Thursday, 28 February 2013



Sunday 3 March 8pm

Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin

Join us on International Ear and Sound Day for three unique live performances in the Boys School at Smock Alley Theatre, each featuring a collaboration by a poet and a sound artist.

Scheduled as part of the Collaborations Festival 2013, this show will include experimental sound performances by poets Kit Fryatt, Annemarie Ni Churreáin, Christodoulos Makris, and sound artists Elizabeth Hilliard, Ed Devane, Keith Lindsay.

Entrance €5 (Tickets available on the door)

More Info 0871252184


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Launch of Crannóg 32

Friday March 1st sees the launch of the 32nd issue of Crannóg. 

Over 100 pages packed with stories and poems and still only €6.

The Crane Bar, Sea Rd, Galway at 6.30 pm

There will be readings by some of the contributors and, for those who don't want to go home, there will be music by The Molly Hicks at 9.30pm. 

Crannog is going all ereader!

Each issue of Crannóg is now available for the Kindle Reader. You can download issue 32 HERE. You can also have a free Look Inside!

Submissions for Crannóg 33, the summer 2013 issue, open on March 1st and close March 31st.
Please, please, please read full submission rules HERE!
They're quite specific.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Forked Tongues: Galician, Basque and Catalan Women's Poetry in Translations by Irish Writers

Galicia, the Basque country and Catalonia have often found in Ireland an "inspiring Other" whether for political, social or cultural reasons. This anthology engages in an intercultural dialogue which redefines and strengthens the literary bonds among these communities. A selection of the most prominent Galician, Basque and Catalan contemporary women poets have their verse recreated in English by Irish writers. Together they enrich the European literary scene by celebrating its diversity.

Edited by Manuela Palacios and published by Shearsman, Forked Tongues features work by Pilar Pallarés, Chus Pato, Lupe Gómez Arto, Yolanda Castaño, María do Cebreiro (Galicia); Itxaro Borda, Miren Agur Meabe, Castillo Suárez, Leire Bilbao (Basque Country); Vinyet Panyella, Susanna Rafart, Gemma Gorga, Mireia Calafell (Catalonia).

Translations by: Maurice Harmon, Lorna Shaughnessy, Anne Le Marquand Hartigan, Máighréad Medbh, Mary O'Donnell, Celia de Fréine, Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Susan Connolly, Paddy Bushe, Michael O'Loughlin, Paula Meehan, Keith Payne, Theo Dorgan. Translation drafts by Kirsty Hooper, Diana Cullell and Juan Arana-Cobos.
Spanish wine will be served.


28/02/2013 (18:00 h)


Instituto Cervantes - Café Literario
Lincoln House, Lincoln Place
2 Dublin

Monday, 25 February 2013

Heart in Mouth Poetry Competition

The Heart in Mouth audio competition will be Ireland's first ever poetry prize for original audio poetry.

Entrants will record their best and most heart-felt work and send it as an MP3 file to judges Colm Keegan and Dave Lordan. They will judge the entries based on the strength of the reading as well as
the content of the work.

The winner will receive an Ipod and, along with the two runners up, will be invited to partake in the Heart in Mouth performance poetry showcase along with special guests on Sat April 27th.

Other dates for your diary:
April 6th and 16th: Want advice on your writing?
Dave and Colm will offer two free editorial advice clinics in Blanchardstown Library.
Note: Places are limited so early booking is advised.

April 20th: Closing date for “Heart in Mouth” Poetry competition
April 27th: Winners showcase event.
The showcase event will also include free talks and workshops by Dave and Colm on the theme of Getting Creative. Again, early booking is advised.

This competition is FREE to enter.
Entries can be sent to

Friday, 22 February 2013

Exeter Writers Short Story Competition 2013

Exeter Writers announces its 2013 Exeter Writers Short Story Competition. In this fifth year of the competition, prizes have been increased to £500, £250 and £100 with an extra Devon Prize of £100.

