Tuesday 31 August 2010

Workshops with Yvonne Cullen

Back in the mists of time, I did a workshop with Yvonne. She's running loads this autumn in Dublin and Inishbofin.

MONDAY EVENING BEGINNERS: 8 x 2.5 hour sessions from 11 Oct.
For a true kickstart, do a 10‐week course in 8 weeks!
Fabulous venue in the middle of the city centre at CITY ARTS CENTRE 
All the short forms will be looked at: fiction, flash fiction, poetry, short memoir, dramatic monologue and dialogues, first steps towards short screenplays.
€230 with discount to €220 if booked by 7 Sept.

Class/workshop blend for those looking for
substantial tuition and kick‐starts alongside workshop opportunities. 12 weeks 2.5 hours per
session VENUE: SWENY’s Chemist’s. Start Date 4th October. Will include two sessions in New
Year. €285 with discount to €270 if booked by 7 Sept.

15 meetings, weekly.
A mixed workshop of short and long fiction writers, with some non‐fiction and poetry too. Focus on prose, however.
START DATE: 16 Sept. Runs to Christmas and resumes for 2 final sessions in New Year.
6 place available.  Fantastic continuing group with 5 spaces for newcomers.
Fee: €345, discount to €330 for bookings before Tues 24th Aug.

Weds 22 Sept 10.30 a.m – 1 p.m WRITING TRAIN
14 weeks,
€320, discount to €305 for booking by 7 Sept.
Wonderful on‐going Writing Train group of novelists and short story writers plus writers trying different forms and a couple of poets for good measure!
6 SPACES for the right new voices from “developing and experimenting” to “advancing” level! This is a continuing workshop.

Wednesday night Fortnightly Writing Train Start Date WEDS 15 Sept 16 Workshop Meetings till end April 2011 with 4 weeks off at Christmas to write. Each meeting 2.75 hours.
Only fortnightly Advanced workshop in Dublin.
The long ‘loop’ of these classes makes them extra suitable for fiction writers though we have room for nonfiction writers and poets too! Benefit: more time between sessions to write, if this suits your schedule! €400 with discount to €385 if booked by 30 Aug.
6 Places remaining.
VENUE: SWENY’s CHEMIST Class time: 6.30 – 9.15 This is a continuing workshop.

Brand new Fortnightly Friday class and workshop blend for beginners and writers with a little experience, in all forms.
Starts 15 OCT
€240 for 8 Friday evenings over 18 weeks from 15 Oct, via 5 Nov, 19 Nov, 3 Dec, to 7 Jan, 21 Jan 4 Feb, 18 Feb.
Support and online writing community for 4 months, and a chance to do something creative with your Fridays without losing touch with your social life!

12 weeks, 2.5 hours per week, starting 8th October
6 places available.
€285 fee, discount to €275 if booked by 7 Sept.

Inishbofin Poetry Jaunt 25 and 26 Sept, €220 tuition.
Inis Mor prose and poetry Writing Jaunt 30 Oct – 1 Nov, €240 tuition.

For more info on retreats and to book all above classes, email yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com or
phone 086 1701418

Monday 30 August 2010

More Links

Bookshelf porn (we can but dream)

The lovely Dermot Bolger on writing a novel

Crap at my parents' house.com

Slushpile Hell or what not to say to an agent.

Poetry T-Shirts from silkwormsink. These could take off (!)

And this discussion on how magazines view taking poetry that has been previously published online or specifically on the blogosphere from Very Much Like a Whale, Anne Carson, a Canadian poet. And here's a more up-to-date US biases list from Lynne Hudson.

I do occasionally put poems up, particularly for the Poetry Bus, but take them down again after a while for this very reason. Plus there are some nefarious people out there ...

That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets,
from Homer to Tennyson;
They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison,
And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket
after a winter storm.
Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of
snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical
blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm,
And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly
What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.

From Very Like a Whale by
Ogden Nash

Sunday 29 August 2010

Poets to Check Out - Billy Collins

How does this little chap do this? I find it hard to remember my own poems.

Saturday 28 August 2010

Spoken Word recommendations at Electric Picnic

There is a fabulous line up yet again at Electric Picnic this year. How do they do it?

