Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Fiction Online Workshop

Have a read of these long posts from Sally Zigmond on The Elephant in the Writing Room blog.

Now I've read pretty much all of what she says elsewhere but it does bear reading again, reminders. Knowing something and putting it into practise are two different things.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Poetry Collection " Identity Parade"

This sounds like a terrific anthology from the fantasticly astute people at Bloodaxe (publish me please?)

Friday, July 2, 2010
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Charlie Byrnes Bookshop
The Cornstore, Middle Street


Identity Parade presents new British and Irish poetry at a time of great vibrancy and variety. It is the first anthology to comprehensively represent the generation of poets who have emerged since the mid-1990s. Eclectic, diverse and wide-ranging in scope, the book fully reflects the climate of “the pluralist now”. It offers the work of 85 highly individual and distinctive talents whose poems display the breadth of styles and approaches characteristic of our current poetry.

These writers are prospering all over Britain and Ireland – from Shetland to Aberystwyth, from Gravesend to Galway – as well as further afield. Many new and undersung poets appear alongside this generation’s most celebrated names, and probably for the first time in any major poetry anthology, more women writers than men are featured. All the poets have either published first collections within the past 15 years or make their debut within the next year.

Identity Parade is as accessible to the new reader as to the aficionado, with each poet introduced by a biographical note also covering their themes and concerns, plus an author photograph. This is the essential starting place for anyone interested in the poetry of here and now.

Poets included in Identity Parade: Patience Agbabi, Jonathan Asser, Tiffany Atkinson, Simon Barraclough, Paul Batchelor, Kate Bingham, Julia Bird, Patrick Brandon, David Briggs, Andy Brown, Judy Brown, Colette Bryce, Matthew Caley, Siobhan Campbell, Vahni Capildeo, Melanie Challenger, Kate Clanchy, Polly Clark, Julia Copus, Sarah Corbett, Claire Crowther, Tim Cumming, Ailbhe Darcy, Peter Davidson, Nick Drake, Sasha Dugdale, Chris Emery, Bernardine Evaristo, Paul Farley, Leontia Flynn, Annie Freud, Alan Gillis, Jane Griffiths, Vona Groarke, Jen Hadfield, Sophie Hannah, Tracey Herd, Kevin Higgins, Matthew Hollis, A.B. Jackson, Anthony Joseph, Luke Kennard, Nick Laird, Sarah Law, Frances Leviston, Gwyneth Lewis, John McAuliffe, Chris McCabe, Helen Macdonald, Patrick McGuinness, Kona Macphee, Peter Manson, D.S. Marriott, Sam Meekings, Sinéad Morrissey, Daljit Nagra, Caitríona O'Reilly, Alice Oswald, Katherine Pierpoint, Clare Pollard, Jacob Polley, Diana Pooley, Richard Price, Sally Read, Deryn Rees-Jones, Neil Rollinson, Jacob Sam-la Rose, Antony Rowland, James Sheard, Zoë Skoulding, Catherine Smith, Jean Sprackland, John Stammers, Greta Stoddart, Sandra Tappenden, Tim Turnbull, Julian Turner, Mark Waldron, Ahren Warner, Tim Wells, Matthew Welton, David Wheatley, Sam Willetts, Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, Tamar Yoseloff.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Writers for Children

Conor Kostick who writes for O'Brien Press is the writer in residence in Farmleigh this year. See here for his post about it.

He says:

In August I will be giving two creative writing workshops for writers of children’s literature. Places will be limited but anyone interested can send 1,000 words of their work in progress to and we’ll get back to them.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition 2010

Here we go again. Do you want to have a bash at this, this year? Got a cracker of a story worth lashing out 15 Euro?

First Prize: €1,500 (approx US $2000) and publication in the literary journal Southword.
Second Prize: €500 (approx US $650) and publication in Southword.
Four other shortlisted entries will be selected for publication in Southword and receive a fee of €120 (approx USD $150).

The winners will be announced at the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival in Cork in September 2010. The winners will be invited to read their prize-winning stories at the festival.

