Tuesday 30 September 2008

Call me Ms Cynical

I've never been sure what the point of a chapbook is. It's not vanity publishing but isn't it a close cousin? Who buys them and where? What's the point? Call me Ms Cynical today.

Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition 2008

Prize of US$1000 or €600 and publication of chapbook. by Southword Editions. aka Cork Literary Centre. Winner will receive ten author copies. The winner will be invited to Cork, Ireland for the book launch in February 2009. A maximum of US$1000 or €600 will be paid by the Munster Literature Centre towards the winner's travel expenses in addition to prize money.

(Cork, Ireland? Are they targeting US writers here?)

3 Copies of 15 page manuscript consisting of either a selection of poems or one long poem on any subject or theme from a poet of any nationality writing in English.

Entry fee is US$20 or 15 euros. (Yes they are. Euros second. No pounds.)

First 500 entrants will receive by return a free copy of Never Trust Where A Cat Sits by Irene A. Mosvold of Louisville, Kentucky, winner of the inaugural Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition.

Deadline: October 31st 2008
Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition,
The Munster Literature Centre,
Frank O’Connor House,
84 Douglas Street,
Cork, Ireland

Or online.

Judges: Competition will be judged by a panel of published, prizewinning Irish poets. Who?

All Ireland Poetry Day
Don't forget All Ireland Poetry Day this Thursday 2nd October. See the Poetry Ireland website for your nearest.

6.30pm, Unitarian Church, 112 St Stephen's Green West, D2
A reading by John F. Deane, Rutger Kopland and Fiona Sampson.

7.30pm, The Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge
A Conversation Cafe with readings and open discussion from poets Desmond Egan, Mae Leonard and Bill Tinley.

7.30pm, Maynooth Library
Readings from an ecelctic mix of poets including Alison Maxwell, Colm Keegan, James Lawless and Kate Dempsey

1.10pm, The Space, Town Hall, Dundalk
A lunchtime reading with Barbara Smith, Patrick Chapman and Paddy Dillon.

11.15am Dundalk FM will host a special show dedicated to poetry featuring Barbara Smith, Patrick Chapman and Paddy Dillon discussing their favourite poems and reading from some of their own work.

8.30pm, Bellinter House, Navan
A reading with poets Peter Fallon, Yvonne Cullen and Tom French.

8.30pm, Mullingar Arts Centre, Mullingar
An evening of poetry and prose with poets and authors Dermot Healy, Michael Harding, Michael Mc Donald, Suzanne Doyle and MC for the evening Marty Mulligan.

During the day poet John W Sexton will read for children in Killucan and Mullingar Libraries.

7.00pm, Blessington Library, Blessington
A reading with poets Nessa O'Mahony, Ann Leahy and Dave Lordan.

Monday 29 September 2008

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Library Voices

The innovative Dún Laoghaire Rathdown county library moves from strength to strength. Other county libraries and arts services should watch and learn.

On Thursday, October 2nd (7.30pm) Tim Pat Coogan will be on stage discussing his works, his recent memoirs and more.

On Tuesday, October 14th (8pm) DLR Library Voices will host Booker Prize Night, with panellists Declan Hughes, Claire Kilroy and Alison Walsh. . Can Sebastian Barry emulate John Banville winning in 2005 and Anne Enright in 2007 with his book The Secret Scripture? Hear three astute critics discuss the shortlisted titles and join in the general discussion. As the evening draws to a close we will announce the winner from London's Guildhall.

On Wednesday, November 5th (7.30pm) two of Ireland's major poets, Gerald Dawe and Brendan Kennelly, in the company of Leontia Flynn, recent winner of the prestigious Rooney Prize for Literature 2008.

On Thursday, November 13th (7.30pm) an evening in the company of novelists Niall Williams and Chris Binchy.

All events are staged in County Hall in an informal and intimate setting. Tickets, priced €5, are available in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Library Branches. Further information is available in DLR branch libraries and on the DLR Library website.

They also have a new Writer in Residence Paul Perry who is organising workshops in Deansgrange Library starting Tuesday 21st October fortnightly until Christmas. He will also offer one-to-one support for aspiring writers and host a creative writing blog.

