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Joe Jones
Nottingham has won its bid to be named as an official UNESCO City of Literature, becoming only the second city in the United Kingdom to be awarded the accolade.
The title, which could bring millions in tourist, student and grants revenue to Nottingham, was awarded based on the city's literary heritage, its diverse writing community and its commitment to improving literacy across the city. 
The announcement was made on Friday 11 December to Nottingham's City of Literature bid team, who have been working on their proposal to UNESCO since 2014. 
Those responsible for the bid had said that it would bring Nottingham’s literacy and creative enterprises, and other cultural and economic stakeholders even closer together.
It is also said to feed into programmes that provide a foundation for increased cultural tourism, improve literacy, encourage social cohesion and inclusivity, and support the wide range of creative businesses in and around Nottingham.
The partners involved in the bid were Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham, Bromley House Library, Nottingham Writers’ Studio, Creative Quarter, Nottingham Playhouse and Writing East Midlands. 
Some of Nottingham's finest wordsmiths include D.H. Lawrence, Lord Byron, and Alan Sillitoe.
Alongside Nottingham, the following cities were also named Cities of Literature this month: Baghdad, Barcelona, Ljubljana, Lviv, Montevideo, Tartu, Obidos and Ulyanovsk were named Cities of Literature. 
The aforementioned cities all join Dublin, Dunedin, Edinburgh, Granada, Heidelberg, Iowa City, Krakow, Melbourne, Norwich, Prague and Reykjavik on the exclusive list.
There was disappointment in Seattle, however, as their application to become a City of Literature was rejected.
Joe Jones
Scottish writer William McIlvanney, best known for his detective novel "Laidlaw", has died at 79.
His agent Jenny Brown said he died at his home in Glasgow on Saturday after a short illness.
McIlvanney, described as The Godfather of Tartan Noir, was born in Kilmarnock and was the most-celebrated Scottish novelist of the 1970s.
The son of a miner, he became an English teacher before changing careers in 1975 to write full time.
He is known for the "Laidlaw" trilogy, a crime series featuring Inspector Jack Laidlaw. Other works included "The Big Man," made into a film starring Liam Neeson, as well as poetry and journalism.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Shedding a tear at news of Willie McIlvanney's death. His writing meant so much to me when I was growing up. RIP."
Rebus author Ian Rankin described his death as "dreadful news". He said: "A truly inspired and inspiring author and an absolute gent."
Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh said: "Absolutely gutted to hear this. An inspirational writer and one of the loveliest guys you could hope to meet."
McIlvanney is survived by his partner Siobhan, daughter Siobhan and son Liam.
Joe Jones
The DH Lawrence Heritage Centre has been given a lifeline after a number of television and film stars lobbied for it not to be closed.
Rosamund Pike, Glenda Jackson, Gavin and Stacey star Mathew Horne, Mr Selfridge star Aisling Loftus, William Ivory, Ben Daniels, and TV sitcom star Robert Lindsay have all backed the campaign to keep the centre open.
In a joint letter to Broxtowe Borough Council leader Richard Jackson, the group asks that the centre is kept open past its planned closure date of March next year so there is time to find funding to save it.
Representatives from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England went on to meet with Mr Jackson to discuss funding to keep the centre open, and will meet again over the next few weeks.
Labour MP for Ashfield Gloria De Piero, who was also at the meeting, said: "This is the next step forward really - everyone is basically working to find a solution.
"The leader is going to meet with them to do that, which is going to happen really quickly.
"We know public money is not available so we're all working to get the lottery cash to map a way forward so that we can keep it open.
"I am optimistic everyone has the same goal – get some cash and some expertise."
Currently, the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre will close on March 31 at the end of the financial year.

The centre has cost the council £1.5 million pounds over the past 12 years and its closure would be part of the council's drive to save £3.5 million over the next three years.
It has faced closure in the past – in 2011 the University of Nottingham intervened to help save it when, again, it faced having its doors shut for good.
Their current aim will be to secure money to keep the centre open beyond March before looking into further long-term funding opportunities that will keep it open for years.
The discussions have taken place less than a week before Nottingham finds out if it becomes a UNESCO City of Literature, an international title that could provide millions in tourism, student revenue and grants.
DH Lawrence, who grew up in Eastwood and wrote classics such as Sons and Lovers and Lady Chatterley's Lover, was included heavily in Nottingham's bid proposal.
A decision from UNESCO is due to be announced on Friday, December 11.
Joe Jones
Instagram's popularity shows no signs of abating, with the photo-based social network cementing its place among the social media elite alongside Facebook and Twitter.
Today the site has released its year in review, taking a look at what the 400 million people sharing over 80 million photos each day have liked most of all.
The top 10 Instagram posts of 2015 all feature celebrities, with singer Taylor Swift proving her status as the current queen of the pop world with a massive five entries, while reality TV stars Kendall and Kylie Jenner contributed three images to the chart between them.
1) Kendall Jenner (3.2m likes, 143.1k comments)

2) Taylor Swift (2.6m likes, 48k comments)

3) Taylor Swift (2.5m likes, 76.9k comments)

4) Kylie Jenner (2.3m likes, 85.1k comments)

5) Beyonce (2.3m likes, 52.9k comments)

6) Taylor Swift (2.3m likes, 36.1k comments)

7) Selena Gomez (2.3m likes, 53.4k comments)

8) Taylor Swift (2.4m likes, 53.9k comments)

9) Taylor Swift (2.2m likes, 76k comments)

Kendall Jenner (2.2m likes, 470.8k comments)

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