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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 17 July 2014

Letter to the Editor:- "The so-called 'bedroom tax' impact"

"THE UK's Government's new report on the impact of the spare room subsidy, or the so called 'bedroom tax', makes for worrying reading. The analysis has revealed that a staggering 60% of tenants affected by this welfare reform have been unable to meet their basic housing costs since having their benefits reduced. Although 1 in 5 claimants have registered an interest in downsizing, shortages of smaller properties mean just 4.5% of tenants had been able to move to a smaller home. As a result some have no choice, but to cut back on food and energy, and others are running up debts through credit cards and payday loans. As part of a charity supporting people in financial need in the UK, we at Turn2us know that these findings echo the experiences of our users; over a 3rd of which are social housing tenants. Many people tell us they've had to choose between heating their homes and buying food for their families, or have turned to high credit lenders in their desperation to cover rising bills. We're also concerned by the recent government figures showing that almost ⅔ of Councils have not paid their total Discretionary Housing Payment allocation to tenants. Funding for the payment was increased to help people affected by benefit changes including the spare room subsidy so it's vital that this additional support is accessed by those in need. With the gap between incomes and living costs widening for an increasing number of people, it's important that they are aware of the support available to them. Anyone who is struggling can use our free Benefits Calculator and Grants Search at:- to see if they are eligible for any additional financial support. Our website also contains more information about the spare room subsidy and how to apply for Discretionary Housing Payments. With a number of tenants now facing increasing costs, it's crucial that they are getting all the help they need." Alison Taylor, Director of Turn2us, London.

Writing on the Wall introduces Liverpool's 1st Virtual Book Fair

WRITING on the Wall hosts Liverpool's 1st Virtual Book Fair with an exciting selection of writers and publishers who work across a range of platforms in publishing, self publishing and digital publishing, and interactive based activities and demonstrations. Taking place in the stunning atrium of Liverpool's Central Library, Writing on the Wall will host a day of interactive, hands on readings, discussion and interactions with those at the top of their games in publishing. With an introduction by Downtown in Business Director, Frank Mckenna, The Virtual Book Fair will explore business models of online publishing and encompass publishing powerhouses such as Anna Rafferty, whose innovation during her time as managing director of Penguin Digital showed different ways of marketing books to a fast paced population, and Linda Bennett, director and editor of Crime at Salt Publishing, who will speak about the ways authors today can put themselves on the literary map.

Jim Hinks of Comma Press will be introducing his app LitNav. From your fingertips you can read and travel the world via their collection of short stories. Designed with commuters in mind, these bite sized gems will take you on the alternative route. Liverpool to Venice to Zurich, where do you want to go next?

Beth Reekles wrote her 1st novel aged 15 which she self published on Watt Pad, after it received 19 million views; she signed a three book deal with Random House. Liverpool's Virtual Book Fair is delighted to introduce Beth Reekles to the stage to discuss her self published success and the impact that self published authors are having on the way we read now.

Other exciting highlights include our Twitter Haiku Competition, join our resident poets and write your best Twitter Haiku to be in with the chance of winning some exciting prizes! 

Try out the newest interactive novels for virtual readers at our Digital Station, courtesy of revolutionary app inventors Touch Press. Catch up with webinars streamed from across the globe, including Blackwell's Digital Manager, Kjell Eldor, as he speaks to us about the future of books in a digital age. Our Children'sPod will be open throughout the day! A magical and interactive experience for the whole family. Join our resident illustrators and storytellers from The Wild Writers as they host storytelling sessions, where their imaginative work, with the help of our young audience, will be projected around the pod. Madeline Heneghan, Writing on the Wall Director, says:- "The age of digital print is a key issue for readers, writers and business, both within the world of literature and publishing. With new platforms, such as Kindle, and e-publishers taking on the traditional book format, there are many exciting developments for literature, including a cross over into the world of gaming. The virtual book fair will help participants discover new ways of writing and working, with the opportunity for networking and the potential for future collaborations."

To find out more you should go along on Saturday, 19 July 2014, from 12:30 to 6pm, and visit the Central Library's 4th Floor Atrium. Your book might just be the next best selling book of all time!

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