And as predicted. Patrick Kavanagh Competition Deadline is extended to Friday 10th October. Send your first poetry collection in now.

Sunday 28 September 2008

Writing for Children

As in writing stories for children to read, not how children should write.

Two events:

Writing for Teenagers - Cathy Hopkins & Jenny Valentine

Part of the 2008 Children’s Book Festival. Cathy Hopkins (series include Mates, Dates and Truth, Dare) and Jenny Valentine (Finding Violet Park, winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, and Broken Soup) will debate their very different approaches to writing for teenagers with Dr Patricia Kennon, co-editor of Inis magazine. This event promises to be one of the highlights of the CBF programme and is open to both interested adults and young fans

Pearse Street Library, Dublin 2
Monday October 20th 2008 – 6.30pm

Booking essential - Please contact CBI 01 8727475, info@childrensbooksireland.ie

Everything you Ever Wanted to Know about Writing for Children - Irish Pen

What age group should I be writing for?
What do children actually want to read these days?
How many words are in a novel for 9 year olds?
How can I catch the attention of a children’s editor?
These questions and more will be answered at the special Irish Pen Night on Thursday 9th October at 8.00

Booking essential: 087 9660770
Admittance - €3 for Irish pen members, €5 for non-members
Expert Panel:
Children’s Editor, Helen Carr
Helen is an experienced editor at O’Brien Press. Helen has worked with children’s books for all age groups and is always on the look out for new Irish (and international) talent.

Children’s Advocate, Mags Walsh
Mags is the Director of Children’s Books Ireland.

Children’s Writer, Oisin McGann
Oisin writes for many different age groups, and is also an illustrator. His latest books are Silent Scream (Corgi) and Wired Teeth (O’Brien Press).

Chair: Sarah Webb
Sarah worked as a children’s buyer and marketing manager for many years for Eason and other book companies. She is now a children’s consultant and her new young teen book, Amy Green, Teen Agony Queen, will be published in February 2009.

Saturday 27 September 2008

Monthly talks from one of Ireland's Top Agents

Into Print - with Jonathan Williams

OK, it's questionable whether Jonathan is the top agent in Ireland; it's a very short pile. Perhaps you'd rather sign with Marianne Gunne-O'Connor, in the hope of a million-Euro pay cheque but unquestionably, the man knows what he's talking about. Although he did suggest to a talented writer friend of mine that she go away and write non-fiction, for example a book about cakes. She flounced off.

Where: Irish Writers Centre, Dublin
When: Tuesday 28 October at 7 p.m.
Thursday 20 November at 7 p.m.
Tuesday 16 December at 7 p.m.

How much:€8 or season ticket @ €20 (for all 3 autumn presentations).
Places limited. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Into Print – autumn season

Starting in October, leading literary agent Jonathan Williams presents an exciting new monthly series of talks aimed specifically at aspiring writers. Each month he will provide indispensable advice and information to those who are looking to see their work into print. From choosing and dealing with agents, editors and publishing houses through to issues of presentation, publicity, and marketing one’s work, these unique presentations in the Irish Writers’ Centre will provide aspiring writers with expert insights into the world of letters and how to negotiate one’s way within it.

Thursday 25 September 2008

Blogs to tickle your fancy

I stumbled across some of these wonders using the black box in the margin. Suck it and see.

Annie Rhiannon blonks about life in Ireland.

Blue Mosaic me blogs about his literary successes and failures.

Book Roast serves up books and authors lightly toasted.

The Cat Girl speaks about her cat-like life, meaning domestic moggy-like.

Darran Shan who writes those great, popular vampire children's books blogs here.

Deluded woman blogs at Is that me? How did THAT happen??

Eric Forbes book addict's guide to to good books from Kuala Lumpur.

JasoniJournal blogs about writing in Australia with a SpecFic slant.

Nick Laird writes in the Guardian about translating poetry.

Pauline McGlynn writer and comedienne (not sure of the order) blogs about life.

Pub rants is about a US literary agent (so I don't think there's a whole lot of moaning at the bar with a half-drunk pint involved here, despite the title,)

The 26th Story is the Harper Studio blog.

