National Novel Writing Month 2017

“The World Needs Your Novel”

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.
On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

Committed to writing 50,000 words in the 30 days of November? Follow these easy steps to get started:

Complete profile1. Fill out your profile.

Complete your profile so like-minded writers can connect with you. There’s no better place to introduce yourself as an author.

Important: Make sure to confirm your email preferences.

Create your novel.2. Create your novel starting in October.

In order to update your word count in November, you need to give your novel a title (don’t worry, you can always change it later!). You cannot write your novel on our site, but you can share a short synopsis and excerpt.

Announce your 2017 NaNoWriMo novel now.

Join your local NaNoWriMo region.3. Select your region.

Choose a home region to get updates on local events from your volunteer Municipal Liaison. Once you’ve selected your region, your Regional Lounge will appear with the forums.

Earn a badge.4. Earn badges.

Earn participation and writing badges by completing specific milestones.

Award yourself personal achievement badges to celebrate the peaks and valleys of your personal creative journey.

See the National Novel Writing Month organisation website for more details.


Writing Workshops

Even if you prefer taking on the challenge of writing a novel at your own pace, consider one of our growing number of creative writing courses taking place across Hampshire Libraries:

Creative Writing Workshops at Winchester Discovery Centre
Saturdays 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th November and 2nd December.
10:00am – 12:00pm (£25) or 10:00am – 1:30pm (£35 extended session)
Whether you travelled with us last term, hopped off briefly or would like to join this expedition, we welcome you. Good storytellers are good navigators. Regenerate your enthusiasm, build your confidence and learn how to create short stories and novels with sympathetic characters and well structured plots that readers, agents and editors will love. Joining us is the perfect therapy for anyone with a slight literary addiction.

And it’s not just novel writing that we cater for either!

Poetry for Novices and Improvers at Fareham Library
Saturday 11th November. 10am-1pm, £8.00
Led by Isabel Rogers, Hampshire Poet 2016, author of ‘Don’t Ask’. This three-hour workshop will help you identify how to turn an idea into a poem. We’ll look at form and free-structure, identify what works, and look at some common pitfalls. If you want to be published, Isabel can offer advice on where and how to submit your work.

Creative Writing at Basingstoke Discovery Centre
Wednesday 15th November, 2.00pm-4.00pm, £1
Come along to our friendly and inclusive club with a short extract (300-500 words) on the month’s theme: Read a little, write a little, talk a little.

And for the youngsters…

Wonderful Wordsmiths at Basingstoke Discovery Centre
Wednesdays 1st, 15th & 22nd November, 4.00pm – 5.00pm
Gain confidence in your writing and meet other young writers in this friendly group for ages 8-13 years, every other Wednesday afternoon.

Creative Writing Club at Petersfield Library
Wednesday 15th November, 4.30pm to 5.30pm, free of charge.
Come and join our Creative Writing Club for ages 8 to 13 years. Gain confidence in your writing in a fun and friendly group and meet with other young writers.
Monthly club for 8 to 13 year olds, every third Wednesday of the month.
If you would like to join this group, please speak to a member of staff to reserve your place.


Books for Writing More Books!

If you’d like some guidance in your home or study try our selection of writing guides in stock:

Novel writing : 16 steps to success / Evan Marshall.
London : A. & C. Black, 2004.
This text provides a methodical approach to planning, plotting, writing and finishing a novel. It shows the aspiring author how to lay the foundations for a novel, target a genre, and use guidelines to determine length and plot.

Get started in writing a novel / Nigel Watts and Stephen May.
Teach Yourself, 2015
This new edition of an acclaimed guide to writing a novel helps you if you are at the very beginning of your writing journey, showing you how to gain confidence and find inspiration.

Fiction writing : the essential guide to writing a novel / Richard Skinner.
London : Robert Hale, 2009.
Richard Skinner takes you through the process of writing a novel, from ways of generating ideas and beginning the actual process of writing, through to producing a final draft.

Reserve, loan…and get writing. The world needs your novel!

And finally…

Hear informed opinion and have your say at our Books Of the Year 2017 events around Hampshire! Each event is an evening of lively discussion looking at the literary highlights of 2017. Find the one nearest you!