Fee: €15, US $20 or £15.
Judge: For 2010 Short Review founder and editor Tania Hershman.

3,000 words or fewer

Deadline: 31st July 2010.

Website here

Friday, 25 June 2010

Written Word Weekend Drumshambo

Another Festival for you

Written Word Weekend is a literary festival held in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim every August Bank Holiday. This year it will run from Friday 30th July to Monday 2nd August.

Friday 30th July 8.30pm  Berry’s Tavern, High St.,
‘Writers’ Reading’ & Official Welcome Open Mike & DJ

Saturday 31st July (Night) 9pm Berry’s Tavern, High St.,
‘Written Word Cabaret’
Poetry Chicks
The Ukulele Lady
More TBA €5

Sunday 1st August (Night) 9pm Berry’s Tavern, High St.,
‘Published Writers Reading’
Eoin McNamee
Tony Curtis
Belinda Mckeon
More TBA
Hosted by Eileen O’Toole
€5/€7 (Supported by Poetry Ireland)

Monday 2nd August (Day) 2pm Berry’s Tavern, High St.,
‘Poetry Brunch’
Quiet Poems and short stories with Special Guests TBA.
Everyone welcome to listen and bring something along to read. Free

They're looking for suggestions. I suggest the Poetry Divas!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Barbara Kingsolver in Dun Laoghaire

The lovely people at DLR Library Voices Series present:

Barbara Kingsolver reading from her Orange Prize-winning novel, The Lacuna and later In Conversation with Claire Kilroy.

When: Mon 19 July 7.30pm

Where: The Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire.

Tickets €10, Pavilion Box Office 231 2929

I'm guessing this will sell out quick as she is a super writer and very popular.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Popshot Magazine

I got a couple of copies of this poetry magazine. It really is beautifully put together. Each copy has a theme. Each poem has a brief explanation of the inspiration from the poet and is illustrated. That said, not all the poems are (whisper) very good. Some are though. So why not help up the ante and support an imaginative project by

- buying a copy
- submitting

The theme is 'This Is Modern Living'.

They say

We look for poems with originality, not carbon copies of poetry classics.
Poems with a linguistic focus on rhythm, repetition and pattern are preferred but this definitely doesn't mean obscure free verse is overlooked.
Poems must be no longer than 25 lines and must be written to the theme.
Please also include a paragraph or two about yourself and a short explanation of the poem - why you came to write it and what it means to you.
Submit poems by email to

Deadline: 31st July 2010 at the very latest.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Writing from Within workshop

This workshop takes place on the lovely Beara penisula. They have a special offer at the moment, deadline 30th June.

Thursday, 22nd to Sunday 25th July 2010 as a residential "long weekend" workshop at the Anam Cara Retreat. Special all-in rate of €400 until Wednesday 30th June, when it reverts back to the standard fee of €450.

Combining the haiku work with meditation, breath and light practices, the outstanding natural beauty of Ireland's Béara Peninsula and the peace and quiet of Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat and gardens, the aim of the workshop is to heighten our levels of awareness, finding a path to the "principle within," which is the true source of our inspiration. Please note that no experience of writing haiku or of meditation is required.

 The Workshop Fee includes: 

  • Workshop tuition and meditation/exercise sessions
  • Room and full board with your own room and en suite (either at Anam Cara or a nearby B&B; transport to & from B&Bs to Anam Cara provided if needed)
  • Access to all the amenities at Anam Cara including the common working areas, the movie and music loft, the conservatory, the hot tub overlooking Coulagh Bay (bring your swimming costume), the sauna, and the five acres of garden and riverbank grove with 32+ quiet nooks and crannies
 Sounds like a bargain if you fancy a creative, meditative week away in July.

For further information and bookings, and to look at the weekend programme, e-mail Sue at or call Anam Cara on 027-74441. More details on

Please note that "Writing from Within" is limited to a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 participants on a first-deposit-in basis. The deposit is 50% of the workshop fee.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Poetry Divas at the Body and Soul Solstice Gathering

The Poetry Divas rocked the Body and Soul Solstice Gathering. And what fantastic weather. We read in the Birdcage Stage, the Berry Bar (sponsored by Bulmers) and the Rose Garden (could have used a mic there, organisers please note)

Creative Holiday Writing

This is worth a look-see.

