Saturday 31 May 2008

Glen Dimplex New Writers Awards 2008

Awards will be made to the best first book published in the last year in Ireland and the UK by an author within each of the following five categories: Fiction, Poetry, Children’s Book, Biography/Non-fiction and for the best first book published in any genre in the Irish language.

The Glen Dimplex New Writer of the Year 2008 will be chosen from the five category winners.

Each category winner will receive a prize of €5,000. There will also be an overall award for the Glen Dimplex New Writer of the Year with a prize of €20,000.

Shortlist to be announced in October

Friday 30 May 2008


Some up and coming festivals from Poetry Ireland.

Iniscealtra Festival of Arts | 23 May - 2 June
Who: Theo Dorgan, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Eamon Cagney and Ruth Marshall.
What: workshops, exhibitions, music performances, talks and lectures

Listowel Writers Week | May 28 - June 1
Who: Seamus Heaney, Anne Enright, Hugo Hamilton, Lloyd Jones, Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Eileen Sheehan, Billy Roche, Caroline Lynch, Pat Boran, Mary Lawson, John Banville, John Boyne and John F Deane.
What: workshops, readings, talks, networking

Colm Cille Summer School | 3 - 9 June
Who: Dermot Sommers, Gabriel Rosenstock, Paddy Bushe and Anne Hartigan.

Force 12 Writers Festival | 6- 8 June
Who: Kevin Higgins, Geraldine Mills, Maurice Harmon, Seamus Cashman, Frank Goldman and Anne Hartigan.

Spréacha | 9 - 15 June
What:Arts festival for children in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, featuring circus acts, visual art and storytelling.

Bloomsday Festival 2008 | 9-16 June
What: Bloomsday breakfast and outdoor readings across Dublin.
Who: Senator David Norris will perform his one-man show at the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire.

Dublin Writers Festival | 11-15 June
Who: Ian Rankin, Colin Bateman, Tom Stoppard, JP Donleavy, Harry Clifton, Marian Keyes and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.

Cork Midsummer Festival | June 15 - July 5
What: Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape, Conor McPherson's The Seafarer, and the theatrical carnival, Sensazione.

Strandhill Summerfest | 25 - 27 July
What: Strandhill Summerfest is a weekend workshop for writers of all ages and levels.
Who: Órfhlaith NÍ Chonaill, Ted Deppe, Annie Deppe and Joe Kearney

Féile na Gréine/Solstice Arts Festival 21 - 23 July
Who: Pat Boran, Celia de Fréine and Aonghas Mac Neacail.

Thursday 29 May 2008

Things that have interested me

Things that have interested me this week.

St Donard festival, Co Down.
Poets and photographers.
Theme: Elements - lots of scope for interpretation there.
Deadline: June 6, 2008.
Prizes: in each category £100, £50 or £25
Winners will be announced and work displayed at the launch of the St Donard Festival, Elements Exhibition on June 20, 2008 at 5.00 pm in Newcastle Library

Submit by email:
Or, post disk to Newcastle Library Main Street, Newcastle, BT33 0AE
One photograph, or, poem to a maximum of 20 lines, will be accepted per person.

A few stories about Andrew Motion (me and Andy, we're like 'this') coming to the end of his decade as the poet laureate and maybe it's time to get a woman poet in there for the first time. He's done good job on increasing the profile of poetry, particularly concentrating on education and exposure to poetry in schools.

And another article about reading and writing blurbs.
Can you write your own for a well known book?
Commonly used vocabularly: 'learns/knows otherwise' 'rollercoaster of --------' (fill in the blank) 'wacky,' 'zany,' 'feisty' (always a girl. can boys be feisty?) 'action packed' 'hilarious/unforeseen consequences' 'heartfelt and life affirming' (like it needs affirming?) 'mesmerising' (hard to read if you're in a trance)

And lots of rhetorical questions:
But who is the mysterious stranger riding into town?
Will Tracy find out the truth before it's too late? (yes)
Why does Hans always wear leather pants?

New words recently added to the Oxford Dictionary. Twonk

Wednesday 28 May 2008

Workshop Trevor Bowen Summer School in Mitchelstown

There's a workshop on the short story, at the Trevor Bowen Summer School in Mitchelstown, County Cork, is this week-end facilitated by highly talented, effervescent and terribly good looking Nuala Ni Chonchuir (Hi Nuala!).

Saturday 24th
10.30 – 1pm C.B.S. Assembly Hall, Mitchelstown

Sunday 25th of May
10.30 – 1pm Firgrove Hotel, Mitchelstown

Fee: €60 for both sessions

To sign up contact Liam Cusack
Tel: 025-84918 OR 086-8248736

There are lots of other interesting sounding events on. See the website. I'll be babysitting my nephews so not much writing going on this weekend I think!

