I was doing some research about tractors (don't ask) and after the tractor chatroom and online forums, I found this great youtube video. Bollywood of course. Fantastic
Sunday, 30 March 2008
I'm doing more research on a possible masters in Creative writing. Here's a link to someone who did the distance learning, part time MPhil in Glamorgan. This is two years with four weekend workshops and a reduced cost residency week in Wales or (I think) Galway for about 1,500 sterling per year.
I've been mulling over MA's. Why do I want to do one?
Primarily, a writer who shows the commitment to take the year or two part time years to do one, shows the ability and drive to succeed - useful in any discipline.
But surely taking a year to write a novel or poetry collection demonstrates the same drive.
Also, I would like to learn. I would like to improve, in particular, my critical reading. Are there other courses which offer this?
Others I have spoken too have said the workshops can be great. But it varies depending on the class participants. And sometimes you can get more from your classmates than the workshop leaders (shock horror)
but you can find good workshops elsewhere for a lot less dosh.
Then there's the credibility that academia gives someone with an MA. I love to teach creative writing and schools, colleges, universities look more favourably on others who have done the academic thing. Can't do much about this thought I do have an MA (in Physics)
Then there's the networking. But if you have the Blarney (not sure I do to any extent) you can network at poetry readings, festivals, events, weddings, Tescos, whatever. I saw a famous poet in my local Dunnes stores the other day. I had gone as far as the cut price Easter Eggs before I'd worked out where I knew him from.
The money an MA costs (about 6,000 Euro give or take) and the money I'd lose by not being able to work full time is huge and I am poor, though not poor enough for subsistence grant. There are no bursaries, not even from the Arts Council. None. And look how many workshops/classes/festivals the 6,000 could buy in the mean time. That's not counting the time spent on work for the degree that may not be directly related to the writing I am interested in.
Any inputs? MA or Not MA.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
There are so many MAs available, full and part time as well as distance learning. Do your homework. They are not all the same. Check the curriculum, the alumni, the fees and above all, the teachers. UPDATED 7-Apr-08
Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge looks like it may be leaning on its geography. It's for fiction.
Bangor University offers full and part time MAs in Creative Writing with the possibility of distance learning.
Birkbeck University in London offers a full or part time MA.
Brunel University has an MA for new novelists and Prof Fay Weldon.
University of East Anglia is where I would go in a perfect world. Andrew Motion is Professor of Creative Writing. It is directed towards those who are committed to writing, who have already produced work, whether published or not, who have a strong formal and aesthetic curiosity, and who welcome the chance to develop their writing in a university atmosphere. George Szirtes, Roberts, Trezza Azzopardi and Lavinia Greenlaw teach. Competition is intense. 45 places.
University of Exeter Julia Copus is a Royal Literary Fund Writer.
University of Glasgow has a taught MLitt.
University of Hull is in its second year of a Creative Writing MA.
Lancaster University's Creative Writing MA is long established. They have a distance learning MA too which sounds innovative and interesting.
Loughborough University doesn't have a lot of info but it's available full and part time.
Manchester University offers full and part time and distance learning and has 30 students split between fiction and poetry. Vona Groarke teaches and Martin Amis is being paid big bucks to show up now and then.
Newcastle University Full and part time options. Tutors include Jackie Kay, Sean O'Brien, Neil Astley and Jo Shapcott.
Northumbria University offers full and part time MAs.
Nottingham Trent University is building a reputation in writing. Visiting professors are Michael Eaton and David Almond, whilst recent guest lecturers have included Kate Mosse, Penelope Lively and David Lodge. There is a fortnightly workshop.
Oxford University offers an MSt in the Continuing Education department. Very low residence but very little teaching too. 12 students a year.
University of Plymouth has an MA/PgDip in creative writing too. Full and part time options. Not much to distinguish it from any other.
Roehampton University London has 20 places on an MA in Creative & Professional Writing. They offer specialised courses in fiction, poetry, writing for children, nonfiction and screenwriting and offers full and part time options. But online reviews of the university sound a bit lacklustre.
