Sunday 27 February 2011

Poetry Bus Poem

TFI is driving the emergency bus this week. I took the prompt from the photo above. This is an extract from a longer poem. (I have a lot of material)

Go here for other passengers.

Thanks for your lovely comments. Taken down now for rework

Poetry Now Festival

Let me say right at the start, I am a huge fan of the Poetry Now Festival, running for 16 years now in Dún Laoghaire, unfortunately rumoured to be in its last year. I hope DLR will reconsider.

It runs from Thursday 24th March to Sunday 27th March, 2011 all in Pavilion Theatre, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin and includes many well known and not so familiar names reading. poets and speakers from the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Estonia and Poland as well as Ireland.

Website here

It also includes The Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2011 which recognises and rewards work by Irish poets. It recognises the best collection of poems published by an Irish poet in 2010. Up for it this year are Sara Berkeley, Ciaran Carson, Seamus Heaney, Dermot Healy and Paul Muldoon.

(IMHO this is the great and the good plus whoops we need a woman)

Highlights include:

Keynote Address: The American poet, Anne Carson
Thursday 24th March at 8.30pm. Quite pricey at €18/14/12.

Heather McHugh, another American poet and Michael Longley the white bearded poet from Belfast.
Friday 25th March at 8:30pm even more pricey at €20/15/12.

For This: Poems for Our Ireland
Saturday 26th March at 3.30pm. €12/10/8
several of the participating poets in this year’s festival, together with a number of special guest readers, will come together for a reading of poems which speak to them about Ireland, and the experience of living in Ireland, during these trying times.
With poets Dave Lordan, Joseph Woods, Borbála Faragó, Michael Cronin, Sinéad Morrissey, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Leanne O’Sullivan and Brian Lynch. Special guests will include musician Jinx Lennon, broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan, Senator David Norris, novelist Dermot Bolger, historian Diarmaid Ferriter, Alice Leahy, director of Trust Ireland and poet and The Irish Times Managing Editor Gerard Smyth. Introduced by writer and broadcaster Vincent Woods.

Dave Lordan, the West Cork poet, Fiona Sampson widely published UK poet & Jaan Kaplinski from Estonia
Saturday 26th March at 6.30pm €14/10/8

The Strong Reading features readings by the poets selected for The Rupert and
Eithne Strong Award 2011. This award recognises first collections published in
English or Irish by Irish presses or by Irish writers in 2010. This year the nominees are Caitríona Ní Chléirchín, Grace Wells, Órfhlaith Foyle and Paul Maddern.
Sunday 27th March at 12 noon. €7/5

The fabulous Scottish poet Don Paterson & Ireland's own Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
Sunday 27th March at 4pm. €10/8/6

Festival Ticket: €85 full price / €60 conc. / €50 student
(excludes workshops)

There are also workshops run by Don Paterson or Fiona Sampson. Apply e-mailing 3 poems and a list of publications before Wednesday 9th March, marking clearly your preferred workshop.

Ireland Chair of Poetry

Frankly, why don't they go the whole hog and call it a Poet Laureate? Is it in fact because there are duties that some with this position whereas the UK Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy and the Scottish Makar Liz Lochhead have no specific duties.

Anyway, it's a professorial role and since 2010 it's been Harry Clifton.


Professor Harry Clifton will repeat his inaugural lecture in the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies, UCD on Tuesday the 1st of March 2011 at 7.30pm.

To reserve a place, please email, Aoife Moynihan at

Could be really interesting and not well advertised.

Saturday 26 February 2011

Writing Workshop at Trinity with Hugo Hamilton

Each year the School of English at Trinity College Dublin and the Arts Council of Ireland offer a free writing workshop with the current TCD Writer Fellow.
This year it's Hugo Hamilton.

This year also the times are very strange. Anyone with a full time job (like the majority of writers) would struggle to make it. What's the reasoning behind this?

Hugo will be leading a workshop from 6pm–9pm and 10am–1pm on Friday and Saturday of the 25th and 26th March and Friday and Saturday of the 1st and 2nd April 2011.