Tuesday 27 May 2008

More readings

12 June 2008 at 6.30 p.m.
Poetry Ireland in association with Salmon Poetry presents the launch of Thornfield: Poems by The Thornfield Poets:
introduced by Andrew Carpenter
Unitarian Church,
112 St Stephen’s Green West, D2

May 2008 at 6.30 p.m.
Poetry Ireland in association with Cervantes Institute presents
Instituto Cervantes, Lincoln Place, D2
T: 01 6311500; E:

28 May 2008 at 8 p.m.
Wednesday Series | Reading and Open Mic
The Last Wednesday Series Reading and Open Mic with Oran Ryan, Noel Ó Briain, Quincy R Lehr, Steve Conway, Doog Wood and Donald Moloney.
Cassidys Pub, Westmoreland St, Dublin 2
T: 087-2283351 E:

31 May 2008 at 4.30 p.m.
Poetry Ireland in association with Iniscealtra Festival of Arts presents
The Snug Wine Bar, Mountshannon, Co Clare;
T: 087 6968577; E:

3 June 2008 at 6.30 p.m.
Poetry Ireland in association with Cinnamon Press presents the launch of
Beneath the Deluge by Catherine Brennan
& On the Back of the Wind Frank Dullaghan
Unitarian Church, 112 St Stephen's Green West, Dublin 2

5 June 2008 at 6.30 p.m.
Poetry Ireland in association with Mercier Press presents the launch of
The Essential Fitzmaurice by GABRIEL FITZMAURICE
(launched by Fintan O’Toole);
Unitarian Church,
112 St Stephen’s Green West, D2

5 June 2008 at 7 p.m.
Valerie Sirr winner of the Hennessey New Irish Writing this year
Blanchardstown library

22 June 2008 at 3 p.m.
Poetry Ireland in association with Féile na Gréine Solstice Arts Festival presents
Tech Amergin,Waterville, Co Kerry
Admission 5/3;
T: 066 9478956;

2 July 2008 at 1 p.m.
The first in a series of five July readings from Poetry Ireland in association with the National Gallery of Ireland:
The Portrait Gallery, Room 21,
National Gallery of Ireland,
Merrion Square West/Clare St, D2

Monday 26 May 2008

Oxfam Poems

A competition for a good cause.

Poems for 2009 - Oxfambooks - Poetry calendar competition

Six winning poets will be published alongside six guest poets in the 2009 calendar. This years guest poet are Moya Cannon, Patrick Deeley, Eamon Grennan, Vona Groarke, Dave Lordan and Eilian Nm Chuileanain.

Judge: Patrick Deeley.

Deadline: July 15th 2008

A full set of rules and entry forms are available on their website

Sunday 25 May 2008

Popular Culture discussed in Academia

The Art of Popular Culture: From "The Meeting of the Waters" to Riverdance

A series of audio lectures on the theme, 'The Art of Popular Culture:
From "The Meeting of the Waters" to Riverdance.' See website

1: Sean Ryder, Dept of English, NUI Galway, ŒTom Moore: Ireland¹s First Pop Star¹ (Not yet available)

2: Elaine Sisson, School of Creative Arts, Dun Laoghaire IADT, ŒThe Boy as National Hero: The legacy of Cúchulainn¹ (Available)

3: Eddie Holt, School of Communication, DCU, ŒW.B. Yeats, Journalism and the Revival¹ (Available)

4: Anne Fogarty, School of English, Drama and Film, UCD, ŒJames Joyce and Popular Culture¹

5: Claire Wills, Dept of English, Queen Mary, University of London, ŒNeutrality and Popular Culture¹

6: Paige Reynolds, Dept of English, Holy Cross College, ŒHollywood and Contemporary Irish Drama¹

7: Bill Whelan, Composer, Riverdance, ŒGlobalising Irish Music¹

8: Frank McGuinness, Writer-in-Residence, School of English, UCD, ŒFilming Friel: Lughnasa on Screen¹

Saturday 24 May 2008

DLR Library Readings

DLR Library Voices

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Library Service are very good to literature. Be thankful if you live nearby and tell them how much you appreciate their efforts.

Readings will be staged in County Hall and will feature a broad range of Irish and international authors.
DLR Library Voices will continue with Joseph O'Connor and Julia Kelly on 22 May. O'Connor's magnificent Star of the Sea is now followed by his new book Redemption Falls which is short-listed in the 2008 Irish Book Awards. Julia Kelly also features in the Awards short-list in the Irish Newcomer category for With My Lazy Eye.

Local favourite Hugo Hamilton will read from his eagerly anticipated new novel, Disguise, on 5 June. Hamilton's wonderful memoir of growing up in nearby Glasthule, The Speckled People, became a massive international bestseller.

On 17th June, DLR Library Voices presents John Boyne, whose The Boy in Striped Pyjamas was awarded The Tubridy Show Listeners' Choice Award last year.

On 24 June, UNICEF Ireland Ambassador and best selling author Cathy Kelly will be in conversation with Kathryn Holmquist.

Tickets, priced Euro 5, are available in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Library Branches. Further information is available in DLR branch libraries and on the DLR website

Friday 23 May 2008

Africa Day

This event in Dublin Castle sounds not only worthy, but also fun, inventive and cultural. I'll have to leave early though 'cos I'm off to see Brucey in the RDS.

The gardens of Dublin Castle on Sunday, 25th May from 1 to 7pm.
'Africa Day @ Dublin Castle' is open - free of charge - to the public, and will showcase many aspects of African culture, including music, literature, art and cuisine. The event will take the form of an African Village and will comprise the following elements

The Bazaar
When entering the event and its specially created African Village, visitors will walk through a bazaar area, comprising stands from Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. Visitors will have the chance to sample wine, coffee and traditional foods in this area; to partake in a mint tea or coffee-drinking ceremony; to play popular African board games; see drumming demonstrations, acrobatic performances and lots of traditional African costumes, and even send greetings to Nelson Mandela for his 90th birthday in July!

The Main Stage
A main stage in front of the picnic area will feature a line-up of leading Irish and African entertainers, including: Mundy; Kíla; a very special guest appearance from Sinéad O'Connor and Republic of Loose with The Discovery Gospel Choir; Motema (40s and 50s Congolese rumba); R'n'B act, Stone & Jezreel; The Gardiner Street Gospel Choir; energetic dance act, Congomania; Ugandan traditional dance and a fashion show. All of the main acts participating on stage are performing free of charge.