Royal Holloway in London offers full and part time MAs with Prof. Andrew Motion, Jo Shapcott and Susanna Jones sounds like the place for poetry.
Salford University offers a 15 month full time or part time MA.
Sussex University has an MA in Creative Writing and Authorship.
University of Winchester I think is the only place concentrating on Writing for Children. Full and part time options. I've heard good things about this MA.
Friday, 28 March 2008
Bloodaxe, the poetry publishers are 30 years old. Have you ead the diverse and readable anthologies Begin Alive and Staying Alive? Recommended.
They have a DVD, filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce and a book edited by Neil Astley
coming out in April.
30 poets from around the world read to you in person... This is a new concept in publishing: your own personal poetry festival brought into your home. This trailer features 5 poems by 5 of the poets: Benjamin Zephaniah, Imtiaz Dharker, Brendan Kennelly, Jackie Kay and C.K. Williams. There are 30 poets in the DVD-book (plus Ken Smith bonus track). All the poems read are in the anthology. The filmed readings last a total of 4 hours, and can be played on 2 DVDs pouched inside the back cover. This publication of the world's first poetry DVD-book celebrates Bloodaxe's 30th birthday in 2008.
Premiere is in Dublin on Wednesday 23rd April in Damer Hall, 112 St Stephen's Green.
See link for more details. Apparently it's also on Youtube.
Thursday, 27 March 2008
The Great and the Good in Athenry are commemorating their local scribe with a poetry competition.
Deadline: 14th April 2008
Winner to be announced in May.
Judge: Ciaran O’Driscoll - a Limerick based poet and member of Aos Dana who has published numerous poetry collections, most recently The Old Women of Maggione.
Poems must be 30 lines or fewer. Ciaran is writing a judge's report. I find these well worth reading.
Fee: 5 Euro per poem
Prizes: 500 Euro, 300 Euro, 100 Euro and ten 10 Euro book tokens.
Do read the conditions are they are very specific and you wouldn't want to throw away 5 Euro for the wrong typeface. The entry form is on the Charlie Byrne website but it says the deadline is March 14th whereas the form says both March 14th and April 14th. I'm banking on the April 14th as that was in another newsletter.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Well, I didn't make the shortlist again for this. My time will come. Mark my words. I went back to see which poems I sent and was disappointed in myself. Oh Woe. There's a poem in there.
Note that a couple of shortlisters are rhymers. About time we had more exposure of poems in form.
Judges: Peter Fallon, George Szirtes and Vona Groarke
Results: to be announced in Strokestown on 4 May
Tony Barnstone, Peggy Gallagher, David Grubb, Ian McEwen, Iggy McGovern (Hi Iggy), Hugh O'Donnell, Orlagh O’Farrell, William Palmer, Jane Routh, K.V. Skene
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Here's the programme for the Poetry Now Festival - always worth a trip. And you can go to that fabulous second hand bookshop too.
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Poetry Now Festival 2008.
THURS 3rd of April
1pm Poem-Springing: A Talk on Poems and Poetry by Belinda McKeon, DLR Poetry Now Curator - Free Event
8.30pm Keynote Address by Ruth Padel
Hooked Atoms and the Rustle in the Undergrowth: The Movement and Physicality of Words €18/14/12
FRI 4th of April
6.30pm Bernard O'Donoghue, Antonella Anedda and Jamie McKendrick €14/10/8
8.30pm Seamus Heaney and Special Guest €20/15/12
SAT 5th of April
2pm The Irish Times Poetry Now Award Announcement
6.30pm Alan Gillis & Meghan O'Rourke & Dalgit Nagra €14/10/8
8.30pm George Szirtes & Henri Cole & Mimi Khalvati €20/15/12
SUN 6th of April
12 noon The Strong Reading €7/5
4pm Brian Turner & Sinead Morrissey & Kei Miller €10/8
FESTIVAL TICKETS ALSO AVAILABLE €80/55/45
Monday, 24 March 2008
The ninth Franco-Irish Literary Festival, organised by the Alliance Française Dublin and the Cultural Service of the French Embassy, will be held on the 18th and 19th April 2008 in the Coach House, Dublin Castle and on the 20th April at the Alliance Française.
