Tuesday 30 June 2009

Earagail Arts Festival

Donegal get it on.

When: 4 - 19 July
Where: Donegal

Dé Satharn 11ú / Saturday 11th - €10/€8 per workshop / performance
Caisleán Ghleann Bheithe /
Glenveagh Castle, Drawing Room
2pm - 4pm Poetry Workshop with Aifric Mac Aodha
4pm - 6pm Script writing Workshop with Peter Salisbury
8pm - 10pm Poetry and music with Celia De Fréine, Paul Perry, Nessa O’Mahony and Dermot Mc Laughlin

A bi-lingual celebration of spoken word and literature at Glenveagh Castle, in the shadow of the Seven Sisters - seven peaks of the Derryveagh mountain range - with readings and music by some of Ireland’s leading writers and poets including the Patrick Kavanagh Award winner Celia de Fréine and The Hennessy New Irish Writer awardee Paul Perry, Aifric Mac Aodha and Peter Salisbury. Writer in Residence at the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies at UCD, Nessa O’Mahony, will be accompanied by the renowned traditional musician, producer, broadcaster and writer Dermot Mc Laughlin for a very special peak performance in one of West Donegal’s most scenic locations.

Saturday 18th - €10/€8 per workshop/ performance
Rathmullan, Rathmullan House Hotel
11.30am Writer’s in Conversation - Hosted by Dermot Bolger
1.30pm Writer’s Workshop with Brian Keenan
3.30pm Poetry Workshop with Cathal Mc Cabe
8.00pm Poetry Performance with Jennifer Johnston /
Dermot Bolger / Cathal Mc Cabe

A day of readings, workshops and conversation about the business of writing, curated and introduced by Dermot Bolger with Brian Keenan, Jennifer Johnston and Cathal McCabe. Hosted in the stately surroundings of Rathmullan House, the day-long series of events will be presented across 4 individual sessions designed for aspiring writers, fans and those just passionate about literature.

Monday 29 June 2009

I love Kinsale. Why not go there for Arts Week. Possibly because some of the events are quite expensive.

Theo Dorgan - Poetry Cruise in Kinsale Harbour at The Spirit of Kinsale Cruise Boat
Tuesday 14 July 2009 6:00 PM

Theo Dorgan is a poet and prose writer, editor and broadcaster. His book Sailing For Home, an account of a transatlantic journey under sail, was praised by Doris Lessing as ‘a book for everyone.’
Tickets : €15

John Banville at Carmelite Friary Centre
Wednesday 15 July 2009 6:00 PM

Winner of the 2005 Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sea. John Banville is one of the finest Irish writers of our time.
Tickets : €12

WORD UP! with Leanne O'Sullivan Followed by Kinsale Poet's Night at Lord Kingsale
Sunday 12 July 2009 8:30 PM

Leanne O’Sullivan was born in 1983, and comes from the Beara peninsula in West Cork.
Tickets : €8 - a bargain. Leanne's well worth seeing.

Adam Wyeth Launch of 'Silent Music' at Carmelite Friary Centre
Thursday 16 July 2009 1:00 PM

Launch of his debut chapbook of poetry Silent Music with an introduction by poet Derek Mahon
Free Admission - even more of a bargain.

Oisin McGann at Lord Kinsale
Saturday 18 July 2009 3:00 PM

Oisin McGann has been writing books for children and young people since 2003. He has published seven titles with O’Brien Press including the 'Mad Grandad' series, 'The Gods and Their Machines', 'Under Fragile Stone', and 'The Harvest Tide Project'.
Tickets : €5

Why are blogs big news? Panel Discussion at Carmelite Friary Centre
Saturday 18 July 2009 1:00 PM

With the rise of the Blog, journalists, novelists, politicians and even ‘normal’ people can now share, amuse, vent and opine through this new form of online communication for ‘Everyman’. But is it a truly democratic medium?

Did they ask me to contribute? No! (It's not too late)

Sunday 28 June 2009

This is a little weird

From poetryanimations

Saturday 27 June 2009

Writers' Joke

Via genreality.
A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.

She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.

“Oh my,” said the writer. “Let me see heaven now.”

A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.

“Wait a minute,” said the writer. “This is just as bad as hell!”

“Oh no, it’s not,” replied an unseen voice. “Here, your work gets published.”

(from AbsoluteWrite.com’s Jokes for Writers page)

Friday 26 June 2009

Surf's up

Check out these interesting links.

An intern in a publishing house (US I think) tells it like it is.

Rants and ramblings from a (Christian) literary agent, quite polite for once.

