Saturday, 31 January 2009

How not to write a novel

There was a brilliant sounding book in the papers by Sarah Newman and Howard Mittelmark, two American authors. They identify 200 'mistakes' made by unpublished writers. They speak mainly from 30 years experience of teaching creative writing and evaluating emerging writers' manuscripts.

Compare and contrast with the list of reason to reject submissions after one page from the scarily honest agent's blog Author Author Then read her subsequent posts examining each group of rejection reasons in detail. Actually these would make a great book...

Anyway, back to the book in question. I love this rule

If you have thought twice and the exclamation mark (point) is still there, think about it three times or however many times it takes until you delete it.

Like totally! Justification for leaving one or two in? - a piece mimicing a teenagers blog entry.

Also read here from New Scientist September 21st entry.
More later.

Friday, 30 January 2009

unfettered writing time

Bring it on!

The Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing offers an emerging writer four months of unfettered writing time during Bucknell's fall semester, without formal academic obligations. The Residence is designed to grant the writer time to complete a first or second book. The resident presents a public reading of his or her work and otherwise constitutes a literary presence on campus during the fall. Providing lodging on campus, an office in the Stadler Center for Poetry, and a stipend of $4,000, the Residence is awarded to writers of prose (fiction or creative nonfiction) and poets on an alternating basis.

The Stadler Center is currently accepting applications for the 2009-10 Philip Roth Residence, which will be awarded to a prose writer (fiction or creative nonfiction). The Residence will extend from late August through mid-December 2009. The application postmark deadline is February 21, 2009.

Unfortunately you have to reside in the USA. We should have something like this here.
The Stadler Center is in Bucknell University, Lewisburg Philadelphia.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Jane Austen Short Story Contest

Here's a great one from the inimitable Women Rule Writer.

Celebrating the bicentenary of Jane Austen's arrival in the Hampshire village of Chawton – where she spent the most productive years of her literary life. (Isn't that a bit of a stretch for an anniversary with zeros?)

What: short stories of 2,000-2,500 words in length. The inspiration for your story can be taken from any theme in Jane Austen’s novels: it might even be a character or a single sentence that sets your creative juices flowing. Or perhaps your imagination will be fired by the Elizabethan mansion, Chawton House, where Jane Austen and her family often gathered, and now houses a rare collection of early women’s writing.

Stories can have a historical or a contemporary setting – anything goes as long as it is well written. You have to state on the entry form exactly what inspired you to write it.

Main Judge: Sarah Waters, author of Tipping the Velvet, and Fingersmith.

Fee: £10 per story

First prize: £1,000.
Two runners up: £200 each.
All three finalists will also win a week’s writers’ retreat at Chawton House which must be taken in September.
Fifteen other shortlisted authors will receive £40 plus publication in the winners’ anthology.
Open to all writers who have not had a work of full length fiction published.
Deadline: 31st March 2009.
Winners contacted: June 2009

Details here

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Fighting Words

Here's a great idea stolen from Dave Eggers (of MacSweeney fame) and localised by our very own famous Roddy Doyle. Did I ever tell you I met Mr Doyle once? In the Aer Lingus upper class lounge a long time ago when I used to get paid to fly business class. Anyway, I sat next to him and didn't dare open my mouth. The minute he left, I called my beloved and told him. And then, the minute I hung up, in walks Gabrielle Burns. True.

Anyway, I digress. Fighting Words aims to help children and teenagers with their creative writing skills. It is privately funded by a couple of individuals. (who?) It is currently taking school groups (book now) and soon teenagers and even (gasp) adults and teaching them to grapple with words. They're looking for all sorts of volunteers so if you've the time (mainly daytime) why not help out. See this Irish Times article.

Behan Square, Russell Street, Dublin 1


Colum McCann: "Writing out of your skin"
Roddy Doyle: Introduction to writing fiction
Lia Mills: Memoir writing
Gerard Stembridge: Filmscript writing

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Poetry Reading worth going to

Poet Paula Meehan will read in Blanchardstown Library on Thursday 29th January at 7.00pm. All welcome, to book telephone 8905563.