I'd go just to see inside these buildings! Here's the programme.
Friday 18th April 2008
Opening of the festival,
H.E. Mr Yvon Roé D'Albert,
Ambassador of France to Ireland
2.15 to 4.15pm
Panel discussion - Love secrets
Moderator: Jean-Philippe Imbert
With: Nicolas Fargues, Dominique Fernandez, Camille Laurens, Colette Nic Aodha, Pedro Serrano.
4.30 to 5.45pm
Moderator: Johnnie Gratton
Presentation of their latest work by: Louis Gauthier, Philippe Grimbert, Fred Johnston
6.00 to 7.00pm
Readings Introduced by Sinéad Mac Aodha
With: Dermot Bolger, Patricia Nolan, Pedro Serrano, Colette Nic Aodha.
(readings in English, Irish and Spanish)
Saturday 19th April 2008
10.30am to 12.00
Panel discussion - Childhood secrets and family secrets
Moderator: Emer O'Beirne
With: John Boyne, Anne Enright, Frédéric Ferney, Philippe Grimbert, Evelyn Schlag, Jan Costin Wagner.
12.15 to 1.15pm
An hour with…
Moderator: Jean-Philippe Imbert
Interview with: Anne Enright
3.15 to 4.30pm
Panel discussion - Secrets, gossip and hearsay
Moderator: Jean-Philippe Imbert
With: Sorj Chalandon, Frédéric Ferney, Louis Gauthier, David Park, Pedro Serrano
4.45 to 6.00pm
Moderator: Dominique Le Meur
Presentation of their latest work by: John Boyne, Nicolas Fargues, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Jan Costin Wagner.
6.15 to 7.15pm
Readings Introduced by Joe Woods
With: Fred Johnston, Camille Laurens, Evelyn Schlag
(readings in French and German)
Sunday 20th April 2008
11.30am to 12.30
An hour with…
Moderator: Antoine Boussin
Interview with: Dominique Fernandez
12.45 to 2.45pm
Literary brunch - Secrets, politics and societies
Moderator: Lara Marlowe
With: Dermot Bolger, Sorj Chalandon, David Park, James Ryan, Evelyn Schlag, Juan Gabriel Vásquez.
All events open to the public - admission free
Simultaneous translation in English and French.
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
Riverbank Arts centre presents:
The Murder Machine
by Caoimhe Corbett
Don’t Say It Out Loud
by Sara Darcy
Over The Top
by John Martin
As well as these productions you can experience daily rehearsed readings of:
Two Halves . . . . . . by John Murray 6.00pm
Pick of the Lot . . . by Claire Boylan 4.30pm
The Time Machine . . . by Amy Larkin and Paula Murphy 1pm
Changing Times . . . . by Ruth Powderly and Paige Byrne 1pm
This week is packed full with imagination, humour & high drama.
Running from Wednesday 19th March to Saturday 22nd
These writers and many others have been working over the last year to bring their dramatic ideas to fruitition. They’ve been assisted in their efforts by Eugene O’Brien (Pure Mule) Peter Hussey (Director KYT) and Mary Linehan.
Now they are ready to show you these plays; the first they’ve ever written.
Talent like this needs support and nurturing, now it's your turn.
Monday, 17 March 2008
Happy Paddy's Day!
If you're anyway near Dublin on Tuesday evening, you should try and attend one of more of these readings. Some unmissable names;
Welcome by Stephen Matterson
Tuesday April 1st Derek Mahon, Mary Morrissy and George Szirtes
Introduced by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Tuesday April 8th Sebastian Barry, Douglas Dunn and Jacqueline McCarrick
Introduced by Deirdre Madden
Tuesday April 15th Anne Enright, Peter Fallon, Bernard O’Donoghue,
Introduced by Gerald Dawe
Tuesday April 22nd Claire Kilroy, Gina Moxley and Andrew O’Hagan
Introduced by Jonathan Williams
The readings will take place at 7.30pm in The Swift Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. Admissions €5 per evening, €20 for the series.
