Thursday 30 April 2009

Some Cultural Blogs to peruse

Arts Management Ireland I may have highlighted before blog about arts management and cultural policy.

Cultural Corner Temple Bar Blog talks about the many and varied cultural happenings in Temple Bar, Dublin. Let's hope the funding remains.

Pursued by a Bear is an Irish Time Cultural Blog by Fiona.

Denise Rushe blogs at Virtual Existence on arts events.

The Performance Corporation blog. Not too sure what they do but they get big big grants to do it so they must be doing something and doing it right.

Aoife is the Association of Irish Festival Events.

Aisling Ryan blogs about cultural event management and occasionally has tickets to give away.

Dante and the Lobster is a great name for an arty blog by Medbh, mainly reviews.

Wednesday 29 April 2009

The Playwrights' Group

Anyone with an interest in writing for the stage should try and get to Dublin for this evening - forwarded on by blog friend Fin.

The Playwrights Group's next meeting will be joined by the literary managers of The Abbey, Fishamble and Druid (plus others TBC) for an informal conversation on commissioning, new writing and artistic policy plus practical issues on how to make sure your unsolicited script gets read and considered.

Where: Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin.

When: Monday May 11th at 8pm

Tuesday 28 April 2009

No Grants Gallery Temple Bar

I'm featured in this initiative from Temple Bar Cultural Information Centre. Do come down between May 1st – 15th and check out the works on show. The photo above is the inspiration to my illustration. I'm reading on lunchtime Tuesday 5th May 1pm so please come along if you can as I'd hate to read to an empty room. I'll be at the open mic night the same day too if you can make it there instead.

Creative Writing Exhibition at the No Grants Gallery, Temple Bar, 12 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. This celebration, including all forms of writing such as poetry and lyrics, showcases a range of works from both established and up-coming writers.

Each piece of work is framed and on exhibition. Writers (who are usually not visual artists!) illustrated their writing with imagery.

Lunchtime readings will also take place throughout the 2 weeks so log on to for more details soon. The exhibition will officially launch on Tuesday May 5th will an open-mic evening from 6 – 8pm offering everyone an opportunity to discuss the written word.

Monday 27 April 2009

Revival Whitehouse Poets

Call for submissions Issue 12 of Revival.

Deadline: 31st May 2009

Email or post.
32 lines max; lines longer than 65 characters, including spaces, will run over onto the next line as it is an A5 chapbook.


I've heard of two people who have won different categories of the Listowel competitions. I've heard nothing so I have to presume I haven't won the Poetry collection prize. Bummer.

And I didn't get shortlisted for the Francis MacManus story on RTE radio with what I must say was a terrific story. I'll have to revisit it. (Actually I haven't read it since I sent it so I'll probably cringe.)

Here are the lucky buggers who got it which include a good few people who already have short story collections published and at least one member of Aosdana. Hearty congratulations to all. Looking forward to listening to them later on in the year.

1. "The Other Side of Nowhere" by Elizabeth Carty, Dunsaney, Co. Meath.

2. "The Body" by John Austin Connolly, Booterstown, Co. Dublin.

3. "African Finch" by Richard Cotter, Carrigline, Co. Cork.

4. "Out of Sight" by Geraldine Creed, Shankill, Dublin 18.

5. "Purgatory" by Paul Duffy, Baldoyle, Co. Dublin.

6. "Molly's Last Performance" by Des Feeney, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

7. "Hay" by Ciaran Folan, An Spideal, Co. Na Gaillimhe.

8. "Race" by Andrew Fox, Skerries, Co. Dublin.

9. "Wish You Were" by Anthony Glavin, Whitehall, Dublin 9.

10. "Romance" by Alastair Hadden, Ballinteer, Dublin 16.

11. "Commas and Comas" by Rachel Hegarty, Raheny, Dublin 5.

12. "One In A Million" by Kay Inckle, Basin Street, Dublin 8.

13. "Hired Help" by Fidelma Kelly, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

14. "Ten" by David Keohane, Shannon, Co. Clare.

15. "Thursday Market" by Martin Malone, Kildare Town.

16. "Tipping Point" by Anna May Mangan, Wembley, Middlesex.

17. "An Irishman in Berlin" by David Andrew Mc Ilroy, Brussels.

18. "Centre of Small Hell" by Geraldine Mills, Rosscahill, Co. Galway.

