Between the lines
The road to hearing your own short story read on Radio 4 is also the pilgrims' route to Canterbury. See www.bbc.co.ukgetwriting to submit a 2,000-word story set in contemporary Britain and based on one of the six Canterbury Tales by Chaucer adapted for the current BBC drama series.
Following James Nesbitt's seductive con artist in the new-look "Miller's Tale" this week, Julie Walters reinvents the Wife of Bath (right) on Thursday (September 18, BBC1, 9pm). Get Writing submissions can be based on one of these tales, or those of the Sea Captain, the Man of Law, the Knight or the Pardoner. The BBC site has excellent support materials.
Choose your backdrop for exploration of the child's psyche in the first Young Minds book award (pound;3,000 for the book "which best portrays something of the unique subtlety of being a child"). It's grungy north London for Helen Falconer's Sky High (Faber) and Isabel and Rocco (Arrow Books), Anna Stothard's novel (written at 18) about a teenage brother and sister abandoned by their parents. Mikael Niemi settles on the north of Sweden through a vodka haze for the story of Matti in Popular Music (Flamingo): he wants to be a rock star, but ends up being a teacher.
Canadian psychologist Catherine Gildiner (Flamingo) evokes her Fifties childhood in a small town near Niagara Falls, and The Speckled People by Hugo Hamilton (Fourth Estate) is a fictionalised memoir of growing up in Dublin in the 1950s and 1960s with an Irish nationalist father and German mother. In the Australian bestseller Our Father Who Art in the Tree by Judy Pascoe (Penguin), 20-year-old Simone looks back on the aftermath of her father's death when she was 10. The winner collects on November 7.