Born in Dublin in 1955 Paula Meehan has published five collections of poetry, her latest, Painting Rain, is due in early 2009. She has also written for the stage and radio. Information here and here.

I've heard she's a terrific reader. I'm aiming to be there.

This is part of a monthly series of poetry reading in the library. Among those reading later in the year is Michael Longley who celebrates his 70th birthday this year.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

In The Red

Now we're all in the red, why not submit to the In The Red magazine?

Deadline: January 31
In The Red 7 will be published in 2009. This quality literary magazine publishes emerging writers alongside established writers such as Dave Eggers, Roger McGough, Greta Stoddart, Sophie Hannah, Benjamin
Zephaniah and more.
Please send: Poetry - up to 40 lines / Prose- up to 750 words - Flash Fiction particularly welcome.
Email your submission to
I found this on the Kudos website.
Have a quick browse for other nuggets.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Contrary Magazine

This US Chicago magazine Contrary pay $20 and allow simultaneous submissions. Check their deadlines and guidelines. Shorter stories and no more than 3 poems.

*Note picture replaced later.. not happy.

Friday, 23 January 2009

More links for your surfing pleasure

Caroline at Coastcard blogs about literary life.

Erica Hanson blogs about writing in the US at writing is conversation.

Leah Ebdon blogs at I Could Be Doing Something Else Right Now (couldn't we all) from Wales studying Creative Writing.

Kudos for people who win prizes (really?)

Nik Perrin blogs at Nik's blog. Writer and poet (how does she produce the poems? Knit them?

Poets who blog has a diverse range of poetry related posts. is an interesting online magazine (non-paying though)

Petrona blogs about (crime-slanted) writing things.

The Risktakers Guide to Endorphin's is a Northern Poet called Carolyn Jess-Cooke.

Strictly Writing is a group blog to dip into.

Thursday, 22 January 2009


Ever been to Listowel Writers' Week? Many are devotees. I found it a bit clique-y and unwelcoming to outsiders. But the readings were great. The courses a bit more mixed. Buyer beware. Just because a writer can write, doesn't mean they can teach or run a workshop.

The competitions are now open. They have some innovative categories, including lots of youth categories, poetry, poetry collection and short story. However, they all only have one prize so if you are runner up, no one ever knows. So if, like me, you write shortlisted-type stuff, what's the point?
Deadline: 27 Feb 2009

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

More Plans

What else should I strive for this year?

- Write something every day. This does not, repeat NOT include blogging. OK, so I've failed at this so far but however...Even 10 words. Really. 10 words will do it. Because if you start, you may do a bit more.

- A negative one, don't bother with competitions, (unless it's free e.g. RTE Francis MacManus, Feile Filiochta) as I don't write the type of poem that wins. Concentrate on publications. Possible exception, Patrick Kavanagh. We'll see.

- Go to at least one reading every month. And use it to network. Whatever your job, networking helps. Plus it may be interesting. I often come away with pages of notes/inspiration from such events. Not sure I can afford to buy a book at every one though.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Residency in Vermont anyone

This sounds lovely. I'd love to go to New England.

The Vermont Studio Center is an international residency programme open to artists and writers. Throughout the year VSC hosts 50 artists and writers per month, each of whom receives an individual studio, private room, and all meals. Residencies last from 2 to 12 weeks

(it says 4 to 12 weeks on the website and on another page 2 to 12 weeks)

and provide uninterrupted time to work, a community of creative peers, and a beautiful village setting in northern Vermont.

In addition, VSC's programme includes a roster of Visiting Artists and Writers (2 painters, 2 sculptors and 2 writers per month) who offer slide talks/readings and individual studio visits/conferences. Full Fellowships and a variety of Special Fellowships to Vermont Studio Centre are available for the 2009 Residency Programme.