Win 365 nights in the Radisson Blu Hotels. to be taken over 5 years.

Anyone can submit him or herself, and anyone can vote for their favorite once a day.
The candidate with the most votes on July 24th, 2010 wins 365 hotel nights and 5 years to spend them at any of 200+ Radisson Blu hotels.

Nominate yourself if you feel you’re a worthy candidate for The Greatest Holiday in the World.

What's that if that's not creative writing? Simple! You may have to garnder some votes but what have you got too lose? You (and everyone else) can vote once a day (clever marketing)

You must be an EU-citizen or a citizen of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland to participate but not to vote. Anyone can vote.
You can vote for all candidates once a day, every day until July 24th, 2010. The candidate with the most votes on this day wins.

In addition to the main competition there are also Creativity Awards. - Every week the Radisson Blu Team will select up to 10 winners among the latest entries. Winners are selected based on humour, creativity and originality used to present their stories.
Creativity Award winners get a special badge for their candidate page and a special prize from Radisson Blu.

VS Pritchett Short Story

Got an absolute cracker of a story, unpublished as yet? You've still time to send it here.

Prize of £1,000, and the winning entry will be published in Prospect magazine and the RSL Review. In addition to this, there will be an opportunity to appear at an RSL event with established short story writers in autumn 2010.

Entrants must be citizens of the UK or the Republic of Ireland, or have been resident for the past three years. Stories entered for the competition must not have been published previously, or broadcast in any other medium. Any story submitted should be between 2,000 and 5,000 words in length.

Fee: £5 towards administrative costs. Fees must be paid in sterling, by cheques drawn on a UK bank or by postal order. (Tricky for most Irish writers then)

Judges Tom Chatfield of Prospect and the authors Georgina Hammick
and Jacob Ross.

Deadline: 30 June 2010 - snailmail only so get a move on.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Bridport Competitions

Got a cracker of a story or a poem you threw your whole heart and mind into? Send it to Bridport. The standard is scarily high but someone has to win...

Short Story.
: Zoe Heller

1st = £5000 (approx. 7460 US$, 5589 Euro)
2nd = £1000 (approx. 1490 US$, 1117Euro)
3rd = £500 (approx. 745 US$, 558 Euro)

10 supplementary prizes of £50 each

5000 words maximum (no minimum) The title is NOT included in the word count

Fee: £7 per story

42 lines maximum (no minimum)
The title is NOT included in the line count

Judge: Michael Laskey

1st = £5000 (approx. 7460 US$, 5589 Euro)
2nd = £1000 (approx. 1490 US$, 1117Euro)
3rd = £500 (approx. 745 US$, 558 Euro)

10 supplementary prizes of £50 each

Fee: £6 per poem
Deadline: 30th June 2010.(24.00 Midnight GMT)

Friday, 18 June 2010

Poetry Divas at Body and Soul Gathering

This solstice weekend, come to the Body and Soul Gathering in Ballinlough Castle, Clonmellon, Co Meath.

The lovely people who organise the magical enclave that is Body and Soul at Electric Picnic are celebrating the solstice in their own, inimitable style. See the website here

And the Poetry Divas will be there too in their own inimitable style, on the Sunday in the celebrating all things summer. In the Birdcage, the Rose Garden and the Berry Bar.

They say:

The Body & Soul Solstice Weekend is inspired by nature, art, music, performance, sustainability, healing arts, community and creative expression in its many guises. Our intention is to co-create a vibrant sense of community; to awaken a sense of connection between people and the environment, the artist and the viewer, the world of dreams and the natural world we inhabit.

There's music of all kinds, arts, performance, soul kids for under 12s, food and drink, glow lanterns, fire eaters, and bonfires. Fantastic! Come by and say hi.
All in all a brilliant weekend promised.