Applicants should submit a single piece of prose not exceeding 1,000 words by post to the Oscar Wilde Centre no later than Friday, 18 March 2011.

Creative Writing Workshop
Oscar Wilde Centre
School of English
Trinity College Dublin
21 Westland Row, Dublin 2

For further information contact Lilian Foley, but note that no submissions by email will be accepted. All applicants will be notified by email as to whether or not they have been selected.

Friday 25 February 2011

Dublin Book Festival

The Dublin Book Festival is expanding again this year. This is an opportunity particularly for book publishers to do some promotion. The line up is a mixed bag (in a good way) with familiar and not so familiar names.

it runs from Wednesday 2nd March to Sunday 6th March

The Festival includes more than 50 readings, debates, book launches, workshops together with events for children, a special Festival Café at City Hall and the Festival Bookshop with offerings from Irish publishers.

My highlights, if I could go to all of these, would include:

Thursday 3rd MARCH
10.30: Treats for Kids – Pearse Street Library

6.30pm: Up for Discussion – The Gutter Bookshop
John Mooney, Barry Cummins, Abigail Rieley, Emer Connolly

Friday 4th MARCH
2.00: Come Celebrate – Launch Area, City Hall
An Anthology of New Writing By the MA in Creative Writing, UCD 2010

4.00: Come Celebrate – Launch Area, City Hall

Saturday 5TH MARCH
1.00: Writers’ Choice – Council Chamber, City Hall
Sarah Webb, Kevin Stevens chaired by Mags Walsh

1.15: Be Inspired – The Cube, Project Arts Centre
In Association with Dublin UNESCO City of Literature:
Peter Sirr, Gerard Smyth, Michael O’Loughlin, Iggy McGovern, Jessie Lendennie, Alan Jude Moore, Máighréad Medbh

2.00: Up for Discussion – Main Stage, City Hall
Gene Kerrigan, Niamh O’Connor, Paul Charles chaired by Declan Burke

3.10: Be Inspired – Main Stage, City Hall
Christine Dwyer Hickey, Martin Malone, Gerardine Burke, Billy O’Callaghan, chaired by Jack Harte

4.00: Up for Discussion – The Cube, Project Arts Centre
Ryan Tubridy, Diarmaid Ferriter, chaired by Susan Cahill

8.00pm: Evening Entertainment
– The Cube, Project Arts Centre
Performances by Totally Wired, Colm Keegan, Helene Hutchinson, Foil, Arms & Hog, Colm Liddy, Lennon v McCartney

The Good Room – The Mercantile, Dame Street All Day
Starting with a tea party extravaganza, there will be readings, Lady-dee nov’lists
swanning about in all their glory, literary heads having cosy chats with cuddly writer Brian Leyden, plus all the usual Good Room games such as ‘Bring Your Girl/Boyfriend to Meet The Mammy’ and silent scrabble with the Child Who Can Be Seen and Not Heard. Full programme with participating authors can be found at

Personally I'd love to participate in The Good Room. I may drop in with a new hat

Sunday 6TH MARCH
11.15: Come Celebrate – Main Stage, City Hall
with short readings to celebrate 21 years of the Rathmines Writers’ Workshop

12.15: Come Celebrate – Main Stage, City Hall
Anne Le Marquand Hartigan, Nessa O’Mahony, Maurice Harmon, Patrick Chapman

1.10: Be Inspired – Main Stage, City Hall
Claire Kilroy, Kevin Power, Caitríona Ní Chléirchín,
Proinsias Mac a’ Bhaird chaired by Dr. Adam Kelly

3.10: Writers’ Choice – Main Stage, City Hall
Kate Kerrigan, Mary Malone, Ivy Bannister, chaired by Vanessa O’Loughlin

4.00: Be Inspired – Main Stage, City Hall
Paul Soye, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Liam Carson, Yvonne Cassidy, chaired by Sinéad Mac Aodha

Thursday 24 February 2011

Poets to Check Out - Dylan Thomas

OK, this is a Volkswagon advert but just listen. Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas. I challenge you not to shiver.