Deadline for applications: 17 February 2009

Reading the website, it says there are a small number of 2 week residencies. I am disappointed that they don't cater for writers (or other artists) who not only write but also hold down a full time job and have a family. How can such a person take 4 weeks, let alone 8 weeks? It's loaded against us from the real world and it makes me mad, sad and know.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Publishing Insider Guide

Via Editorial Anonymous this daft video from Macmillan US. Who said Americans had no sense of humo(u)r?

Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Bristol Short Story prize

Open to all writers everywhere, cash prize and 20 shortlisted entrants are published within the 2009 Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology.

1st Prize £500 plus £150 Waterstone's gift card
2nd Prize £350 plus £100 Waterstone's gift card
3rd Prize £200 plus £100 Waterstone's gift card

The other 17 writers who feature on the shortlist will be presented with a cheque for £50.

The winning story will also be published in Bristol Review of Books magazine.

Deadline: March 31st 2009.
Maximum number of words: 3,000
Fee: £7 for each story submitted.
Judges: Sara Davies, Patricia Ferguson, Nik Kalinowski, Mike Manson (Chair), Joe Spurgeon (Haven't heard of any of these people myself)

More information on their website.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

TS Eliot award for poetry

If you want to add some terrific poets to your list of peots to read this year, you should peruse this shortlist. Won ultimately by the very young jen Hadfield. Here's some links in the Guardian.

I'm also a great fan of Glen Maxwell and I'm getting into Ciaran Carson. They're both supposed to be great readers, a skill in itself.

Friday, 16 January 2009


Honno is a Welsh publisher so if you've any connection with Wales, check out this call for submissions (from Hell or High Water blog)

Honno ONLY considers for publication the work of women who are Welsh or living in Wales or have a significant Welsh connection.

Send for the Fashion police ?
An anthology of fictional short stories about women's relationship to image and clothes.

The many different stages and events of our lives are often reflected in our image, in the way we present ourselves to the world. Honno is looking for submissions to a forthcoming anthology of fictional short stories, loosely fitting the theme of women's relationship to the way they look and what they choose to wear.

So, if you think the cap fits why not hunt around in the back of your wardrobe, dust down your Sunday Best, wear out some shoe leather, take off your gloves or even dress to kill. Perhaps you would prefer a little retail therapy and have your reader in stitches? Dress it up, dress it down, accessorise your tale, create an image or bare all in your birthday suit. Your story may be vintage or the height of fashion but it must be a maximum of 3,000 words.
Deadline: January 31st 2009.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Scottish Writing

Have you a story with a Scottish slant or setting? Do you write in Scots or Doric?

John Reid (1913-1998) was an Aberdeenshire farm labourer, who spent most of his life working long hours for very small rewards. In odd moments he jotted down short stories, character studies, and bothy tales.

Eventually, as David Toulmin, he had a few articles printed in local newspapers. The first of his ten books was published when he was 59-years-old. They consist mostly of short stories and reminiscences, with his one novel, Blown Seed, painting a harsh picture of farm life.

Now a short story competition, with a prize of £500 to the winner, will be launched for the second time to recognise Reid's contribution to written Doric.

The competition is open to all amateur writers* over the age of 16. The story should be concerned with some aspect of life in North-east Scotland and may be written in Scots, including Doric, or English or a mixture of the two.

The award for the best entry will be made at the 2009 WORD Festival weekend (May 13-17) at the University of Aberdeen, when the winning story will be read out by a well-known writer. The story will also be published in Leopard Magazine.

Deadline: 31 March 2009
Length: up to 4,000 words
Send to: Dr Ian Russell, Director, The Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, MacRobert Building, King's College, Aberdeen AB24 5UA.
Fee: Free

Hard copy, size A4, should be sent in addition to an electronic submission in MS Word. For more information contact the Elphinstone Institute 01224-272996 or at

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Open Mic anyone

Absolutely brilliant piece in the Poetry Ireland newsletter on open mics and poetry readings in general by Michael O'Loughlin, writer fellow at Trinity. Download it and read. Now. While I don't agree with every word, there's a whole lot of truth in there. Any comments?