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Prose Writing Workshop

Here's a one day workshop in the Irish Writers' Centre that won't break the bank and sounds worthwhile.

4 October 2008

1 day Prose Master Class with Dermot Bolger

10.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.

Cost €150

The Irish Writers Centre presents a one day intensive prose master class by one of Ireland’s foremost writers, Dermot Bolger.

His masterclass will focus on prose writing, but in the general question and answer sessions Bolger will address the other genres he works in and all aspects of the business of writings and publishing. Places are strictly limited and candidates who wish to be considered should submit one piece of prose of under 3,000 words, whether a complete short story in itself or an extract from a novel or memoir in progress.

There are lots more workshops starting, mainly weekly, in the next fortnight. Check up on the teacher and workshop aims as the courses vary a lot.

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Young Emerging Writers' Forum

Young writers in Ireland now have a new forum to check out. The arts journal is aimed at writers between 13 and 18 and will be in every library and youth cafe in Ireland in December so send your stuff in.
Deadline 17 October.

They are looking for poetry, short stories, flash fiction and art.

It sounds like a good idea and is sponsored by the arts council. I hope they get lots of high quality submissions in all sorts of genres and forms. Please spread the word. You can submit online or by post.

Monday 22 September 2008

School website

Check out this great website from the English department in St Columba's College, Whitechurch.
There's a feature on the poet Adrian Mitchell including links to youtube and links to other sites of interest not only to writers under and over 18, Sylvia Plath, Hamlet, George Orwell, The National Theatre, Sharon Olds. It's as diverse as a classroom of 16 year olds.

They even have a book of the first edition of the blog published on lulu.

Sunday 21 September 2008

Castlecomer Writers Festival

Castlecomer first writers festival is imaginatively programmed.

When: September 26th to 28th

Where: Castlecomer, Kilkenny

Who's coming: John W. Sexton, Mark Roper, Neville Thompson, Anne Notario, Martina Reilly, Sheila Flanagan and more.

Workshops, Talks

8pm Launch of Festival by local celebrity followed by a firework display.

10:30- 12:30 Workshops
Mark Roper: Poetry
John W Sexton: Writing for Children
Anita Notaro: Book Signing
Martina Reilly. Writing Believable Characters.

11:45 Book Signing: Sheila Flanagan
11:45- 1:00 Workshops
Local History: James Lawless
Fictional Crime: Declan Burke
Political Satire: Garbhan Downey
Creative Writing: Eileen Sheehan
Contemporary Novel Writing: Neville Thompson

2:30- 4:00 Wine and Cheese Reading with Sheila Flanagan
2:30- 4:00 Workshops
Eileen Sheehan: Writing Poetry
James Lawless: Writing a Memoir
Garbhan Downey: Journalism
Martina Reilly. Book Signing
Mark Roper: Poetry for Teenagers
Anita Notaro: Writing a Novel
Declan Burke: Crime Always Pays

“Write Off”. An X Factor style competition with great prizes
Judges John W Sexton, Maurice Shortall, V

and more of the same on Sunday.

P.S. Check out this week's specials in the Guardian/Observer on how to write. Not sure I agree with everything (1,000 words a day max? Why?) but there's words of wisdom in there that do bear repeating.

P.P.S. I hope everyone with a collection-worth of poems is brushing them off for the Patrick Kavanagh competition. I am. At this rate, by the time I win, I'll have paid enough in entry fees to get my money back. But I have to admit, my collection gets better every year. I look at last year's entry and shiver. Deadline 26th September but they often extend it.

Saturday 20 September 2008

Zombie Haiku

I've been tagged by Liz to disclose six unspectacular things about myself. (Why stop at 6?)

1) I have never been seasick.
2) My great great great uncle was transported to Australia for highway robbery.
3) I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue.
4) I played the cello at school.
5) I have never been tagged before.
6) I never had a Blue Peter badge.

Meme terms & conditions: Liz
1. link the person who tagged you:
2. mention the rules on your blog: (these are them)
3. list 6 unspectacular things about you: (see above)
4. tag 6 other bloggers by linking them. Please tag yourself if interested. I don't like this pyramid thing.