Books of the Year 2017 at Romsey Library
Wednesday 15th November, 7:00pm, £6 including wine and nibbles
Join Angela Hicken, Hampshire Cultural Trust Literature Officer and Crispin Drummond, P&G Wells Bookshop, Winchester for a night of lively discussion looking at the literary highlights of 2017.

Books of the Year 2017 at Chandlers Ford Library
Wednesday 22nd November, 7:00pm, £6 including wine and nibbles
Join Angela Hicken, Hampshire Cultural Trust Literature Officer and Crispin Drummond, P&G Wells Bookshop, Winchester for a night of lively discussion looking at the literary highlights of 2017.

Books of the Year 2017 at Petersfield Library
Tuesday 29th November, 7:30pm, £4
With Tim O’Kelly from One Tree Books
Join Tim as he gives a personal overview of some of the best books published throughout 2017 including the winners of book awards, bestsellers highlighted by the media and popular children’s books.
Spaces are limited so advanced booking is essential.

Books of the Year 2017 at Waterlooville Library
Wednesday 30th November, 7:30pm, £4
With Tim O’Kelly from One Tree Books
Join Tim as he gives a personal overview of some of the best books published throughout 2017 including the winners of book awards, bestsellers highlighted by the media and popular children’s books.
Spaces are limited so advanced booking is essential.

1 Millionth eBook and eAudiobook Download!

1,000,000 and counting! Hampshire Library Service is proud to announce our millionth eBookand eAudiobook download since we launched our free Overdrive download service.

We have identified the millionth download, a loan of The GIrl Who Ran‘ by Nikki Owen. A very appropriate example of our stock, this is a gripping and powerful thriller that arrived in our libraries just this summer!

Much of our most popular eBook titles are gripping thrillers from recent years, by authors such as Paula Hawkins, Ann Cleeves and Karin Slaughter. The stand-out favourite though has proved to be Lee Child, whose titles populate our entire top-10 list of downloads since the service began in 2010:

Top 10 Fiction eBooks:

Not only that but all 10 titles come from the author’s acclaimed Jack Reacher series. Our most popular download of all is Book 2 of the Jack Reacher series, ‘Die Trying’.

Die Trying
Jack Reacher Series, Book 2
by Lee Child

Jack Reacher, alone, strolling nowhere. A Chicago street in bright sunshine. A young woman, struggling on crutches. He offers her a steadying arm. And turns to see a handgun aimed at his stomach. So begins another tense and gripping tale!

The books eventually inspired 2 movies starring Tom Cruise as the title character, both available in branch on DVD:

Jack Reacher (2013) and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2017)

Our Overdrive download service also provides a wealth of choice of the more factual reader, but the king of the non-fiction ebooks is certainly Bill Bryson, who provides 4 of the top 10 downloads:

And the most popular non-fiction ebook of all is I’m A Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away

Delivering the brilliant comic musings that are a Bryson hallmark, I’m a Stranger Here Myself recounts his sometimes disconcerting reunion with the land of his birth.

And finally, if spoken word is more your style then you may well have downloaded The Hunger Games, the first of the highly popular Hunger Games Series.

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games Series, Book 1
by Suzanne Collins
Read by Carolyn McCormick

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

The top 10 eAudiobooks are however dominated by J.K.Rowlings’ Harry Potter Series, but the entire list is full of titles that appeal to all ages!

Black History Month

October is Black History Month, an awareness month and a nationwide celebration of black history, arts and culture throughout Britain. Now marking its 30th anniversary, the events, articles, study and remembrance throughout the country make October worth celebrating each year.

As well as applauding achievements and success over the decades, the month also provides a vital reflection on the challenges that remain. In this way the month plays a vital role in raising awareness of British social history and the continued importance of identity, social equality and integration

“Dig deeper. Look Closer. Think bigger.”

Black History Month is essential in promoting learning, providing information and contributing to community cohesion. For the past 30 years it has shone, and continues to shine, a beacon of light on the facts about Black history, heritage, legacy and the on-going struggles for equality and justice.  More than that, it educates, informs and inspires many to be proud of who they are and to understand history, origins and the right to exist as equals.

It’s also a month where libraries can celebrate the extent and diversity of their stock and for the 30 year anniversary we have produced a specially themed book list on our online catalogue to get you started.

Here’s a pick of the collection:

Black and British : a forgotten history by David Olusoga.