There's also a symposium on William Trevor on the occasion of his 80th birthday with the man himself attending. April 25th and 26th.
Sunday, 16 March 2008
The buggers. The Fools. They didn't chose my brilliant creation. below, the shortlist. But going back and re-reading my story, I can see holes. I thought it was perfect when I posted it last year. Has that ever happened to you?
The 2007 competition attracted over 700 entries from all over Ireland and from Irish people living abroad. The panel were impressed by the high standard of the entries and selected 22 entries for the short–list. All of these stories will be broadcast over the summer, starting with the winning entry.
1. JACKIE BLACKMAN, DUBLIN 4.
TITLE: OLD BIKE
2. GERRY BOLAND, KEADUE, CO. ROSCOMMON.
TITLE: THE MAN WITH NO NAME
3. ELIZABETH CARTY, DUNSANY, CO. MEATH.
TITLE: WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?
4. JOHN AUSTIN CONNOLLY, BOOTERSTOWN, CO. DUBLIN.
5. EILEEN COUNIHAN, DUBLIN 18.
6. CIARAN FOLAN, AN SPIDEAL, CO. NA GAILLIMHE.
TITLE: THE BOOKIE’S RUNNER
7. RICHARD GIBNEY, DUBLIN 13.
TITLE: FATHER FEENEY’S MARCH OF THE BLESSED
8. KEVIN GILDEA, DUN LAOGHAIRE, CO. DUBLIN.
9. MARTIN MALONE, KILDARE TOWN,
TITLE: GOD OF LITTLE
10. JAMES MARTYN, RENMORE, GALWAY.
11. DAVID ANDREW MCILROY, BELGIUM.
TITLE: A BRIEF LOVE FOR ROWANBERRIES
12. RUTH MCKEE, SKERRIES, CO. DUBLIN.
13. ALYS MEIRIOL, CONNEMARA, CO. GALWAY.
TITLE: WASP’S NEST
14. THALIA MILLER, DUBLIN 8.
TITLE: THE BLUE OLIVE TREE
15. JUDITH MOK, DUBLIN 8.
TITLE: WHERE’S THE PARTY
16. PHILIP O’CEALLAIGH, DUBLIN 3.
TITLE: WALKING AWAY
17. JOE O’DONNELL, BLACKROCK, CO. DUBLIN.
18. MARY O’GORMAN, CLONMEL, CO. TIPPERARY.
TITLE: ONE HUNDRED STROKES
19. DENIS O’NEILL, DUNDALK, CO. LOUTH.
TITLE: FIRST FRIDAY
20. KEVIN POWER, RATHCOOLE, CO. DUBLIN.
TITLE: WILDERNESS GOTHIC
21. VINCENT SCOTT, DUBLIN 6.
TITLE: AN UNEVEN EVENT
22. MAIRIDE WOODS, DUBLIN 13
TITLE: WAITING BY THE LUTETIA
The winners of the competition will be announced on Tuesday, 1 April 2008.
Saturday, 15 March 2008
This one's for an unpublished female writer for an original 2,000-word story on the subject of ‘Ambition'. Also send a 200-word autobiography, a passport photograph of yourself and contact details.
Deadline: 11 April 2008.
Judges: Amanda Ridout (managing director of HarperCollins), novelist Kate Mosse, Peter Straus (managing director of Rogers, Coleridge and White Literary Agency), writer and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, novelist Hari Kunzru and senior editors from Harper's Bazaar.
Three finalists will attend a writers' masterclass and lunch at the offices of HarperCollins in London. The first prize is a cheque for £1,000 and the publication of your story in Harper's Bazaar. The two runners-up will receive £500 each. The overall winner of the competition will be announced at the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction awards ceremony, which will take place on 4 June 2008. All three winners will also receive copies of all the books shortlisted for this year's Orange Prize for Fiction.