Friday 19 September 2008

Creative Writing Night Classes in Castlebar

News from Co Mayo.

A new course of night classes in Creative Writing will start in GMIT Castlebar for the winter. The course runs one night a week for twelve weeks and each class lasts two hours. The classes will suit beginners and improvers.

This is a practical course with the emphasis on writing. Topics covered will include what to write about, point of view, setting, style, voice, flash fiction, short stories, poetry, dialogue, drama, critique and markets. At the end of the course, students should have an impressive body of work compiled.

The actual night that the classes will be held on has not yet been decided but will most likely be Tuesday or Thursday.

The tutor is John Corless who has an MA in Creative Writing. I saw him perform at Electric Picnic. He writes poetry, drama and fiction. His poetry is a mix of political and satirical; one critic described it as 'Paul Durcan meets The Sawdoctors.'

To book a place telephone GMIT on 094 90 25 700. Further details on the course may be had by ringing 087 9843900.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Aspects Irish Literature Festival

Aspects says it's the premier Irish Literature Festival in Northern Ireland, attracts readers and writers from all over Ireland to the North Down Museum in Bangor.

When: 24-28 September
Where: the North Down Museum (formerly North Down Heritage Centre) and other venues in Bangor.

Aspects is pleased to present the one and only book fair in Northern Ireland, featuring established and emerging publishing houses from the North and South of Ireland including, Guildhall Press, Salmon Poetry, Doire Press, Hag’s Head Press, Summer Palace Press, Abbey Press, Blackstaff Press, The FeldStein Agency, Stinging Fly Press, Poetry Ireland, Lagan Press and New Island.
Ever wondered how to get your writing published? Come along and get advice from the professionals! It will be a great opportunity to listen to writers including Rosemary Jenkinson, Lesley Richardson and Mike Faulkner read from their work and talk about their experiences in the literary world. Susan Feldstein of The Feldstein Agency will also give a short talk on the world of publishing.
The fair and events are open and free to the public.

The timetable is impressive

Wednesday 24 September

8.00pm Michael Longley

Thursday 25 September

1.15pm Christopher Marsh
7.00pm Carlo Gebler, Alf McCready
9.00pm Brian McGilloway, Ruth Dudley Edwards

Friday 26 September

1.15pm Shane O’Toole on Liam McCormick
7.00pm Bernard O’Donoghue, Claire Keegan
9.00pm David Park,Susan McKay

Saturday 27 September

10.00am Enda Wyley (childrens workshop)
11.00am Publishers Book Fair/Lunch
12.30pm Moyra Donaldson (Creative Writing Workshop)

4.00pm Young Aspects Showcase
7.00pm Malachi O'Doherty
9.00pm Brendan Murphy, Bap Kennedy, Anthony Toner

Sunday 28 September

3.00pm Mary Kenny
4.30pm Stephen Walker
7.00pm Cherry Smyth, Pat Boran, Emer Martin/Closing Party

Wednesday 17 September 2008

All-Ireland Day of Poetry

When: Thursday October 2nd
Where: Every county
What: Poetry
Poetry Ireland is celebrating its birthday with the start of something that might get quite big. They are supporting a reading in every county in Ireland. See their website for your nearest. I think it's a great idea and I hope it catches on. Some counties have a lot more going on than others. Kilkenny for example is running a competition in the libraries, end date 23rd September.
My nearest is a long way away and of little interest to me in truth. I hope in future years they spread it a bit more, encourage writing and reading groups to organise their own, get into schools primary and secondary, get on radio and TV, local and national. Get in the papers.
The UK national day of poetry is great and has a lot of support from the BBC, the department of education, libraries and county councils.
Maybe you can approach your own county arts office or library and suggest an evening arranged on the cheap as part of the day.

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Reading in Farmleigh - Free Tickets

Anyone in Dublin next Wednesday night 24th September, there's a reading in the ballroom at Farmleigh at 8pm. The tickets are all gone, absolute gold dust, I tell you but I have two tickets up for grabs. First come, first served. County Lives. Should be good.

Sunday 14 September 2008

Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival

There's a great line up for this festival.