The Culture Section
The Culture Section will feature spoken word performances on the main stage and in the theatre of the Chester Beatty Library. Inputs will be provided by:

Irish Times writer, Roisin Ingle.
Founder and Artistic Director of Arambe Productions (Ireland's first African Theatre), Bisi Adigun. Bisi's performance title is 'Peig Sayers - A Fear Gorm Perspective'. He will read from 'Peig' and explore the use of a rich heritage of proverbs in the Irish language and in his native Nigeria.
Ghanaian author and performance poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes, who has been invited to Ireland to celebrate Africa Day by the Dublin Writers' Centre. Nii is a writer of poetry, prose and articles. An experienced performer of his work, he has appeared all over the world.
South African author and journalist, Thabi Madide, who will read from her debut novel 'Really'. Her novel tells the story of a black South African woman who moves to live in Ireland and unexpectedly falls in love with a former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging commander.
Irish author and journalist, Declan Lynch, who will read from his hugely popular novel 'The Rooms'.
Editor of Metro Éireann, Chinedu Onyejelem, who will give a spoken word performance on the topic of Igbo marriage customs.
The Culture Corner will extend into the Coach House at Dublin Castle, and will feature art and photography exhibits, as well as craft and artefact displays. The Irish Ethiopian Friendship Association will be on hand with a display of Ethiopian artefacts and textiles; World Design will display contemporary African design and craft; the 'Building Unity Through Diversity' exhibition will offer families the chance to have their photos taken and become part of Ireland's family album, while other African photographs and art will also be on display.

In addition, the Chester Beatty Library will extend its opening hours until 7pm on Africa Day; the Library houses the newly opened Arts of the Book exhibition and the Sacred Traditions exhibition, which includes a number of manuscripts from Ethiopia.

Sports Corner
Former Republic of Ireland soccer manager, Brian Kerr, will be on hand - together with SARI (Sports Against Racism in Ireland) - to oversee sporting activities at the African Village event. This will include Extreme Trampoline, five-a-side soccer and mini-tournaments for all ages. The Ugandan Association of Ireland will also give some demonstrations of netball, one of the most popular sports in Uganda.

Open Area and Kids' Corner
In the Kids' Corner, there will be a story-telling area, face-painting and fun activities focusing on different aspects of African culture. Older children can participate in workshops on bracelet-making.

Traditional African Dancers, hair-braiders and face-painters will mingle in the main 'market area', which will be set in front of the main stage.

In a corner of the market area, a group of Zambian artists will create a mural of Africa using newspaper images and materials from Africa. Visitors will be encouraged to contribute to the process.

Screenings of the acclaimed animated film 'Kirikou and the Sorceress' will take place. Taking its artistic inspiration from African sculpture and Egyptian art - and featuring an authentic soundtrack from Senegalese musician Youssou N'dour - the film will be appreciated by parents and children alike.

Visitors to Africa Day @ Dublin Castle are encouraged to bring picnics and to stay for a few hours to soak up the carnival atmosphere. African food will also be available for sale, with the renowned Silk Road Café providing catering facilities.

Prizes and Treats
Traidlinks will provide tea, coffee and fruit, as well as offering two family hampers for winners of the Africa Day Quiz. Silk Road Café will also offer a family hamper for the quiz, while Table Mountain Foods will offer two hampers of South African foods. Edun Clothing will provide 100 per cent organic cotton t-shirts from Africa as prizes for those participating in sporting events.

Register your Interest
Entry to Africa Day @ Dublin Castle is free of charge. To help us cater for numbers on the day, we would ask you to register your intention to attend the event by sending an email to: Please indicate in your mail the number of people that will be attending in your party.

Ugandan Drumming & Dance Performance 1.00-1.15pm Nile Garden
Drumming Performance & Workshop: Bode 1.00-1.30pm Culture Zone
Rap Ireland and Afro-Irish Music 1.00-1.45pm Zambezi Garden
Afö. 1.05-1.20pm Main Stage
Traditional Nigerian Dance Performance 1.15-1.30pm Nile Garden
Discovery Gospel Choir. 1.30-2.00pm Main Stage
Traditional Malawian Dance Performance 1.45-2.00pm Zambezi Garden
Drumming Performance: Bode 2.00-2.20pm Zambezi Garden
Stone & Jezreel. 2.10-2.30pm Main Stage
Rap Ireland and Afro-Irish Music ials. 2.20-3.00pm Zambezi Garden
Motema. 40s and 50s Congolese rumba. 2.40-3.00pm Main Stage
Drumming Performance: Bode 3.00-3.15pm Nile Garden
Heartbreak Cartel (Acoustic Performance)3.00-3.45pm Zambezi Garden
Kanda Bongo Man. Kwasa Kwasa 3.10-3.30pm Main Stage
Children of Soweto 3.15-3.45pm Culture Zone
Gardiner Street Gospel Choir. 3.40-4.10pm Main Stage
South African Dance Performance 3.45-4.00pm Nile Garden
Rap Ireland and Afro-Irish Music 4.00-4.30pm Zambezi Garden
Congomania. 4.20-4.40pm Main Stage
Ugandan Drumming & Dance Performance 4.30-4.45pm Nile Garden
South African Dance Performance 4.45-5.00pm Nile Garden
Millionaire Boyz. 4.50-5.10pm Main Stage
Kíla. Ever-popular Irish band 5.15pm Main Stage
Mundy. Irish singer-songwriter. 6.00pm Main Stage
Sinéad O’Connor, Republic of Loose 6.40pm Main Stage

1.00-1.05pm Main Stage
Spoken Word Performance: Ghanian author and performance poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes (in association with The Irish Writers’ Centre). Speakers’ Corner: Nigerian writer,

1.30-1.40pm Nile Garden
Yinka Dixon.

