Sunday, 11 September 2016

Shorelines Art Festival

The Shorelines Arts festival is this coming weekend in Portumna. The line up is excellent so if you're anywhere near, do try and catch something.

In particular I'm excited to be reading with a stellar line up of writers at a Literary Lunch. 12.30pm Modena Restaurant, Portumna.

ADMISSION €15 - includes lunch (main course and tea/coffee)

Guests and readers are Donal Ryan, Alan McMonagle, Mary Turley McGrath, Kate Dempsey & David McEntee.

Link here

The smaller town festivals all get great support from local sponsors.

I might do a poem or two about drinking and DIY (but not at the same time!)

Event Sponsors
An Caisle├ín Bar; D. Lynch & Sons Ltd.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Blue Nib is accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, essays & short stories.

Submission URL

Poems: Please submit a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 10 pieces of work, ensure that you have
edited and formatted as you wish to see your work published

Fiction: The Blue Nib will publish new fiction of up to 10,000 words, please submit no more than one piece at a time.

Short Stories: Please submit a minimum of three and a maximum of 5 pieces of work, please ensure
the work has been edited and that spelling and grammar have been checked.

Essays: original essays of no more than 5000 words.

The following contests are also open and finalists in each category will be included in the Winter Anthology which will be published on-line and as a download in December 2016

International Original Fiction Contest. €250.00 Prize Fund
The contest is open to original fiction of no more than 12,000 words

International Essay Contest. €150.00 Prize Fund
The contest is open to original essays of no more than 2000 words

International Short Story Contest. €150.00 Prize Fund
The contest is open to original short stories of no more than 3500 words

International Poetry Contest. €150.00 Prize Fund
The contest is open to poetry in all forms other than extreme brevity

All Open to all writers over the age of 18 years as at 1st November 2016

Deadline: 31st October 2016

Entry fee for each is €5.00

Sunday, 4 September 2016

The Caterpillar Short Story for Children Prize

The Caterpillar magazine prize is open . They say:

Last year’s inaugural winner, Richard J. Jones, received €1,000 for his story 'Let's Say I Am', which was published in the winter issue of The Caterpillar. You can also read it in the Irish Times.
This year, we’ve decided to share the love, and to that end we have three prizes:
1st prize €500 plus a 2-week stay at The Moth’s Artists’ Residence
2nd prize €300
3rd prize €200
All three winning stories will appear in the winter 2016 issue of The Caterpillar.

We're also very excited to announce that the fabulously talented and award-winning author of The Jam Doughnut that Ruined My LifePants are Everything and Socks are Not EnoughMark Lowery, will be judging this year's prize.
All you need do to apply is send us your original, unpublished story of no more than 1,500 words – on any theme or subject, as long as it is appropriate for 7–11 year olds.
You can ENTER ONLINE or download an ENTRY FORM and send it along with your story to: The Caterpillar, Ardan Grange, Milltown, Belturbet, Co. Cavan, Ireland
The entry fee is €12 per story, and you can enter as many stories as you like.
Don’t forget to READ THE RULES before you enter!
Click here if you would like to sign up to our newsletters about prizes, publications and more. 

Friday, 2 September 2016

Stanzas Seeks Submissions

Solstice Sounds is an online magazine. It's open until 31st October for submissions of Music, Poetry, Spoken Word and Experimental Sounds.

Find out more at

Stanzas also do chapbooks, more experimental than many. They say
"Our Chapbooks this month are going to be a little different. We're taking the idea of Washed Up to its logical extreme and are literally going to make it look washed up!

"So to be a part of this mad endeavour, send your poetry, prose or artwork to

Deadline 7th September

Keep an eye on their facebookinstagram and twitter for more

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

18th. Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award

Trophy and Cash Prizes
1st Prize is the Ledwidge plaque (a keepsake) inscribed with the winner’s name & cash prize. Cash prizes and books for Second and Third and merit certificates for finalists.