Wednesday 17th September

Opening Reception and launch of Stingingfly Press anthology. Refreshments and readings.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 7pm. Admission: Free.
Yiyun Li- Reading and Interview
Beijing-born Yiyun Li, 2005 winner of the inaugural Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, makes her first appearance in Cork.
Venue:Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 9pm. Admission: Suggested donation €5.

Thursday 18th September

What does an editor want? - Reading and Discussion
Jon Boilard, Vincent McDonnell & Nuala Ní Chonchúir, three fiction editors of Southword and former judges of the Sean O’Faolain Short Story Competition each will read a story of their own, then discuss the experience of assessing manuscript submissions, talk about what they were looking for and how the editorial experience has shaped how they now view their own work.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 2.30pm. Admission: Free

Ian Wild & Clare Wigfall - A Reading
A reading by two young exiled British short story writers, County Cork-based Ian Wild who has also written for radio and the stage and published a collection of poems and Berlin-based Clare Wigfall who has just won the BBC National Short Story Prize.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 7pm. Admission: Suggested donation €5

William Wall & Adam Marek - A Reading
A reading by distinguished Cork-based novelist and man of letters William Wall, joined on this occasion by young British short story writer Adam Marek who has just published his first collection.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 9pm. Admission: Suggested donation €5

Friday 19th September

Flash Fiction Workshop
Southword fiction editor Nuala Ní Chonchúir presents a how-to session on Flash Fiction - the micro short fiction form sometimes called short-shorts or sudden fiction.
Venue: Munster Literature Centre, Douglas Street. Time: 10am - 12pm.
Fee: €40. Participation limited to eight individuals. Phone 021-4312955 to book.
Southword Showcase - A Reading
Southword is establishing itself as a journal which publishes great short fiction by complete unknowns as well as international stars such as Colm Toibín, Haruki Murakami and James Lasdun. On this occasion we would like to feature three writers who have featured in Southword and have not yet published a book of short fiction in English. Julian Campredon, Tania Hershman and Denise O’Keefe.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 2.30pm. Admission: Free.
Rachel Trezise & Mary O’Donnell - A Reading
Young Welsh iconoclast Rachel Trezise reads with Co. Kildare-based poet, novelist and broadcaster Mary O’Donnell.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 7pm. Admission: Free for Culture Night!

Mary Leland & Wena Poon - A Reading
Cork-based novelist Mary Leland shares the stage with San Francisco-based Wena Poon, originally from Singapore reading from her first collection of stories.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 9pm. Admission: Free for Culture Night!

Saturday 20th September

Starting Short Stories - A Workshop
An introduction to writing Short Stories given by Jon Boilard, former fiction editor of Southword and winner of the Sean O’Faolain Short Story Prize.
Venue: Munster Literature Centre, Douglas Street. Time: 10am -12pm. Fee: €40. Participation limited to eight individuals.
Phone 021-4312955 to book.
Don’t Drone On - a Workshop on Reading the Short Story Aloud
The days when you could get a on a stage and read aloud a poem or story in a soporific monotone are passed. Simon Robson gives you pointers on how to improve your performance and develop a reputation where festival and reading curators can’t resist including you on their programmes.
Venue: Munster Literature Centre, Douglas Street. Time: 10am -12pm. Fee: €40. Participation limited to eight individuals.
Phone 021-4312955 to book.
Who has won the Sean O’Faolain Prize?
The announcement and reading of the winning short story of the €1500 2008 Sean O’Faolain Short Story Prize.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre ,Tobin Street. Time: 12.30pm. Admission: Free.
The State of the Art - a Discussion Chaired by Rosalind Porter Senior Editor at Granta and including the participation of Stinging Fly editor Declan Meade, Jen Hamilton-Emery, commissioning editor at Salt, Seamus Hosey RTE Radio producer and organiser of the Francis McManus Awards and Lucy Luck, literary agent.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 2.30pm. Admission: Free.
Salt no Vinegar Please: Carys Davies & Vanessa Gebbie - A Reading
Readings by two of the eight Salt authors longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Award this year. Salt is now the world’s most prolific publisher of short story collections and we are delighted to be able to showcase both the publisher and their authors Carys Davies and Vanessa Gebbie.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 4.30pm. Admission: Free.