David Olusoga’s ‘Black and British’ is a rich and revealing exploration of the extraordinarily long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa. Unflinching, confronting taboos and revealing hitherto unknown scandals, Olusoga describes how black and white Britons have been intimately entwined for centuries.

The fortunes of Francis Barber : the true story of the Jamaican slave who became Samuel Johnson’s heir by Michael Bundock.

This volume chronicles a young boy’s journey from the horrors of Jamaican slavery to the heart of London’s literary world, and reveals the unlikely friendship that changed his life.

Black Britain : a photographic history by Paul Gilroy ; preface by Stuart Hall.

Spanning over 200 years, this unprecedented collection features images of Black Britons at work, at war, on stage and on the playing field.

Black Tudors : the untold story / Miranda Kaufmann.

The untold stories of the Black Tudors, dazzlingly brought to life by Kaufmann, will transform how we see this most intriguing period of history.

For a modern and international selection of works, browse our Ebooks fiction list including:

Loving Day by Mat Johnson

Award winning novel from the author of the critically beloved Pym (“Imagine Kurt Vonnegut having a beer with Ralph Ellison and Jules Verne.”—Vanity Fair) comes a ruthlessly comic and moving tale of a man discovering a lost daughter, confronting an elusive ghost, and stumbling onto the possibility of utopia.

See further book selections and displays in branch and ask staff for recommendations or help finding specific titles or subjects.

Under the Sea Drama Workshops

This October half term we have under the sea drama workshops taking place across Hampshire Libraries!

The drama workshops are for children aged 4-8 years run by perform Hampshire.

Meet Septimus the Octopus, the Smelly-Fish-Jellyfish and a whole host of sea creatures in this 25-minute drama workshop.

Led by an experienced actor, children will use story-telling, role-play, song and movement to travel on an exciting underwater mission to rescue The Lost Pearl of the Ocean.

Places are limited so advance booking is essential.

Tuesday 24th October

Romsey Library

Session times: 1.30pm and 2.15pm

Price: £1.50

Winchester Discovery Centre

Session times: 10.30am and 11.15am

Price: FREE

Wednesday 25th October

Fleet Library

Session times: 10.30am and 11.15am

Price: £1.50

Basingstoke Discovery Centre

Session times: 2pm and 2.45pm

Price: £1.50

Thursday 26th October

Petersfield Library

Session times: 10.30am and 11.15am

Price: £1.50

Fareham Library

Session times: 2pm and 2.45pm

Price: £1.50

Continue reading “Under the Sea Drama Workshops”

October half term

Come and join in the fun this October half term! We have lot’s of exciting activities taking place, from Halloween based craft sessions, animal encounters and Zumba!

Make sure to book tickets in advance as spaces are limited!

21st-28th October

Awesome Autumn at Chanlder’s Ford Library

Awesome Autumn Half Term events, no tickets required just turn up! Please follow the link to check out the different daily activities!

Monday 23rd October

Zumba and Salsa Autumn terms at Winchester Discovery Centre

Dancing Fun for Kids

Time: 4.30 – 5.00pm 4 – 7 years and 5.00 – 5.30pm 8 – 13 years

Price: £8

Tuesday 24th October

Quirky animal road show at Tadley Library

Time: 3pm

Price: £3.75

Join Luke Quirk and his amazing animals in this informative and exciting workshop. Luke will introduce the animals, sharing facts and handling tips, before giving everyone the chance to have a closer look and hold the animals themselves. For ages 4+.Please contact Tadley Library to book your child’s place.

Wednesday 25th October

Autumn antics crafts at Hythe Library

Autumnal crafts for children. Free drop in session, no need to book. Parents/carers to remain in the library during the activity please.

Thursday 26th October

Room on the broom at Whitchurch Library

Time: 3.30pm

Price: £3.75

Iggety Ziggety Zaggety Zoom! Join the Witch and her Cat as they find new friends and defeat a dragon in this magical workshop for young wizards and witches…. and their grown-ups! Suitable for children aged 2-6 Children to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Bats at Farnborough and Yateley Libraries

Time: Farnborough -10.30am, Yateley 1.30pm

Price: £3.75

A  lively session of talks and activities with the Yateley Common Ranger all about bats! Find out where they live, how they hunt, the different types and how we tell them apart. Suitable for children aged 6+ All children should be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Friday 27th October

Poppy seed planting at Aldershot Library

Time: 2.30-3.30pm

Please come and help us sew poppy seeds in the Library Garden. This will be our token of remembrance and we would like your family to be apart of this.