1.30-2.00pm Culture Zone
Kids’ Workshop: Ghanian author and performance poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes will host a fun, interactive workshop for a younger audience (in association with The Irish Writers’ Centre).

1.50-2.00pm Nile Garden
Speakers’ Corner: Bisi Adigun, Founder and Artistic Director of Arambe Productions, Ireland’s first African theatre company.

2.00-2.10pm Main Stage
Spoken Word Performance: Irish Times’ journalist Roisin Ingle will read an excerpt from her recent 'Being There' column, for which she spent a number of days meeting the customers of a Nigerian hairdresser.

2.00-2.15pm Culture Zone
Literary Reading: Nigerian writer, Yinka Dixon

2.15-2.45pm Culture Zone
Workshop: Irish Times’ journalist Roisin Ingle will discuss African-related articles she's written down through the years.

2.40-2.50pm Nile Garden
Speakers’ Corner: Zimbabwean poet, Jojo Mnensa.

2.45-3.15pm Culture Zone
Workshop: ‘Peig Sayers: A Fear Gorm Perspective’. Bisi Adigun will read excerpts from the Irish novel ‘Peig’ and compare the use of proverbs in Irish and Nigerian literature.

3.45-4.15pm Culture Zone
Literary Reading & Workshop: Renowned Irish journalist and author Declan Lynch will read and discuss excerpts from his acclaimed novel, ‘The Rooms’.

4.10-4.20pm Main Stage
Spoken Word Performance: Chinedu Onyejelem, Founder and Editor of Metro Éireann, on Igbo marriage ceremonies in his native Nigeria.

4.20-4.30pm Nile Garden
Speakers’ Corner: Chinedu Onyejelem

4.15-4.45pm Culture Zone
Literary Reading & Workshop: South African journalist and writer Thabi Madide will read and discuss extracts from her debut novel, ‘Really’.

Thursday 22 May 2008

Advice from Ian Fleming

You will be constantly depressed by the progress of the opus and feel it is all nonsense and that nobody will be interested. Those are the moments when you must all the more obstinately stick to your schedule and do your daily stint...Never mind about the brilliant phrase or the golden word; once the typescript is there you can fiddle, correct and embelish as much as you please. Don't be depressed if the first draft seems a bit raw, all first drafts do. Try and remember the weather and smells and sensations and pile in every kind of contemporary detail. Don't let anyone see the manuscript until you are very well on with it and above all, don't allow anything to interfere with your routine. Don't worry about what you put it, it can always be cut on re-reading; it's the total recall that matters.

So, get through the first draft to the end, trying to ignore your inner critic
Stick to a schedule (1,000 words a day, whatever)
Use the senses
Don't share early on

Wednesday 21 May 2008

More on Bookmooch

Following on from my previous posting about the books most available to mooch, here are the books most people want.

Top of the list, a book I have just finished and really did not rate, A Thousand Splendid Suns. Emotionally manipulative, not terribly well written and slap on the misery with a trowel. Not my cup of chai. Though others love it. Very Book club material. I did love the bit about Titanic.

The one I really, really want to read is Joshua Ferris - Then We Came to the End because I have worked, still work, in an office and have never managed to capture the culture, the humour and the back stabbing that (can) goes on there.

Who is Stephanie Meyer?

Khaled Hosseini A Thousand Splendid Suns 473 0
Michael Pollan Omnivore's Dilemma 400 0
Frank Warren PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives 369 0
Elizabeth Gilbert Eat Pray Love 354 0
Barbara Kingsolver Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life 346 0
Alan Weisman The World Without Us 337 0
Michael Pollan In Defense Of Food 326 0
Stephenie Meyer Twilight (Twilight, Book 1) 315 0
Stephenie Meyer New Moon (Twilight, Book 2) 301 0
Stephen Colbert I Am America (And So Can You!) 295 0
Frank Warren The Secret Lives of Men and Women: A PostSecret Book 291 0
Christopher Hitchens God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything 286 0
Greg Mortenson Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time 282 0
Stephenie Meyer Eclipse (Twilight, Book 3) 280 0
Cormac McCarthy The Road (Oprah's Book Club) 280 0
Conn Iggulden The Dangerous Book for Boys 275 0
Frank Warren My Secret: A PostSecret Book 272 0
Amy Sedaris I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence 272 0
Michael Chabon The Yiddish Policemen's Union: A Novel 268 0
Joshua Ferris Then We Came to the End: A Novel 263 0

Again, very US based I think.

Tuesday 20 May 2008

5 books I'm afraid to re-read

Having read this interesting article, I was thinking about 5 books I'm afraid to re-read, because I loved them so much the first time through.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.
I was convinced I was fated to marry a monied, older man. And do a better job of it than the somewhat wimpy heroine of this book.

The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. Also The Magus. Convoluted, self-aware, lush writing.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. I'm detecting an adolescent thing going on here. I loved the strangeness and warpedness of this book.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I'm scared to re-read this. I lapped up the romanticism but will Hemingway's writing and general misogeny get in the way of a good story now?

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa. I loved the interspersion of a more and more outlandish radio soap opera but maybe I wouldn't like it now.