Alison McLeod and Simon Robson - A Reading
British-based Canadian novelist Alison McLeod and actor, playwright and fiction writer Simon Robson read from their very different flavoured works.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 7pm. Admission: Suggested donation €5
Julie Orringer and Bernard MacLaverty - A Reading
Erstwhile San Francisco resident Julie Orringer reads from her massively admired debut collection, followed by one of the Irish giants of the short story form Bernard MacLaverty.
Venue: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street. Time: 9pm. Admission: Suggested donation €5

Sunday 21st September

Presentation of the 2008 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award
Jhumpa Lahiri, this year’s O’Connor laureate will read from her winning book and conduct a public interview with Irish Times Literary Critic Eileen Battersby.
Venue: Millennium Hall, Cork City Hall. Time: 7.30pm. Admission: Free. Refreshments will be served.

Saturday 13 September 2008

Culture Night

Culture Night is on in Dublin and (I think) Cork and is it Galway?
There are a multitude of events on, all free. Some need prebooking so check what's on. I don't know about the Friday idea. I'm always knackered and ready for nothing more demanding than a pizza and a bottle of Heineken.
When: Friday 19th September
What: From Dance classes at Dance Ireland, the usual museums and galleries, acting workshops, join-in comedy shows, talks in the Goethe-Institut and Alliance Francaise, visits to Leinster House, art studios, National Archives etc.
The Irish Writers Centre has readings by a mixture of writers, from new and emerging to older established writers and covering a vast genre of subjects.

Each will read for between 5 and 10 mins as we realise that the audience on Culture Night is very transient and so with these short readings this will create a buzz and flow around the Centre and you are all welcome along to enjoy the evening or part of the evening with us. Among the readers will be June Considine, Hugh McFadden, Claire Hennessy, Iggy McGovern and Ulick O'Connor.

Oxfam Books has music and a reading by someone, not sure who actually. Anyone know? Some of Ireland's newest talent, apparently.

Poetry Ireland has an open mike night at the Unitarian Church on St. Stephen’s Green which sounds great. Limited to 6 minutes per reader. I wonder do they have a big hook for people who like the sound of their own voice?

Friday 12 September 2008

Sculpture in the Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens are a place to lose yourself. The hothouses, the walkways, the rose garden, the poison garden. Currently there is an exhibition of sculptures that sounds wonderful. I love coming upon sculptures in the open. There are some wonderful permanent open air sculpture gardens including the one in the Hoge Veluwe next to the Van Gogh Museum and the one in the Forest of Dean. I never forget coming upon some glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly in the citadel in Jerusalem. And isn't there a sculpture park somewhere in Wicklow?

3rd September – 17th October 2008

'Sculpture In Context' is the largest outdoor Sculpture exhibition held in Ireland. The sculptures on display are the work of more than one hundred leading artists, displayed in the beautiful surroundings of the National Botanic Gardens. Artists contributing the exhibition are challenged to respond creatively to the Gardens and to specific locations in the Gardens. This is the 7th year that the Exhibition has been held at Glasnevin.
Free admission. No booking necessary.
Where: Daily, throughout the Gardens, in the Glasshouses and in the Gallery of the Education and Visitor Centre

Thursday 11 September 2008

Revising is Cake

Check out this video blog from Jackson Pearce on revision. She has some others worth snacking on. Yum. One on finding time, characters. Don't miss Imaginary Writing Process. I wish.

Write your first draft with fire in your heart. Edit it with ice in your veins.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Ranelagh Arts Festival

Ranelagh Arts Festival goes from strength to strength thanks for an enthusiastic volunteer committee.

This year, the emphasis is on the village, with loads of events around Ranelagh, making the festival hard to ignore. Walking tours, cycling tours, comedy circuits, an art exhibition that will loop around the village, street art and a magnificent engine puffing away on the Triangle.

