Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Submissions for anthology of LGBT writing

The Limerick Writers’ Centre is seeking submissions for a new anthology of LGBT writing. The anthology, entitled “It’s a Queer City All the Same – An Anthology of LGBT Writing in Limerick”, will be published late October 2015.

We welcome all writers to submit as long as you or your character identify as LGBT. This anthology will feature poetry, prose, essays and more, and will hope to explore the queer experience of Limerick life. We are looking for work that is sensitive, brave, irreverent, and humorous; above all we want writing that is original, fresh, innovative and varied – work that embodies the strength of the region’s queer talent, covering themes and issues relevant to the LGBT community, but relatable to all.

Link here

Deadline: Friday 18th Sept 2015

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Bailieborough Poetry Prize

The Baileborough poetry prize is open for submissions.

Deadline:Friday 25th September 2015

First prize of €250 for winning poem with a 2nd prize also to be awarded.
There will also be a special prize this year for a local entrant domiciled in Cavan or Meath.
Each poem must not exceed 50 lines, and should be typed, single-spaced.
Up to three poems may be submitted per entry. 
A fee of €5 per poem or 3 poems for €10 is payable.
The judging panel this year is Michael Farry and Honor Duff

All shortlisted poems will be featured at a reading at Bailieborough Poetry Festival on Saturday 10th October 2015, and authors will be invited to attend. Also at the festival are visiting poets Niamh Boyce, Tony Curtis and Patsy McDermott. The venues will include the town library in the old Market Square and local bars and restaurants.

Link here

You can also have a look at last year's shortlisted poems here

Friday, 28 August 2015

September Freestyle Writing Contest

No Entry Fee!
Word limit: 600
Deadline: SEPTEMBER 15, 2015
Submissions: email to
50 euro first prize (or equivalent amount in your currency)
25 euro second prize
15 euro third prize
Glenn A. Bruce
Glenn A. Bruce
Contest Judge: Glenn A. Bruce
Glenn says: We are looking for your most interesting, creative, soulful writing. Take some chances. Move us.
No poetry, please. No erotica or hardcore genre stuff like alien steampunk zombies or speculative transgressive comic noir. Other than that, have fun and surprise us!
You may enter as often as you like. No simultaneous submissions for this contest.
All entries must be original and unpublished elsewhere. This means submissions that have been accepted for publication anywhere else, including anywhere on the internet, blogs, personal web pages, etc., are not eligible. Entries of more than 600 words or entries found to be published anywhere else will be immediately disqualified. Good luck and good writing!
All winning entries (including shortlisted stories) will be published in the September issue of Brilliant Flash Fiction. Link here

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Hudson Review Short Story Competition.

As with all such submission calls, I strongly recommend reading a few issues before submitting.

For a special fiction issue, The Hudson Review is sponsoring a short story competition. First prize is $500, second and third are $250 each. 10,000 words and under.
Deadline: 1st September

No submission fee.

Please submit hard copies (with a self-addressed, stamped envelope) to:
The Hudson Review
33 W. 67th St.
New York, NY 10023

Note: If you would like to hear back from us via email, please include your email address with your story.
Link here

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Short Film Commission Scheme

Submit a story idea; the best three ideas will be selected and receive a prize of €500 each. These three writers will also be mentored by an experienced script editor to bring their idea from a story outline to a finished script. One script will then be selected and the winning script will be made into a short film.
Entry Fee: 25 euro
Deadline: September 4th, 2015
Manager of Galway Film Centre, Declan Gibbons adds “We’re delighted to be collaborating with RTÉ on a new short film initiative and to be doing so under our new UNESCO Galway City of Film banner. We’re also really happy with our directors mentoring panel where emerging talent will get the benefit of such a wealth of experience of directing talent. Galway Film Fleadh are also on board and have agreed to have the finished film shown in competition in next year’s festival so this is a terrific opportunity for young writers and directors to cut their teeth.”
RTÉ’s Drama Development Executive David Crean said “ we’ve ring-fenced a total budget of €23,000 for this project to cover both the prizes, mentoring process and the production process. This gives us a healthy budget to work from and we really want to spend time finding and nurturing new writing and directing talent and to bring them through a supportive process to get the best results possible. We’ve spent a good bit of time developing this with Galway Film Centre and so it’s great to be announcing it now.” Around 65% of this €23,000 will become the production budget once all other costs are covered.
Details on the Link here.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Interview with poet Shirley McClure