Entries are invited from all writers
First prize: £500
Second prize: £250
Third prize: £100
Plus an additional prize of £100 for a writer living in Devon
Entry fee for the story is £5 sterling

Stories should be no longer than 3,000 words

Deadline: 31 March 2013

Link here 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Writer in Residence - Kerry

Kerry County Council and the Arts Council are seeking applicants for a Writer In Residence. The Residency is open to writers in all genres, and aims to have a countywide impact. It is a part-time position (20 hour week - 5 hours of which is for the Writer's own work development) and the successful applicant will be asked to stimulate greater awareness of the art of creative writing as well as encouraging more opportunities for people to engage with the work of writers.

The Writer's ability to mentor up-coming writers, young people and those interested in developing their writing skills must be demonstrated.

For more details Kate Kennelly on 066 71 83541 or email

From the Irish Literary Times

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

West Cork Literary Festival Workshops

West Cork in the summer. Mmm

Ever since West Cork Literary Festival’s inception in the late 1990s, workshops for adults have been at the heart of the programme.  Encouraging both novice and experienced writers, they cover many areas of the discipline, from how to get published to how to get past page one. Our five-day workshops, still quite unique among Irish literary festivals, provide week-long opportunities for development and intensive learning not possible in one sitting. Three-day workshops are also programmed to allow for a shorter but no less intensive learning experience. Yet another highlight is the Editor-in-Residence whose one-to-one sessions were tremendously popular in 2012, selling out in record time.

Fees: €160 (5-day); €100 (3-day)
*There will be an additional fee for the ferry to/from Whiddy Island for the Travel Writing Workshop.
Dates & Times: All workshops run concurrently 9.30am-12.30pm
Mon-Fri, 8-12 July 2013 (5-day) & Mon-Wed, 8-10 July 2013 (3-day)


SONGWRITING with Jimmy Crowley
MEMOIR AND NON FICTION with Carol Drinkwater

WORDS ALLOWED - Workshop for Teenage Writers with Dave Lordan 

I SEE A VOICE...* with Thomas Conway
3-day or 5-day workshop optional

Fee: €40 per 50-min session (available times below)

Lots more details here

Monday, 18 February 2013

Southword Submissions

Southword, the online Cork journal are taking poetry submissions until 15th March

I think the editor is Thomas McCarthy.

They submit via Submittable.

There are strict formating guidelines and a limit of 6 poems
Up-to-date biographical note with a cover letter etc etc

See here where you can also find back issues to read to see what floats their boat.

Authors are paid €30 per poem published. 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Trocaire-Poetry Ireland Competition

All info at

The prizes include two weeks at Annaghmakerrig or an iPad for the winners in the adult categories and Kindles or book tokens for the schools winners.

Theme: Today’s Children Tomorrow’s World.

Deadline: Friday, 01 March

One entry per person and no entry fee 

Open to all ages (well from 3rd Class up) and there are 6 categories overall.

  • Published
  • Non-Published
Primary School
  • Junior (3rd/4th Class)
  • Senior (5th/6th Class)
  • Junior (1st/3rd Year)
  • Senior (TY/Leaving Cert)
Judged by John F. Deane, Éamonn Meehan and Mary Shine Thompson. 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Molly Keane Short Story Award

Another Short Story Competition. They're coming up thick and fast, like grass in a warm spring day.
This one has been around for years and is free to enter.

Now in it’s 16th year, Waterford County Council’s Arts Office is pleased to announce that it is currently accepting entries for the national Molly Keane  Creative Writing Award.

The late writer lived, until her death in 1996, in Ardmore, Co. Waterford.  Her first ten novels and four plays were published under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell.  In 1981 ‘Good Behaviour’ became a publishing sensation for which she was short listed for the prestigious Booker Prize.

To celebrate this rich literary life, the County Waterford Arts Office, by kind permission of the Keane family, is inviting entries for a previously unpublished short story to a maximum of 2000 words.