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Strokestown Poetry Competition

Time is moving on to enter the Strokestown competition.

What: poem in English not exceeding 70 lines. (I've often wondered does this include stanza breaks or titles?) All poems must be the unpublished, original work of a living author. Poems must not have been previously published, self-published, published on a website or broadcast...blah, blah, usual conditions
Deadline: 22nd January
Fee: 5 Euro or £4 (Cheaper) per poem
Prize: €4,000 (approximately £3,000 sterling), €2000 and €1000. In addition up to seven commended poets will be invited to read at the festival for a reading fee and travelling expenses totalling €450 (about £380)

Judges: John F. Deane, Penelope Shuttle, Joseph Woods

The judges' shortlists will be announced in mid March, and the prizes will be announced and awarded during the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, which will take place over the weekend of May 1-3 2009.

Shortlisted competitors are expected to attend the prize-giving, and each will be invited to read a selection of his/her work at the festival for a fee of €300 plus €200 travelling expenses. (Contradicts above...?)

Monday, 12 January 2009

Writing Courses in Galway and Castlebar

From Over the Edge

Galway Technical Institute

What: Creative Writing for Beginners
Who: Kevin Higgins
When: one evening per week (Monday) from 7-9.30pm. (8 weeks)
Starting: Monday, 19th January, 2009.
Cost: €115.
Kevin Higgins will provide writing exercises for, and give gentle critical feedback to, those interested in trying their hand at writing poems, stories or memoir.

What: Intermediate Creative Writing
Who: Susan Millar DuMars
When: one evening per week (Tuesday) from 7-9.30pm. (8 weeks)
Starting: Tuesday, 20th January, 2009.
Cost: €115
This class is suitable for those who’ve participated in creative writing classes before or begun to have work published in magazines. Flexible exercises and work-shopping of assignments, together with the study of the works of published writers, will help each class member to find their own writing voice.

To book a place in either class contact GTI, Father Griffin Road, Galway Telephone 091-581342, e-mail or see

Galway Arts Centre

What: Poetry Workshop open to both complete beginners as well as those who’ve been writing for some time.
Who: Kevin Higgins
When: Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm (10 weeks)
Cost: €110 with an €100 concession rate

What: Advanced Poetry Workshop, suitable for those who’ve participated in poetry workshops before or had poems published in magazines.
Who: Kevin Higgins
When: Thursday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (10 weeks)
Cost: €110 with an €100 concession rate

What: Daytime Creative Writing for beginner and continuing creative writing students
Who: Susan Millar DuMars
When: Monday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (10 weeks)
Starting:Monday January 26th
Cost: €110 with an €100 concession rate

This class is suitable for both beginning and continuing creative writing students, working in either poetry or fiction. Students will spend their week responding to writing exercises designed to inspire, rather than inhibit. In class, they will receive gentle feedback on their work from their classmates and from the teacher.

For booking please contact Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street. Phone 091 565886 or email


What: Creative Writing for Beginners
Who: Susan Millar DuMars
When: Wednesday evenings 7.30–9.30 p.m (8 weeks)
Starting: February 11th
Cost: €120.00.

For further details or to book a place contact Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Galway. Telephone 091 742145 or see

When: for twelve weeks and each class lasts two hours.

The classes will suit beginners and improvers. This is a practical course with the emphasis on writing. Topics covered will include what to write about, point of view, setting, style, voice, flash fiction, short stories, poetry, dialogue, drama, critique and markets. At the end of the course, students should have an impressive body of work compiled.

Many satisfied students have taken this course over the past couple of years. Some have gone on to win prizes and had their work published. The actual night that the classes will be held on has not been finalised yet but will most likely be on Thursdays.

To book a place on the course telephone GMIT on 094 90 25 700. If you want further details on the course please telephone 087 9843900. GMIT will host an open evening at the Castlebar campus on Mon 19th Jan from 6-8pm.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Haiku anyone

Here's a call for submissions from the lovely Stony River Farm for Haiku on a theme of flowers.

Bottle Rockets Press in the US.

