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hen my children were at the Lycée from about 1998 to 2005, I used to write for the old British Newsletter, the predecessor of this magazine. Two of my regular articles were called NOTA BENE’ and ‘Foot in Mouth.’

Shakespeare & Company, just opposite Notre Dame, host all sorts of events, poetry readings and writers’ groups http://www. shakespeareandcompany.com as well as running the Paris Literary Prize, a novella competition for unpublished writers. The American Library is also active in promoting readings by authors, poetry and photography. http:// www.americanlibraryinparis.org/ Last June, they hosted the publication party for ‘Best Paris Stories.’ This is an anthology of the winning stories from a competition run by Paris Writers’ News, another great source of information for anyone thinking about taking up writing. http:// www.laurelzuckerman.com/paris-writer-news/

NOTA BENE attempted to help newly arrived families to benefit from the experience of us ‘oldies’ Submissions came from all over the world. dealing with everything from street parking and The story had to have something to do with negotiating roundabouts, to coping with the French Paris. My submission, my first ever, was called administration. In 2002, I wrote an article describing ‘The Way You Looked at Me’ and I was delighted how difficult it was to make part time work pay. when it was chosen. After 27 years of sporting my Salaried work was, generally, poorly paid and if you husband’s rather difficult Dutch tried working as an independent name, I took my maiden name, person, the French social security Jane M Handel, as my nom de and tax systems made it all too easy plume and was chuffed to see it to end up owing them more than on the front cover. The cover “Need quote you had earned. I, consequently, was also selected by means of advised mums who were stuck here.... ??” a competition and the resulting with school runs and Wednesday book is a real gem with its velvety child care, to forget about work picture of Montmartre circa 1950 and find other things to do. The and its eleven varied stories. It situation is slightly better these days is available from Amazon, so if you are looking – but not much. for a nice little present to take back to the home I decided to preserve the functioning of my old country, I’ll gladly write a dedication for anyone, grey cells, by honing my writing skills. For whatever who turns up with the book before the ashtanga reason, Paris inspires many a hopeful writer. yoga class which I give on Friday mornings, next to Perhaps it is the beautiful architecture, the romantic Felix Eboué. reputation or maybe the ghosts of James Joyce, Yoga … well that’s another story. I took up Becket, Hemmingway and the rest, still roaming teaching yoga to keep the physical side of things the streets. Whatever the reason, Paris is home to ticking over .. . and I am still doing that too. many writers’ groups, classes and events. Writing is www.yogabalance.fr I think I used my forced usually a lonesome activity but it is transformed into unemployment time at the ‘lycée’ quite well. So if a social one by these writers’ groups. Over time, you have ever felt a strange urge to write, Paris is a Parisian writers come to know each other as they great place to start. I wish all lycée parents as much meet up at events and participate in writing circles. fun as I have had. They share their passion for writing poetry, plays, short stories or novels. Jane Verwijs An organization called WICE runs the highly reputed Paris Writers’ Workshop every year at the end of June, as well as several writing classes and groups which run all year round. (They also do wine tasting, photography, painting and print making, bi-lingual book groups and lots more – check out their website www.wice-paris.org There are play readings every other Sunday at Carr’s (an Irish pub just off the Rue de Rivoli) where actors from a group called Moving parts perform unpublished plays and the audiences give the playwrights valuable feedback. (http://www. stefcampion.com/Movpart/MPhome.html).

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Over to you!  

School magazine.

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