Monday 19 May 2008

Seán O Faoláin Short Story Prize

The annual Seán O Faoláin Short Story competition is open for business:

Prizes: 1,500 euros, 500 euros, 4x100 Euros and publication in Southword.
3,000 words or fewer
Fee: 10 euro or £10
Deadline: 31 July 2008
Send to: The Munster Literature Centre, Frank O'Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork
or email and pay by Paypal as per the website.
Judge: Nuala Ní Chonchúir

and Nuala kindly tells us what she's looking for and what she doesn't want to read. She reads every entry too so keep her busy and send it EARLY

Sunday 18 May 2008

Poetry Workshops and how to survive them

Apparently I've been participating in poetry workshops and writing groups all wrong. Read it and buff up your critical skills!

Saturday 17 May 2008

More UK Literary Magazines #1

Here is a first selection of poetry magazines accepting submissions in the UK.

Generally submissions are by snail mail. Many magazines will respond by email. And all recommend you buy a copy of their magazine first, not only to get a feel for the type of poem they prefer, but also to support the poetry magazine industry.

Acumen Poetry publishes poetry. They chose about 50 from a submission of 3,000 or so. They look for poems which "says something which is not trivial, not obvious, doesn't use outworn images or diction, and which works at many levels simultaneously." Snail mail only.

Agenda Poetry is a long established poetry magazine. They look for "Poems that are deeply felt and well-crafted." Send up to 6 poems. Snail mail only.

What kind of work the Editor looks for:

Poems that are deeply felt and well-crafted

What kind of work the Editor would like to see less of:

Oversentimental, cliché-ridden poetry; poetry with dumdidum rhymes that boss the poet into using particular words just for the sake of the pat rhymes; poetry that is badly crafted and too prosaic, and poetry that does not come from the heart.

Ambit is looking for poetry and short stories that provoke. Snail Mail only. 3-4 months for a response.

Parochial, I’ve-got-no-money ‘bed-sitter’ poems; self-consciously poetic this-is-a-poem poems; poems by people who really want to be Keats or Wordsworth; poems about what it is to write a poem, or worse, what it is NOT to be able to write one; that-man-or-woman-done-me-over poems; sweeping generalization poems - life, death and why we are here, what’s- it-all-about? poems; the use of clichés like ‘sweeping generalizations’… oh and avoid 'shards', 'abysses' and 'iridescence'.

(Makes me want to write a poem using shards, abyss and iridesence!)

Poems submitted to Anon are reviewed anonymously. Response time is up to three months. Submit up to 3 poems. Snailmail only.

90% of submissions are free verse, so we would like to see more formal verse submissions, and more submissions of the interesting stuff that lies in-between free verse and formal verse. But since all types of poetry can be the vehicle for good work and poor work, perhaps it would be more fruitful to think about content. We would like to see more poems with original content, and more poems that treat classic subject matter innovatively. We are interested in finding poems that have reasons to exist: substantial content, explored in memorable language that is handled with skill and originality, structured in poems that have a beginning, a middle and an end. A twist somewhere along the way wouldn't go amiss.

Brittle Star accept poetry and short stories up to 1,200 words. Response within 6 weeks of submissino deadline. Prefer submissions by post.

Cadenza looks for short stories via their competition only and Poetry submissions in April/May and October/November. They look for "crackling, vibrant work and who aren't afraid to take risks. Inventive use of language is important, as are original, arresting characters." Email submissions.

Chapman has a focus on Scotland. They accept short stories and poetry. Send between 4 and 10 poems. Fiction any length. Pay around £8 per page. Snail mail only.

The New Welsh Review focuses on writing in Wales (funnily enough.) They pay for short stories and poems. Response within 3 months. Snail Mail only.

The New Writer Magazine accepts short stories from prize winners and subscribers only and poetry that "provide a good use of language, offering challenging imagery." Snail Mail only.

Scribble publishes short stories no more than 3,000 words. Fee for non-subscribers. Snail Mail only.

Stand Magazine is a long established literary magazine accepting poetry and short stories. Pays on publication. Snail Mail only.

Friday 16 May 2008


Anyone else use bookmooch? Perfect for people who cannot bear to throw books out, give them away and receive other ones in their place. It's like a present through the post from strangers. You put up a list of books you're never going to read again (you know you have them) at least 10. And a wishlist of books you would like. And see if you get any matches.

The list of most mooched books is interesting.

Kim Edwards The Memory Keeper's Daughter 857 1
Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner 641 0
Sue Monk Kidd The Secret Life of Bees 477 10
Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Vintage Contemporaries) 474 1
Gregory Maguire Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West 423 0
Yann Martel Life of Pi 418 0
Jodi Picoult My Sister's Keeper: A Novel 380 0
Azar Nafisi Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books 321 1
David Sedaris Me Talk Pretty One Day 320 0
James Frey A Million Little Pieces 311 96
Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex: A Novel 303 0
Anita Diamant The Red Tent: A Novel (Bestselling Backlist) 292 0
Philippa Gregory The Other Boleyn Girl 274 0
Erik Larson The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America (Vintage) 264 0
Elizabeth Gilbert Eat Pray Love 260 0
Dave Eggers A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Vintage) 249 0
Barbara Ehrenreich Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America 248 0
George Orwell 1984 229 0
Lisa See Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel 223 0
John Grogan Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog 208 0

I think the numbers are biased towards US mooches. I wonder what it would look like for Europe/UK/Ireland?

Thursday 15 May 2008

More Blogs worth a visit

Book/Daddy is Jerome Weeks gossiping about books

Bookgirl is addicted to books in Dallas.

Deb Carr's Daydreams

Claire's Diary of a Mad Mammy

Editorial Anonymous gives the inside view.

Fiction is Stranger than Fact

Fiction Scribe blogs about writing and writers.

Chris's Home Thoughts Weekly from Wales.