Obviously you WILL come and see the Poetry Divas Collective on Friday 3rd September at 7pm on the The Word Stage at Mindfield. Getting your picnic off to a diva-licious start.

Other highlights at The Word

The Word stage returns with the best of Irish, British and international poets and slam artists The Cuirt Literary Festival Slam Showcase, Poetry Ireland Presents, The Glor Sessions, The Gonzo Cabaret Club , The Big Smoke Writers Workshop, Poetry Smackdown, The Poetry Chicks, Stinging Fly Publications,  Dave Lordan, Stephen J Smith, Colm Keegan plus more to be announced

Literary Stage

Paul Muldoon with Philip King as well as Roddy Doyle, Dermot Bolger, Leanne O’Sullivan, Mary O’Malley, Gerard Smyth, Pat Boran, Rita Ann Higgins, Carlo Gebler, Chris Binchy and Claire Kilroy.  Declan Burke hosts a discussion on crime novels with Arlene Hunt, Declan Lynch and Gene Kerrigan.

Personally I want to see Novelist Julian Gough take part in an incendiary debate about Irish literature with fellow writers and critics.

Timings not yet announced.

Science Gallery Tent - Saturday 4th September
If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together IGNITE events to show their answers on science, technology, art and society. Fast-paced, fun, thought-provoking, social, local, global-Ignite is all of these and more. Talk titles include: 'Incest and Bestiality' by geneticist Aoife McLysaght, 'Mr Whippy Soundsystem' with Dermot McCabe and lots more!

** My son is doing a talk here. Should be fascinating

Expect drama, Obama, comedy, improv, DIY theatre, puppets, and theatre live where we will attempt to make a play in under an hour.
Acts so far include: Split Gin present Andy Warhol’s Nothing Special; Choke Comedy Improv; Obama Mia!; Wildebeest Theatre presents The Real World; Moonfish theatre present The Secret Garden; NUIG Players present The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; MOUTH PIECE Productions present Not I by Samuel Beckett. There’s also a dramatisation of Trevor White’s book about founding The Dubliner magazine at the height of the boom.

OK so

Friday 27 August 2010

Workshops at the Frank O'Connor Short Story Festival

Narrative Poetry Workshop with Tess Gallagher

18 September 2010, 9.30AM - 11.30AM

The Munster Literature Centre, 84 Douglas St, Cork

€30, Maximum 10 Participants

Contact info(AT)munsterlit(DOT)ie or Jennifer on +21 431 2955 to book.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Mountains to Sea dlr Festival Book Club

The Mountains to the Sea festival looks very interesting. Those people at dlr sure know how to organise literary events (unlike some counties I could name)

What better way to spend an afternoon than to enjoy a good lunch in plush surroundings before sitting down to discuss a favourite book? In a unique series of book club lunches, Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival offers readers a rare opportunity to come together with a famous author who will facilitate a discussion on a book of direct relevance to the 2010 festival.

Tuesday 7th September

PATRICIA O’REILLY on A Type of Beauty, the story of Kathleen Newton (1854-1882),

Wednesday 8th September


Thursday 9th September


Friday 10th September


All lunches are at 12.30pm in The Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire.

Tickets €20 include lunch. Book online at www.mountainstosea.ie or call Pavilion Theatre Box Office at (01) 231 2929. Check out the full festival programme including Kate Atkinson, Joseph O’Connor, John Banville, DBC Pierre, Jennifer Johnston and many more at the festival website.

Also as part of Walker Books 30th Birthday celebrations:
Lunch with Kate DiCamillo (Tale of Despereaux), Marita Conlon McKenna, Don Conroy, Joe O’Brien, Judi Curtin, Sarah Webb, PJ Lynch, Sarah Rees Brennan, Niamh Sharkey, Gordon Snell, Mary Murphy, Tommy Donbavand, Claire Hennessy, Oisin McGann and a heap of other folk

Everyone who makes it along will nab themselves a goody bag and (handily) a bookshop will be there so you can buy signed copies of all the authors’ books.
Saturday September 11 at the Royal St George Yacht Club, Seafront, Dun Laoghaire (from 12 – 3)

Tickets are €15 (€20 for adults) Recommended age: 9+ (Children under 9 must be accompanied by an adult)