Janet Reid, the Simon Cowell of US literary agents. Why do agents blog and then complain they get oodles of submissions anyway?

My Weekly magazine guidelines from womagwriter

Procrastination surgery with Lane

Now see your own script in motion - warning, highly addictive.

From the Yellow Room via Chicklit Sanctuary a masterclass in what an editor looks for (and doesn't look for) in a short story.

And this post is a little different from Maxicane. If you read any link, read this one.

Thursday 25 June 2009

Queens University Summer School

The 2009 Summer School in the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry will be running from Monday 20 July to Friday 24 July. The full programme is not yet confirmed but classes will be offered from:-

Ciaran Carson
Leontia Flynn
Medbh McGuckian
Gerald Dawe
Sinéad Morrissey
Glenn Patterson
Ian Sansom
Fran Brearton
Ed Larrissy
Eamonn Hughes
John McGuckian
Paul Maddern

Fees: £200 tuition only
with B&B £315.50

Payment due in full by end of May! There was a bursary on offer too but that was also deadlined end of May.

They don't say what type of classes they will be. Is it creative writing or literature studies or what?

Wednesday 24 June 2009

Irish Writers' Centre Open Public Meeting

The Irish Writersw' Centre has been in crisis mode since losing its funding. It's looking from direction from the arts communities.

When: Saturday 27 June at 3:30 p.m.

Where: In the Irish Writers' Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1

What: To discuss the future Irish Writers' Centre

For the last few weeks the Board of the Irish Writers' Centre has been consulting widely with individual writers and with people interested in literature and the arts generally. It has also been engaged with sister organisations in the literature field. The purpose of this extensive consultation is to ascertain what role, if any, the Irish Writers' Centre should play in the cultural life of the country in the future. At a meeting on the 14 July, the Board will consider all the options and all the recommendations submitted.

If you have any recommendations regarding the future functions, activities, responsibilities, etc, of the Irish Writers' Centre and have not had a chance to submit them already, this open meeting will offer you the opportunity of doing so.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Latitude - Poems by Postcode

From the talented and strangely alluring Baroque in Hackney blog a competition from penpusher magazine. Just write a poem about where you live, any sort of poem, any length and you could win a reading slot at the marvelous sounding Latitude Festival in Suffolk, July 17th-18th. For Irish readers, it's like Electric Picnic only English.

Submit one original poem about where you live. The poem can be of any length and in any style, but must not have been published anywhere else before in print or online.

Once you've submitted a poem, you become a pin on their map. It's fascinating project.

Entry Fee: Free
Deadline: 3rd July 2009
Prize: 2 tickets to Latitude and a reading on Saturday 18th July. If you can't make it, a runner up will get the tickets and someone will read out your poem.

P.S. Photo from the National Library marvellous collection of old photos, just released in an online database. You can search for place names, people and themes.

Monday 22 June 2009

Mug Monday

An unusual blog party. Post your mugshot. From acornmoon via Caroline at the Coastguard.
This is my capacious tea mug. I drink gallons of Earl Grey tea with a dash of semi-skimmed milk, not lemon. Can't be doing with lemon. Not sugar either. This one has cows. I also have a duck one and a pig one. I think there was a chicken one once but where it is, is anyone's guess. Maybe it crossed the road...
There are lots more links at acornmoon.

The Stinging Fly - New Work Showcase

Here one for virgin readers (or nearly)

The Stinging Fly is organising 3 readings at the Irish Writers' Centre in July. The final reading, on 23 July, will feature six writers reading alongside Michael J Farrell, author of the recently published story collection Life in the Universe.

Submissions for reading places should be, new and previously unpublished work.
- 3 pages of prose (double spaced) or
- 3 poems

sent to readings.stingingfly@gmail.com.

Writers who have never before read in front of an audience are encouraged to submit.

Deadline: 5 pm on 25 June 2009.

The three readings take place in the Irish Writers' Centre at 7pm on three consecutive Thursdays - 9, 16 and 23 July.

See website for more details

Sunday 21 June 2009


The Man Booker International Prize


12.30pm, Thursday 25th June, Trinity College Dublin

Tickets available from Trinity College Dublin

The three judges - Jane Smiley, Amit Chaudhuri and Andrey Kurkov - will discuss their choice under the chairmanship of Irish author, Colm Tóibín, who was a judge of the 2007 Man Booker International Prize.

The panel made the following comment on the winner:

"Alice Munro is mostly known as a short story writer and yet she brings as much depth, wisdom and precision to every story as most novelists bring to a lifetime of novels. To read Alice Munro is to learn something every time that you never thought of before."

