Wednesday 30 May 2007

NewWriting NewWorlds

New Writing New Worlds is an initiative in Glasgow to promote writing from new playwrights from Scotland and elsewhere. it's into its 3rd year now so it must be doing something right. Guess my play didn't picked. No notification or email to say so.

Women's Voices by Alexina Dalgetty (Canada)
Of The Border by Kalin Ilev (Bulgaria)
The Madness of the Woodcutter by David Kilby.
Letters by Heather Taylor
Still by Cormac Quinn.
Staying Awake For You by Skye Loneragan
Stranger From Sea by Keiran Lynn.
An American Monologue by Philip Spencer
Lifesaving by Rob Drummond.

Tuesday 29 May 2007


Some books have enigmatic acknowledgements pages

For M

Some have great big long ones which are useful for finding the name of writers' agents, editors, first English teacher etc.

Which is preferable? I think I prefer the long winded personal ones myself. They give you more of an insight into the writer.

There was an article in the Irish Times last Saturday noticing that a new, young writer had a full page of acknowledgements

thanking everyone from her seventh grade teacher to the cat's mother - worse than a speech after a GAA fund-raiser in Mullingar

P.S. No contact from yet!

Monday 28 May 2007

Movie Extras

I have just signed up with They say they are looking for over 35s especially. I understand there is a lot of hanging around and I am really good at hanging around, having two kids that need ferrying about the county! I thought I could use the hanging around time to write too. And they pay and I have no money. And I would hope to get an insight into how films work in case my book ever makes it into film. Watch this space.

Sunday 27 May 2007

Cavan Windows Publications

Windows Publications is supported by Cavan County Council. They aim not only to promote literature in Cavan and local established artists but to promote them side by side with emerging writers from anywhere. They are looking for submissions for Authors and Artists Series 7.

They will feature 8 to 10 poets and 3 short story writers or novelists. Submit up to 12 poems or 3 short stories max 5,000 words per piece or work in progress. Each features writer will get 10 pages and a phot and bio page. They will launch in Cavan and then tour the country depending on where the writers hail from.

Postal address is

Heather Brett
Cavan Co Cavan

Deadline is 6th July and publication due end of September, though I suspect as the deadline date was moved out a month, so will the publication date.

Saturday 26 May 2007

Tall Tales

Tall Tales is a Dublin theatre company that actively supports and trains new writers. They have a season of lunchtime plays (I love lunchtime plays, why are there so few?) in Bewley's Cafe Theatre in Grafton Street, Dublin. These are by three new, nurtured women writers, Fireworks by Iseult Golden, TIC by Elizabeth Moynihan and Hue & Cry by Deirdre Kinahan.
To accompany this they have a two day workshop for female playwrights also at Bewley's Cafe Theatre on June 23rd and 4th which is all very worthy but, here's the catch, you can only be a 'new' playwright for Tall Tales if you are aged 18-30. What a swizz. And how blinkered is that. What is the age group of people who go to the theatre? Not 18-30, that's for sure!

Tuesday 22 May 2007

Poetry in the Waiting Room

Poetry has an image of an esoteric, hard to fathom, academic artistic form and, apart from the Poetry on the Dart project, the general public have to go looking for it rather than come across poetry in day to day life. Inspired by the many public pieces of sculpture across the country, this project is designed to bring poetry back into public spaces, introducing it to new audiences and encouraging awareness and interest in all parts of the community.

The idea is to develop a poetry leaflet for waiting rooms - doctors and dentists, hospitals, hairdressers, council offices, day centres, social welfare offices, NCT centres, anywhere the public has to wait. The waiting room is the one place that at some point, everyone has to pause. It is a room full of strangers that levels us and where we have a chance to reflect. Poetry can help humanise these impersonal places. And hopefully, some people will take away something more than a brief relief to the boredom or worry of the wait. They will take away a newly awakened appreciation of poetry.