Get thee to Dalkey

Come to a book festival with a difference. The first annual Dalkey Book Festival will take place in Dalkey, Co Dublin from Friday 18th Sunday 20th June 2010.

Want to listen to the collected wisdom of local lad Ross O Carroll Kelly and then dance in a club where the Rosser himself is spinning the discs? Or maybe walk the Flann O Brien, Dalkey Archive trail with “The Brother” -Eamon Morrissey? What about, on the 20th anniversary of Italia ‘90, talking football, books and politics with Eamon Dunphy, Des Cahill, Dermot Bolger and Declan Lynch?

If writing’s your passion, fancy a chat with Maeve Binchy? You never know, you might just bump into Joseph O’ Connor and Martina Devlin. Or see Nick Dunning performing Shaw, Gary Jermyn reacting to Beckett or maybe you can explore Joyce’s Dalkey – when all the Bloomsday crowds have gone.

Tony Award winner Conor Mc Pherson will be there, talking about writing for the stage, while Mark Little will examine what the future of writing and communication might look like. And, delving back to Dalkey’s pirate past when it was the swine smuggling centre of Ireland, you can watch Edgar Allan Poe performed in a medieval graveyard when darkness finally falls on the longest day of the year.

For families, there is an enchanting performance of Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, readings by Marita Conlon-McKenna and Gordon Snell, while for the little ones there are puppet shows and entertainment at the family funfair.

“Traders in Dalkey village have joined forces with some of the area’s great literary talent and come up with this festival which aims to create a unique cultural offering,” said David McWilliams. “The initial response to the idea has been overwhelmingly positive and in a very short time frame we have been able to put together a great festival programme. We aim to make this a significant annual event.”

All this and more awaits visitors to this unique festival in the heritage town of Dalkey from 18th-20th of June. For more information, visit us at , or on facebook ‘Dalkey Book Festival’ or on twitter;  For tickets, please visit the website,

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Writing without Borders

Here's details on the summer school in Belfield, UCD at the John Hume Institute building.

Creative Writing Summer School
30th August–1st September 2010

They say it is:

a unique opportunity to work in a focussed way with some of Ireland’s leading creative writers, covering all the main literary genres and exploring themes related to the notion of Irish writing within a wider, global context. Open to writers of all levels.

30 Aug
11:00–13:00 Creative Writing workshop with Nessa O’Mahony,
15:00–17:00 Master Class with Pat Boran

31 Aug
11:00–13:00 Creative Writing workshop with Nessa O’Mahony
15:00–17:00 Master Class with Claire Keegan

1 Sept
11:00–13:00 Creative writing workshop with Nessa O’Mahony
15:00–17:00 Master Class with Hugo Hamilton
18:30 Reading with Pat Boran, Hugo Hamilton and Nessa O’Mahony

Fee is Eur250
includes all tuition and lunch each day

Contact Nessa O’Mahony
Telephone +353 87 9309670

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

6 and 8? Those are shoe sizes!


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Poetry Map of Belfast

This sounds like a great, imaginative idea. We should transplant it to other towns and cities.

The Poetry in Motion 2010 programme is now beginning and will run until the end of September. The theme will be the creation of a poetry map of Belfast. Participants across the city will have the opportunity to work with our poets in residence to create their own work (text or audio) inspired by the places they know and love.

Six poets will take up ‘residency ‘in six areas across Belfast to engage local groups and communities to produce original verse inspired by places in the city. Poets will be working in community centres, public venues and in the streets to encourage local people to create poems about the places they know and love.

The workshops will be organised in centres based in Belfast in order to promote access and participation from all communities. Poems can be written or audio recorded and could possibly be included in the publication produced at the end of the process.

A selection of submissions will be published in a book and/or CD and on-line on New Belfast’s website. Poems will be organised in an interactive “poetry map” of Belfast and in poetry itineraries of the city (also downloadable on-line). Listeners and readers will be able to choose poems related to particular places, or to embark on poetry tours of the city

If you, or your community group, would like to participate or would like more information about the project please email or telephone 028 9092 3493.