Alice Munro will receive the prize of £60,000 and a trophy at the Award Ceremony on Thursday 25th June at Trinity College Dublin.

Saturday 20 June 2009

Write a story for the Guardian

Like many arty types, I take the Guardian of a Saturday as some kind of culturally-dependent ritual. I tried reading it online but it's JUST NOT THE SAME and I kept spilling my decaff which doesn't go down well with keyboards. Did I tell you about the time when my f stopped working? There are a lot of words with f in them.

Anyway, the Guardian does a summer special short story magazine, like Women's Weekly except of a more literary bent. And they are looking for us, the emerging writers who read the Guardian to join that illusive company, to be published in August. Unpublished and up to 2,000 words.

Deadline: 10 July 2009
Guardian Weekend, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU short.story@guardian.co.uk
Include a phone number.
See the website terms here.

What's this? UK residents?! Why?

Judges: William Boyd and Julie Myerson will be looking for the most original, gripping and well-crafted piece of writing.
One winner and 5 runners up will be notified by 22nd July (how many stories do they think they will get?)

Féile na Gréine Solstice Arts Festival

When: 21 - 23 June

Programme includes
Sunday, Midsummer Day

10.00 am – 1.00 pm Workshops
Creative Writing – Gabriel Fitzmaurice (3 days €55).
A practical writing workshop in fiction, poetry and memoir for the beginner as well as the more experienced writer.

2.00 pm Cannonball Circus
The Fanzini Brothers, Kerry’s popular circus duo, present an entertaining and riveting circus show for all the family. Admission €5. I heard these on the radio (yes, Circus on the radio) and they sounded great.

3.00 pm Official Opening of Festival and Photographic Exhibition
Vincent Woods and John Minihan. Admission free .

4.30 pm Filíocht na nGael: Scottish and Irish Gaelic Poetry
Meg Bateman from Scotland and Micheál Ó hUanacháin from Dublin read their highly personal poetic explorations of contemporary life. Admission free .

Monday, 22 June

10.00 am – 1.00 pm Workshops/Ceardlanna
Creative Writing – Gabriel Fitzmaurice (3 days €55).

1.00 pm Out to Lunch Reading
Poet John McNamee was for many years the guiding force behind a much loved Dublin institution – the Out to Lunch series of readings. Now he ventures south with his own lunchtime poems. Free admission to reading. Lunch 8 euro.
In association with Poetry Ireland.

4.00 pm Reading
Although best known as a dramatist and broadcaster, Vincent Woods is a poet of considerable achievement. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear another side of those dulcet tones.
In association with Poetry Ireland. Admission free.

Tuesday, St. John’s Eve, 23 June
10.00 am – 1.00 pm Workshops
Creative Writing – Gabriel Fitzmaurice (3 days €55).

2.30 pm The Proof of the Creative Writing Pudding
A reading by Gabriel Fizmaurice and members of his creative writing workshop. Admission free.

4.00 pm Reading
Cathal Ó Searcaigh and Paddy Bushe read poems from at home (Donegal and Kerry) and abroad (God knows where!) in both English and Irish. Admission free.


Tine Chnámh na Féil’ Eoin – St. John’s Eve Bonfire
Enjoy a unique “clabhsúr” to the festival at this traditional all singing, all dancing bonfire, with music by the sizzling local group Ardú and members of Kila.

Admission to night time concerts 20Euro (conc. 15euro). Three nights ticket 50Euro.

Friday 19 June 2009

Irish Haiku Society - Ginko

Do you Hai Ku?

Saturday 20 June @ 12noon

The Irish Haiku Society will conduct a ginko (an organised haiku-writing walk/excursion) in Dún Laoghaire/ Sandycove. All are welcome to join. Writing haiku or other poems in the course of a ginko is not obligatory.

Glasthule/Sandycove Dart Station, Co Dublin

See the website

Thursday 18 June 2009

OFF_ short story competition

OFF_ magazine publishes in English and Polish. There is one prize of £100 and any others included in the anthology get copies of the anthology only, fame, no money. Not sure how worthwhile this is.

In order to help publicise the launch of OFF_ and attract a wide range of voices writing in both English and Polish, we are launching an international creative writing competition.
Open to all creative fiction and nonfiction, free to enter and unlimited by any set themes, OFF_Lit’Comp ‘09 runs between April and June of this year.