Send entries to: Commissioning Editor, Short-story competition, Harper's Bazaar, National Magazine House, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP
15th August 2008
I get a lot of readers for this post so here's a link to the winner announcement and information. Midlands based writer Sukhraj Kaur Randhawa to be published in October. Shortlisted were shortlisted authors, Kirstin Zhang and Julie Ma, who I'm guessing also have Asian links. How interesting. I wish we could read the shortlisted stories too. Perhaps on the Orange website or Harper's Bazaar website. Or do these ladies blog?
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
Yes, I've been awfully quiet because I'm away at the moment on a writing retreat. Are you missing me? Here's a little snippet to keep you going in my absense and a lovely picture that has nothing to do with the snippet and everything to do with retreat.
Radio Netherlands Worldwide is looking for short stories to broadcast. Have you ever heard any of their output? I used to catch some from time to time on Anna Livia FM. They are inviting submissions until 30th March 2008 for stories in English either 15 minutes (About 3,000 words) or 25 minutes (about 4,500 words)
Send your short story or stories by e-mail or by snail mail to:
Radio Books Competition
Radio Netherlands Worldwide
PO Box 222,
1200 JG Hilversum
Things to remember when writing for radio.
The listener cannot go back to check information so your story has to flow.
Avoid long sentences. They’ll get lost.
Start with a good hook or they’ll switch off.
And most importantly, read it out loud yourself first to hear the rhythm. Some words you’ll change because you stumble over them. Some sentences run on or sound clunky. If you can, record yourself reading. I do it on my mobile phone – very handy. And playback, listening with your critical ear, with ice in your veins.
Friday, 7 March 2008
The Galway's Western Writers' Centre will run a short literary festival in Gort, Co. Galway.
The festival, entitled 'The Forge,' will take place from March 28 - 30. Writers and poets lined-up include poet Nessa O'Mahony, poet/publisher Jessie Lendennie, the hurler, Christy O'Connor, Frank Golden, the poet Knute Skinner, writer Geraldine Mills, dramatist Margaretta D'Arcy and playwright John Arden. This includes some interesting sounding readings and workshops and deserves to be supported.
Thursday, 6 March 2008
Mslexia, the highly recommended magazine for women writers has an annual competition for poetry. Entrants must be women but do not have to be a subscriber.
Prizes: £1,000; £500; £250; 22 other finalists will win £25 each and all winning poems will be published in in the summer issue of Mslexia magazine.
No restrictions on length, etc which is unusual.
Notified in June.
Fee: £5 for up to 3 poems.
Deadline: 25th April, 2008
Judge: Carol Ann Duffy - love her stuff.
Women’s Poetry Competition,
Mslexia Publications Limited, PO Box 656,
Freepost NEA5566, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1BR
(Postmarked no later than 25 April. No need for a stamp.)
or if from outside UK, email firstname.lastname@example.org and pay online on the website.
They also tell you how to win and let you read previous winners (when the judge was someone else)
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
The inaugural Readers & Writers Festival will take place from 7 - 8 March in Sligo. Featured writers include Carlo Gébler (he gets around), Manchán Magan, Suzanne Higgins, Pauline McLynn (yes, Mrs Doyle has been writing books for a good few years now), Julie O'Callaghan and children’s writer Brenna Briggs.
There's also a poetry workshop with Ted and Annie Deppe. Apply now.
Sounds like a good line up. Hope it's successful.
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
Apparently there is poetry at the Belgard Luas Stop, part of County Lives by Dermot Bolger, commissioned by South Dublin County Council’s In Context 3 public art programme. Must be a bit like Poetry on the Dart.
County Lives is a sequence of poems by renowned Irish poet & author, Dermot Bolger, primarily in the voices of commuters undertaking everyday journeys across South Dublin County. Dermot commissioned artist John Carpenter to create a mural of three poems at the Belgard Luas Stop.
The twelve poems in the County Lives sequence are also displayed in twelve locations across South Dublin County between September 2007 and September 2008 and will rotate throughout the year. The locations include County Hall, the Civic Theatre, Clondalkin Civic Office & Motor Tax Office as well as county libraries at Ballyroan, Castletymon, Lucan & Clondalkin. Anyone seen them?