Through out the week

Halloween craft drop-ins

Animal craft drop-ins at Fordingbridge Library

Animal craft drop-ins at Lyndhurst Library




Libraries Week: Learning in Libraries Special!

Libraries Week is here across the UK, celebrating the all that libraries have to offer to the community. It’s not just our books that inform and inspire, from events to courses to drop-in taster sessions across Hampshire Libraries… What better way to find out than at our range of Learning In Libraries courses?

Would you like to learn a new skill, maybe a new language, learn to paint or become a photographer? Learning in Libraries provides an extensive choice of informal courses and workshops in Hampshire County Council Libraries, with the intention of offering learning opportunities at a time, location and price that suits you.
We also offer free courses in some areas, depending on availability, for those who need to improve their digital skills, are socially isolated or could benefit from improved health and well-being as well as those looking for work.
Why not take a look at whats on offer at your local Library, you will be amazed at what you could learn!

While the courses run all academic year, Libraries Week is a particularly good time to embrace the possibilities at your nearest location. We have a range of FREE taster sessions:

Eastleigh Library: Online Safety for Parents & Carers – Tuesday 10th October, 10-11.30am Supervising children’s online activity can be challenging, especially when they have access to their own computers, smartphones, tablets etc.  Understand the risks yourself and plan ahead before allowing children access to the internet. FREE, but tickets required.

Portchester Library: Introduction to Tai Chi & Qi Gong – Wednesday 11th October, 11.30am-1pm Learn about the benefits these two forms of gentle exercise can bring. Gain an awareness of which form would best meet your specific needs.

Chandlers Ford Library:                                                                                                                                Paper Quilling Workshop – Wednesday 11th October, 10am-1pm                                                  An introduction to the craft of paper quilling. Using some basic techniques you will create a decorative greetings card. FREE, but tickets required.

Waterlooville Library:                                                                                                                         Pilates Taster Session Thursday 12th October, 12 noon – 1pm
   Online safety for parents and carers Friday 13th October, 10-11.30am

Petersfield Library:                                                                                                                              Online Safety for Parents & Carers Weds 11th October, 10-11.30am                                         Tai Chi – Taster Session  Thursday 12th October, 1.30-2.30pm
   Ukulele – TasterSession Thursday 12th October, 3-4pm

Andover Library:                                                                                                                                        Sewing Thursday 12th October, 10am – 1pm

If you like what you see you can also sign-up to our term tickets on the online Shop

Pilates courses at Waterlooville Library – Various Tuesdays & Thursdays in October & November

Dressmaking at Fleet Library – Tuesdays 31st October to 28th November, 10.00am to 12.00pm

Crochet – Mixed Ability at Farnborough Library – Fridays 3rd November to 8th December, 7.15- 9.15pm

Get to know your iPad at Havant Library – Mondays 27th November to 4th December, 1-4pm

Micro:bit lending

Prepare for a new way to teach and learn! Introducing to Hampshire Libraries, micro:bit lending.

Micro:bits are small programmable computers, designed to make learning and teaching easy and fun. Library members over the age of 11 will be able to borrow, free of charge a micro:bit pack for a loan period of 4 weeks!                                                                                                              Micro:bit loaning packs include:

  • One micro:bit
  • Battery packs
  • USB cables
  • Start up leaflet

Only certain Library branches will be offering this service, but you can now reserve from the Hampshire Libraries online catalogue.

We also hope that this will be a growing subject within our libraries’ book stock, with titles such as Getting Started with the BBC microBIT by Mike Tooley.

Tooley’s new book shows how the micro:bit can be used in a wide range of applications that include simple domestic gadgets to more complex control systems such as those used for lighting, central heating and security applications.

Kids can get involved with our free Code Clubs around Hampshire, and Waterlooville Library’s has even produced a MicroBit : Code Club DVD which can also be reserved on the library catalogue.

If you wish to find out more please contact your local library branch. They will be more than happy to provide you with further information. You can also ask about your local after school Code Club for kids, based at many Hampshire libraries.