19. "Mare Rubrum" by Helena Mulkerns, Wellingtonbridge, Co. Wexford.

20. "Emperors of Speed" by Mary O'Donnell, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.

21. "Only Four Girls" by Ita Ryan, Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry.

22. "Home Help" by Dolores Walshe, Virginia, Co. Cavan.

Sunday 26 April 2009

Boyle Arts Festival

Boyle Arts Festival have a poetry competition, judged this year by Galway's Pete Mullineaux.

Deadline: 15th June 2009
Fee: €5 per poem. Cheques or postal orders made payable to Boyle Arts Festival.
Prizes: €300 for the winning poem and €50 for the four runners up.
In addition there will be ten highly recommended poems. Prizes will be awarded on Sunday 26th July at a ceremony during the Boyle Arts Festival. All winners will be invited to attend and to read their poem.

(I was a recommended poet years ago.)

Maximum length of poem is 40 lines. Use the entry form from the website.

Where: Poetry Competition, Boyle Arts Festival, King House, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
The website is in the process of being updated.

Saturday 25 April 2009

Track Record for Poetry

According to Happenstance, the chapbook publisher, you have to have been published in at least 3 of these reputable magazines before it's worth thinking about a collection or chapbook.

Acumen, Anon, Chapman, Envoi, Frogmore Press, Iota, Manifold (not sure this is still going), Mslexia, Obsessed with Pipework, Other Poetry, Parameter, Poetry Nation Review, Poetry London, Poetry Nottingham/Assent, Poetry Review, Poetry Scotland, Poetry Wales, Poetry Ireland, Raindog , Seam, Spume (now defunct), Staple, Smiths Knoll, The Dark Horse, The Reader, The Rialto, The London Magazine, The SHOp, The North, The Spectator, H Q Magazine (The Haiku Quarterly).

(Online) The Worm

I tick Poetry Ireland and The Shop. I've been rejected by some more (Smiths Knoll, Mslexia, Envoi, Rialto (but it was a long time ago)) but haven't submitted to quite a few.

While we're on the subject, I don't really see the point of chapbooks. There's next to no publicity and no distribution and who buys them anyway? Only people who know you. No one who's going to take you up and publish your first collection. It's supposed to look good on your CV but it's too close to vanity publishing for my liking. There's not money in it, if anything it costs money. Do they really impress publishers? Anyone know?

Friday 24 April 2009

Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition 2009

This is a new competition for me, named in honour of Edwin Morgan, Scotland's first national poet: The Scots Makar. The prizes are huge so expect a lot of competition. But who knows? Last year it apparently attracted over 1000 entries.

Vital Synz is pleased to launch the second Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition in association with our sponsors - Strathclyde University.

Prizes: first prize £5000, then £1000, £500 and £50 (x 2)

Last year's winners and poems are found here.
This year's judges will be the distinguished poet, novelist and playwright, Ron Butlin and the young up and coming poet, Polly Clark.

Deadline: 1st June 2009. Midnight GMT
Maximum of 60 lines per poem
Fee: £5 per poem up to a maximum of 3 poems

The authors of the winning poems must grant the Glasgow Poetry Society the right to use the poems for one year from date of award

Prizewinners will be notified in writing by July 14th 2009.

You can enter online or by post.

Thursday 23 April 2009

Pint Sized Plays

2009 Pint Sized plays are plays that can be performed in pubs. 2 to 3 actors only and 5-10 minutes long.

The ten winning plays will all be performed in pubs in Pembrokeshire starting this Autumn during the Tenby Arts Festival and then in other pubs around the county.

In October there will also be a 'script slam' in a theatre which showcases the ten winning plays and lets the audience vote for their favourite, which is then awarded the coveted 'Pint-pot'! No mention of other prize or cash.

Deadline: June 30th 2009

Entry fee: £5

Wednesday 22 April 2009

2009 Commonwealth Short Story Competition

The 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Competition which "exists to increase understanding between and appreciation of different Commonwealth cultures, to showcase the rich diversity of the Commonwealth and to support rising literary talents" is now open.

There are 26 winners chosen with the overall winner receiving £2,000 and regional prizes awarded of £500. The chosen stories are broadcast on radio stations across the Commonwealth.