Fermanagh Residency

Fermanagh District Council’s Arts Advisory Committee would like to invite artists living within Fermanagh who work in the following creative disciplines to apply for one of three Tyrone Guthrie Centre Artist in Residence Bursaries for 2010 – 2011. Artists who work professionally in the following art forms are eligible: music, dance, visual arts, theatre and literature. Application forms are available from:


Diane Henshaw, Arts Officer, Fermanagh District Council, ‘Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary’, Town Hall, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, BT74 7BA

028 6632 5050


27 August at 12.30pm

Wednesday 25 August 2010

A Living Word

The roots of this longstanding two-minute daily meditation programme on RTE Radio 1, reach back to the traditions of Morning Prayer and Compline. Today's transmissions range from the religious to the reflective along the whole spectrum of human spirituality. Broadcast as part of Radio 1’s Risin’ Time, Late Date and The Weekend on One.

Monday - Friday, 6.40am on RTÉ Radio 1
See the website here The podcasts seem to be very out of date though.

Contributions are very welcome. One week's output comprises five scripts in total, each of which should average 250 words at most. The five individual pieces may be a freestanding choice of topics or a thematised suite with a unitary concern. Personal and narrative material works well. The language should seek to be agile and vernacular, the tone companionable and even intimate.

Don't forget that the microphone (the Ancient Greek for 'a small voice') is the very opposite of the megaphone! Listen live or on the Website to editions of the programme as a good general guide.

Submissions for consideration should be sent to:
A Living Word, Arts and Features, Radio Centre, RTÉ, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Thought provoking stuff on libraries

From old Spice Guy

Monday 23 August 2010

More Workshops at the Irish Writers Centre

Quite a good selection of teachers here. The prices are reasonable I suppose.


Feature Writing with Henry McDonald 165 Euro

On this six-week course Henry will show the diversity in approaches to feature writing and how the genre differs from the who, what, where, when and how of conventional straight news reporting.

10 WEEK COURSES all 280 Euro

Finish your Novel with Conor Kostick

This is a practical course for writers who are already part-way through the writing of a book. It takes place on Monday evenings.

Beginners Creative Writing with Nessa O'Mahoney

During the ten weeks of the course, we’ll explore that mysterious thing called inspiration as well as discussing the craft of writing. The approach will consist of a combination of in-class tuition and exercises and peer critiquing of work in progress. The focus will be on producing work and learning how to edit it.

Beginners' Creative Writing with Jean O'Brien

We all have our own stories to tell, this ten-week course is aimed at releasing that story, be it through the medium of fiction, memoir or poetry. If you want to know how to put your story down in a structured way, how and where to get started and how to complete your tale then this course is for you.

Writing Historical Fiction with John Givens

This ten-week course will explore methods for creating a fictional world that is self-consistent, credible, entertaining, and populated by believable characters authentic to their time and place.

Young Adult Fiction with Michael Carroll

This ten-week course will cover the basics of plotting, characterisation and prose with emphasis on tailoring work for the Young Adult market.

Working towards Publication with Michael O'Loughlin

This course is aimed at the writer who has already done a workshop or has been writing a while and even started to publish their work. It is meant to help the writer to locate and sharpen his or her own voice, whether that is in poetry or prose.

Develop Your Writing with Alan Jude Moore

This ten-week course is suitable for anyone who has already started writing and wishes to develop their writing further. The aim of the course will be to build on the basics you have already learned and help you engage further with your work and writing life.

Writing Poetry with Peter Sirr

This ten-week course will explore some of the routes into writing poetry, looking at examples of poetry from a wide range of poets, as well as considering participants' own work. The course will explore what distinguishes poetry from any other kind of writing and will also suggest ways of getting beyond the personal and anecdotal into more exciting territory.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Workshops at the Irish Writers Centre

The writers centres are gearing up for the Autumn season of classes. Maybe it's time to get back to the classroom.

Here are some weekend courses at the IWC. If you know of others around the country, send me the details (email on the sidebar) and I'll post them up.

Writing Short Fiction with Nuala Ni Chonchuir 11.09.10

This two-day workshop will be a structured guide to short fiction writing; topics covered will include character, style, dialogue, 'show don’t tell', setting and language use. This course is designed for people who are interested in developing their writing further.

Fantasy Fiction with Celine Kiernan 11.09.10

This intensive two-day course will be ideal for aspiring and already practising fantasy fiction writers.