All 12 of Dermot's poems are available to read on the In Context 3 website on beautiful PDFs. Print them out and display them, why not? Become a guerilla poet. Stick them where they say Bill Stickers will be prosecuted. Put them on the back of public toilet doors for uninterrupted perusal. Cinemas, Superquinn, work. Dermot's poems take in places like Lucan, Old Bawn, Clondalkin.
Between the January 1st and March 30th 2008, people who live or work in South Dublin County are invited to submit on this website, up to three original poems that reflect some aspect of their lives within the county.
In September 2008, the full text of County Lives will be published, consisting of Dermot Bolger’s original sequence interlinked with a representative cross section of submitted poems by other authors.
Sounds like an opportunity for South Dublin occupants and workers.
Monday, 3 March 2008
I met some of my blog visitors at the Ennis Book festival. Hi all. Nice to meet you in the flesh.
I went to a few readings -
Mary O'Donnell short story reading. Looking forward to her collection's release in May. It's so nice to be read to in the mimddle of the day. They should do it at work. They should have more short stories on the radio.
A poetry reading by Richard Tillinghast (I arrived late having it in my head as starting at a different time and wandering round Ennis's rather good boutiques for too long) an American in Ireland with a fabulous hat and good blarney,
Nuala Ni ChonChuir from Palmerstown. I hadn't heard her before though I'd good things. Very moving poems, particularly the miscarriage sequence followed swiftly by sexy haiku. I'd love to read her fiction too.
Theo Dorgan - I am now officially a fan. A terrific story teller and some great, long poems, on mythology, the adult version and one I loved on an event at Kilmainham Jail. He has two collections being re-released together this month (I think) from Dedalus Press.
Also the Roddy Doyle and Joanne Harris double act - both very witty in a quite cutting way, opinionated (that's a good thing) particularly about writing and reading and they both used to be teachers. I'm waiting for Lollipop Shoes (a sequel to everyone's favourite novel about chocolatiering) to come out in paperback. I do enjoy a bit of magical realism. If you like Joanne, try Kate Atkinson. I read Roddy's short story re-visiting Jimmy Rabbitte in an otherwise tired copy of MacSweeny. It's also in his collection Deportees.
The finale was lunch (soup and sandwiches, no tea?) and a reading and chat with the great raconteur Dermot Bolger. (My best beloved asked me what a raconteur was and I said it was he was like after a few pints.)
Ones I didn't go to:
I talked to a regular punter (aka not an emerging writer or a writer of any kind) about the readings she'd been to and she praised the one about 10 books you must read by Fintan O'Toole and
Chocolate tasting (how did I miss that?) said to be delicious. Long may it last.
Lorna Landvik - good light reading. She also said she tries hard not to put herself into her writing, which strikes me as strange, tough, if not impossible to do and possibly not so self aware.
Kate Bateman - how to read a book was highly praised with a handout on what to look out for. One attendee said each section was like a mini lecture and she found it hard to take in so much information at once.
Reading Memoir with Nuala O'Faolain, Richard Tillinghast, Brian Keenan and Hugo Hamilton. Very good but harrowing from these (mostly) damaged people. It's hard to separate the damage from the person.
Many kudos to the organising committee for a riveting, diverse and well run festival and see you next year. (can you make it cheaper? - I found the tickets very expensive)
Sunday, 2 March 2008
Yes, it's official. I haven't won nor been shortlisted for the Feile Filiochta poetry competition. Again. I have heard of someone who got placed and she heard a week ago. Me? Nada.
However, on the good news side, I am shortlisted for a prestigious short story award. More on this anon.
If you are wondering why a story you sent somewhere was rejected, can I recommend you review this list of reasons stories submitted to the Willesden Herald didn't make the grade here, posted Thursday, February 21, 2008 - Common faults in short stories submitted
There may be a lot of things to keep in mind when writing your mini masterpiece, many balls to keep in the air but it's like learning to drive. You think at the beginning you will never be able to change gear and brake and check the mirrors and steer and not hit anything and indicate all at the same time, but you can, with practise. Or rather most people can. My mum can't. Actually I know quite a few writers who can't. I know even more writers who can drive but have a lot of problems parking - spatial awareness or something.