Stories must be up to 600 words and can be on any subject. Entrants are welcomed from all Commonwealth countries - but stories must be writen in English- , all ages and amateur and professional writers alike. Open to all people who are citizens of a Commonwealth country.

You can enter up to three stories by email.

Deadline: May 11th 2009.

They tend to go for stories with local colour. You can listen to previous winners at the website.

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Sexy Fonts

For reasons I won't go into here, I've been sprending much too much of my spare, creative time trying to decide what is the sexiest font.

Verdana is OK but I need something rounder, more curvacious.

Arial is too common place, too run of the mill.

Georgia is not even in the running.

Lucida Grande doesn't seem much different.

Trebuchet sounds nicer than it looks.

webdings is unreadble.

Any suggestions from the standard MS list?

There's a fascinating article in the latest issue of Mslexia on art books, particularly poetry.

Monday 20 April 2009

IMAGE Author Evening

This strikes me as a little on the expensive side still after reducing the price from 40 to 25 Euro. Though I've heard all three authors before and they all rank highly with me. But 25 Euro? I wonder what's in the goodie bag bar a copy of Image magazine?

An exclusive Q&A session with bestselling authors CLAIRE KILROY, JOHN BOYNE and ALEX BARCLAY hosted by IMAGE magazine with MC Bert Wright, Administrator of the Irish Book Awards.

Don't miss your chance to meet three of Ireland's most successful authors and enjoy refreshments and canapés at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, St Stephen's Green along with a book-filled goodie bag on April 23 from 6.30pm-8.30pm

Tickets are available from IMAGE Publications at ?40 per person, contact Jennifer Ryan on 01 280 8415 or email

Sunday 19 April 2009

Cork and Galway

Monday 20 April @ 9.00pm

O Bhéal presents a reading by Cork poet Karen O'Connor. Her work has appeared in any anthologies and magazines, while her first collection Fingerprints (On Canvas) was published by Doghouse in April 2005.

Readings will be followed by the usual open-mic session.

Where: The Hayloft, upstairs at The Long Valley, Winthrop St, Cork


The April 2009 North Beach Poetry Nights' Slam features guest poet Eamon Carr. Poets wishing to take part in the 2-Round Slam please bring along two three-minute poems, preferably memorised. The winner of each month's Slam goes forward to the North each Poetry Nights' Grand Slam in December. The prize for the Grand Slam winner is publication of a collection of her/his work.

The Crane Bar, Sea Rd, Galway
Admission €5/€3

Saturday 18 April 2009

Travel Writing

Itchy feet? Take your pen with you and write an 800 word article on travel. 1st prize a trip to Colombia. 2nd prize is a travel writing course in Spain. 8 shortlisted pieces will also be published.

Bradt Travel Guide and the Independent on Sunday have a competition here. Looks like they are looking for authentic traveller stories rather than touristy anecdotes. Meeting the locals and eating their food, not visiting churches and lounging on beaches.

You should read the winning entries for the last two years to get an idea of what they are looking for. In 2007 there were only 340 entries.

Deadline: 15th May 2009

There are two categories, published and unpublished (as in never have been paid for any piece of writing published on paper or on the internet - fairly wide reaching this one)

Friday 17 April 2009

Hennessey New Irish Writing

Check out Eimear's post here with all you need to know about this year's Hennessey awards, who's nominated, where their stories or poems can be found. Have a read and see what you think. Are Paddy Power taking bets?

Thursday 16 April 2009

Muse Writers' Group: Open mic

Muse Writers' Group presents an open mic at The Winding Stair bookshop, along the quays in Dublin.

Poets, prose writers, singers and musicians are all welcome to perform for maximum three-minute slots.

The Winding Stair Bookshop, 40 Lower Ormond Quay, D1

When:Friday 17 April @ 7.00pm

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Days like this

Feeling a little frazzled today.

From the Sexy Pedestrian

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Cill Rialaig Residency

I've never been to Cill Rialaig, run by Noelle Campbell Sharpe on the Iveragh peninsula in Co Kerry. It seems more aimed at visual artists but it's said to welcome writers too. I don't know any who have been there though.

This is to publicise a 6 month residency, so no use for writers with full time jobs or families.


OCTOBER 2009 – MARCH 2010
Over 2,000 artists, mainly visual, have enjoyed residencies at the Cill Rialaig Retreat on remote Bolus Head, near Ballinskelligs.

Without a website the project has attracted over 150,000 applications for residencies.

