Published by Prisoners – Telling the true story?

Did you know that in Romania you could have your sentence reduced by publishing academic papers or a book (the Associated Press reported)?

However, unsurprisingly, the system has been reported to have been abused by inmates using ghost-writers. With it reported that 400 books were published by 188 detainees between 2013 and 2015. Justice Minister Raluca Pruna has proposed an ’emergency government ordinance’ to scrap the provision in the law that has allowed those such as jailed politicians and business persons to shorten their prison terms.

Bo Bennett - Truth

I’m not sure how I feel about this news story line. As usual, it seems that the rule has been abused by those that definitely knew better and have now ruined it for others. I actually think I would read a book by a prisoner. We have all probably read stories about the Kray twins or that of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, so if you had the chance would you take it further and read an account from the horses mouth so to speak? They say everyone has a story to tell and although I certainly am not interested in jailed politicians or bankers there are certainly other criminals whose stories I would read.

A recent story which has caught my eye in the papers just by how obscure it is, is that of the Hatton Garden Heist. There are bound to be some journalists out there who will make a book, maybe even a movie, out of it. The story of pensioners pulling off a heist (an apparently victimless crime) and then making a series of mistakes that lead them to be caught. It’s bound to sell. While the public are in up-roar about the pensioners getting fairly lenient sentences I wonder if the Romanian rule would be a benefit in this example. Let the pensioners keep their reduced sentence but ask them to produce a book about it, with any money made going to a charity, maybe a victims charity? Helping them pay their debt to society. Wouldn’t you like to know what was going through their minds, how they coordinated it all, how they thought they would escape but with a very sketchy escape plan? All in their own true voice. I think I would buy that book.

And as they say, the truth is often stranger than fiction…

Prison Music



Not a fictional post this week, but I would love to know people’s views. Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge LOGOTruth or fiction? Or does it depend on what it is and who is writing it? Would you read a prisoner’s story and would you trust them to tell the truth? Read other entries to the Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge HERE.


Hunt the headlines…

As part of my daily routine at work, when logging into our intranet page, I have a little nosey at the BBC headlines live feed app that populates on the page. However after continuously reading about the floods in the UK my mind started to lose focus on the stories behind the headlines and come up with my own. My warped mind finding the stories of the environmental minister failing to respond to severe weather warnings particularly tickled me after a friend pointed it out to me saying he thought the BBC had clearly over-reacted, he had heard the minister was on the phone that morning to Poseidon begging him to stop this prosecution against the UK. Clearly the phone call hadn’t worked. But alas a new creative hobby had been created – blowing out those cobwebs and setting a new challenge for all!

Expecting this to die a death fairly quickly, the following day I sent off my first witty (if I do say so myself) installation of Hunt the Headlines to my colleagues:-

Although I know a few people will be horrified at the stereotyping etc, remember this is just a bit of office banter. On that note, I was incredibly pleased that one of my colleagues joined in again with the response “I am more concerned for the poor guy that was won by Bowie”.


I had missed one of the best double-entendre headlines available of the day. But now not only my creative side but my competitive side was awake and ready for action. So now my morning routine has been completely changed I excitedly come into work switch the pc on, make a cuppa while I wait for the computer to wake-up then excitedly scour the homepage for the latest morsels.


I am keeping a little collection of these headlines lurking in my idea book; I think a few of them would be great ideas for children’s stories. After all I’d much rather read a story about Super-Nanny taking over the police or the Prime Minister calling King Triton and asking him to stop the waves. Wasn’t this how Roald Dahl got started with stories like “The BFG”, talking to his children about what happens when they are asleep but changing it into something far more interesting?