Travel Writing Workshop with Charlie Connelly 25.09.10

This two-day course would give those attending a firm grounding in what makes good travel writing. Combining tutorial, discussion and a couple of short writing assignments, attendees would leave the course with a better understanding of the mechanics of travel writing and where and how to place articles and books.

The Novel with Kevin Power 09.10.10

This two-day workshop is aimed at people who have already completed some work on the first draft of a novel. It will emphasize the techniques of novel-writing, such as structure, voice, tone, and style.

Playwriting with Billy Roche 06.11.2010
This two-day playwriting course will look at elements such as the plot, characterisation, storyline and dialogue.

Poetry Workshop with Enda Wyley 13.11.10

This is a practical two day intensive poetry workshop which aims to inspire and encourage those who have either just begun to write poems or those who feel they might benefit from feedback on poetry they have been working on for a while.

Saturday 21 August 2010

Poets to Check Out - Jenny Joseph

Jenny Joseph reads 'Warning' from Neil Astley on Vimeo.

You have quite likely read this poem before. It's nice and subversive and bears repeating.

Friday 20 August 2010

A Turn at Tara

I went to Tara once. It was cold, wet and windy and uninspiring. This sounds more like it though.

The third Feis Teamhra: A Turn at Tara, featuring performances by internationally-recognized Irish poets and musicians, will be held between 3 and 5 o’clock on August 29 2010 on the Hill of Tara. Those taking part include Aidan Brennan, Seamus Heaney, Laoise Kelly, Michael Longley, Susan McKeown, Paul Muldoon and Colm Toibín.

Feis Teamhra is a celebration of the continuity of the linked traditions of Irish poetry and music, traditions that have almost certainly flourished here since at least 2000 BC.

Following appearances at previous years both Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley will be returning to join this year’s special guest Colm Toibín.

Also reading poetry will be Paul Muldoon, the Armagh-born, Princeton-based, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize.

The musical component of Feis Teamhra: A Turn at Tara is headlined by Susan McKeown, the Dublin-born, US-based singer-songwriter who is about to release her seventh solo album. The other musicians featured this year at Feis Teamhra are Aidan Brennan, virtuoso guitarist, and Laoise Kelly, considered to be the foremost Irish harper.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Children's books writing seminar

Between the Lines is a one-day seminar which aims to show budding writers and illustrators how to take the first steps towards making their ideas a published reality. You will learn about every stage of the process - writing and illustrating techniques, getting an agent, targeting your chosen audience - from the people who do it for a living: professional writers, illustrators, agents, and editors. You will also have the opportunity to meet these experts for a personal critique to help you make the most of your ideas. Writers can meet with an editor, an agent or a published author, while illustrators can meet with an agent or illustrator. In addition, the writer and illustrator who submit the bestwork on the day will be presented with a year’s membership to SCBWI.

Guest Speakers:
Jane Yolen, Keith Gray, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Adrienne Geoghegan, Faith O’Grady, Julia Churchill, Clodagh Feehan, Paddy O’Doherty, Mary Webb and Judi Curtin

When: Saturday September 11th 2010

Where: South Dublin County Library and Red Rua Arts Centre, Tallaght, Dublin 24.

Cost: Seminar Day = €55 for CBI/ SCBWI members or €65 for non-members

For more information, call 01 872 7475 or go to www.childrensbooksireland.ie

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Metsu at the National Gallery

If you're on facebook, do drop by the National Gallery. They're running an interesting competition. They have a Metsu exhibition coming up,

(Dutch/Flemish 16th/17th century interiors are a favourite of mine. Vermeer especially but Metsu will do at a pinch.)

and they have a beautiful, evocative, mysterious pair of paintings, a man writing a letter and a woman reading a letter. They ask you to imagine what either letter says.

You can also do it on Twitter @NGIreland but that's kinda hard. An interesting challenge though.

There's prizes and it's free to enter.

an exclusive chance to win invites to the exhibition's opening night on Friday 3rd September (wine + cheese + Metsu = a winning combination!!)