Writers who have enjoyed the experience include Jane Urquhart (Canada), Katherine McNamara (USA), Jane Considine (Ireland), Emer Martin (Ireland), Eddie Lenihan (Ireland), Sue Hubbard (UK, novelist and poet).

Come and have a glass of wine and hear what writer and artist Emer Martin got from the Cill Rialaig Experience!!!

DATE: Thursday 16th April 2009
TIME: 6.30 – 8.30pm

VENUE: Origin Gallery, 83 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2

Monday 13 April 2009


How about this. Tattooed poets, their tattoos and their poems. Any other ones this side of the pond? I know WRW has one...

Creative Writing in West Cork

One of my favourite parts of the country (OK, in-laws)

A one-day workshop on getting your writing published. This is targeted at writers in the UK and Ireland who would like to develop their careers through publication. The programme will included sessions on:
- Self-publishing and publishing-on-demand: "Do you really need a publisher?"
- Contest and competition: "Five reasons why you didn't make the long list.
- Traditional Publishing and agents

When: May 2nd,
Price: 95 Euro including buffet lunch
Who: Tina Pisco, a well known West Cork writer and journalist.

Sunday 12 April 2009

Deansgrange Library Conversations

Happy festival of Oestre. Hope your bunnies are hopping for you.

Imagine, libraries asking you to talk in them. When I was little, they had scary, corseted librarians in tweed suits and Dame Edne Everage spectables and signs on the walls demanding silence.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Library Service are very active in promoting literature and if you are near Deansgrange, why not support these latest events?

Deansgrange Library @ 7:00 p.m.

Thursday April 16th

Dermot Bolger in conversation with Gerard Donovan, author of Schopenhauer’s Telescope and Julius Winsome.

Thursday May 14th

Dermot Bolger in conversation with Brian Keenan, author of An Evil Cradling and Four Quarters of Light: An Alaskan Journey.

Thursday June 11th

Dermot Bolger in conversation with Deirdre Purcell, author of Falling for a Dancer & Diamonds and Holes in My Shoes.

Thursday July 9th

Dermot Bolger in a final conversation with Claire Kilroy, author of Tenderwire, & John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Admission to these conversations are free, but advance booking is essential. Deansgrange Library at T:01-285 0860 to reserve tickets.

Saturday 11 April 2009


Some of the search terms used to get to my blog

- a pocket guide to infedility for girls
- afro irish t shirt
- agnostic mindbomb (really?)
- cecelia ahern's query letter (I'd like to have seen that)
- frank the writer workshop in uk
- harpers bizarre short story competition
- "slovene translator" in iowa
- how to acknowledge another writer poetry (with money?)
- irish writing prompts
- litirary agents ireland (Literacy?)
- reading with going to
- really mean words
- prison break mahon
- poem ranelagh triangle pyramid
- fossils stolen from charmouth

Friday 10 April 2009


This one's quite expensive to enter but the prizes are good.

In conjunction with the Trim Swift Festvial, Boyne Writers Group, Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland are holding a competition for satirical writing in commemoration of Jonathan Swift. The festival takes place in Trim from Thursday, July 2, to Sunday, July 5, 2009.

Choice of subjects:
A Tale of a Tiger: Fat Cats Bring Down The Big Cat
Banks and Bankers: A Modest Proposal.

Entries will be judged on the basis of satire, irony, absurd humour, acute political insight, grotesque imagination, and lacerating wit - the hallmarks of Swift's best works.
Length: Prose - minimum of 600 words, not more than 800 words.
Poetry - minimum 30 lines, maximum 100 lines.

Entry fee: €7 (or £5 or $10) per entry.

Prizes: 1st €500, 2nd €300, 3rd €100.
Deadline: Wednesday, 5th June 2009

Full rules and details on the website:

Thursday 9 April 2009

Some Canadian Literary Magazines

Antigonish Review is from Canada. I have a softspot for Canadians. Maybe they'll have a soft spot for me. Poetry $30 plus 2 issues. Submit 3-4 poems. Fiction $100 plus 2 issues.
They say SASE with international reply coupons, which they don't sell anymore in Ireland, or Canadian postage. Yeah right.