Family Fun Day and Children’s Pirates Parade to Ranelagh Gardens. Children of all ages are encouraged to get the old pirate costume down from the attic and join in the festivities.
Online Ticket Sales

Literary based events include:

Stories of the Irish in the Great War
Friday Multidenominational School 7:30 Free and
Sunday McSorley's Pub. 6:30 pm Free.
Thursday 25th September
6pm Writers on Racing in Boylesports. Prebook your free tickets for this.
8pm Poetry Speakeasy in Starbucks. Prebook your free tickets for this. Hosted by Macdara Woods and Elaine Ní Chuilleanain.

Sunday 28th September
4pm Sandford Parish Church. Under Milk Wood a reading by 42 residents. 5 Euro.

Tuesday 9 September 2008

Leaves Arts Festival Dunamaise

Next weekend, get thee to Laois (again) for Leaves in the Dunamaise Arts Centre from Friday September 12th to Sunday September 14th.

Fri 12th September
Readings By Pat Boran, Kevin Gildea and Claire Keegan with music from Andreas Balke 20:00. 10 Euro.

Sat 13th September
Children's Poetry Workshop led by Seamus Cashman editor of 'Something Beginning with P' 11:00 5 Euro
Writing for the Stage and Screen with Peter Sheridan and Eugene O'Brien 16:00 15 Euro
An evening of Readings By Mary O'Donnell, John Maher and Peter Sheridan
with Music and Dance from John Davidson and Aisling Walsh 20:00 10 Euro

Sun 14th September
Universal Declaration of Human Rights- A Celebration 12:00 15 Euro including Brunch

Monday 8 September 2008

Get an agent - PEN club

Finding an Agent and How to Get Published is a panel discussion at the United Arts Club, 3 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2 with Literary agent Sheila Crowley, Editor Mary Webb and Publisher Eoin McHugh.

When: 8 p.m. Thursday 11th September

How to book: Email irishpen@ireland.com or phone 087 966 0770

Cost: €3 members & €5 non-members

If you haven't been to a similar discussion before, these are worth going to. They do tend to cover the same ground over and over though so I wouldn't bother if you've been before.

What they will say:
- It's really difficult to get published
- It's really difficult to get an agent
- Polish your novel to a high shine befor sending out
- it can take ages to get a response. Start on your next book
- don't give up the day job
- take a lot of care over presentation
- write a synopsis to show you can/have finished the book
- finish the book before you send it
- send first 3 chapters and synopsis
- Make your covering letter brief and pertinent (not impertinent)
- multiple submissions are OK
- don't send bribes
- don't handwrite in green ink or print on pink paper in the hope of standing out
- don't call after a week to ask for the contract

Sunday 7 September 2008

Creative Writing in the National Gallery

This Wednesday 10th September at 3pm, get down to the National Gallery for a workshop as part of the 'Arts for All Ages' programme they run for free. Responding to Art in ROom 42 - the lovely Caravaggio Room. Now there's a great role model for a troubled artist. He burst onto the Roman arts scene about 1600, lived hard and fast and had to run away from the city when he killed someone in a brawl about a game. He died young of a fever, just days before a papal pardon came through for him. Anyway this workshop will get your creative juices flowing responding to his painting and other painters influenced by him.
As advertised in the Dublin Event Guide , a weekly email about free events in and around Dublin.
The National Gallery do lots of free events, paid for in your taxes, so make the most of it. Check our their website. IMMA also does quite a few. But both have a long way to go before they match the events put on in the main London or Edinburgh galleries and museums.

Saturday 6 September 2008

Kings and Heroes Reading in aid of Save Tara Campaign

When: Sunday 7th September 3pm
Where: Cassidy's of Westmoreland St, Dublin 2

Seven Towers Agency organise a Save Tara Fundraiser: There will be a €3 charge into this event and all money raised will go to the Save Tara Campaign
Readers will be Noel Ó Briain, Catherine Ann Cullen, Ross Hattaway, the wonderful Barbara Smith and Eamonn Lynskey.

Do Chapters and Verse ever do a reading that doesn't feature Noel Ó Briain and/or
Ross Hattaway? They may be seasoned readers but it's a bit repetative, don't you think?
I might make it down there for the second half.