Winners will receive cash prizes and all shortlisted entrants will be included in a twin translation anthology, to be published in late summer and distributed internationally.


brings writers together around an independent magazine/press

promotes new literary talent in English and Polish translation

creates a cultural bridge between Poland and the UK

Max 3,000 words.
Fee: Free!
Deadline: 30th June

Wednesday 17 June 2009

DART Poets' Corner

I took the dart into town recently and stumbled by this competition advertised. It doesn't seem to be on the irish rail website but askaboutwriting.net also picked it up. I love reading the poems displayed on the Dart and would relish the idea of one of mine zooming up and down the line. I'm definately going in for this.

Prize: Three winning entries will be displayed on DART trains and on station platforms, and €500 each will be awarded to the winning poets.
Fee: Free!

Judges are: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Louis de Paor and Moya Cannon.

The competition is open to Irish residents and Irish citizens aged more than 18 years.

Poems must be no longer than 19 lines, including line spaces.

Submissions are limited to one poem per author.

The theme must relate to DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) or to rail travel in general.

Post: DART Poets' Corner Competition, PO Box No 16127, D2.

Deadline: August 14th 2009

UPDATE: Here's the link

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Keats Shelley Prize )on Bloomsday(

Happy Bloomsday!

This is quite a generous prize and not particularly well advertised I think. Worth a punt if you've the right poem(s) See the website/poster here.

£3,000 in prizes. (not sure how this is split but they seemed to have 1st, 2nd and 3rd last year shared with the Essay prize.)

Poem may be a narrative original unpublished, not a parody. Theme "Find". up to 50 lines.
Judges: Janet Todd, John Hartley Williams, Matthew Sweeney

Deadline: 30th June 2009
Fee: £5 per entry, maximum two entries.

There's an essay competition too if you're interested.

Monday 15 June 2009

Beat the Clock

Do you live or work in South Dublin County Council area?
Do you write short stories?
Do you have one pretty well ready that may fit this bill?

South Dublin County Council Libraries have a short story competition:

1800-2000 words
Theme: Stop the Clock...The Perception of Time in the Short Story.
(Not quite sure what this covers myself...)

Fee: Free!
Prize: €50 book voucher and 2nd and 3rd prizes get €20 book vouchers.

and most importantly

Deadline: Wednesday 17th June 2009.

Sunday 14 June 2009


Richard Ford said of the Davey Byrnes short stories.
Most of the stories seem to think that drama was to be found in unhappy circumstances – families that didn’t work, loves that didn’t flourish, age that wouldn’t stop for a breather, the approach of the grim reaper, him/herself. And most stories didn’t turn out altogether happily at their ends. I could’ve done with a few more laughs, to tell the truth. Maybe a few gay Irishmen. A few Irish of colour. If you’re writing about the actual world, well . . . they’re in there, too.

Ay, there's the rub. How do you throw in some characters of colour or gay or one-legged or retired Buddhist monks or whatever without appearing to be using tokenism or stereotypes?

At the Dublin Writers Festival, Colm Tobin read an extract from his new book, Brooklyn that mentioned the cruelty Men taking children away from mothers at court. He said he wouldn't have put that in if he were writing it now for fear of tokenism.

Catch 22.

Saturday 13 June 2009

Davey Byrnes Short Story shortlist

This year, more than 800 entries were received, all of which were read in an anonymous process by a panel of readers. A longlist of 30 was then passed on – again anonymously – to the competition judge, Richard Ford, from which the six prize winners were selected. They should publish the shortlist for reasons of encouragement I think. The filter judges aren't named but will obviously have an in fluence on the type of stories presented to Richard Ford.

The comments from the final judge, Richard Ford, are worth reading. He goes on a bit I think about Irish identity and said there wasn't much in the way of experiment or laughs.

Some heavyweights on the shortlist of 6.

CLAIRE KEEGAN , who was raised in Wicklow, studied in New Orleans and Cardiff before earning an MPhil in creative writing from Trinity College Dublin. Her first short story collection, Antarctica , was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year and earned her the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, while her second collection Walk the Blue Fields won the Edge Hill Prize. She is a member of Aosdána.

Cork-born journalist MARY LELAND has published two novels, The Killeen and Approaching Priests , and a book of short stories, The Little Galloway Girls as well as three non-fiction books, The Lie of the Land: Journeys through Literary Cork, That Endless Adventure: A History of the Cork Harbour Commissioners , and Dwyers of Cork: A Family Business and a Business Family .

MOLLY McCLOSKEY , who was born in Philadelphia but has lived in Ireland for the past 20 years, is the author of two collections of short stories, Solomon’s Seal and The Beautiful Changes , and a novel, Protection . She has also worked for the United Nations in Kenya, and is currently completing a non-fiction book about schizophrenia.