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Grist Creative Writing Competition

This year's Grist Creative Writing Competition has now been launched.
The judges this year are Helen Simpson (short fiction) and Lemn Sissay (poetry).
Please see the link www.hud.ac.uk/grist

1st Prize - £500
2nd Prize - £250
3rd Prize - £100
Plus publication for all shortlisted writers

Entry fee:£5

Deadline: 30 November 2010

# Short stories up to 3,500 words (double spaced)
# Poems up to 40 lines (single spaced)

You can enter online.

Sunday 15 August 2010

Poetry Bus

I've finally taken a ticket on the Poetry Bus. I apologise for avoiding such forms of transport for a while.

This week it's Enchanted Oak in the driver's seat. Click the link for other passengers, a diverse and startling bunch as ever I've seen of a Sunday, and public transport does have a habit of picking up all sorts. I have a soft spot for my Dukes of Hazzard man on the Blanchardstown Bus once.

I chose the boat picture.

Ebb Tide Drift

I've taken the poem down again now to rework and perhaps submit to some lucky journal.

Crannóg Magazine Issue 25

Crannóg Magazine of Galway, Ireland is celebrating its 25th issue in October and preparations are already underway to make it a landmark issue.It is now open internationally to submissions of fiction (max 2000 words) and poetry (max 50 lines)

Deadline: September 1st.

Submissions may be sent by email to editor@crannogmagazine.com or posted to

Crannog Magazine, Galway Language Centre, Bridge Mills, Galway, Ireland.

Before submitting please read complete submission details on website.

The current issue is available to purchase here and back issues can be downloaded free from www.crannogmagazine.com

I've never cracked this one

Friday 13 August 2010

The Temple House Festival - Music & The Arts

September 10 at 6:00pm - September 12 at 9:00pm
This sounds pretty interesting. Anyone know who's organising the spoken word?

The first ever Temple House festival promises to be a magical mixing pot of music, art & craft, poetry and the lovely lot of people who’ll attend.

And with only 5000 tickets, it’ll be a pretty special experience for those who do. It’ll be old juxtaposed with new as today’s hottest acts play out over the magnificent grounds of Temple House – one of the most historic country piles in Ireland.

Live music from a host of Irish and international acts will be the core source of entertainment, complimented by poetry readings, face painting, holistic therapies, art exhibitions, farmers’ market, vintage clothes and jewellery fair plus a plethora of other carefully selected attractions.

Visit www.tickets.ie to buy  €59 for a 3 day ticket including camping.

Thursday 12 August 2010

A sea of Words - but what does it mean

Here's a worthy short story competition with a great sounding prize and right-on credentials...but what does it mean?

...short stories whose content is related to the creation and/or consolidation of dynamics aiming to reinforce inclusion, social conflicts resolution and respect of social justice and equality principles. ...the object is to obtain literary stories – based on reality and purely fictional – that describe different experiences of social dialogue, justice and combating poverty.

Got that?

The contest is aimed at young people under 30 years of age, citizens of the 43 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean space.

The stories must have a maximum of 2,500 words

Deadline: 15th of September 2010.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Poetry Chicks at the White House Limerick

Monday 9 August 2010

How to Write a Synopsis

This is hard and I'm not saying I've cracked it. I'm just passing on advice from other sources.

- Write in the present tense and in the third person, regardless how the novel is written
- yes, you have to give away the ending
- Establish - in the first sentence - the location of the story and the era if it’s anything other than the modern day.
- Tell-don’t-show
- Use as few names as possible - probably only the protagonist and one other. Use descriptors, e.g. “The best friend”, “the sister”, for the others.
- Write the synopsis in the same tone as the novel itself, e.g. chatty or serious, whatever.
- The first time you use a character's name in the synopsis, type it in CAPITAL letters. Do this only the first time. Avoid confusion by referring to a character the same way throughout (not "Dr. Evans" the first time, "Jerry" the next, and "the doctor" another time).

The synopsis should go something like this:
  • Give the character's name and a very brief but compelling description,
  • including her back story as needed, in a sentence or two.
  • Describe her dilemma
  • She wants this goal badly because...
  • but can’t get it because ...
  • This goal is important because of her internal goal...
  • She takes the first steps in achieving her goal but,
  • has her first failure.
  • She then reacts, regroups and decides what to do next.

Let's see some enthusiasm. You love your book. You wouldn't have spent all that time writing and rewriting it if you didn't. Let that show through. It's infectious.
Have a one or two sentence synopsis of the synopsis, the blurb that you, your agent and your publisher would use to sell the book. This should also answer this eternal question, "What's your book about?"

