime Minister Gordon Brown described him as ''an inspiration to so many others.'' Colin Myler, editor of the News of the World, said: ''Many senior executives owe their careers to the start Bob gave them. It is absolutely fitting that our scholarship carries his name. "Journalists who pass through our training scheme should know that they are custodians of a great tradition of excellence in reporting and story-getting, and Bob helped forge that tradition for almost half a century. We will make sure each new generation respects the values that made Bob so special.''

If you’ve always wanted to train and work at the highest level of media, this is your chance. The winner of our scholarship will receive the most comprehensive training in our industry.

Graduates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

All we ask is that you have a university degree (or equivalent qualification) or be in the final year of a degree course. Of course, you must also be able to demonstrate a passion for the News of the World on all its platforms.

Our scholarship, run in conjunction with The Journalism Centre at Harlow College in Essex, lasts for two years during which our successful candidate will receive a salary. The News of the World will also pay tuition fees at Harlow College.

This is how the two years will be broken up:

September 2009 - Feb 2010
Our successful applicant will attend the 19-week postgraduate course at Harlow College’s Journalism Centre. This is an intensive, all-encompassing course providing a solid foundation on which to build and develop your journalistic talents.

During the course you’ll spend all your available free time (apart from your holiday entitlement) at the News of the World. Working in various departments, you’ll cover everything from a Premiership match to major political and showbiz stories both in print and online.

Feb 2010 - September 2011
You’ll gain experience of every relevant department in the News of the World. Apart from working on our news, features, picture and sports desks – plus Fabulous magazine and our website – you will look at the work of our circulation, marketing, production and advertising departments. You may also spend time at the News of the World’s Scottish or Irish offices.
How Do I Apply?

Applications must be typewritten and submitted by post. They must also include the following:
- A full CV
- An explanation of why the News of the World should choose you, in not more than 100 words.
- Your three favourite News of the World front pages and a 50-word comment on each.
- Details/examples of any newspaper/magazine/website work experience.

Applications should be sent to:

All applications must be received no later than Friday, May 8, 2009

What sort of work experience do we expect?
While this scholarship is not aimed at people who already have a full-time job in our industry, those candidates we choose for interview MUST be able to demonstrate a history of involvement in NEWSPAPER journalism.

This is likely to be work experience with your local weekly, evening or daily newspaper - and not just contributions to websites or specialist magazines.

That said, at the News of the World we take our online edition extremely seriously, so additional experience in digital media is also welcomed.

It would also be a distinct advantage if your CV and cuttings can also show a commitment to newspaper work outside what we call your 'comfort zone' - that is, on a newspaper which is not in your home area.

Do I need to be an expert on the News of the World?
We accept that while most people read us on a Sunday, there may still be a few misguided souls who don't.

Clearly, though, if you're going to apply for a scholarship with us you'd be mad not to understand what makes us so passionate about great tabloid journalism. And, of course, if you get an interview you can expect us to be asking you about the paper.

I'm not sure I can make the application deadline. Can I have an extension?
In a word, no. Deadlines matter. Producing great journalism to tight time constraints is part of our lives - and if you're one of our next graduate trainees it will be part of yours too.

What happens after you receive the applications? Will I know what happens to mine?
Everyone, without exception, gets a reply though, clearly, that won't be until after the closing date. From the applications we receive, we will choose a number for interview. These interviews are likely to take place in June 2009 with the successful applicant notified very soon after interview.

If I'm successful, what happens then?
Between interview and the start of the Harlow course in September 2009, we expect you to engage in at least a fortnight's work experience with a mainstream UK daily or evening regional newspaper outside your comfort zone.

We hope you'll have enough acumen to arrange your own work experience.

What sort of work will I be doing at the News of the World?
Proper journalism. We certainly won't get you making the coffee or doing the photocopying. From day one, you'll be contributing to the paper, doing everything you can - with our help - to get great bylined stories in print and on our website.

You'll be working alongside some of the greatest names in tabloid journalism - people who are just as excited by our graduate scheme as you are. So far, all our previous graduate trainees have managed front-page bylines during their traineeship.

