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Helen Dunmore
The Siege
Details of the programme of special events organised as part of the Great Reading Adventure will be available here along with news of competitions.
The Soviet Union at War
Bristol at War
News University of Bristol Department of English

As part of its Continuing Education programme, the university's English Department organises literature events and promotes reading at venues throughout Bristol and in the region. They are helping to promote the Great Reading Adventure. Visit their Events and Reading Groups website for news of other literature and reading activities taking place in the city.

Bristol Reading Groups Event

As part of the Great Reading Adventure, Bristol Library Service presents 'An afternoon with Helen Dunmore' on Saturday 26 February 2005 2.00 - 4.00pm. The event will take place in the Fortune Theatre, Bristol Cathedral School, College Square. This event has now sold out and reservations are no longer being taken. We are pleased that it has proved to be so popular.

Library Workshops

As well as encouraging people to do more reading, the Great Reading Adventure aims to encourage people to be more creative and, once again, we will be running artist and writer workshops in Bristol libraries during the course of the project.

On 15 February 2005, Karin Littlewood, illustrator of Tara's Tree House will be at the Central Library. In the morning she is holding a hands-on illustration workshop for children as part of the library's half-term activities. Karin will open her portfolio to show the original sketches and illustrations for the book and give children the chance to illustrate their own version of the cover. Workshop starts 10.30am – book on 0117 903 7215 (tickets £1).
In the afternoon, she'll be offering adults an in-depth opportunity to take a look at how an illustrator works. Karin will take you through all the stages involved – from being commissioned through to final artwork. It's a chance to ask any questions about  illustration and about being an illustrator and to look through her portfolio. The workshop will enable you to explore personal visual interpretations of Tara's Tree House, working on thumbnail sketches, and provide an opportunity to continue the project in your own time once the session is over. Workshop starts at 2.00pm – book on 0117 903 7289 (tickets £2).

Claire Williamson and Fiona Hamilton will be running Sunday afternoon art and writing workshops for children at the Central Library and Redland Library. Claire and Fiona were involved in the 2004 Great Reading Adventure and the children who came along to their sessions had a terrific time and produced some wonderful work. Telephone the relevant library for dates and further details. Central Library – 0117 903 7215. Redland Library – 0117 903 8549.

Cities Under Siege Weekend

On the weekend of 5-6 February 2005, we've a fascinating programme of talks and film screenings at the Watershed Media Centre. Helen Dunmore will be there to talk about her work, and other speakers will include John Penny, Frederick Taylor, Gijs van Hensbergen, and Gilda O'Neill. We'll be showing documentary footage of Bristol, and feature films depicting cities under siege. For further details please download the programme of events. Speakers and programme subject to change at any time.

Art and Writing Competition

One of the aims of the Great Reading Adventure is to inspire young people to be more creative, and some exciting activities will be taking place over the coming weeks in schools, colleges and libraries aimed at children and teenagers.

As further encouragement, we are inviting those aged 16 and under to enter the Great Reading Adventure Art and Writing Competition. This is linked to the themes covered in the books being used by younger children as part of the project: Carrie’s War and Tara’s Tree House.

The winning entrants in each of categories will receive £50 of book tokens. The categories are as follows:

7 and under (art)
Paint a picture of a tree house.

7 and under (writing)
Write a short poem about playing in a tree house.

7-11 (art)
Paint a picture of wartime evacuees leaving Bristol.

7-11 (writing)
Write a letter home as if you were a wartime evacuee.

11-16 (art)
Design a poster encouraging parents to send their children away from home in wartime.

11-16 (writing)
Write a short story about a Bristol wartime evacuee.

The closing date will be 25 February 2005 and winners will be announced by early April.

Please see competition rules below.

All entries must be accompanied by a completed entry form. Entries should be sent to:

GRA Competition
Abbot’s Leigh
Bristol BS8 3RA

An entry form for individual submissions can be downloaded here.

Schools and colleges making a group submission can
download an entry form here.

Great Reading Adventure Art and Writing Competition Rules

1. Your name must be clearly written on the back of your picture or at the top of your poem, letter or short story.
2. Your poem, letter or short story must be written in the English language.
3. Your short story should be between 800 and 1,200 words in length.
4. Your picture, poem, letter or story must be accompanied by a completed entry form.
5. Competition entries should be sent to: GRA Competition, BCDP, Abbot’s Leigh, Bristol, BS8 3RA.
6. All entries must be received by 5.00pm (UK time) on Friday 25 February 2005.
7. We regret that we are unable to return entries to their senders.
8. The judging will be by a panel appointed by the organisers of the Great Reading Adventure and their partners.
9. The judges’ decisions shall be final. No correspondence shall be entered into to explain or verify their decisions.
10. The names of the prize winners will be announced on the Great Reading Adventure website.
11. You grant the organisers of the Great Reading Adventure the right to reproduce and promote your picture, poem, letter or short story (whether or not it is a winning entry) for purposes of publicising the project. Following the conclusion of the project, all entrants will be free to publish their material elsewhere.
12. You promise the organisers of the Great Reading Adventure that your entry is your own work.
13. The organisers of the Great Reading Adventure and their families are not allowed to enter the competition.
14. The competition is only open to those who live, work or study in Bristol.
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