From Under Milkwood, here is the 1963 BBC radio play is absolutely riveting. The words, that voice.

Slow black, slow black, crow black fishing boats...

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Cork Arts Theatre One Act Playwright awards


Cork Arts Theatre runs an annual playwright’s award hosted, organised and sponsored by the Theatre. To date over 800 new plays have been submitted and judged, over 150 have been performed and 6 have been published.

Submissions are now being accepted for our 2011 One Act Playwright Awards.

* Application form & a copy of the rules can be downloaded HERE . Six plays will be short-listed, for production.

* Deadline for entry is 29th April, 2011 and the cost is 25 euro per script.

* All writers will be invited to Writers Day, when they will receive a full adjudication of their work, and, short-listed plays will be announced. This will take place in early Autumn with production in November.

* Full technical support will be provided by our staff and we will engage production companies and directors to work with writers on scripts for staging.

* We have two different categories of Award: Established Writers (category A) and New Writers (category B). Both recicients of category A and category B Awards will receive a trophy, a prize of €100, and have their play produced.

* Six production companies will perform the plays during Writer's Week 2011 with each play getting a minimum of two airings.

They are also looking for Full Length Plays and 30-40 minute productions for lunchtimes. See here

Tuesday 22 February 2011

The Franco-Irish Literary Festival 2011

The Franco-Irish Literary Festival will be held for the twelfth consecutive year on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of April 2011 in the Coach House situated in Dublin Castle and in the Alliance Française.

Authors include Geneviève Brisac, Virginie Linhart, Phillippe Forest, Eric Fottorino, Véronique Ovaldé, Claude Arnaud (France), Mícheál Ó Conghaile, Siobhán Parkinson, Caitriona O’Reilly, John Banville, Macdara Woods, Harry Clifton, Keith Ridgway, Paul Murray (Ireland), David Homel (Québec), Julia Frank (Germany), Carlo Gébler (UK).

The theme of the twelfth edition of the Franco-Irish Literary Festival, Generations – Glúnta, will be discussed through four round-table discussions:

● Etre de son temps : Belonging to a generation - Cuid de ghlúin faoi leith

● Le temps de la révolte : Generation gaps - An deighilt idir ghlúnta

● Au fil du temps : Words in time - An briathar trí chriathar an ama

● Le temps après : The next generation - An ghlúin atá le teacht

Blog link here

There's also a writing competition, prizes are for a French course (for story or poem in English/Irish) or an Irish Writers Centre course (for French winner)
Free to enter.
Deadline: 15 March

Monday 21 February 2011

The Long and The Short of It

The Irish Writers Centre continue with their innovative initiatives. At this remove, maybe every arts organisation should have their funding cut to zero for a short while. Nothing like fear to get start thinking outside the box. (kidding) Wonder if, as an Irish Writers Centre, they're taking this round the country?

They are offering twelve short story writers a free Masterclass and a chance to use a writing space in the Irish Writers' Centre for the month of March.

John MacKenna will lead a discussion on the short-story - from garnering ideas to plotting the story; from the development of character to the setting of landscape. The session will focus on the discipline necessary to create and complete a piece of short fiction - how to forget the extreme ironing and concentrate on the writing. Through questions and answers and the sharing of experiences, the seminar will be a practical help in starting and finishing work. The masterclass will take place on Friday 4th March from 2-5pm.

* Not that innovative then. You have to take the day off work or hire a childminder...

To apply simply e-mail the opening paragraph of a short story on any theme (max 150 words) to along with a brief cover letter. The subject of the e-mail should be 'The Long and the Short of It'. No attachments please - all text should be in the body of the e-mail. The deadline is Monday February 28th at 12pm.

Sunday 20 February 2011

Amsterdam Otto Upstart spotted

Originally uploaded by UnkieDave

Amsterdam Otto Square Cut spotted in Dublin

Spring 2011 Library Late programme

At the National Library, Dublin.

I'm not sure who'll turn up for these evenings. I hope they're successful. usually these events are more literary and sombre. Now they're focusing on Popular Fiction.