What sort of holidays do I get?
Holidays? You want holidays? Fair enough. Our graduate trainees get six weeks' paid holiday a year, September to September.

Your first break from the Harlow course will be in late October/early November 2009 when you will have a week away from college. During this week you will work on the News of the World. Your next time away from Harlow will be at Christmas 2009 when you will have a fortnight away from the course.

You'll spend one week at the News of the World and have one week's well-deserved holiday out of your six weeks' entitlement. After your final exams in February 2010 (which we naturally expect you to pass well!) you'll be working full-time on the News of the World until September 2011.

What if I have any more queries?
E-mail our deputy managing editor Paul Nicholas at -

Coming to a Demon near you... (okay maybe not)

I stressed last year how important it was to try and build up a portfolio with enough published articles to try and impress my future employers. But last year work-experience everywhere was fully booked, and my uni newspaper was charging £30 for anyone wanting to join and write for them [sounds like a small fee but not when you're already £998 overdrawn]

But then when you get to third year and all of your friends are the feature eds/news eds/ general editor then things tend to get a bit easier. My lovely friend F, the editor of our uni newspaper The Demon was having a good rant the other day about everyone being too busy to write and submit content, cue bright idea Dans here wondering why the heck she hadn't pulled her finger out before.

F said they are always looking for content and need news stories to be 300-500 words, with features a good 1,000 with a nice pic, and a small plead from F to SUBMIT WHATEVER YOU CAN.

I've been really stressed lately and didn't have any ideas, I asked My Boyf and he said the Ed of Marie Claire magazine in the meeting he had with her at London Fashion Week (GRRR) was constantly talking about the effect that the recession was having on fashion, with designers making their clothes more user-friendly and longer-lasting.

Good idea, I thought, and tried to go on it but couldn't really find a Leicester link. And then when I was out and about in town - window shopping, of course, as it is still February - I went into Oxfam and had a sudden brainwave. Cue notepad and pen grabbed out of bag, and young unsuspecting shop volunteer being interrogated for a good few minutes about the effect the state of the economy is having on charity shop trade.

Et voila! Made the fashion pages today, yay!

Charity shops struggle in hard times
D Wright

High street retailers aren’t the only ones feeling the credit crunch as charity shops have been left with empty rails due to a fall in donations.

As cash-strapped customers choose to save money by not buying new clothes, they are continuing to wear last years’ fashions instead of bagging them up and donating them to their local charity shop.

At the same time customers are racing to charity shops to pick up the latest bargain, leaving shops struggling to find enough good-quality clothes to keep their shelves properly stocked.

A volunteer at the Oxfam shop in Leicester’s Market Street, who would like to remain anonymous, said they have been hit hard by the current economic crisis although they are advised to stay positive.

She said: “We like to think there hasn’t been much difference in the amount of donations in and goods out of the shop although it’s clear that we’ve been a lot quieter than normal lately.

“It’s just a shame. Of course Oxfam are continually doing well in raising money but the quality of donations has definitely decreased. And if you look around the shop you’ll see items that have been in here for three, four weeks that would usually have been snapped up straight away.

“People are thinking twice about both donating and buying clothes from second-hand shops and soon enough it will start to have a big effect on individual shops and sales.”

Rob McNeill, a spokesman for Oxfam, has always stressed on how much charity shops need their customers’ help. He said: “Our donations are starting to decline and demand for products is up, so we are saying to people: ‘Please, please bring your unused stuff to us.’ Even if you’re feeling broke, get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit, or you don’t like, and freeing up space in your cupboard can literally save lives.”

Oxfam’s shops made a profit of £20 million last year, although the charity now has to work harder to bring the customers in. They recently teamed up with Marks and Spencers to give out a £5 voucher to anyone donating clothes from the high-street giant, which is thought to have prompted more than 500,000 donations.

And as Faye is really struggling for content, she's just this second asked me to write 600 words on Jade Goody... yay! It's in the comments section and so can be from any angle, and include any opinion I wish to include..! The only problem is, she wants it by tomorrow morning to make this edition too!