Carlow native KATHLEEN MURRAY’S stories have appeared in the anthologies The Incredible Hides in Every House and These Are Our Lives , and in the Stinging Fly magazine. She was the winner of the Fish Short Story Prize 2006-07 and is working on her first collection of short stories.

NCAD graduate SUSAN STAIRS is currently a student on the MA in creative writing programme in UCD. She has published three books about Irish art, Markey Robinson: A Life, The Irish Figurists , and Drawing from Memory: The Life of Irish Artist Gladys Maccabe and is currently working on a novel.

EOIN MCNAMEE, from Kilkeel, Co Down, was shortlisted for the Irish Times literature prize for his first book, the novella The Last of Deeds , in 1989. He has published four novels – Resurrection Man, The Blue Tango, The Ultras and 12:23 – a poetry collection, two screenplays and two books for children. He also writes under the name John Creed.

THE OVERALL WINNER of the award will receive €25,000,

Thursday 11 June 2009

The Larkin Hedge School and Immrama Festival of Travel Writing

This says

The Clé Club presents the Larkin Hedge School, a celebration of labour and folk history in song, story, music, dance and poetry. The Hedge School programme includes classes, workshops, poetry, storytelling, concerts and discussion groups involving old favourites from Clé Club sessions as well as some others who are new to the club. Full participation is encouraged as always.

Not quite sure what that's got to do with hedges but hedges are good. There aren't that many of them in Abbey Street. Remember not to cut them before 31st August.

When: from Friday June 12th

Fee: €10 covers all classes as well as sessions, discussions and two evening concerts. Advance booking is essential.

Where: Cois Life Bar, Abbey St, Dublin, D1

It includes a session with Tony Curtis about folk poetry which sounds interesting.

If you're in Lismore, Co Waterford, the same weekend. you should check out the travel writing festival.
Immrama presents a host of events and readings over the weekend including a poetry workshop for primary schools with Áine Uí Fhoglú. Other readings and speakers include Dervla Murphy, Dermot Somers, Kate Adie, Rory Maclean, Manchán Magan and Annie Rogers amongst many others.

Immrama Festival of Travel Writing

When: Thursday 11 - Sunday 14 June

Where: Lismore, Co Waterford

If you're in Waterford, you should check out the travel writing festival.
Immrama presents a host of events and readings over the weekend including a poetry workshop for primary schools with Áine Uí Fhoglú. Other readings and speakers include Dervla Murphy, Dermot Somers, Kate Adie, Rory Maclean, Manchán Magan and Annie Rogers amongst many others.

Wednesday 10 June 2009

P J O'Connor Winners

The winners of this competition for a radio play were announced on the Arts Show on RTE Radio.

Overall winner - Dylan, Thomasina and Me by John Austin Connolly. Prize of €3,000. John was also on the shirtlist for the Francis MacManus story this year.

First runner up - Elvis Is Dead by Shay Healy. Prize of €2,000. Shay is an RTE stalwart.
Second runner up - Happy Hour by Ashley Taggart. Prize of €1,000

The three winning dramas will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday evenings in July.

About 500 entries, wittled down to a shortlist of 14. The judges for this year's competition were: Writer, Eugene McCabe; Actor and Director, Bairbre Ni Chaoimh and Jesper Bergmann, Chief Dramaturge at The Royal National Theatre, Copenhagen.

Lilters and Lovers by James Corbett, Maherafelt, Co. Derry

Brave Day for It by Derek M. Doherty, Beijing, China

Noah's Transportation by Davy Ferguson, Dunmanway, Co. Cork

Working for the Clampdown by Patrick Fitzsymons, Bushmills, Co. Antrim

Taxi by Ciarán Gray, North Strand, Dublin 3 (won in 2007)

After We Got Back by Sinead Hickey, Dundrum, Dublin 14

How I Created a Financial Crisis by Michael Minihan, John's Hill Waterford

Shrewsbury Road by Kevin Murphy, Dalkey, Co. Dublin (shortlisted in 2007)

A Game Of Confidence by Billy O'Callaghan, Douglas, Cork (blog here)

The Come Back by Siobhan Shine, Menlo, Galway

Icarus O'Neill's Rising Dilemma by Nicholas Wilkinson, Annamoe, Co. Wicklow

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Give it a go

I've messed about with linking some slightly relevant photos to a recording made a few years ago of one of my readings. The idea is to use this as a plug to promote myself for other readings. Not sure if it works or not. What do you think? Would you pay me to read at your festival/poetry event?