There is no entry fee, no age limit and no restriction on the subject matter.

A prize of €500 will be awarded to the winner at a special ceremony during the IMMRAMA Literary Festival in Lismore, Co. Waterford in June 2013.

Deadline: 4pm on Thursday 21st March 2013.

Full details and an entry form can be downloaded here : Molly Keane Entry Form 2013 (Word.doc, 404 kbs)

Friday, 15 February 2013

Trocaire-Poetry Ireland Competition

The closing date for the 2013 Trócaire-Poetry Ireland poetry competition is Friday, 01 March.

Poetry Ireland and Trócaire are inviting entries for their second all-Ireland poetry competition.

This year’s theme is Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s World.

The competition will be judged by John F. Deane, Éamonn Meehan and Mary Shine Thompson.

Entries are invited from 3rd class to adults.

Only one entry per person and I think it's free to enter.
Link here

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Poets to Check Out - Rudy Francisco

Love Poem Medley for Valentine's Day- starts off goofy then goes sublime.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Listowel Writers' Week Competitions

There is a wide array of competitions available for the aspiring writer

Full details of this year's Competitions can be found at:-

The Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award
The Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award
Duais Foras na Gaeilge
Eamon Keane Full Length Play
The Single Poem Competition
The Poetry Collection Competition
Writing in Prisons Competitions
The Irish Post New Writing Competition
The Nilsson Local Heritage Writing Competition
New for 2013!
Listowel Writers' Week Originals Competitions
The Con Houlihan Young Sports Journalist Award
Writing Competitions for Youth

Closing Date for receipt of
ALL entries is Friday 1st March 2013.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

James Plunkett Short Story Award

Sponsored by the 1913 Lockout Commemoration, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature,
Dublin City Council, Dublin City Libraries and ICTU
Organised by the Irish Writers' Union in partnership with the Irish Writers' Centre.
James Plunkett was known as one of Ireland's greatest social commentators. A founder member of the Irish Writers' Union, James Plunkett's seminal work, Strumpet City, still stands as one of the great Irish works of the 20th century. This year, it is of particular importance as it allows the reader to access the story behind the 1913 Dublin Lockout.

1st prize: €2,000
2nd prize: €1,000
3rd prize: €500

Winners will be chosen from 9 shortlisted candidates.

In the course of the year, there will be three separate competitions - each of which will lead to three winning authors being invited to read their stories at a public reading in the Irish Writers' Centre. The readings will be presented as the James Plunkett Readings and the three winning authors promoted as being short-listed for the James Plunkett Award. There will be a separate guest judge, an established short story writer, for each of these three competitions. The guest judge will speak about the stories on the night, about the short story in general, and give a guest reading from his/her own work. A fourth guest judge will select the Award winner, runner-up, and third-placed prize-winner from the nine shortlisted candidates chosen at the three previous events.

In addition to the prize fund and the chance to speak alongside an established writer, the winners will be invited to speak at events organised by the Dublin City Library Service towards the end of the year as part of their promotion of Plunkett's Strumpet City as the 'One City, One Book' title for 2013.

Competition Deadlines:
First James Plunkett Reading Wed 10 April (Closing date for entries 07 Mar)
Second James Plunkett Reading Wed 5 June (Closing date for entries 30 Apr)
Third James Plunkett Reading Wed 16 Sept (Closing date for entries 16 Aug)

Presentation of Awards Wed 16 Oct
Entry Fee: €5 per entry 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Glastonbury Festival 2013 - call for poets

Calling all poets, lyricists, spoken word artists, troubadours, story tellers, stand-up poets and slam champs…

2013 is now upon us and for those of us in festie land, June is just around the corner. We’re now ready to open the floodgates to all you wonderful talented poetry types once again. If you want to perform your work on Glastonbury Festival’s poetry stage, then this is your chance. We’re looking for applications from experienced writers and performers who can leave the Glastonbury audience speechless (in a good way!).

