Everyone knows that children's literature can't possibly be high quality, right? It doesn't count as proper literary fiction, does it? It can't make people consider big issues or challenge ideas of genre, can it? This week, the University of Kent's creative writing programme embarrassed itself by its advertising strategy, followed by a series of rather ignorant tweets.
Literary snobs, the types that actually laugh at Shakespeare comedies, moan something chronic about the popularity of chick-lit, the fact that the genre regularly dominates book charts across the world. There's a reason why these people hate chick-lit, and it's nothing to do with declining standards.
So how will I do this? How will I achieve 50,000 words by late evening on Saturday 30 November? The short answer is, I do not know. I could plan everything to the literal letter, but that would feel too much like a military operation to me. My plan is to write, simply write. I intend to let my imagination run wild and hope to write something every single day of November.
There's no arguing with the feminist content of Austen's novels. The plight of the spinster and women's inability to earn money take centre stage throughout her books and she devoted entire novels to the damage that only allowing sons to inherit does to a family. But just because Austen favoured the independence of Miss Elizabeth Bennett that does not make her a feminist.
Stephen Klaidman's new biog-raphy of Sydney and Violet Schiff highlights an interesting couple, who made their own con-tribution to literary circles of the 1920s. Relatively overlooked until now, the Schiffs appear on the surface to be a conventional mid-dle class couple, based in London and the South of France.