Monday 8 June 2009

Publishing Your Book / Irish Writers Centre

When: Saturday 12th June
Where: Irish Writers Centre, Parnell Sq

Publishing Your Book, an information day on all aspects of publishing.
Whether you are an aspiring writer seeking a publisher, wondering where to start, or interested in knowing more about current market trends, an informative and expert group will speak on these subjects.

Places are strictly limited so early booking is advisable.

Cost: €50. Concessions to members of IWC, €40.

Also on June 13th, author Catherine Dunne leads a one-day course on Beginning Your Novel.

Registration 9.30 a.m. to 10a.m.

10.00 a.m. Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Irish Writers Centre, opens the proceedings.

10.05 a.m. View from the Editor’s Desk: Ciara Considine, Publisher and Editor with Hodder Headline Ireland, explains the editorial process and outlines the publishing opportunities for fiction and non-fiction writers.

10.45 a.m. Exploring the Author/Agent Relationship & Demystifying the Contract: Faith O’Grady, Literary Agent with the Lisa Richards Agency, explores the agent’s function in the life of the author and outlines the current literary trends.
11.40 a.m.: Coffee Break.
12.00 a.m. Getting Your Name Out There: Stephen Boylan, Eason’s Sales Team:
This module will look at the day-to-day practicalities of the book trade, examining current market trends to discover exactly what captures the attention of the book-buying public. We will also look at what all prospective authors need to know about self-publishing and selling to the trade, with a particular emphasis on the fundamental role that marketing has to play in the success of any title.

12.45 p.m. – 2 p.m: Lunch Break

Afternoon session
2.00 p.m. Author, June Considine The Writing Process: Researching and writing your novel from First Draft to Final Draft.
3.00 Declan Meade, Editor & Publisher of The Stinging Fly.
Discovering new voices, finding the new, encouraging the new…the selection process. Things to watch out for when preparing a manuscript for submission…
3. 45 Coffee
4.00 – 4.30: Discussion

Sunday 7 June 2009

West Cork Literary Festival

Bantry is hosting the West Cork Literary Festival with a galaxy of writerly stars of different persuasions.

6th - 11th July 2009

Pulitzer prize winning writer Annie Proulx, Irish author Jennifer Johnston, Liverpudlian favourite Roger McGough, bestselling crime writer Martina Cole and journalist Nell McCafferty. Also Claire Kilroy, Francesca Simon and children’s writer Darren Shan,

Eleven Workshops will be facilitated by novelist Martina Devlin, screenwriter Ferdia MacAnna, short story writer Ré Ó Laighléis, playwright Billy Roche, novelist Denyse Woods, travel writer Manchán Magan, poet James Harpur, songwriter Jack L, Rory Killalea who writes for radio, food writer John McKenna and children’s writer John W Sexton.

Also the launch of the Fish anthology.

Saturday 6 June 2009

Dublin Shakespeare's Festival

The first Trinity College Shakespeare Festival will take place from Mon 08 June until Sun 14 June. Scenes of Shakespeare and full length performances will take place all around Dublin alongside an extensive community outreach programme which will take place in the form of workshops, performances and talks in primary schools around Dublin.

Most performances are free and only the headline act "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (daily at 19:30) which will be performed in the Rose Garden in Trinity College Dublin by the British Shakespeare Company does cost money (EUR 18/10).
For all details check out website .

