People Power: How One Person Can Start to Make a Difference.

Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir, a popular Icelandic author and folklorist, recently urged her fans and friends on Facebook to demand their government increase help of Syrian refugees. The initial offer of taking in only 50 refugees was so paltry in the eyes of over 10,000 Icelandic people (nearly 4% of the population) that they took to social media with Bryndis, to express their willingness to help. People on the Facebook page have commented how they would take in children and families, many of them being parents themselves and empathising with the protective instincts of desperate Syrian mothers and fathers. Thankfully the Icelandic authorities have listened and responded positively with Welfare Minister Eyglo Hardardottir pledging to increase the number of refugees taken in by Iceland. It is heart-warming to think that one person can make such a difference: Bryndis threw one pebble into the water and the ripples created could save thousands of lives.

I believe this show of humanity comes from being humble and empathetic: humble enough to know that being born in a certain country does not make one better than another, and empathetic enough to truly listen to the voices of those in need.

In the UK I hear so many scared people but these people aren’t scared for the safety of others, just themselves and their false sense of patriotism. We could easily take in more refugees and we should feel a duty to, not just because the West’s involvement has arguably done more harm than good, but mostly because they are humans and so are we. How can we call ourselves a ‘developed nation’ when we haven’t even developed empathy for displaced families and dying children?

Fellow humans within the For Reading Addicts Community: don’t ever think you could not make a difference. Never forget that if you are afraid to shout alone you can add your voice to the chorus of many others. Sign that petition, send that donation, travel to the nearest refugee ‘camp’ and donate. Do what you feel you can, because the last time I checked the world was round and the borders were artificial.

Amazon Launch ‘A Christmas Carol’ Short Story Competition

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Calling all writers, particularly those of short stories. Amazon has launched a Christmas writing competition, open to all adult UK residents, in search of a modern reimagining of Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’. The winner will receive a £2,000 Amazon gift card, and see their story published in time for Christmas! Read More

Hairy Faerie Poetry Competition

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The Hairy Faerie

We have another competition for you, we are giving away two copies of The Hairy Faerie by Joseph and Sparkle D’Lacey. This is Joseph’s first foray into Children’s Literature and I have to say it’s really good.

Joseph (and Sparkle of course) have kindly given us two copies of The Hairy Faerie to give away as competition prizes. All you need is a child aged between 5 and 9 (we’d prefer you to have got them in a legitimate manner, no kidnapping please) and we’ll tell you what they need to do in a moment.
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Competition: Love in Eleven Winners

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A couple of weeks ago we hosted our Love in Eleven competition over on Facebook and firstly I’d like to say thank you to all who entered and apologise for the delay in announcing the results. Let me explain.

Immediately after the competition ended I announced the results in a preliminary post on Facebook as I usually do but when counting the votes I noticed that two stories in particular had many, many more votes than the others. I also noticed that one of the winning stories had quite a large typo in it. Although I thought it a little odd, I didn’t give it too much thought, you guys vote for the winners and while they aren’t always my favourites, that’s fine. Read More

Competition: Love in Eleven

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We have a bundle of freebies to give away this week and as we know how much you love our creative competitions it’s time for the next one! Get your pencils out, it’s another teeny-tiny story competition and this time we want ‘Love in Eleven’, a love story in eleven words.

Your story must be precisely eleven words, any variations on this will be discounted. Winners will be decided based on the number of ‘likes’ your story gets on our Facebook page. This time we have three prize bundles to give away and these are shown below along with the competition rules and how to enter.

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Crossword Quest: Win Henge by Realm Lovejoy

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Crossword Quest

Henge is the first book in the Le Fay series by Realm Lovejoy and the author has kindly offered us a copy to give away to you! Henge is modern day Arthurian Legend and our competition is themed around the most famous British legend of them all. Can you complete the quest and win the prize?

We haven’t made them too difficult for you, and all answers are based either in Arthurian Legend, or relate to the prize to be given away.

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Signed Book Giveaway: Winner Announced

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Jacaranda Wife by Kendra Smith

Hi everyone! I hope you enjoyed our signed book giveaway competition to win the copy of Jacaranda Wife by Kendra Smith. There were lots and lots of entries and from those I have sorted out all of the correct entries (there were 11) and they all went into a hat, drawn out by my long suffering and roped in daughter in this very short and giggly giveaway draw.

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One Comment

  • Michele says:

    it’s taken me a little while toget around to reading this piece ….. Thank you Rowan, firstly for publicising the action in Iceland, and for further extrapolating on the point of action and compassion. I particularly liked your comment that the world ‘was round and borders artificial’. Incredibly true. Although humans have been creating tneir own borders from time immemorial. We have a saying here in Australia which is now a song (although I’m not sure what came first, the saying or the song) “from little things big things grow” , and your comment piece here is proof of that. Sadly, over this side od the world the Goverment’s approach to the refugee crisis is anything but compassionate. For most decent Australians the official approach is an anathema. But little things are growing, as is witnessed by a wonderful organisation in Melbourne which is providing huge practical assistance to asylun seekers (The Asylum Seekers Resource Centre), and also due to huge spontaneous candlelight vigils in the past days, which have virtually forced our government to accept a further 12,000 Syrian refugees. We live in hope that real solutions are found for this crisis.

    Thank you again for writing this. It deserves more comments.

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