Conferences and courses
* Jeff Wood, author of the Cambridge English Workshop series, is leading Education Training Cambridge inservice courses at the Royal Cambridge Hotel. They include approaches to teaching GCSE Shakespeare, June 19; approaches to personal and creative writing at AS and A-level, June 26; and exploring poetry at GCSE, July 3. Fee: pound;95, including lunch and materials. Also available are Saturday teachers' workshops at Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge, on 20th-century poetry, June 20; exploring Shakespeare 1 (a study of one out of "Hamlet", "Othello", "The Tempest"), June 27; and exploring Shakespeare 2 (the language of Shakespeare), July 4. Fee: pound;75, pound;120 for two, pound;160 for three. Teachers' workshops can also be run in school. Details: 01223 507420.
* Sue Palmer, general editor of the Longman Book Project and a TES writer, is to speak at a conference on June 24 on Literacy for life: developing literacy in the primary school, including approaches to the "literacy hour". Venue: Brunel University, 300 St Margaret's Road, Twickenham, Middlesex. Fee: pound;75. Details: Mary Williams, 0181 891 0121.
* Parental involvement in numeracy and literacy is the theme of a conference at the University of North London on July 3. The organisers are Community Education Development Centre's Share Project and NLU Impact Maths (and Shared Writing). Speakers include: Roy Blatchford, founding director of Reading Is Fundamental UK. Choice of workshops demonstrating approaches to home-school work. Fee: pound;70, pound;10 parents. Details: Diane Hardiman, CEDC, Woodway Park School, Wigston Road, Coventry CV2 2RH, tel: 01203 655700.
* Globe Education, Bankside, London SE1, is celebrating the anniversary of the late Sam Wanamaker's birth this weekend with free activities, talks, Globe walks, voice works and stage fights. Other free events include "At Liberty!" every Wednesday and Saturday, 6.15pm - informal question and answer sessions with actors, directors, musicians, designers and others involved in the Globe Theatre season. Details: 0171 401 9919.
* Contemporary Approaches to Shakespeare is the theme of a free A-level top-upuniversity taster day for students on October 14 at Roe-hampton Institute, London SW15. Talks include: "Multiple texts, multiple Shakespeares" by Arden Shakespeare editors Professor Ann Thompson and Dr Neil Taylor and "An overview of the meanings of Shake-speare in the contemporary world" by Professor Michael Dobson. There are also workshops on tragedy, poetry, "Measure for Measure", "Hamlet" and "Much Ado About Nothing". Lunch and refreshments pound;6. Details: Jan Daws, 0181 392 3362; e-mail: J.Daws@roe hampton. ac.uk * The London Festival of Literature, aka "The Word", will be held March 19-28, 1999, and will involve 66 writers participating in different events. Each borough will be invited to adopt one homegrown and one international writer to visit and work in their borough, and residents will be asked to nominate their favourite piece of London writing on page, stage, screen or in song by voting in schools, libraries and bookshops to create a Great Word Map of London. The festival is supported by London Arts Board and the Arts Council of England among others. Details: Louise Ansari, tel: 0171 837 2555; e-mail: email@example.com COMPETITIONS
* The Thomas Paine Society is inviting students aged 16 to 19 to write an essay of approximately 1,500 words on any aspect of the life and works of Thomas Paine (1737-1809). Prizes will be awarded to the winners and their school or college. Closing date: January 31, 1999. Details: Hon Secretary, TPS, 43 Wellington Gardens, Selsey, West Sussex PO20 ORF, tel: 01243 605730.
* Animal charity PRO DOGS is run-ning an open creative writing and photographic competition. For the junior section, for which entry is free, young people aged 16 and under are invited to write a poem of up to 40 lines or a short story of up to 1,000 words on any theme by October 1. First, second and third prizes are pound;50, pound;30 and pound;20 respec-tively. Special book prizes will be awarded to the best overall entries and winners will be published in a booklet. Details: PRO DOGS, Rocky Bank, 4 New Road, Ditton, Kent ME20 6AD, tel: 01732 848499.
* Bront Student, aimed at 14 to 18-year-olds, is published twice a year by The Bront Society. Student members of the society receive the newsletter free and are invited to submit articles, letters or poems. Membership costs pound;7.50 and offers a starter pack, free admission to the Parsonage Museum and information about Bront -related events. Details: Bront Parsonage Museum, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD22 8DR.
* To celebrate 15 new European Poems on the Underground, London Transport Museum is offering 15 poetry posters for pound;5 instead of the usual six for pound;6.75. The new posters, selected to mark Britain's presidency of the European Union and the poetry programme's expansion to other European capitals, are by 20th-century poets such as Bertolt Brecht and Primo Levi. Printed in bilingual text, they will appear on London tubes throughout June and July. Previously displayed poem posters are available for pound;1.50 each plus pound;1 postage (for any quantity). Details: Georgina Davis, LTM, FREEPOST, 39 Wellington Street, London WC2 7BR.