Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Wigtown Poetry Competition

Scotland’s international poetry prize in association with The Scottish Poetry Library

The 2016 Wigtown Poetry Competition is now open for entries.  You can enter online here

Deadline for entries is 27th May 2016

Established in 2005, the Wigtown Poetry Competition offers a first prize of £2,000. 
Entry is open to writers from the UK and abroad writing in English, while there are also dedicated categories for Scots Language and Gaelic.

This year’s judges are John Glenday (Main Prize), Catriona Lexy Campbell (Gaelic) and Sheila Templeton (Scots).

The competition event, which will include the announcement of the winners, readings of the victorious poems and contributions from the judges will take place during Wigtown Book Festival (23rd September to 2 October 2016).

Entry Fees: £6.50 for first poem
Multiple entries: the first three poems cost a total of £17.00.
For more entries and full rules, see the Festival website 

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Sonnet Writing Competition

2016 marks 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, and to celebrate this important year Writers & Artists together with The Arden Shakespeare and the Royal Society of Literature have a competition, open to published and aspiring poets alike. Free to enter

Take inspiration from Shakespeare, and pen your very own sonnet in response to a Shakespeare sonnet of your choice.

Please email your entry to competition@bloomsbury.com. The subject line of your email must be “Sonnets competition” and please mention the name of the sonnet you have been inspired by within the body of your email.
All entrants must register on www.writersandartists.co.uk before submitting your entry.
Deadline: midnight on Monday 31st May, 2016.


The first, second and third-placed sonnets will all be published on writersandartists.co.uk alongside feedback from the judge, Ruth Padel. The winner will receive a leather-bound edition of Shakespeare’s Complete Works (RRP £99.99) and free membership to the Royal Society of Literature for a year, entitling them to:
  • Attend RSL events – over 20 each year – free of charge
  • Bring guests to events at a discount
  • Enjoy priority booking to RSL/Man Booker masterclasses with a 50% discount
  • Subscribe free to the bi-annual RSL Review
  • Attend the RSL summer party and AGM
  • Receive the RSL monthly e-newsletter
The winning entry will also be published in the Royal Society of Literature Review.
N.B. If the poet of the winning entry does not live in the UK and is unable to take advantage of the benefits of a Royal Society of Literature membership then an alternative prize of £50-worth of Bloomsbury titles will be offered. 
Second and third prize entries will receive a copy of On Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A Poets’ Celebration, and a gift edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.
All entries must be original unpublished poetry.
Writers may submit one entry only.
Please include your email address and other contact details in the body of the email. Your entry can appear in the body of the email or as a Word/PDF attachment.

Friday, 29 April 2016

West Cork Literary Festival

Have you planned any festival for the summer? I will be reading at a couple, more details later, watch this space. West Cork Literary festival didn't invite me yet (next year guys?) even with all my West Cork roots and in-laws but I'm not bitter, no. I am magnanimous.

From Sunday 17th to Saturday 23rd July, Bantry will welcome a wonderful line-up of international and Irish writers. 

Zadie Smith, John Banville, Dame Marina Warner, Michael Harding, Nick Laird, Carol Drinkwater and Louis de Bernières are just some of the high profile writers. 

This year there are readings by Caitriona Lally, Gavin McCrea, Louis de Berniéres, Theo Dorgan, Sarah Howe, Jo Shapcott, Carol Drinkwater, Aiden O'Reilly, Andrew Michael Hurley, Cónal Creedon, Afric McGlinchey, William Wall, Thomas Morris, Max Porter, Carys Davies, Paddy Bushe, Matthew Sweeney, Lia Mills, Alice Carey, Marion Coutts, Lisa McInerney, Danielle McLaughlin, Eoin McNamee, Glenn Patterson, Joanna Walsh, Mary Morrissy and many more. 

There are still some places on their workshops if you have a week.

More information can be found on their website www.westcorkliteraryfestival.ie  and booking on the website is now open. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Barehands Submissions

Submissions are now open for Issue 22 and full guidelines can be found here. They published poetry and are starting to include reviews. Send a maximum of three poems

You can read issue 21 here to see what kind of poem works in their format. Featuring poetry from Vaughn M. Watson, Peter Lilly, Eileen Ní Shuilleabháin, Edward Ahern, Laura-Blaise McDowell, Emma Lee, Bethany W. Pope & Anne Tannam, photography from Conor Horgan, Hugh O'Conor, Clare Coyle, Ella Potter & Deianira Urovi, an essay by Claire Brankin, and Alvy Carragher reviews The Year of the Ingénue by Michael Naghten Shanks.