A similar project in the UK has been supplying free poetry cards for years to non-literary institutions including hospitals, medical centres, doctors surgeries, homeopathy centres, citizen’s advice bureaus and prisons. They currently supply up to 25,000 free leaflets each quarter. Research found the scheme had established strong appeal throughout the whole range of social groupings, including strong representation in disadvantaged areas. A knock on effect was the positive impact of the poetry on the staff working in the offices.

The UK based project did have some penetration into Ireland including The National Children’s hospital in Tallaght, Mid Western Regional Hospital Radio and some doctor’s surgeries but this was dropped when the Arts Council of England funding was cut.

The poetry is carefully chosen firstly to be accessible. Many people complain of being put off poetry since school so experimental or demanding poetry would not work well in this context. It must also be sensitive to the possible feelings of people in a waiting room, frustrated, worried, even emotionally disturbed. The poetry should speak to all parts of the community. New poems will be commissioned from poets with a preference for Kildare based writers. This will provide a much needed outlet, payment being on a par with that from Poetry Ireland. This new work will be put alongside older poems, which are familiar to the older generation, poems for children, which are also enjoyed by adults, and poems in translation to include Ireland’s new immigrant communities.

The leaflet is an A4 folded card printed on both sides and holding 6 or 7 poems. The reader may take the card home and then recycle it, leaving it in another waiting room when they have finished with it. The leaflet may also carry a small amount of poetry related advertising. Institutions may laminate a copy for the office so it can be read on both sides.

Self Publishing

Well, here's a fascinating story about self publishing of a type. Kate Thompson, a well known chick lit author with books and books under her belt was turned down byu her publishers (is there hope for the rest of us when someone with a track record like that is removed from the lists?) and so she did it herself. Online for taster chapters and then posted out the rest. Fantastic. Of course she already had a gaggle of readers waiting for her books and on emailing lists and the like but still. What an acheivement. You hear so many horrors stories or not so much horror as hard slog and not worth it stories about self publishing. Good to hear one that works.

Here's her link.

Helps to have a link from Marian Keyes newsletter too!

Sunday 20 May 2007

Creative Enterprise Office

This is an interesting and innovative project, useful for artists living within reach of Dundalk. They are offering all sorts of Marketing and personal development courses this summer for artists. The idea is to 'offer platform for co-operation and business rowth' Not sure how this would apply to writers. They are arranging a visit to the Edinburgh festival which sounds good. They have a newsletter you can sign up to.

Tuesday 8 May 2007

University of Hertfordshire Writing Award

Well, I didn't even get into the top 20 stories that are going in the anthology for this competition. Very disappointing. It may be worth getting a copy when it's released to see they type of story they were looking for. Maybe I'm not literary enough. I want a good plot/story and characters in my stories. Sometimes that comes into conflict with requirements for literary, modernist writing, I find. Any comments?

I would have liked to have done the MA course though.

I heard the winner of another prose writing contest and, although there were obviously good bits of writing in it, I came away thinking, OK, so what at the end. I didn't rate it at all, It didn't seem to go anyway, just wandering musings and observations. Surely there's more to writing than that?

Thursday 3 May 2007

Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes writers a monthly newsletter, lovely and chatty in her own voice. It mentions progress of her latest book but more interesting is the insights into her life, family and relationships. The same chatty but bright and witty style as her books. The best of chick lit I think. If only all blogs were this readable!

Wednesday 2 May 2007

Hawthornden Castle Fellowship

I met a woman who got a Hawthornden Castle Fellowship. It's great for getting a lot of writing done. They look after you, feed you very well, leaving trays outside your room for lunch and tea but it's very serious and head down sort of thing. I'd like it myself. There are five writers at any one time from all over the world. Apply by September for the following year.

Hawthornden Castle,
The International Retreat for Writers,
EH18 1EG

Phone 0131 440 2180

Fax 0131 440 1989

See the link for a review.