Hi Shirley and welcome to emergingwriter. I enjoyed the launch recently of your new poetry collection, Stone Dress and I devoured the book on the way home.
First question. How did you first get into poetry?

The poems I wrote as a child bear a strong metrical resemblance to the hymns we sang in St Patrick's Presbyterian church in Waterford. I think that was my most likely influence, although we did read, and hear poetry read aloud at home. My mother was a primary school teacher and made sure we read more than Enid Blyton. In return I gave her carefully bound editions of 'My Poems'. This is beginning to remind me of Billy Collins' 'The Lanyard'...

Billy Collins - The Lanyard.
Does the carefully bound edition of “My Poems” still survive?

Probably, I shall look.

Would you want to go back and read your childhood poems? Have you? I’m not sure I would. In my memory they are brilliant, but probably with my world weary eye now they would appear less shiny.

I found my old poems!
But I am more amused by these than anything.

Did you continue writing through adolescence and on to early adulthood? How did school affect that?
I continued writing whilst at school, devoured the poetry sections of English text books and wrote for the school magazine. Teachers encouraged my writing. A couple of friends tried putting my poems to music, strumming away on their guitars on summer afternoons by the school pond. (Winter afternoons on their dorm beds?) Leslie Dowdall came to our school in fifth year, and did me the honour of singing one of my poem/songs at a school concert. (Already we could see she was good).
In college I did English & Spanish, read a lot and still wrote a bit, but it all kind of fizzled out as the years went by, with a kind of small revival when I got to forty.

Do you remember your first published poem as an adult? 
Getting published is always a thrill! Although one of my poems appeared in our college magazine, Icarus (1982), and a translation of mine from Spanish to English showed up in Poetry Ireland Review, I think I was most excited when in 1992, after a long 'sleep', one of my poems was selected to appear in Women's Work, an anthology of poems brought out by a Wexford-based community arts group. We were invited to read our poems, and my partner and I went to Wexford for the night. There I tasted the thrill of reading 'live', a pleasure I rediscovered fifteen years later after another long pause in my writing career. I remember the night so well, and the excitement of meeting other women who wrote. It makes me wonder why I stopped writing, or why I wrote so little really between the ages of 20 and 40. I suppose I was doing other things. Once I got into writing proper, I discovered the equally strong emotion of disappointment each time poems were rejected. Not funny.

So there’s hope for every lapsed writer! What brought you back into poetry, do you think?

A friend threw a 40th birthday party for me, where people performed and sang. Very enjoyable, except that they had dug out a few of my old poems and these were read, to my deep embarrassment! It made me think, though, and soon afterwards I attended a weekend writing workshop which really inspired me. At another workshop I met James Conway, who runs Rathmines Writers' Workshop, a long-standing group which meets weekly. I joined the group and the challenge to produce a new poem every week got me going. I would encourage anybody who is starting out or re-starting to attend courses/workshops, and to join a group where you get helpful feedback. Since then I have always been part of a work-shopping group: I spent about 5 years each in Rathmines and then Airfield Writers, then set up a small peer group with my friend Jane Clarke and three others. The group keeps my focus whenever I lose it. We do 2 poems each and stick to a strictish half hour per person arrangement, after which we all need to go home!