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Bristol Short Story Prize

The Bristol Short Story Prize

Deadline: 30th of April 2016.

Prizes: £1,000, £700, £400. There will also be 17 runner-up prizes of £100 each. 
Twenty stories will be published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 9.

Submit stories of up to 4,000 words. Any theme, 
Entry fee is £8

Judging panel for this year’s competition, chaired by celebrated writer and short story champion, Tania Hershman. Tania is joined on the panel by acclaimed writer Niven Govinden, Simon Key, owner of the award-winning Big Green Bookshop in London, and Juliet Pickering,literary agent at Blake Friedmann. Suffice it to say, these judges know their stories.

Link here

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Some More Upcoming Readings

Rescued by Maria Murphy published by Poolbeg launches:
Wednesday 4th May at 7pm in Barker and Jones Bookshop, Poplar Square, Naas.
Friday 6th May at 7pm in Waterstones, Patrick Street, Cork.

All welcome.

In 1889, on the beautiful Mizen peninsula lives a young woman called Ellen. Although the daughter of a simple fisherman, she is no ordinary woman. Ellen is a healer, with a heart and spirit as wild and free as the Atlantic Ocean she lives beside. She devotes her life to helping others, often in secret. But when a stranger, in the fine clothes of the landed gentry, is washed up on the sand in front of her remote cottage, she is fearful of helping him because of the trouble he could bring to her and those she loves.
Trying to stay faithful to a warning her grandmother passed on to her, Ellen has to do all she can to protect herself and her home from this stranger.  But perhaps it’s the stranger and his heart that needs protection from her?

There are lots of interesting events as part of Poetry Day Ireland 28th April 8pm
Sports-themed poetry from Poetry Ireland’s recent "Everything to Play For: 99 Poems About Sport" anthology. Guest readers including poets John McAuliffe and Rita Ann Higgins, broadcaster and poet Vincent Woods, Senior Counsel and poetry and sports enthusiast Cian Ferriter and sports historian and journalist Paul Rouse in the shadow of the hallowed ground itself, Croke Park.

Salmon Poetry is launching the following collections in the Irish Writers' Centre, Dublin, on Wednesday 27th April at 6.30pm:

"Anchored" by Lorna Shaughnessy
"Quiet in a Quiet House" by Richard W. Halperin
"Evidence of Freewheeling" by Trevor Conway
"Bearings" by Patrick Moran
"Ghost of the Fisher Cat" by Afric McGlinchey
"Virtual Tides" by Paul Casey
"The Rain Barrel" by Nicholas McLachlan
This promises to be a lovely evening of poetry with readings by each poet. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Visit us online for further details: http://www.salmonpoetry.com/

Sunflower Sessions is on the same evening so you could spring from one to the other. Wednesday 27th April in Jack Nealon's Pub on Capel St Dublin, upstairs 7.30pm.

Poems on a Sunday Afternoon
by Castle Ward Arts and Crafts & Down Arts Centre
Sunday 24 April 2016 2.30 – 4.30pm 

All welcome to this chill afternoon. They invite budding readers, writers and signers to join in celebrating the written word in all its forms.  Offering a friendly space to read, they hope that those gathered will join in by sharing a piece of their own work, or perhaps a favourite poem.

In the featured spot is Stephanie Conn - whose first collection 'The Woman on the Other Side' (Doire Press) launched recently.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Banshee Submissions

Banshee is a new magazine of contemporary writing which publishes twice a year. They are looking for submissions of fiction, short story length or flash or articles to their 3rd issue.

Deadline: 30th April 2016
  • All submissions should be previously unpublished.
  • Stories and essays should be 1500-5000 words. Flash fiction should be less than 1000 words, poems no more than 40 lines.
  • We are happy to read up to two stories, up to two essays, up to four flashes and up to six poems. However, we ask that each writer submit in only one of the above categories.
  • Submissions should be in one .doc or .docx format attachment, double spaced, and in a non-quirky font.
  • Please include a short bio (max 50 words) in the body of your email.
  • Email to bansheelit at gmail dot com, with the category of the work (flash/story/essay/poetry) in the subject line.
  • We believe in paying writers. We can offer contributors a small fee as well as a copy of the journal.
Link here

Editors are Laura Jane Cassidy, Claire Hennessy and Eimear Ryan (none poets as far as I know. Ladies if you want some poetic editorial input, let me know. I have form...)

They say:
Some of our favourite themes include coming of age, sexuality, gender, mortality, complicated relationships of all shapes, the joys and frustrations of the creative life, our relationship with technology, and the extended adolescence of young adults in the 21st century. While our outlook is literary, we’re open to genre elements.