If you think that could be you, then please e-mail with your poetry c.v. and 1-3 video and/or audio files of you performing your work. We’re happy to receive either attachments (of a manageable size!) or web links.

We can also provide a snail mail address if you’d rather do things the old fashioned way!

Glastonbury Festival takes place between Weds 26th and Sun 30th June

Applications close at midnight on Sunday 10th March 2013.  Applications received (by post or e-mail) after this date will not be accepted.

Please note that they receive a high volume of applications and are therefore unable to reply to individual e-mails.

Successful artists should hear back from us as by two months after the deadline.

You can find us at:

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Cork Spring Literary Festival

I hope I'm going to see some of you next weekend in Cork city. I have strong Cork connections, both through marriage and diluted blood so I am extra proud to have been chosen as one of the "Emerging  Poets" reading on Saturday at 4pm in the Cork Arts Theatre. I will be alongside Cal Doyle, Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Kerrie O' Brien and Fiona Smith, as well as the winner of the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize, Judith Barrington,

So if they do it alphabetically, I will be reading first. Don't be late or you will miss me! Details here

Any requests?

There are lots of events for the festival. Details here

I am hoping to get down in time to see Carolyn Forché and Karen Solie, two Canadian poets on Friday. 

I have a line in one of my poems about Canadians. Maybe I should read that one.

I wish i'd booked a place on the Saturday workshop with Carolyn Forché but I didn't and it's full.
Then a craft talk with Karen Solie on Saturday early afternoon, 2.30pm.
Håkan Sandell and Lyor Shternberg a Swedish and an Israeli poet after me at 7pm.
Immanuel Mifsud and Tomaž Šalamun from Malta and Slovenia at 8.30pm. 
Finally greatly looking forward to Gwyneth Lewis, the national poet of Wales and the accomplished Kathryn Simmonds at 10pm.

I went to the festival  a couple of years ago and had a lovely time. I particularly enjoyed the exposure to poets from abroad and in translation.

These are all in the Cork Arts Theatre on Carrolls Quay.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

So What? Writing

I have been thinking for a while about So What? poems.  I went to a workshop facilitated by Fiona Sampson and she said, as an editor, she gets many poems sent that are beautiful words, well crafted but at the end of the day, she has to say "So What?"

My dog died. - So What?
I saw a lion - So What?
It's raining in Dublin - So What?

A poem should say something new, something that connects with the reader. It is sad that your dog died but how does that affect me? Why should I care in the long run? How would that make me rethink something I have always assumed?
I saw a lion.
You saw a lion, in a zoo, on a safari. I imagine it was magnificent but so what? You saw it and passed on.
I saw a lion eating a giraffe.
Slightly more interesting but still irrelevant to me, the reader.
I saw a golden maned lion gnawing on a dead giraffe.
More visual but...
I am a lion and I am eating a giraffe
Is there anything gained here from using the first person?
I saw a lion eating a giraffe and it reminded me of my brother when he was a teenager.

Hm...keep going...
I saw a lion eating a giraffe; it was like the butcher's shop on the high street
The lion's powerful paw held the giraffe down;it was the same size as the paperweight my father used to anchor his notes
OK, this isn't a poem, none of these is a poem but one may be the start. There has to be something in there to shake off the So What? question.

So What? is also relevant to short stories and other forms, radio pieces, plays, novels even.

Do you have pieces that you think do quite work and you can't quite put your finger on why? Try the So What? question.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Grants

Deadline: Wednesday 27th February at 12 Noon

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has a scheme of grants for the purpose of providing financial assistance to individual artists, arts groups and arts organisations engaged in arts projects or events at local or county level. Grants are also available to support the professional development and arts practice of individual artists, arts groups and organisations.

Individual artists, arts groups and arts organisations working in all art-forms (architecture, circus, craft, dance, film, literature, music, opera, spectacle, street art, theatre, traditional arts and visual arts) are eligible to apply. Collaborative applications are also welcomed.