** Mon 08 Jun
12:00 - 12:20 Titus Andronicus Act I Sc. I (Steps of Custom House, 25 Eden Quay)
13:30 - 13:50 Henry IV Act I Sc. I (Merrion Square Park)
15:00 - 15:20 Romeo and Juliet Act I Sc. IV (Bandstand - St. Stephens Green)
17:00 - 18:15 Scenes from Anthony and Cleopatra (Yeats Memorial – St. Stephens Green)
18:00 - 19:00 Lecture on the work of Shakespeare (Trinity College Dublin)
** Tue 09 Jun
13:30 - 13:50 Merchant of Venice Act IV Sc. I (Yeats Memorial - Stephen's Green)
15:00 - 15:20 Richard II Act V Sc. V (Christchurch Cathedral)
17:00 - 18:15 Scenes from Anthony and Cleopatra (Yeats Memorial – St. Stephens Green)
18:00 - 19:00 Lecture on the work of Shakespeare (Trinity College Dublin)
19:30 - 21:30 A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Garden - Trinity College Dublin)
** Wed 10 Jun
13:30 - 13:50 Julius Caesar Act I Sc. I (Grafton Street)
15:00 - 15:20 Act IV Sc.I (Band Stand Area- St. Stephens Green)
17:00 - 18:15 Scenes from Anthony and Cleopatra (Yeats Memorial – St. Stephens Green)
18:00 - 19:00 Lecture on the work of Shakespeare (Trinity College Dublin)
19:30 - 21:30 A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Rose Garden - Trinity College Dublin)
** Thu 11 Jun
13:30 - 13:50 Julius Caesar Act III Sc. II (Wolfe Tone Statue – St. Stephens Green)
15:00 - 15:20 Dance Piece based on Romeo and Juliet (St. Stephens Green)
17:00 - 18:15 Scenes from Anthony and Cleopatra (Yeats Memorial – St. Stephens Green)
18:00 - 19:00 Lecture on the work of Shakespeare (Trinity College Dublin)
19:30 - 21:30 A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Garden - Trinity College Dublin)
** Fri 12 Jun
12:00 - 12:20 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern by Tom Stoppard- Act I
Abridged (Civic Amphitheatre)
13:30 - 13:50 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern by Tom Stoppard- Act II
Abridged (Civic Amphitheatre)
15:00 - 15:20 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern by Tom Stoppard- Act III Abridged (Civic Amphitheatre)
17:00 - 18:15 Scenes from Anthony and Cleopatra (Yeats Memorial – St. Stephens Green)
18:00 - 19:00 Lecture on the work of Shakespeare (Trinity College Dublin)
19:30 - 21:30 A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Garden - Trinity College Dublin)
** Sat 13 Jun
12:00 - 12:20 Shakespear's Women by Chris McCormack (Civic Amphitheatre)
13:30 - 13:50 A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act II Sc. I (Merrion Square Park)
14:30 - 16:30 A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Garden, Trinity College Dublin)
17:00 - 18:15 Scenes from Anthony and Cleopatra (Yeats Memorial – St. Stephens Green)
18:00 - 19:00 Lecture on the work of Shakespeare (Trinity College Dublin)
19:30 - 21:30 A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Garden - Trinity College Dublin)
** Sun 14 Jun
12:00 - 12:20 Doglett by Sarah Finlay & Ger Adlum (St. Stephen's Green)
13:30 - 13:50 Merry Wives Act II Sc. III (Merrion Square Park)
15:00 - 15:20 Shakespeare: Now and Then by Kathy Clarke (Liffey Boardwalk)
17:00 - 18:15 Scenes from Anthony and Cleopatra (Yeats Memorial – St. Stephens Green)
18:00 - 19:00 Lecture on the work of Shakespeare (Trinity College Dublin)

Hope Titania keeps an eye on the weather.

Friday 5 June 2009

Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition

The Sean O'Faolain Short Story Competition is going up market pricewise and appears to be aiming almost completely at the US writers' market. Do you know how much it costs?

Fee: €15, US $20 or £15

Prizes: €1,500, €500 and Four x €100
and all are published in the literary journal Southword.

So the prizes are paid for with 160 entries. Plus they pay the

Judge:Philip Ó Ceallaigh

a decent enough amount I hope. They don't say if the entries are preselected for him.

Max 3,000 words. Other usual conditions on the website if you want to pay their extortionate prices. Or maybe we should boycott it and present a united front. Then they'll have to have an international winner - oh yes. They probably will. Sych a cynic today.

Deadline: 31st July 2009

(approx USD $130)

Thursday 4 June 2009

Force 12 Writers' Weekend

2009 Force 12 Writers’ Weekend
When: Friday 12th to Sunday 14th June
Where: Belmullet, Co. Mayo.

Patrick Cotter will direct the weekend, with a host of well-known writers including Billy Ramsell, Clare Wigfall, John Corless, Liz O’Donaghue, Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan and William Wall and Writer-in-Residence Éilís Ní Dhuibhne. The weekend is very much dedicated to visiting writers groups and it will provide a great opportunity for Mayo writers to interact with groups from all over the country.

The programme for the weekend is designed to be an informal and relaxed event. It allows a platform for unpublished writers to read from their work and also to meet other writers to discuss writing.

On Saturday morning and afternoon there will be workshop opportunities in poetry, Creative Non-fiction, Short Story and Reading in Public. There will be readings by professional guest writers on the Friday and Saturday evenings with participating writer’s groups on the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The readings on Sunday will be followed by a farewell lunch.

Attendance at all events is free. Places at the workshops are limited, so it is essential to book by Friday 5th June.