How did your first poetry collection come about?
I was preparing my first manuscript to send out when I saw an ad for the Cork Literary Review/ Bradshaw Books manuscript competition. So I sent my collection, Whose Counting there and was very lucky to win in 2009. Tina Pisco was writer in residence at Tigh Fili/ Bradshaw Books at that time, and she and Maura Bradshaw were very encouraging to me in getting the book out. They got me down to Cork to do a few readings which was a big help.   

And what about your most recent collection?
Bradshaw Books encouraged me to move on as they prefer to publish new writers, so for my second collection I did have to decide where best to send my work. Again I was lucky in that Arlen House does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, but a fellow writer who knew my work suggested they have a look at it. Alan Hayes and I exchanged edited versions of the manuscript and met to agree on final changes. He pointed out that I am over-fond of italics, so I will watch out for that in future! Apart from that, we tended to be in agreement about the changes to be made, so it progressed quickly. The book was launched in Dublin in July, and I'll be taking it on tour from next week (Kilkenny on 27th August) with Jane Clarke, who is promoting her new book, The River.

What do you have coming up?

Stone House Books, Kilkenny
The Kilkenny launch of Spanish Affair and Jane Clarke's The River is in Stone House Books on Thursday 27th August at 7pm. Music by Eamon Sweeney, whose Spanish guitar is featured on the CD Spanish Affair.

Café Fusion, Wexford
Shirley and Jane read at Café Fusion on Friday 4th September at 8pm.

Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow
Shirley McClure, Jane Clarke, and classical guitarist, Eamon Sweeny, will give a performance of poetry and music on Thursday 24th September at 8.30pm.

Bray Arts, Bray
A performance of poetry and music from Spanish Affair with Eamon Sweeney, Katie Donovan, Jane Clarke, Lizzy Morrissey and Shirley McClure, Monday 5th October at the Martello Hotel, Strand Road, Bray. 8 pm.

No Alibis Bookshop, Belfast
Poet Paula Cunningham will launch Jane Clarke's The River & Shirley McClure's Stone Dress on Thursday, October 8th at 6.30 pm.

Imagine Festival, Waterford
A reading by Shirley McClure and Jane Clarke at Waterford Book Centre, as part of the Imagine Festival. 3 pm on Sunday 25th October.

Books Upstairs Cafe & Bookshop, Dublin
A reading by poets Paula Cunningham, Rosy Shepperd, Jane Clarke & Shirley McClure on Thursday 26th November at 7 pm.

Thanks Shirley. Good luck with your upcoming readings with Jane. Here’s a poem from Shirley’s second collection, Stone Dress published by Arlen House, available to buy online from Kenny’s bookshop.


Today she has been clipped, primped, squeezed,
handed back with a pink bow, she's a smooth black angel
beneath whose sleek chops, butter wouldn't melt.

Tonight is warm, the garden wild with possibility.
Suddenly the bellows of her belly surge, her body spasms
to expel the rare meat struggling in her mouth.

On the grass the hedgehog still breathes, but somehow
she has opened him, got right in without incurring
a single spine on her perfectly barbered snout.


Shirley McClure's new collection, 'Stone Dress', is published by Arlen House in August 2015. Her CD Spanish Affair, with her own poems plus poetry and music from invited guests, was launched in June. All proceeds from the CD go to Arklow Cancer Support Group, where she facilitates a writers' group. Her first poetry collection, Who's Counting? (Bradshaw Books) won Cork Literary Review's Manuscript  Competition 2009. She won Listowel Writers' Week Originals Poetry Competition 2014. Shirley lives in Bray, Co. Wicklow. 
Shirley’s website is here:

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Poetry Divas are Flying South

Kate Quigley runs this positive Mental health Experience evening in JaJa Studios, 1B Cowper St, Arbour Hill, D7, Dublin through spoken word. This Friday 28th August, I'll be reading with the fabulous Poetry Divas, blurring the wobbly boundary between page and stage and thinking about mental health.

We'd love to see lots of you there for the evening. There's an open mic for a 5 minute spot, sign up at the door.

Also featured, Alicia Byrne Keane and Ru O'Shea.

Also there is cake.