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January 2001
March 1





Two of us on Hackwriters Hacktreks pages are winners of the Skylines Travel Writer of the Year award held in London's Dorchester Hotel . Rosemary North won Travel Writer of the Year for her pieces on Sri Lanka (Two air tickets to anywhere in Europe and a Revo Psion machine - not bad)
I won enough to pay for the speeding ticket I got driving up there. (Have you noticed that whever a bill is, that is the exact amount you win). Good time was had by all and a big thanks to Skylines Magazine and Blendon Communications for hosting the event. Judith Chalmers was charming, as you expect.

It’s great that we can win prizes and a measure of how far we’ve come. Our travel section is a growing list of travel destinations - with mostly positive reports from places as far apart as Cuba and Japan. This month we have Lauren Packman who is new to us with her piece on Global Travel and our own Stuart Macdonald will be sending us tales of his week in the Czech Republic. If you have something to say about a city you have visited, let us know. John Prohaska has sent us a really interesting piece on his Jamaican Journey where he went to bury his mother.

Yes, summer has come to Cornwall after skipping it entirely for two years and any minute now the headlines will be screaming about water shortages and the damp houses cracking as they dry out.
That aside, it does make living down here more tolerable. Hackwriter articles get written at the sunlit tables on The Three Mackerels veranda overlooking Falmouth Bay. Yes, we are entirely fuelled by lattes and the fresh catch of the day. It does beg one question - how special would England be with a Mediterranean climate? How different would our nations character be if every day we could sit out in the sun like this. We suspect that we would be more open, certainly more tolerant and friendly.

Oliver, one of our two editors, has rather more to say about the weather as he missed this burst of sunshine. He was running the Byte-Sized conference website, held down here in Penryn. There was much tearing out of hair as he tried to get live video streaming to work on a PC. It turned out to be a rather inexact science, even with a T3 connection and there were many curses called down on Bill Gates. (This is why we normally use Macs). People gathered from all over who are involved with community TV and community schemes. The best idea, it was judged by those gathered, was a Liverpool residential Tower ‘Tenants Spin’ on Superchannel.
I snuck off to see the award winning Taiwanese fi lm ‘One and a Two’. In the three hours of this film I learned more about community and family than any conference could ever reveal. The tale of three generations living in one rather lavish flat is very contemporary and reveals much about how the modern Taiwanese live, their obsessions and searching for meaning in a pretty materialistic world. A delight and a good reminder that the best community is building on family and extended family, your friends.

Congrats to Oliver Moor for also gaining two highly commendeds at the 21st Winchester Writer's Festival last weekend. (For The Hopeless Gost and Sunrising). Great start to you new career Oliver. Congratulations too to our own Hazel Marshall who looks like she has secured an agent for her wonderful novel 'Blanco' I just know it will sell soon.

June was our fiction month and it was great to be able to showcase so much talent from all over the world. Here is an appeal to get the balance right. More female writers. I think we are curiously under-represented from fiction from women. Though we are dong great with Travel, Diaries and lifestyles material. We are building on our fiction area all the time and want to keep the quality high in readiness for a printed anthology. So if you think you have something worthy of going in the anthology...submit. It’s pretty painless. If you don’t make the cut, don’t take it personally, Oliver and Stuart are picky. A sample of good writing? Try Kelvin's story on Prison Artists in Zimbabwe
featured on our front page. The Insiders or experimental writing try Alexandra Coman's work in Dreamsacpes

On a personal note for San Francisco readers, I was very sorry to hear about the death of SPEAK magazine. It was a truly eccentric, eclectic but sometimes absorbing magazine. It’s a shame something like that can’t survive. If you haven’t read it, well, they are still selling back copies.
(Their web site was always way too wierd to navigate but copies of the last issue are still out there somewhere).

A big welcome back to Tabytha Towe, whose new piece continues the documentation of her life in Vancouver and a crazy mixed up one it is too. I hope you’ll be able to email her with good advice.
We also got sent some Erotic Email. OK we don’t usually print this stuff, but since I know it to be a genuine instant messaging exchange - I thought it very public spirited of us to print it verbatim.
The culprits will have to take it on the chin if their bosses ever find out. Kezia Richmond has come back to us with a great piece on young girls out clubbing and we have a big welcome to Zia Zaman whose travel articles are wonderfully informative and amusing.

I want to thank all those who are sending copy in and for coming back to us. As ever, if you like us, tell your friends.

Enjoy the summer and check back on us from time to time, we change all the time.
Come back for news too of changes happening here at Hacks. Stuart is heading back up to London, Hazel going to Scotland to cover the Festival, Nathan is at the Tomorrow's World Conference, all will be reporting back asap. Yours truly is making plans too - more to be revealed when known. But never fear Hacks is not a travel magazine for nothing...the machine will be fed...

And anyone spotted my new novel 'Diamonds' yet?

Remember that prize of one tall latte in New York still stands to first person who can prove they can buy it in paperback or hardback form.. Yes allegedly you can order it now and even read it on-line. Click on Diamonds and see for yourself. God knows we need the money here...

all the best

Sam North - managing editor/publisher

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