Friday 5 September 2008

Electric Picnic 2008

Here are some of my photos from Electric Picnic. What a great festival, repositioned as a music and arts festival. There was music for all tastes and so much going on, you hadn't a hope of seeing everything that intrigued you from the programme. And one of the joys of the festival was stumbling upon things you would never have seen if you were following a schedule.

The spoken word arena was great (though they could have publicised the times a bit better beforehand and not changed them at the last minute.) I saw some poetry, performance and more considered, if that is the word. I saw some of the comedy tent. This tent will have to be a whole lot bigger next year. Some theatre, debate. I didn't see any of the workshops. The Lyons Tea tent was a boon.

There were art works all around the site which were delightful and though provoking. My favourite area though was Body and Soul. Loads of mini events, cookery demonstrations, drumming, poetry, music, massage, tarot and chai.

Thursday 4 September 2008

Rejection and Results

Very down now. Two rejections from competitions in a very short time. Will I ever emerge? Will there be a book with my name on the spine.

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition had 700 entries. The shortlist has a very international flavour. Results at the Frank O'Connor Short Story Festival in Cork on Saturday 20th September.

Elizabeth Costello of Dublin, Ireland.
Natalie Diaz of Surprise AZ USA
Benjamin Arda Doty of Minneapolis USA
Colm Keegan of Dublin, Ireland
Genine Lentine of San Francisco USA
Anna May Mangan of Wembly UK
Terese Svoboda of New York USA
Cathy Sweeney of Bray, Ireland
Michelle Tandoc-Pichereau of Cotes C'Armor, France
Julia Van Middlesworth of New Jersey USA

Over The Edge 'New Writer of The Year' shortlist. Some well known names here:

Megan Buckley, Galway
Fiona Clark Echlin, Tipperary
Denise Garvey, Galway
Eamonn Harrigan, Galway
Brian Kirk, Dublin
Tom Lavelle, Galway
Wes Lee, New Zealand
Mary Madec, Galway
Donny Mahoney, Dublin
Alan McMonagle, Galway
Brendan Murphy, Galway
Mairin O'Grady, Kildare
Aiden O'Reilly, Dublin
Hans-Joachim Quade, Galway
Evelyn Walsh, Dublin

Winners will be announced by competion judge, Celeste Augé, at the Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library on Thursday, September 25th, 6.30-8pm, when the Featured Readers will by Colette Bryce, Des Kavanagh & Orla Higgins. The reading is sponsored by Poetry Ireland.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Children's Books in the Park

The lovely people at Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown have another free event in Marlay Park, Rathfarnham.

Saturday 13th September 1 - 5 pm.

1.00 to 1.20 Children’s Entertainment – Clowns, stilt walkers, face painting, balloons

1.20 to 1.40 Niamh Sharkey The Ravenous Beast and Other Tall Tales - Age 0 to 5

1.40 to 2.10 Children’s entertainment (with the Fanzini Bros) - All Ages

2.10 to 2.30 Judi Curtin Author of the Alice and Megan Stories - Age 7+

2.30 to 3.00 Marita Conlon McKenna, Ireland’s much loved storyteller - Age 7+

3.00 to 3.30 Children’s entertainment – the Fanzini Bros All Ages

3.30 to 4.00 Andy Stanton of the Mr Gum books fame - Age 7+

4.00 to 4.30 Derek Landy The Skeleton Detective is back! Age 8+

4.30 to 5.00 Authors will be signing at the Bookshop – bring your book to be signed or buy a new one!

Also if you're an Artemis Fowl Fan (who isn't?) Dubray books presents
When: Saturday 27th September 2pm
Cost: 4 Euro
Where: Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire

Join the hysterically funny Eoin Colfer, bestselling author of Artemis Fowl, in an adrenaline fueled interview with Kathryn McKiernan from The Den.

Monday 1 September 2008

North Beach Poetry Nights Slam

Just back from Electric Picnic so still gathering my wits. Meanwhile info on a poetry slam in Galway

Monday 15th September at 9pm
New Venue: The Crane Bar, Sea Road, Galway

Guest readers are Elaine Feeney, the 2008 Cuirt Festival Poetry Grand Slam Champion, and Neil McCarthy.