Light, Sweet and Crude blogs wittily about writing down under.

Liz Fenwick sometimes writes in Cornwall

Mark Granier, the poet blogs on Lightbox.

Nathan Branford is a literary agent who posts about how to submit stuff, amongst other things.

Patricia Woods aboard SV Orion wrote 'Lottery'

Real E Fun writing by a humanist funeral director.

Sean McLachlan is a Midlist writer.

The Short Review reviews short stories.

Jim Murdoch blogs at The Truth about Lies. Check out his metaphor post.

Tea Stains is a British writer in Thailand.

Wordcounting from Fiona, a chicklit writer.

Liane Spicer blogs at Wordtryst about writing her book Cafe Au Lait

Writing at the Window is Kerry's writer's blog.

Writing Forward a US site talks about the technicalities of writing.

Writing Nag is blogging when she should be writing.

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Poetry Reading this Thursday

Chapters and Verse Themed Reading - SUMMER WORDS
6.30 on Thursday 15th May 2008
Chapters of Parnell St, Dublin 1

Catherine Ann Cullen was born in Drogheda, Co Louth. She is a regular contributor to RTE Radio 1's Sunday Miscellany and A Living Word as well as producing current affairs, arts and features. She lives with her partner Harry and daughter Stella in Kimmage, Dublin. Her first collection, A Bone in My Throat, is published by Doghouse.

Ross Hattaway was born in New Zealand, but has lived in Ireland since 1990. He has had many varied jobs and currently works as a civil servant. His first collection of poetry, The Gentle Art of Rotting was published by Seven Towers in 2000.

Noel Ó Briain was born in Tralee in Kerry and now resides in Camolin, Co Wexford. He has worked as an actor, director, producer and designer and was head of drama in RTE for a period up to 1988. His first collection of poetry Scattering Day, 21 Sonnets and Other Poems was published by Seven Towers in 2007.

ANAMARÍA CROWE SERRANO is Irish and lives in Dublin with her family. She has worked at Dublin City University and in Trinity College Dublin. She has published several translations of poetry including Valerio Magrelli's Instructions on How to Read a Newspaper, for whose translation she won 3rd prize with Riccardo Duranti at the BCLA/BCLT Translation Competition in 2002. In 2003, she published her first collection of short stories, Dall'altra parte (Leconte) and a one-act play, The Interpreter (Delta3 Edizioni). With Riccardo Duranti she has written Behind the Tapestry, a historical novel on the life of Thomas Shelton, the first translator of Don Quijote. Her latest collection of poems, Paso Doble, written as a poetic dialogue with the Italian poet Annamaria Ferramosca, was published in March 2006 by Empiria.

Barbara Smith holds a BA Hons. Literature just completed, 2007; and will continue with Queen's University Belfast, with a MA in Creative Writing. Her debut collection of poetry, Kairos, is just published by Doghouse Books. She has poetry and essays published widely and lives in Dundalk, with her partner and six children. Other publications include Poetic Stage (1998.) Barbara's the one to see.

Tuesday 13 May 2008

Waterford Festival of New Plays

To celebrate their 25th birthday, Red Kettle Theatre company are hosting the second Waterford Festival of New Plays. They are searching for Ireland’s playwrights who have not had their work previously published. The first Festival of New Plays was a huge success (yes, mine was in it!), and coincided with the Sean Dunne Literary Festival. The second festival will be staged in 2010. This is a great opportunity for any new writer’s who would like to see their work come to life.

Entries should be sent by hard copy or email
Deadline: 31st October 2008 to:

Joan Dalton,
Red Kettle Theatre Company,
15 Broad Street,
Tel: 051 879688

Monday 12 May 2008

On MFAs in the US

Have you ever considered an MFA in creative writing in the US? They differ greatly. But here's one interesting thing compared to the MAs on offer in Ireland and the UK. Some of the waive fees. Some of them even give you a stipend. I would think that the money aspect of it would mean that they get a much greater selection of potential writers applying than here, where only those who can afford a year out of the workforce AND the fees apply. Forget it if you have a family.

See this interesting article from The Atlantic.

Sunday 11 May 2008

Poetry Ireland Introductions

The line-up for this year ’s Poetry Ireland Introductions series, offering a showcase reading to twelve poets working towards a first collection, is now finalised.
The venue for these readings is the Unitarian Church, 112 St Stephen’s Green West, Dublin 2.

Thursday 19 June @ 6.30pm
Padraig O’Morain, Mags Treanor,
Mary Mullen & Philip Quirke

Tuesday, 24 June @ 6.30pm
Sonia Abercrombie, Joseph Horgan, Leeanne Quinn,
Majella Cullinane & David McLoghlin

Thursday, 26 June @ 6.30pm
Tom Duddy, Ailbhe Darcy, John Mee,
Róisín Tierney & Michelle O’Sullivan

Some names worth investigating there.

Saturday 10 May 2008

American Poets in Ireland

Chapters and Verse Reading Series
Cassidy's Westmoreland St
On Sunday 11th May 2008, 3.30pm

The readers at this event are three Californian poets – Alanna Alter, Kathleen Flowers and Amber Coverdale Sumrall who are traveling around Ireland in April and May and three American poets – Susan Millar DuMars from Philadelphia, Quincy R. Lehr from Oklahoma and Raven from Philadelphia who live in Ireland and are a vibrant part of the Irish poetry scene.

This event is being organized as part of the Chapters and Verse Reading Series run by the Seven Towers Agency

Alanna Alter has been published in several Monterey Bay area literary journals and anthologies. She has read many times locally in Santa Cruz and in the Bay area. She is working on a manuscript for her first collection of poems.