Here's a couple of links writing-world.com and Fiction-writers-mentor.com and how-to-write-a-book.com

Saturday 7 August 2010


Rather than repeat it all here, please go and visit Women Rule Writer blog to read about the Paris Literary Prize for unpublished writers with a novella.

Deadline: 1st December

Entry fee: €50

Friday 6 August 2010

David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards

This is a big BIG prize for any arts organisations that are being entrepreneurial. Last year I think it was This is Pop Baby who won.

The David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards
Calling all creative/arts/cultural entities....

Are you an arts or cultural organisation that is established between 1 and 3 years, or a sole trader with an innovative project or product? If so you could be eligible to enter the David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards which rewards entrepreneurial spirit in the arts, business and social spheres.

The overall winner will receive a prize fund that comprises €10,000 in cash and up to €100,000 worth of services, support and mentoring in a range of business areas from sponsors such as Mason Hayes + Curran, Thesaurus Software, Image Now, Islandbridge, Newmarket Consulting, Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Newmarket Partnership, Karan Thompson Consulting Ltd., Pigsback.com and gbc Public Relations.

What kind of person is the DMA looking for?
Everyone involved in this unique awards programme volunteers their time and so we look for entrepreneurs who impress and excite us, with a passionate, can-do attitude, full of potential. We want to find someone who embodies the qualities that made David Manley such an iconic person. In return, the sponsors and committee members of the David Manley Awards commit to use their skills and expertise to make a major impact on the success of the winner – we want to make a really big difference, bring them to the next level of success.

Closing Date:
The closing date for the first round is 30th August 2010 and nine short-listed people will then be invited to make a more detailed submission, followed by an interview. The winner will be announced in January 2011.  Further details and information on the entry process can be obtained on www.davidmanleyawards.ie. Feel free to contact Business to Arts if you would like to talk through your eligibility.

They say:

We know that not all entrepreneurs are good at form filling, and as you’re still emerging, we appreciate that you might not be confident about your business plan yet.
For these reasons, we’re leaving the method of application up to you.
What we’d like is to gauge your vision, your passion and your ability. Below is a set of questions, which we’d like answered/covered in your application, whatever form that takes.

• Tell us about your idea, project or organisation. Consider who it targets, why
it’s needed, what will it take to succeed.
• What is innovative or distinctive about your idea, project or approach?
• What have you and/or your organisation achieved up to now?
• How long have you been in operation, and what activities have already been put in
place. If you are starting up, please give details of your launch/growth plans.
• What is the top priority for your organisation over the next two years?
• Describe who you are and what makes you an entrepreneur?
• What difference will receiving a David Manley Award make to you?

The Awards are open to individuals and companies who have recently participated
or are participating in an enterprise support programme run by an SME enterprise
support agency or are affi liated to Business to Arts or Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.

Second Basil Bunting Poetry Award

Deadline: 30th September 2010.

Judge: Jo Shapcott.

The awards ceremony will be held in December in Newcastle in collaboration with the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA).

After the awards the winners and those commended will be invited to submit 10 poems to Neil Astley, editor of Bloodaxe Books. Without obligation, Neil will respond to the poems submitted.

You can entere online on the Website

First Prize: £1000.00
Second Prize: £500.00
Third Prize: £250.00
and there are three commendations of £75.00 each

* The poems must be in English and not exceed 42 lines in length and must be the original work of the entrant.
* The poems must not have been published (which includes self publication, website or online publishing and broadcast) nor entered in any other competition prior to the date of the awards ceremony in December 2010

The fee for the first poem is £7 and for any further poems £3 each.

Update: Shortlist 2 Dec 2010
Leo Madigan The Lads I Went to School WithJames O'Brien OctogramPatrick Daly Shade
Nichola Deane I Tell Her Everything I Know About RaisinsElisabeth Murawski Cleopatra to the Bard, Concerning Julius CaesarPolly Atkin the bird that makes you afraidCarol Moldaw A Leafs GravityFiona Ritchie Walker The Second Week of the SoapJustin McCarthy BaguettesMark Cooper RecitalJudy Brown Two VirginsMargaret Speak The Pyrotechnist AttendantJane Routh Step TheoryMalcom Watson Readers BrowsingRyan Whatley He had his Father’s Fishing LicenseGeraldine Paine The CreekSam Jackson The Keeper of the KeysDavid Underdown Bird ManMoira Lake GirasolePaul Groves How I became an Existentialist 

The winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony to be held on the evening of Thursday 9th December at 7pm in The Culture Lab, Newcastle University, Grand Assembly Rooms, King's Walk, NE1 7RU. 