The first 3 poems will be entered in the Forward Prize UK
In addition, the winner will be invited to read at the annual Francis Ledwidge Commemoration at the National War Memorial Gardens in July 2017

Poems must be the competitor’s own work
not previously published or broadcast.
Poems should not exceed 40 lines of type
Entry fee: €4 per poem, 3 for €10.
Max. 6 poems (€20) payable to the Inchicore Ledwidge Society

Name and address and telephone number on a separate sheet.

Deadline: 5th November 2016 

The Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award 2016,
C/o 20, Emmet Crescent.
Inchicore, Dublin 8

Winners will be notified and results will be announced at our annual awards night 
Check out the Facebook page: InchicoreLedwidge Society

Monday, 29 August 2016

New writing courses

There's a new term on the horizon and the whiff of back to school is in the air. It's always worth checking out what's going on in your local community school or library. Or check at your library.

The Irish Writers' Centre always has an innovative catalogue that covers a wide range. And there's the Big Smoke Writing Factory.

Recently I was told of a new course given by writer David Keane at SEDA College, Capel Street. Here's the blurb

This Creative Writing Course is for those who are ready to begin their journey of creative writing in fiction and need a little guidance. If you don’t know where to begin or don’t know what to do next then this is the course for you.

The course will focus on starting points, characters, structure, plot, theme, and point of view as well as many other aspects of writing fiction. Over the six week period participants will be encouraged to develop their writing skills based on coursework.

This course is for adults only and is facilitated in a positive and encouraging manner. All participants will be invited to share their work. This is not compulsory but is recommend in order to gain the most benefit out of the course. A textbook will be provided for each participant- this will be a guide and reference point, as well as a good read. The course will help build your writer’s toolbox and develop your existing skills.

Classes last 90 minutes and participants are also expected to make time to write during the week.

Date: Starts 13 September 2016 @ 7pm. Runs every Tuesday for 6 consecutive weeks.

Venue: SEDA College, Capel Street, Dublin 1.
Capacity: 12 maximum.
Fee: € 75 (includes textbook).
Info & Booking:

David Keane is a Dublin based writer. He is currently involved in several areas of writing, including fiction, poetry, and scriptwriting. These include several scripts (stage and screen) and a novel. His short screenplay, Lacewing, was runner up at the Waterford Film Festival 2015 and his treatment for a contemporary Irish screenplay, Grand, won him a place on a script development workshop run by Working Title Films. He has been included in several writing anthologies and came runner up in the unpublished poet category in the Poetry Ireland/Tr├│caire Poetry Competition 2016.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Abridged 0 – 48: Mercury Red Submission call

The submission calls for Abridged magazine, a poetry and art publication, are always a good read.
This is the age of the inspirational. We wake up each morning to a torrent of messages on social media informing us that if we ‘be ourselves’ and ‘believe in ourselves’ we can achieve the impossible. Transformation will be quick and painless. A screen full of medicine men (and women) selling easy answers with beautiful backdrops. Conversely when we do achieve something there are legions of ‘trolls’ ready to lay siege to us. The age of the inspirational is an age of extremes. Love is public and anger is quick to surface. We search for the impossible and when it can’t be found we want to scorch the earth. Our loves, our hates, are quick. Our fear is now public domain.
This fear remains in the ether, an indistinct agent in our psychological lives, both invisible and disturbing as hypothetical warfare. When we feel under attack it solidifies and we name it.  It is in naming the thing that should be feared that it comes into focus, even merely as mirage or red herring. By naming it, mythologizing it, adorning it with colours and connotations so as to turn it into a child’s villain, we cast it from ourselves and make it temporarily stable enough to identify: a tangible enemy.  A named fear is a catalyst for all that frightens, within and beyond ourselves. Telling a story of good and evil, of black and white masks the problematic complexity of these qualities incestuous and changeful relationship. Light can obscure as much as darkness, and on each the other depends for definition.

Red Mercury is a mythical explosive. Abridged in 0 – 48: Mercury Red explores our need for immediate public affirmation, our virtual emotional lives and our search for the impossible personally and as a society then the anger when we realise our Nirvana is unattainable. 
Submissions may be up to three poems and can be sent to preferably in Word format or as part of the email. Art should be up to A4 landscape in size and 300 dpi or above. 
Please note this is a landscape format issue rather than our usual portrait. 
Deadline is 23rd September.