Susan Millar DuMars was born in Philadelphia in 1966. She holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. Her poems and short stories have been published widely in the US, UK and Ireland. Her poetry was included in the 2004 Anthology I, published by Ainnir; in 2005, Lapwing published a pamphlet of her poems, the well reviewed Everyone Loves Me. Susan's stories have been short-listed for many awards, and in 2005 she received an Irish Arts Council Bursary for her fiction. American Girls, a volume of her short stories, was published by Lapwing in 2007. Susan lives in Galway, Ireland. Since 2003, Susan and her husband Kevin Higgins have organised the successful Over the Edge reading series, showcasing new writers. Big Pink Umbrella is the first full collection of her poetry.

Kathleen Flowers is a bilingual educator in Santa Cruz, California. Her poems have been published in Harvest from the Emerald Orchard, Good Times, The Anthology of Monterey Bay Poets 2004, Porter Gulch Review, The Matrix, and Moments in the Journey. Her first poetry chapbook Call It Gladness is the recipient of the 2008 In Celebration of the Muse chapbook award.

Quincy R. Lehr was born in Oklahoma. He studied at the University of Texas at Austin and at Columbia University in New York. It was in New York that Quincy began writing poetry seriously and he co-founded the New York based chapbook publisher Modern Metrics with R. Nemo Hill. Quincy relocated to Ireland where he taught for a time in Trinity College, Dublin. He is not based in Galway and teached at the University there. His first collection Across the Grid of Streets was recently published by Seven Towers.

Raven hails from San Francisco. A mesmeric live poet at the very top of his game who has shared the stage with the very best, including American poet Saul Williams, the world's premier live literature and spoken word artist. Raven is a native Californian and perfected his skill at the seminal Sacred Grounds Poetry, San Francisco immediately prior to relocating to Dublin in May 2005.

Amber Coverdale Sumrall is from Santa Cruz, California. She has edited or co-edited thirteen anthologies including Storming Heaven's Gate: Spiritual Writings by Women. She leads Write to the Heart workshops retreats at The Hermitage in Big Sur, St. Francis Retreat in San Juan Bautista, Mission San Antonio in Jolon and in Ireland. For twenty years she has co-produced In Celebration of the Muse, an annual literary event featuring Santa Cruz women writers. Her first book of poems, Litany of Wings, was published in 1998, Her work has been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer's Almanac.

Friday 9 May 2008

Dublin Writers Festival

This festival always throws up some worthwhile events. Make the effort and go.

Wednesday 11 June
18.00 Project John Boyne / Lloyd Jones
20.00 Project JP Donleavy

Thursday 12 June
17.30 Newman House Wayne Johnston and Glenn Patterson
18.00 Project Hugo Hamilton/ Justin Cartwright
20.00 Project Values Debate - Roy Foster, David Mc Williams, lan
Gilsenan and Ivana Bacik

Friday 13 June
18.00 Project IMPAC winner
18.15 Project Eilean Ni Chuilleanain/ Harry Clifton
20.00 Project Sebastian Barry/ Jonathan Coe
18.00 MacNeill Theatre Tom Stoppard

Saturday 14 June
11.00 Morrison Hotel Kathy Lette brunch
14.00 Project Marian Keyes
14.00 FilmBase Damon Galgut/ Vincente Molina Foix/ Helon Habila
16.00 Project Philippe Sands/ Philip Gourevitch –The True Cost
of The War on Terror
18.00 Project Esther Freud/ Linn Ullmann
20.00 Project Tobias Wolff/ Anne Enright

Sunday 15 June
13.30 Peacock Theatre One City One Book discussion - Victoria
Glendinning, John Mullan + Bruce Arnold
15.30 Irish Writers Centre Frank McGuinness/ Thomas Lynch
15.30 Peacock Theatre Susan McKay, Patrick Maguire, Carlo Gébler and
Catherine McCartney –Laying The Troubles to Rest
17.30 Gate Theatre David Grossman
20.00 Gate Theatre Ian Rankin and Colin Bateman

Tickets for the event are available from Project Arts Centre on +353 (0)1 881 9613 / 881 9614.
I'd be interested in the Kathy Lette brunch (she's very witty,) the Ian Rankin Marian Keyes and maybe Tobias Wolff. I don't recognise many poets names.

Thursday 8 May 2008

Online Book Promotion - Reaching readers

Assuming you've something to sell, here's an interesting event, although very expensive. I suppose you only need to sell a few hundred extra books to make it worth while. I wonder who this will appeal to though:

June 7th
Font Literary Agency & Writing Centre is bringing the exciting world of online book promotion to writers. A day of lectures, workshops, demonstrations and case histories in Dublin city centre.

This day is for everybody who writes or wants to write – from beginners, just thinking about getting started, to the established author who wants to reach new readers – and all without leaving the comfort of home.

The day will show writers how to ignite the power of the internet and bring their writing to thousands of new readers by setting up a web space that suits them and gaining the tools and contacts to build a committed readership.

Also covered: the new phenomenon of the Virtual Book Tour – now revolutionising the way writers and publishers market books.

Facilitators on the day, entitled “Reaching Readers Online” include: Orna Ross, novelist and Founder of Font Literary Agency & Writing; Conor Pope, Irish Times columnist and Internet expert; Krishna De, Internet Marketing guru; and Pamela Moran, Editorial Assistant at Font Literary Agency & Writing Centre and organizer of Virtual Book Tours.