Thursday 5 August 2010

More Links - Poetry and magazines

Some Interesting Links on What Poetry is For (if it is for anything) What is music for? What is art for? What is air for? What is Football for? What is the internet for? What is Amy Winehouse for? What is licorice for?

What it says on the Tin from Baroque in Hackney also goes into the hairy topic of who we should be reading. Young, old, white, not white, man, woman, sausage. Faber or Salt? Commercial/ on BBC, performance or I only write in my back room for my pet parrakeet?
I do adore Simon Armitige but I also read people I never see profiled in the Guardian. And if you mentioned their names at a cocktail party (really, who goes to cocktail parties? Maybe a barbecue) it would leave blank, condesending expressins all round.

The inimitable George Szirtes on What's Poetry For. He suggests Poetry is about trying to capture a reality that is deeper than language.

And from the Independent (UK) an article on underground Poetry Magazines which mentions popshot recently highlighted in these very pages. Scoop or what! Also mentions Penpusher, Five Dials and Litro, Stingray, Gutter, The Drawbridge and Ambit.

Also from Jessica Mayberry, more mags that pay.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

50 Word Mystery

Can you write a mystery story in 50 words. Exactly 50 words?
Can you include a reference to the River Avon?

Bradford on Avon Arts Festival challenges you to write an original mystery connected with Bradford’s River Avon.
The mystery competition is part of Bradford on Avon’s Arts Festival, which runs from September 17th till 26th 2010.

The winning entry will be chosen by the competition judges - screenwriter Stephen Volk and mystery- and scriptwriter Stan Hey.

The winning mystery will published with selected other entries as a broadsheet that will be on sale during the arts festival week.

In addition, you may use a title comprising no more than fifteen words.

Write or type your entry on one side of a sheet of A4 paper, and add your name, age (if under 16) and address, email and phone number. If you’re entering by email, include all this information. Ex Libris Bookshop, The Shambles, Bradford on Avon or send an email to: 50wordmystery@gmail.com
deadline for entries is Wednesday August 18th 2010.
For further information about the festival, please visit www.theartsfestival.co.uk

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Watch the timing in this

and then make sure things happen at the right time in your story (OK tenuous excuse to show an awesome video.)

Monday 2 August 2010

Ó Bhéal Readings for August and September

Ó Bhéal has a lovely venue every Monday in the Hayloft, upstairs at The Long Valley, Winthrop Street, Cork.

Upcoming Readings for August and September 2010

Jerome Kiely – 2nd August
Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar du Mars – 9th August
(Plus Workshop from 7pm)
Caroline Lynch – 16th August
Maurice Riordan – 23rd August
Marcela Sulak – 30th August
Áine Moynihan – 6th September
In association with Foras na Gaeilge Celia De Fréine – 13th September
Christodoulos Makris – 20th September
Special Friday Edition for Cork Culture Night Fergus Costello – 24th September
Patrick Chapman – 27th September

Entrance is free. Readings will last between 30-45 minutes after which there will be the usual open-mic session. Be sure to come early to get good seats. Full bar available.

The night begins with a Poetry Challenge starting between 9.00pm and 9.30pm. Guest poets begin about 10.00pm

Sunday 1 August 2010

Castlecomer Writers & Arts Festival Poetry Competition

Black Diamond Poetry Prize competition in association with Castlecomer Writers’ and Arts Festival 2010.

Judge: Grace Wells
Prize: €500 (only one prize?)
Fee: €3 for the first poem and €2 for each subsequent poem

Presentation of prize, and a poetry reading, will take place in Castlecomer on Saturday September, 25.
Max 40 lines.
No entry form required, but the author’s identity or contact details must not appear on any poem but be supplied on a separate cover sheet.

Post entries to: Michael Massey, c/o Castlecomer Library, Kilkenny Street, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.

Deadline: August 27, 2010.