They also say

We respond to rejected submissions with suggestions when we can, particularly if we are asked to do so and particularly with new or young writers, and the closer the writer is to us geographically, Canadian, American, or other, the more trouble we take. Long stories may displace several shorter pieces, so the longer the story the higher its quality should be as there is less chance we will read it through and less chance we will respond with a critique.

Other Canadian magazines that accept international submissions, though many say Canadian will predominate, which is fair enough.
The Malahat Review,
The New Quarterly,
Room (A Space of Your Own),
Arc Poetry,
Contemporary Verse,
Misunderstandings magazine,
Carousel Magazine,
Prism International,
The Fiddlehead,
Nashwaak Review
Geist Ideas and Culture
Windsor Review

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Passion in Poetry

I don't often post poetry but this one got me with its pure passion. It's by Sara Teasdale, an American poet from St Louis Missouri (August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933). She won the Pulitzer prize and I had never heard of her before. In a worrying poetic tradition, she commited suicide.

I am not yours

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love - put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

Lost as a snowflake in the sea. Makes you shiver that simile, doesn't it.

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Budget Day

I'm a natural optimist, me.

Listowel Writers Week

This year, Listowel writers' week takes place May 27th to 31st.

featured writers

George kimball, John Montague, Leland bardwell, James kelman, Colm Toibín, Dermot bolger, Kevin barry, Steve Toltz, Damon galgut, Gerry jackson, Rebecca miller, Louis de bernieres, Christine Dwyer Hickey, David park, Gabriel fitzmaurice, John morris, Deborah donnelly, Julie O’Callaghan, Matthew sweeney, Paul perry


short fiction eilís ní dhuibhne
creative writing (getting started) mary morrissy
creative writing (advanced) david park
writing a novel carlo gébler
popular fiction sheila o'flannagan
poetry (getting started) matthew sweeney
advanced poetry martina evans
writing for theatre michael harding
writing for screen paddy breathnach
songwriting freddie white
crime writing declan hughes
freelance journalism mary kenny
memoir brian dillon
writing funny julia bell
storytelling pat speight

Monday 6 April 2009

What's really in a slushpile

Read this and contemplate. From Andrew Lownie Literary Agent.

Sunday 5 April 2009

Mslexia Short Story Competition winner

Well, I didn't win this competition again.

The winners are here chosen by Helen Simpson. You can read the top 3 online. For the rest, you need to pick up the April copy of the magazines. The judge's report is also available to read though it doesn't really have much insight into why these ones won over other entries, Except to say some stories were meandering slowly nowhere in particular.

Saturday 4 April 2009

National Poetry Month

Originally uploaded by djvteach

Do you know the poem? It's from "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota" by James Wright.

April is National Poetry Month in the USA. Some people aim to write a poem a day. That's probably not the most creative way to write but maybe you'd get a sniffle of an idea to develop later down on paper if you force it once a day.

Inspired by the poster design, the Academy of American Poets invites everyone to capture and share their own ephemeral bits of verse based on the poster. People are invited to write lines from a favorite poem on a sandy beach, assemble twigs on a hillside, or chalk the sidewalk etc, take a photo before it disappears and post it here on Flickr. Or click on the photo above.

This is a fantastic idea, I think. Check them out and maybe add your own.

Friday 3 April 2009

Which type of reader are you?

From the Guardian book blog

Are you a
- Page Turner (avid reader)
- Slow Worm (read only one or two books a year)
- Serial Shelver (buy books because they look fetching in their lounges)
- Double Booker (always have more than one book on the go)

Thursday 2 April 2009

More Words of Wisdom

From George Singleton on The Urban Muse

On what people often get wrong in a short story.

- always spending way too much time on the setting for the first, oh, ten pages, before getting to the conflict.

With some younger writers it’s not having a g on their keyboard, so everyone’s spittin’, cussin’, hopin’, and prayin’--even the omniscient third-person narrator.

- For writers wishing to get published now, it might be good to stay away from trick O. Henry-type endings.

Also he says

The best pieces of advice I’ve ever received are probably “Comedy must be serious” and “Just tell the damn story.”

Wednesday 1 April 2009


Yes, the actress/writer who must be completely fed up with being forever Mrs Doyle will be reading from her new novel MISSING YOU ALREADY.
When: Thursday April 2nd at 7.30pm
Where: Deansgrange Library, Clonkeen Drive, Deansgrange, Dublin

Tickets 5 euro from all DLR Libraries or Library HQ at (01) 278 1788