This flower anthology is due out sometime in 2010. The book will be a perfect-bound with a glossy cover plus an ISBN. Submission can cover any aspects of flowers. Any type of flower is welcome. No tanka, haibun or haiga will be considered.

Please strictly follow the following guidelines to have your work considered.

1) Previously published poems must have:
-the name of 1st publication
-volume number
-issue number
-year of publication

2) Please also indicate:
-the season next to each poem
-and any other useful information.

3) If unpublished please indicate it also next to the haiku.

4) All submissions need to have on the top right corner of the page:
-poet’s name
-e-mail address

Submissions in the USA need a SASE/size 10 envelope.

Outside the USA Submissions need to include an SASE with 2 IRCs or an e-mail address for the editor’s reply.

All submissions must be typed. 5 haiku per page. Please send up to 20 haiku. (Previously published prefered, but not mandatory.)

This will be a highly selective process. Any submission not following these strict guidelines will be discarded without notifying the author. It is the author’s responsibility to follow directions. Deadline for submission August 1, 2009. brp reserves the right to discontinue this book project if it does not acquire enough quality work. Please send submissions to:

Stanford M. Forrester, Editor
bottle rockets press
PO Box 189
Windsor, CT 06095



Canteen corridor
count my steps as syllables
Haiku for breakfast

Saturday, 10 January 2009


Maybe if I write them down, I'm more likely to adhere to some of them.

- Send out more poems, particularly to UK magazines. Plus I haven't sent to Poetry Ireland in a while and I'm sure they're missing me. Once I'm rejected from the Stingy Fly (reading from now to 31st March but they always reject me, bah) I'll start sending out. Any suggestions? Preferably paying.

- Apply for bursaries from whoever is out there for writing, arts council in April, County Council, anywhere else? Again, money is so tight. I have to pay for my writing retreat with something. For writers, it's time that costs. And that's harder to itemise for your average grant.

More later.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Poetry Readings coming up

From Poetry Ireland

Ó Bhéal runs some interesting readings. I do (paid) readings. Just ask!

Monday 12 January @ 9.00pm

PJ Brady and Lisa-Marie Johnson will read for the Ó Bhéal reading series.

The Hayloft (upstairs at The Long Valley), Winthrop St, Cork

T: 085 7126299 E: W:

The White House continue to offer a great selection of poetry readings for Limerick residents. Again, I do (paid) readings.

Patrick Moran

Wednesday 14 January @ 6.30pm

Poetry Ireland in association with White House Poetry Revival presents
poet Patrick Moran.

The White House, 52 O'Connell St, Limerick

T: 086 8657494 / 087 2996409

Annie Finch, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin & Macdara Woods

Sunday 18 January @ 8.00 pm

Poetry Ireland in association with Stonecoast in Ireland presents
Annie Finch, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin & Macdara Woods

The Old Courthouse, Howth, Co Dublin

T: 087 9091724 E:

Thursday, 8 January 2009

New writing courses

Feeling flush? Feeling desparate? Feeling like you'll never get further with your writing? Feeling the need for a workshop/course? Look no further than the Irish Writers' Centre. It's a bit dear but
a. they lost their arts council grant and need the dosh
b. the teachers are big hitter names
c. a bit of networking never did anyone any harm
d. it's often a deadline

19 Jan 6:30 pm John Boyne, yes he forever associated with striped pyjamas will start a class on short stories. He's a lovely man too. 10 weeks for 295 Euro.


Friday 23 Jan 10:30 am (for those of you without a 9-5 commitment) or Friday 6 Feb 6:30 pm Learn to write Poetry with Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill 10 weeks for 295 Euro.

There's other courses too on crime writing, starting, finishing and everything in between. See the Irish Writers Centre website.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Residency Program at The Franciscan Friary in Multyfarnham

The third Residency Program at The Franciscan Friary in Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath, is set to begin on Monday 19 January 2009. It will last for two weeks. The Friars are offering free accommodation and studio space to artists, writers, performers, ecologists, etc., who are willing to engage with the Franciscan community and discuss ideas and plans for their development of a 'Caring For Creation Centre'. The Friary is set on over 60 acres of land with studio space and a small theatre set in what was once an agricultural college. The invitation to participate in the residency programme is not limited to individuals from any one or gender or belief system.