If you wish to attend any of the events or require further information please contact: Mayo County Council Arts Office at 094 9024444, ext. 7558 & 7560. mayoarts@mayococo.ie

Léamh le Éilís Ní Dhuibhne | Reading with Éilís Ní Dhuibhne
Scríbhneoir Cónaitheach Force 12 Writer in Residence
Déardaoin 11ú Meitheamh | Thursday 11th June
Leabharlann Chaisleán an Bharraigh @ 7:30 Castlebar Library

Éilis Ní Dhuibhne was born in Dublin in 1954. She has written many novels, collections of short stories, plays for stage and radio. Her work has won many literary awards, including the Stewart Parker Award for Drama, three Bisto awards for children’s books, American Association of Irish Studies Award for Prose, and several Oireachtas awards for novels and play. She is a member of Aosdána.

The Quay, Westport
T: 098-28735.
E: customhouse@eircom.net
Reading of Poetry by Ger Reidy and Terry Mc Donnagh
At the Creel Westport Quay.
26th June 2009 8.00pm

Achill Heinrich Böll Association
Cyril Gray Memorial Hall Dugort Achill
June 10th 8.30pm.
Poetry reading by; - Chris Agee & Vojka Dikic

Linenhall St,
T: 094 9023733
E: linenhall@anu.ie
W: www.thelinenhall.com
Thursday 18th June @ 8.00pm
Kim Rosen - Saved by a Poem: an evening of Poetry, Music and Inspiration
Kim Rosen is a poet performance artist and teacher of self inquiry who explores poetry's power to awaken, inspire and heal. In this evening, she interweaves the poetry of Mary Oliver, Rumi, W.B. Yeats and many others with music, insight and audience interaction to create a magical presentation inviting people to discover the true power of poetry “as an affirmation or prayer... which can bring every level of being into alignment with what matters most to you.”
Adm.: €10 / €8 (concessions)

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Arts Council Bursary Decisions

The arts council received 390 applications for this award and has offered a total of 68 awards in response, 18 of which were in the category English language literature. 29 (or it might have been 20) for visual arts, a handful for Dance, Film, Theatre, Opera, Traditional Arts, 1 for circus.

Here are the literary bursaries for round 1 2009, a mix of well known and not so well known (and unknown to me) names.

Kevin Barry, Dublin City Council, €15,000

Mary Branley, Sligo County Council, €3,200

Declan Burke, Wicklow County Council, €10,000

Monica Corish, Sligo County Council, €5,000

Danny Denton, Cork County Council, €3,200

Katie Donovan, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, €6,000

Christine Dwyer Hickey, South Dublin County Council, €15,000

Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Wicklow County Council, €15,000

Andrew Fox, Fingal County Council, €10,000

Caroline Lynch, Galway City Council, €10,000

John Maher, Laois County Council, €10,000

Cormac McCarthy, France, €15,000 (Don't think this is the US author) Writes as Cormac James per Fin

Belinda McKeon, USA, €10,000

Helena Mulkerns, Wexford County Council, €9,000

Pete Mullineaux, Galway County Council, €3,600

Dennis O'Driscoll, Kildare County Council, €15,000

Slevin, Ailbhe, Galway City Council, €5,000

Wild, Ian, Cork County Council, €10,000

Whose name isn't there? Mine. But I did get a letter which didn't say it didn't get, if you know what I mean. It said the decision will be made after the September council meeting. I have no idea what that means. Did anyone else get a similar letter?

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Creative Thoughts

I was reading a Richard and Judy Summer Read, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, from a relative's bookshelves. It started off very slow with clunky language and I was going to give up but I got into it. There was nothing else to read anyway. Why did the editor let it be so sloppy and slow at the start anyway? Many people would have given up after a chapter or so.

Anyway, I digress. What I realised as I was reading it was that the author had used two classic ways into a story for a reader.

1. She introduces the reader to an unusual or new world/environment by means of a new person also being introduced. e.g. The father explains to his daughter how he came about a mysterious book which leads into his story (which leads in turn to his mentor's story which I think is a bit too many layers, but whatever)

2. If there is some concept that is hard to grasp (or verging on the unbelievable), she has a character say they didn't understand (or believe) it and have it explained to them and therefore also to the reader.

Interesting but common techniques I'll be using for a couple of holes I've dug myself in my novel.

Monday 1 June 2009

Comórtas Filíochta Éist

This competition is free to enter. The prize is a workshop with an, as yet unnamed practising poet.

Submit a maximum of three poems in Irish or English, maximum length 40 lines, typed.

Poems entered must not have been previously published, have been entered or have won any other competition.

No separate application form is needed. Entrants are asked to submit contact details on a separate sheet.

Deadline: July 31, 2009.

Post entries to Comórtas Filíochta Éist 2009, Meath County Library Service, Railway Street, Navan, Co Meath.