Admission to all events is free, but tickets must be booked in advance here.

The Making of a Bestseller: Monday 28 February at 8pm

This first event in the series is a panel discussion chaired by broadcaster John Murray with author Monica McInerney, literary agent Faith O’Grady and Maria Dickenson of the Irish Booksellers Association.

Sheila O’Flanagan in conversation: Wednesday 30 March at 8pm

Join us to hear best-selling author Sheila O'Flanagan in conversation with broadcaster John Murray.

Sinéad Moriarty and Cathy Kelly in conversation: Tuesday 12 April at 8pm

Join us to hear authors Sinéad Moriarty and Cathy Kelly in conversation with broadcaster John Murray.

Friday 18 February 2011

International Women's Day: call for submissions

(Which one are you?)

As part of the celebrations organised for International Women's Day, the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies (CGWS) at Trinity College is hosting the Night of Prose Reading in Celebration of Women Writers.
The event will take place at CGWS in Trinity College on Wednesday, 9th March at 7.30pm. 

Specifically the event would like to promote as-yet-unpublished female writers. If you would like to present a piece of short fiction, please  email the work you wish to present -  with a short biography attached - to Eileen Cooney

This is great opportunity to be  a part of the International Women's Day 2011 celebrations and to champion women writers.

Don't know how unpublished that means.

Thursday 17 February 2011

Art in a Moleskin Notebook

I'm not sure about this idea from Kildare Arts. You have to pay for the notebook, fill it with your art and then KCC Arts own it? Come again?
Are they hoping for something like this for free?
Or this?

To coincide with the second Kildare Readers Festival, artists, at all stages of their development, are invited to participate in a KRF:1 Artist Notebook project, whereby artists are invited to fill a notebook in a creative way.

Each notebook is then donated to Kildare County Council Arts Service to become part of a permanent touring collection. It is envisaged the KRF:1 Artist Notebook Project will become a national event, growing the collection over time.


A5 Black Moleskine notebooks will be provided by Kildare County Council Arts Service at a charge of €15. Register your intention to participate and order your notebook from the Arts Service

You are invited to fill your notebook with writings, drawings, paintings, photographs, notes, collage, etc. Your book must remain within the dimensions of 5.5 x 8.5 inches. It can open up to something wonderful (of any size), but it must fold down to the original dimensions. You are welcome to unbind, rebind or alter the book in (almost) any other way. If you want to use a thicker stock of paper, please do.

Participants are free to alter, design and work on the cover of the notebook


· Applications from artists living and working abroad are welcome

· Once the completed notebooks are returned to the Arts Service, they shall become the property of Kildare County Council.

· Notwithstanding this, the intellectual property/ copyright remains with the Artist

· Each notebook returned will be catalogued by Kildare County Council, with the artist name. An inventory of participants, including contact details will be created by Kildare County Council and treated confidentially.

· Kildare County Council reserves the right to reproduce images and text from the notebooks for promotional purposes. All works that are reproduced will be credited to the artist.

· The themes are provided to act as stimulus for the project, but in no way is meant to be a restriction, so feel free to work beyond the suggested themes.

· Completed notebooks must be returned to the Arts Service before Wednesday 4th May 2011 to allow for cataloguing and exhibition display

· Participants should register interest by Friday 18th March 2011.


"It was Beauty killed the Beast." King Kong (1933)
"Magic Mirror on the Wall, who is the Fairest one of all?" Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
"Fiddle-dee-dee." Gone With the Wind (1939)
"I'm melting, mellllllting..." The Wizard of Oz (1939)
"One's too many an' a hundred's not enough!" The Lost Weekend (1945)
"Well, nobody's perfect." Some Like It Hot (1959)
"It's SHOWTIME!" All That Jazz (1979)
"The horror...the horror." Apocalypse Now (1979)
"Say hello to my little friend!" Scarface (1983)
"Be afraid. Be very afraid." The Fly (1986)
"If you build it, he will come." Field of Dreams (1989)
"You can't handle the truth!" A Few Good Men (1992)
"To infinity - and Beyond." Toy Story (1995)
"One meeeellion dollars." Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
"All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again." Narrator; Peter Pan (1953)
“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow” Shakespeare's Macbeth
“Such stuff as dreams are made on” Shakespeare’s The Tempest

For further information or to register to participate in the KFR:1 project, contact:
Kildare County Council Arts Service, Riverbank, Newbridge, Co Kildare.
Tel:045-448328, Email:

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Windsor Fringe Marriott Drama Writing Award

They're looking for one act plays in Windsor.