Grants are available for arts activity taking place between the 1st of July 2013 until the 30th of June 2014.


Link: Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Arts Grant Scheme 2013

Thursday, 7 February 2013

New Planet Cabaret on RTÉ Radio 1 Arena

I had a huge amount of fun writing this piece for New Planet Cabaret on RTÉ Radio 1 Arena and being shortlisted this month was a bonus. 

The prompt was "Becoming Something New." I ended up writing loads and cut back by about 30%. Recommended to tightend up any writing, losing the flab. Aren't we all into that?

My piece is first up, read wonderfully by Sorcha Kenny.
Then there's some generous analysis by Dave Lordan.
Stay listening to the end for extracts from Patrick O'Flaherty, Emma Dunne, Rob Doyle and Geraldine

and some thoughts on crime writing from Arlene Hunt.

Then at the end, next month's prompt. Exercise your creative muscles and give it a go. 700 words. You don't have to send it in if you don't want to. Or use a pseudonym.
Remember  you're writing for radio. Read it out loud.
Details here 

Yesterday, I finished the last poem for my new collection; I’d been tinkering with it for close on four days. It’s an absolute cracker. The Japanese film crew who have been filming me for the last six months, was delighted. It was rounds of sake and later a firework display worthy of a royal birth.
I sent it on first to Stephen Hawking and he gave it the thumbs up. Obama said it gave him the shivers and Kathyrn Bigelow is begging me for the film rights. I’ll debut it tomorrow at my Legion of Honour ceremony at the Elysee Palace. The president was very insistent that I don’t cancel my appearance again. And I said, “Francois, you’re pushing through that gay marriage legislation. It’s the least I can do.”

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

BBC National Short Story Award 2013

High bar set for this competition.

Mariella Frostrup will chair the judging panel for the Award, one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000. The runner-up receives £3,000 and three further shortlisted authors £500 each.

The Award is now open for submissions from publishers, agents and published authors from the UK.

Deadline: 11 March 2013 at 10am.

Link here

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Doolin Short Story Competition

The lovely, hard working people at the Irish Writers Centre have teamed up with the Doolin Hotel to bring a new short story competition.

Prize fund: €1,000 for first place and second/third of €600/€400. 
All three winning entries will feature on the Irish Writers' website and the story placed first will also appear in print in The Clare People.
Entries can be on any theme and should be no longer than 3,000 words. 
The fee is €7 
Deadline:Monday 8th April, 5pm. 
Winners will be announced at the inaugural Doolin Writer's Weekend on 24th - 26th May 2013.
John McKenna is this year's judge: acclaimed author of seventeen books including short-stories, novels, memoir, history and biography.

Doolin Writers weekend will consist of workshops, lectures and readings by some of Ireland's leading writers, as well as some great local traditional music. It is a great opportunity for aspiring writers as well as literary fans and published authors to get together and celebrate everything that is good about Irish literature. This summer we look forward to welcoming back some of Ireland's best writers for what we hope will become an annual literary event in North Clare.

To download an entry form visit the Irish Writers' Centre website

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Poets To Check Out - Frank O'Hara

I'm not sure why this is a good poem. It's not actually very well read here, I think.
It's a very naturalistic style.
But I hadn't posted a Poets to Check Out for a while so here you go.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Playing Bingo Short Story Competition

The theme for the fictional short story is "Bingo".

The competition is free to enter, but submissions are limited to 2 per person.

Judging will be done by the editorial team of Playing Bingo, a number of whom are published writers. We've also enlisted the help of award winning novelist and short story writer Rachel Trezise to participate in the final judgement.


We're offering a range of prizes for people taking part as follows:
  • 1st Place - £300
  • 2nd Place - £100
  • 2 x Runner's Up Prizes - £50
  • All shortlisted entries will be collected and published in an anthology for the shortlisted writers, as well as being featured on this site in the Your Stories section.
Deadline: 28th of February 2013.

Competition open to UK and Ireland residents, aged 18 and over.

Link here