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March 2004
Get writing - The winners
Writing on a notepad
A blank page - a scary thing for writers!

Here's the winning entry for the BBC Radio Cumbria & BBC Cumbria 'Get Writing' competition for World Book Day.

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audio Listen as Mark McAlindon reads the winning story
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The winning story:
» Brindley Hallam Dennis

Runners-up:
» Angela Locke
» Dawn Robertson
» Lois Howard

And the rest!
Read the rest of the entries here

Haiku
Three line poetry
Just for fun e-mail in now
No prize just glory

Get Writing - the BBC's guide to the art of creative writing.

Writersroom - the BBC's online resource for writing for television, radio and film.

WEB LINKS

World Book Day, the website, with details of what's on, where...

A short guide on how to write for websites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

FACTS

World Book Day is derived from a St George's Day celebration in Catalonia, where books and roses were given as gifts.

Maggie Norton is a writing tutor at Lancaster University, as well as been an author, storyteller and poet.

The longest novel in the world is 'A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu' by Marcel Proust. It runs to 9,609,000 characters!

The biggest book in the world is 'Bhutan: Odyssey around the Kingdom'. It measures 2m x 1.5 m and weighs 60.3kg - but it only has 112 pages!

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They met in the gardening section between the cane bundles and the John Innes.

He didn't recognise her at first. It had been nearly twenty years after all. Yet when he did it was remarkable how little she seemed to have changed.

She had seen him coming, and that always gives you an edge. She had watched him sliding sideways between the rows of outdoor pots their curved shapes clothed in bright blue glaze like the buttocks of exotic dancing girls.
He stood next to her, her face just within the sphere of his personal space.

"Hallo Mark." she said with that same mocking half-smile he remembered. It always made him feel that she was about to lean forward and kiss his mouth.
"Jean."

He was suddenly conscious of the green polka dotted gardening gloves in his hand, for on recognising her he had instinctively lifted them to his face, a gesture of self defence, as if he had been the victim of an ambush.

"You've not changed." She said, and he realised with a tingle of trepidation, that she was right. He felt that same pathetic desire to please her" to impress her if he could.

He tried to tuck the emasculating gloves into the side pocket of his anorak, drawing her attention to them as they slid repeatedly off the rain flap so that his arm made the sort of repetitive motion that a dog's back leg makes when it tries to scratch.

She reached down and lifted the flap.
"Been shopping?"
He nodded, burying the gloves and drawing his hand up again to wipe his mouth.
" And you?"

She held up an adjustable spanner, fashioned in glistening black metal, its knurled rings glittering where they caught the light with their roughened teeth. Bigger than you, harder, stronger, indefatigable, it said.

"I have some jobs to sort out." She said.
He pressed the tops of his thighs together and shifted uncomfortably.
Her mouth smiled, and her eyes watched him. He opened his mouth to speak but couldn't think of anything to say. Her slim figure was still like a bud about to break. He didn't like slim boyish women. He liked rounded women. What was the name of that artist? He tried to remember. That artist's name-esque women was what he liked, he told himself, wanting to sink down on hisknees and throw his arms around her and press his face into her crotch.

"Well. Must press on." She said. "Dave will be home soon."

The smile widened to moist open-mouthedness and her eyes danced on his soul. She slipped past him and made her way between the satin skinned pots towards the garden furniture. Moments later, wistfully recalling" as her fingers stroked the rough boards of a rustic bench, she heard the alarms whine as someone tried to leave with an unpaid for item in their pocket.

Brindley Hallam Dennis - Curthwaite

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