For more information on the application process contact Paul Timoney at:

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The First Page

You have this read this post, at Author, Author, US-biased but relevant nonetheless.

A writers' festival in which brave souls submit (anonymously) the first page of their novels, which are read out loud by a reader. During the readings, as the uncredited writers quake in their chairs, the three agents on the panel shout out “STOP!” at the point where they would cease reading the submission.

It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. And this at a conference thrown by the legendarily courteous-to-strangers Canadians.

Read the long list of reasons to stop reading and then consider your own first page.


21. The character spots him/herself in a mirror, in order to provide an excuse for a physical description.
26. When the first lines are dialogue, the speaker is not identified.
40. The character shown is too average.
41. The stakes are not high enough for the characters.
48. The narrator speaks directly to the reader (“I should warn you…”), making the story hyper-aware of itself qua story.
52. The tag lines are more revealing than the dialogue. (The example used: “She squawked.”)

Also this post on writing to a theme and how not to lose at the first hurdle.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Meme to review 2008

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? ..Electric Picnic!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next
year? ..nothing spectacular. Write more. Did I write more? Yes

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No

4. Did anyone close to you die? Two suicides, though not close to me. One leaving cert student, the school is traumatised. Teachers were crying. Someone at work's sister. He found her. There's a lot of it around.

5. What countries did you visit? ...Germany, England, Northern Ireland (does that count?)

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? ...A holiday. A published novel.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? ..I'm not too good at remembering dates.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? ..Writing-wise, a bursary to go to Bavaria. Workwise, a pay increase.

9. What was your biggest failure? ..Didn't win ... (pick your own competition here)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? ..twisted my ankle really badly in August and it still hurts now when I wear high heels for long.

11. What was the best thing you bought? new camera/phone

14. Where did most of your money go? ..on the mortgage

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? ..Electric Picnic

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? ..Tough one this one. Mercy by Duffy, maybe, or I Kissed a Girl (and I liked it) No, Vampire Weekend/Boston. Great in concert.

18. Compared to this time last year, are you richer or poorer? ... Poorer much.

19. What do you wish you’d done more of? ..spending one-on-one time with himself.

20. What do you wish you’d done less of? ..playing solitaire

21. How did you spend Christmas? ..with family at home, cooking, eating, clearing up, digesting, repeat.

24. What was your favourite TV program? ..Desparate Housewives/Greys Anatomy/Top Gear no Doctor Who

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? ..Life's too short.

26. What was the best book you read? ..Then We Came to the End, probably.

28. What did you want and get? ..a pay rise

29. What did you want and not get? ..a published novel

30. What was your favourite film of this year? ..In Bruges

31. What did you do on your birthday? ..Went to work, came home, ate Pizza

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? ..publication, duh!

34. What kept you sane? kids

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? ..David Tennant

36. What political issue stirred you the most? ..Has to be Obama, not much competition

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008..Let it go. Don't sweat the stuff you can't change.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your, climb every mountain, um, don't stop til you get enough, when the going gets tough, singing in the rain, what a wonderful world.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Words of wisdom from Willesden Herald

Click here for them all but read 'em and learn. You've probably read most before but they can do with reiteration. The less standard winges below:

Thou shalt not put "The End" at the end.
Thou shalt not put pictures in the manuscript for a writing competition.
Thou shalt not include extracts of text from other sources which perplexeth the copyright lawyers mightily.
Thou shalt beware of registered trademarks which likewise troubleth the abovementioned.
Thou shalt not try to portray thine narrator as a great writer reflecting on troubles with latest world publication deal, because forsooth few readers wilt fall for that old trick.
Thou shalt not submit multiple entries under false identities, which cometh sequentially all with typography of the tribe of Myopia and transparent airs about each, which giveth unwitting mirth to the reader.
Thou shalt try to go easy on foreign language words or obscure terms which the reader hath to seek out verily in the temples of Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia, lest they be garbage of the devil.
Accursed be they who include sentences and phrases in foreign languages that the reader hath no competence in, even if thou attemptest to reassure with translations in which said poor reader can have but little faith.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Arts Council Bursary Decisions

The last round of arts council bursary decisions are announced. Here are the literary ones:

Begley, Barty Limerick City Council €14,000 (Postgraduate translation studies Leeds) He won the Aidan Higgins Competition, otherwise little information to be found.

