Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Shy Bairns Get Nowt

Those of you familiar with the Geordie vernacular will understand the title - basically, if you hold back and don't ask, you won't get. It's a well worn phrase in the North East of England, currently back in vogue (at least in my kitchen) because of this fabulous mug -

For this and other great Geordie "stuff"(the latest one being "Calm Doon and Hoy the Kettle on") visit the web site. 

Anyway, I digress. A few months ago, when I was facing the launch of my new book, I somewhat brazenly wrote to every education journalist of merit, asking them if they would be interested in reading and reviewing my book. (Told you it was brazen.) Most didn't even bother replying, but Sean Coughlan, the BBC Education correspondent said "Sure, send it over". His blurb (that's the lingo for a short review comment that goes on the cover of a book) is now on the back of mine. Guardian freelance journalist Louise Tickle, also offered to read it. Not only did she give me a great comment (also on the back cover) but it sparked an idea for a Guardian article which she submited and got the go ahead for. She planned to write a wider article on studying in countries other than the UK, and interviewed me about the US options.

That was months ago, and we both ended up wondering if it would ever run. Well - it's in the Guardian Education section today, and it's more than I originally asked for. I'm quoted quite extensively; I don't come off as a complete idiot; and - there's a link to my author web site. That's gold for authors in my category (ie. nobodies) and, as I said, so much more than I has asked for or hoped for.

Motto- "They can only say no". So whatever it is you want or need, ask politely and you never know.

Shy bairns get nowt.


  1. Ah thank you so much for sharing that link - my family is originally from Newcastle/Durham area and I went to university in the city so this has now brought a huge smile to my face as i'm going to waste the next couple of hours virtually shopping on that store.

  2. Congratulations! Happy for you and hope all this excellent (well-deserved) publicity results in fantastic sales!

  3. Oh wow Rachael - I had no idea! Great city eh? And good luck in not spending a fortune on the web site. It's lush, as they say!

  4. Thank you MsC. Everyone has been so kind and helpful, it's makes me a little verklempt!

  5. Wow - that is an amazing and interesting article and you almost wrote the thing! Congratulations on getting published and feted - obviously thoroughly deserved. My sons are eight and four - you've now got me worried they're going to bugger off abroad for their degrees and that's a lot of hair dye in between now and then!

  6. Go you! Have to say that given north of this particular border university is still free but not if we head south by five miles the thought of paying for their university education (distant in time as well as place as it may be) has already crossed our minds...

    Disappointed it's not shy bairns get owt though. I like "owt".

  7. It's true what they say (here, at least) "the squeaky wheel gets the oil."

    Good for you. It's hard to be brazen but sometimes it really pays off.

  8. Good on you! Congratulations. It is true what you say. I recently read an article that girls need to be taught to ask for what they want. According to the article, we as women will often talk ourselves out of asking for something. I think it might also be a cultural thing.

    Anyway, I digress. Congratulations again!

  9. Glad you weren't a shy bairn cos it paid off.

    Many thanks for your kind comment which helps greatly.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  10. \i've had this in my tabs for ages waiting for time to read and link--all I saw before reading was the clever mug (must check out that site!) but what a great surprise on reading further!! Well done and what a perfect phrase to start the post with. And may I add that I am not surprised about the coverage? Great concept for the book, and what a really useful and well written book.


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