Monday, 14 June 2010


From Bugged. On July 1st, go out eavesdropping. Take some conversation you've overheard and use it as the trigger for a piece of writing. The best pieces will be included in an anthology alongside
It does say writers resident in the UK...

There are some examples on the site.

Deadline: 12pm on Sunday August 15th 2010.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Dalkey Book Festival

If you're not festivaled out, here's another in Dalkey. 18th - 20th June.

Events include

Declan Hughes and John Connolly - Ten Crime Novels to Read Before You Die
Location: 31 Castle Street, Jun 19, 2010 02:00 PM € 10.00

Joseph O'Connor in conversation with Martina Devlin
Location: Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre Jun 19, 2010 03:00 PM € 10.00

Flann O'Brien walk with Eamon Morrissey
Location: Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre Jun 19, 2010 05:00 PM € 8.00

Ross O'Carroll-Kelly
Location: Vico Jun 19, 2010 10:00 PM € 15.00

Brian Keenan & Martina Devlin in conversation with Kate Holmquist
Location: Country Bake Jun 20, 2010 12:30 PM Free

Ferdia MacAnna & Lia Mills - Memoirs
Location: New 2 You Jun 20, 2010 02:30 PM Free

John Waters
Location: Idle Wilde Jun 20, 2010 04:30 PM Free

Friday, 11 June 2010

Puffin Links for Sharing

Happy Birthday Puffin! 70 years of Puffin. I was in the Puffin Club with their lovely magazine, the Puffin Post. I had a poem in there once too. Puffin started with Worzel Gummidge, the scarecrow.

Vote for your favourite Puffin from each decade - a tough choice. I love them all. By 16th June.

You can dress your own Puffin here - silly but fun.

A Nuffin Like a Puffin video here.


The world's most beautiful libraries. Stunning. If I was (When I am) a 52-year-old Internet entrepreneur, I would have a library like Jay Walker's. Absolutely glorious.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Reading & Discussion with Mia Gallagher & Nessa O'Mahony

Two of Dublin's wellknown writers - novelist and playwright Mia Gallagher and poet Nessa OMahony - will read and then discuss the art of writing.

Friday, June 11, 2010
8:00pm - 10:00pm
Centre For Creative Practices
15 Pembroke Street Lower, Dublin

Mia Gallagher's debut novel "HellFire" (described as a "grand achievement" by The Guardian) received international critical acclaim and the Literature Award in Irish Tatler's Women of the Year 2007. Her short stories have been published in Ireland, the UK and the US and have won the START short fiction award as well as being nominated for a Hennessy Award.
As a theatre-maker, Mia has performed widely in Ireland and Europe, working primarily with Lecoq-influenced company, Carpet Theatre. She has facilitated workshops in performance, storytelling, creative writing and communication skills since 1999, with groups ranging from people in prison to professional writers. Her public art projects include The Writing Room at Clonmel Junction Festival and iad-T in the Park (part of her work as current Writer-in-Residence with the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) and Dun Laoire Rathdown Arts Office). Mia has received Arts Council funding for literature and theatre and is a member of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild. She is currently completing her second novel.

Nessa OMahony lives in Dublin. Her first poetry collection, Bar Talk, was published by iTaLiCs Press, Dublin in 1999. Her second, Trapping a Ghost, was published by bluechrome, Bristol, in 2005 and a verse novel, In Sight of Home, was published by Salmon in 2009. She was awarded an Irish Arts Council literature bursary in 2004.

Members €5
Non-Members €7.50

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


There's a new mag coming out. So it has no track record (duh)
If you want to take a punt on the standard and fellow magazinees, here's the details.

Modesty Press a New Independent Publisher based in Dublin.
In 2010 they hope to publish the first volume of A Modest Review, a quarterly journal of new writing. To this end they are actively reading submissions of short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

Some approximate guidelines include:
Short fiction: Up to 5,000 words
Poetry: Up to 500 words
Creative nonfiction: Up to 5,000 words

If you would like to have your work reviewed for possible publication, please submit typescript copies to Modesty Press, 25-26 Windsor Place, Pembroke St. Lower, Dublin 2.