Dorcey, Mary Wicklow County Council €14,000 Here's a poem by her.

Firetog, Emily Dublin City Council €14,000 MA in Creative Writing TCD. Short Stories.

Granier, Mark Poet Multi Annual Bursary. €45,000 awarded over 3 years:€15,000 in 2008, €15,000 in 2009 and €15,000 in 2010 South Dublin County Council. Mark's blog is here.

Groarke, Vona Multi Annual Bursary. €29,000 awarded over 2 years: €14,650 in 2008 and €14,650 in 2009 United Kingdom Poet

Harpur, James Cork County Council €9,984 Poet

Malone, Martin Kildare County Council €14,000 Novelist.

McManus, Manus Dublin City Council €5,000 poet won the Patrick Kavanagh in 1985.

Ni Bhroin, Ainin Dublin City Council €14,000 MA in creative Writing TCD. I think she's a poet.

Wyley, Enda Multi Annual Bursary. €20,000 awarded over 2 years: €10,000 in 2008 and €10,000 in 2009 Dublin City Council poet

There's quite a lot of poets here and it's a bit Dublin centric. Quite a few emerging writers too.

Friday, 2 January 2009

The Wigtown Poetry Competition

Deadline: 30th January 2009

The Wigtown Poetry Competition is the largest poetry competition in Scotland, with over 2000 entries in its first year. It is open to anyone in the UK or outside. Poems must not exceed 40 lines (not including title).

Fees: The first poem submitted costs £6.00 and three poems costs £15.00. Subsequent entries cost £6.00 each or an additional £10.00 for every additional 3.

Judge: internationally acclaimed poet, critic and playwright Douglas Dunn.
Gaelic Judge: Kevin MacNeil, winner of the prestigious Tivoli Europa Giovani International Poetry Prize.

1st Prize £2500
2nd Prize £1000
3rd Prize £500
Gaelic Prize £1000
Ten supplementary prizes of £50 each
Winning poem and runner up will be published in the Scotsman.
Winners notified by Monday 6th April 2009

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Review of the Year

This is the time of year I suppose to look back on the last year and then look ahead to the new year. I'm never very good at making plans and sticking to them.

- Reading in Belfast for the Windows Publications Introductions February
- Shortlisted for the Hennessey New Irish Writing for Short Story April
- Attended a poetry workshop at the Poetry Now Festival with Jamie McKendrick
- Printed, publicised and distributed the Poetry in The Waiting Room leaflets Summer
- Performed at Electric Picnic Music and Arts Festival August
- Received the Tyrone Guthrie Exchange Bursary with Overpfälzer Kűnstlerhaus August
- Received an Arts Council Travel Grant
- Attended Poetry Workshop with Gerald Dawe September
- Led a Writing Workshop at the National Gallery September
- Poem published in Food and Wine Magazine October
- Organised a National Poetry Day Reading October
- Readings at Farmleigh and South Dublin Libraries' Readers Day
- Haiku sequence in the anthology 'Night and Day'/New Island December 2008
- Included in blog anthology Homespages
- Poem accepted with The SHOp magazine for 2009

The list of rejections is much longer (which is par for the course and no one should be focusing on the negative.)

What did I not do that I meant to?

- Finish my novel
- Get my poetry collection finished/published
- Finish my novel
- Earns lots of money so I can concentrate on finishing my novel
- Get a bursary so I can concentrate on finishing my novel
- Finish my novel