09.15: Registration
09.30: Reaching Readers: Writers, Writing & the Internet: Orna Ross.
10:30: Coffee
11.00: Becoming Known: The Writer as Brand: Krisna De
12.30: Lunch
13.30: Writing for the Web: How to Do It Well: Conor Pope
15:30: Coffee
16.00: Organising A Blog Tour: The Dos & Don'ts: Pamela Moran
16.45: Closing Address and Q&A
17.00: Finish

Cost €165 (€140 if you register before May 26th).

Wednesday 7 May 2008

Arvon International Poetry Competition

Arvon is a great organisation that runs all sorts of different writing courses in 4 different houses in the UK. Highly recommended for the right courses, great selection of teachers.

The Arvon International Poetry Competition 2008, opens on May 1st and is judged by Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Moniza Alvi and Alice Oswald.
Deadline: 15 August 2008

The Classic FM First Prize is £5,000, the Second Prize is £2,500, the Third Prize is £1,000 and there are three commendation prizes of £500 each. The Ted Hughes Environmental Poetry Prize is £1,000 plus Ted Hughes publications and will go to the best poem that deals with the environment, in the broadest sense.

You can submit your poems online from May 1st 2008 or download an entry form from our competition section. Deadline for entries is 5pm on 15th August 2008.

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Memoir Event

Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and Airfield strike again. A day on memory and memoirs, organised by Sarah Webb. Only 50 places so book now.

Sat 17th May
Mapping Your Life: Memory and Memoirs

10.00: Welcome - Writer, Sarah Webb

10.05 to 11.00 Martina Devlin: Titanic Tales
Martina’s latest novel, Ship of Dreams, is based on family history – her great uncle was lost on the Titanic, a family secret which she discovered and researched. After the book was written she managed to trace her long lost American relatives and talked to them about their own version of the family history.
A fascinating look at how history and fiction can be combined to tell a powerful, original story.
The audience will be invited to share their own family stories and Titanic tales.

11.00 to 11.20 Coffee

11.20 to 12.10 Ferdia McAnna: The Rocky Years
The multi talented Ferdia McAnna tells us the truth about his rock star days. He will also talk about his television work, writing, and living with teenagers!

12.10 to 1.00 Panel: Lia Mills, Martina Devlin, Ivy Bannister – The Truth Will Out
In conversation with Marita Conlon McKenna
Three strong, courageous women talk about survival. Lia recently overcame cancer and ‘In Your Face’ is the memoir of her journey; Ivy lost family in a plane crash and talks about it in her memoir, ‘Blunt Trauma’; Martina Devlin’s honest and moving account of her IVF trail, ‘The Hollow Heart’ touched thousands. They speak about memoir and what drove them to tell their tales.

1.00 to 1.40 Lunch

1.40 to 2.30 Marita Conlon McKenna, Lia Mills, Ivy Bannister: A Writer’s Life
The three writers will read from their work and talk about what inspires and motivates them. They will also talk about living a writer’s life and give some advice for people interested in writing ficition or memoir.

booking c/o Dundrum library 01 2985000

Monday 5 May 2008

Force 12 Festival - Mayo

Every county seems to have a festival of some kind. The one in Kildare is dedicated to Gerard Manley Hopkins...not my cup of tea, that's for sure. Though if they ask me/pay me to read, I'd be all enthusiastic. It's a bit far away though

The Force 12 Writer's Festival, hosted by Mayo County Council Arts Office, is a weekend of readings and workshops. Jessie Lendennie will direct the weekend, with a host of well-known writers including Maurice Harmon, Frank Golden, Dave Lordan, Anne Le Marquand Hartigan, Lorna Shaughnessy, Kevin Higgins, Susan Millar Du Mars, Joe Woods, Seamus Cashman, Patrick Cotter, Gerald Dawe, Maighread Medbh, Geraldine Mills and Alan Hayes. The weekend offers a wonderful programme of readings and workshops as well as opportunities for unpublished writers to read.

Workshops include: Publishing (Jessie Lendennie & Alan Hayes), Poetry (Anne Hartigan) and Prose (Geraldine Mills). There will also be a lively panel discussion -"Do you have to be a self-promoter to get published?" moderated by Maurice Harmon.

All events, which will run from the 6 - 8 of June in Belmullet, Co. Mayo, are free. Workshop places are limited, call (094) 902-4444, ext. 7558 to book by 23 May 2008.

Sunday 4 May 2008

I love these animated snippets

They're currently running on UTV. I think they may have new ones. Gerry Anderson and his lovely callers.

Fortnightly readings at the Irish Writers Centre

The hard working writer, Dermot Bolger has been working with the Irish Writers Centre to bring some readings from Irish novelists, in conversation with himself.

Anne Enright is among the authors due to read during the series in the autumn.

The programme for the first series (May-July) is as follows:

20 Jennifer Johnston

3 Roddy Doyle
17 Colm Tóibín

1 Joseph O’Connor
15 Claire Kilroy
29 Glenn Patterson

Tickets available two weeks prior to the reading by calling 01 872 1302
Ticket prices: €8 / €5

For details of how to book, please contact the Irish Writers’ Centre.
Tel: 01 872 1302; Email:

It doesn't say if these are evening or daytime readings.

Saturday 3 May 2008

Listowel Writers Week

Wish I could go to Listowel this year. What a great place. What a great event. And always amusing to watch writers letting their hair down.

All workshops are now booked out and you'll be hard pressed to get central accommodation.

The writers there include seamus heaney, mary lawson, anne enright, john banville, eric p kaufmann, julian gough, pat boran, john boyne, john f deane, diarmaid ferriter, martin lynch, per petterson, hugo hamilton, brett paesel, zoe margolis