Submissions can also be made electronically (in either .pdf or .rtf format) to Please note that hardcopy submissions will receive priority. Please visit for more information.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Philip O Ceallaigh Cuts the Crap

At the West Cork festival. Sounds good.

Saturday 10 July at 2.30pm

You can download the amended booking form on the website

His workshop is still not on the website so I don't know where or how much. I suspect Ardscoil Phobal, Chapel Street, Bantry
Max 15 participants per workshop

€175 for 5 days

During this seminar,Philip will discuss the generalities and specifics of writing fiction, and offer some straight talking from one who has edited and been edited, with the emphasis on self-editing, self-criticism and rewriting.
Philip O Ceallaigh's first collection of stories Notes from a Turkish Whorehouse established him as one of the most vital and distinctive new voices in fiction. The Pleasant Light of Day confirms his talent and presses brilliantly into new territory. Philip O Ceallaigh is a writer who demands to be read.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Poem for the Poetry Bus

The bus this week driven by The Weaver on of Grass. On the subject of flora or fauna.

This is one of a sequence on collective nouns. I am not a political poet generally but this puts me in mind of the events in international waters off Gaza.

The Murder of Crows

(removed for rework and submission)

Sunday, 6 June 2010

'...for peace comes dropping slow' call for public to participate in filming

Anyone in Sligo?

Filming commences Thursday 10th June at 7pm

Public call to participate in the filming of  “…for peace comes dropping slow”. W.B. Yeats
Filming of the shoot will commence on: Thursday 10th of June @ 7pm

If you have not already registered, please register your, mobile number and email address to: (Tara Lewis)
You will then receive further instructions and final information (what to wear) for the shoot from Tara Lewis.

Please bring with you! Torches, small LEDs and or your mobile phone as you will be using them as part of the shoot!

All participants must take the shuttle bus (15 min journey)
Buses will depart from:
Institute of Technology Sligo @ 7pm SHARP! (Please be there prior to this time) And - Abbey Hotel, Dromahair @ 7.20pm

On-site filming will commence immediately after at 8.30pm

The shoot will finish no later than 10.30pm with shuttle buses returning to the Institute of Technology Sligo and Dromahair.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Interesting Links - at least to me

Sharing is Caring

Hot Guys Reading Books - dispelling the myth that no good looking men read. Is there an equivalent for women?

The Poetry Bus on Facebook with the ineffable TFE (actually he does eff from time to time)

Super post from guest blogger Mary DeMuth on Rachelle Gardner's blog. Three words: Tenacious, Talkative, and Teachable. How true.

The truth about submitting to the Booker and costs from FictionBitch.

And this year the Guardian First Book Prize costs too. So say goodbye to poetry. From Emma Lee's blog.

And Neil Astley complained very publicly on facebook. Perhaps they're listening.

One of my favourite superstar poets, Simon Armitage is walking the tough Pennine way in July, cap in hand. Here's his website if you're anywhere near and want to join in.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Erotic Writing

(I may get some more hits with this title!)

Apropo of nothing much except I just found this while looking for something else, here's a link to a piece I had a good few years agoon Women's House, Radio 4.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010


A cultural evening of selected readings and music to honour those who have experienced sexual violence in Ireland and to reflect on themes of cultural responsibility and healing will take place on Sunday the 20th of June St Stephen’s Church (Pepper Cannister).

Readings By:
Roddy Doyle, Joseph O’Connor, Lia Mills, Tom Murphy, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Theo Dorgan.

Music From:
Don Baker, Karan Casey, Eleanor McEvoy, Christy Moore.

Chaired by Theo Dorgan, with Maeve Lewis, executive director of One in Four

When: 7.30-9.30pm Sunday 20th June 2010
Where: St Stephen’s Church (Pepper Cannister), off Merrion Square, Dublin
Tickets: €25.00

Tickets Available:
Online via:
Phone: 01 6624070

Helping people to reflect on the issues of sexual violence in Irish society. All proceeds in aid of One in Four, registered charity.