Amateur playwrights are invited to submit unpublished one-act plays for the eighth £500 Windsor Fringe Marriott Drama Writing Award.

Deadline: 3 March 2011

The three winning scripts will be selected for performances during Drama Nights at the Windsor Fringe on 6, 7 and 8 October 2011. One of the three scripts will be chosen, purely on the writing, for the £500 prize.

Does that mean the other two get no money?

Submitted scripts must not have been previously published or performed.

Link here.

A £5 reading fee will be charged per entry. Snailmail only.

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Poets to Check Out - Philip Larkin


Not influenced that he was born in Coventry or that we 'did' him for O-level.

Monday 14 February 2011

Poetry Bus Valentine

The Poetry Bus this week is driven by Dana. I chose the sofas picture but also I was inspired by someone who said they walked on a lake for the first time this week (but now I can't find who it was that said that. Anyone recognise themselves?)
Ah, it was Rachel Fox at Views from elsewhere.

Taken down now for rework. Thanks for your lovely comments

Sunday 13 February 2011

Agents get in on the workshop market

Following in Faber's money-making (presumably) footsteps, Curtis Brown literary agency

Curtis Brown Creative is a new creative writing school run by the Curtis Brown Literary Agency. We’ll be running our first three-month novel-writing course from May-July this year, to be taught by me and novelist Jake Arnott.

Curtis Brown Creative is the first and only creative writing school to be run by a leading literary agency. For our initial 3-month novel-writing course we aim to draw on our expertise to help 15 new writers shape vibrant debut novels for today’s competitive marketplace.

It will run from Thursday May 5th until Thursday July 21st 2011 at Curtis Brown’s central London offices, with weekly creative writing workshops on Thursday evenings and five extra evening sessions featuring external speakers and individual mentoring.

We welcome applications from writers working on or just starting writing a novel.

The course fee of £1,600 per student is payable, in full, by bank transfer or cheque. Funds must reach our bank account by April 4th 2011 at the latest.
How do I apply for this novel-writing course?

Your applications must comprise:

Your completed application form
The opening chapter or approximately 3,000 words from the start of your novel-in-progress
A one-page synopsis of your novel.

Applications must be received no later than Tuesday March 1st 2011.

For further information, please visit their website

Faber Academy

I know a few people who have done the Faber Academy workshops. And I've had other people ask me and others, if it's worth the money. I couldn't say but if anyone wants to do a guest post about it who knows, let me know.

The price has gone down as has the length. This one's in London. As far as I know, the Irish ones cost more, if they go ahead.

There's also an interesting debate on why you would go on a creative writing course here from Elizabeth Baines and Marcel Theroux's view here and Sue Gee here.

What do you think? A route to publication or a money-making exercise?

GETTING STARTED 2011 with Marcel Theroux and Sue Gee
The Faber Academy's hugely successful four month course for new and aspiring writers returns to Bloomsbury House starting 21st February 2011.

What is the point of writing?
Where does a story begin?
What makes a character take up his bed and walk?

These are the vital questions that any new author needs to think about and with the expert guidance of Marcel Theroux and Sue Gee, you will tackle them head on.

And then on to technique: plotting and point of view; developing character, shaping scenes; creating texture through imagery, atmosphere and sense of place; pace, tension, contrast.

As well as weekly sessions, there are two Saturday sessions which run from 10am to 5pm, where you can really get down to the nitty gritty of plotting and character. And on the 21st May, you will be joined by Justin Cartwright, Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist, for an afternoon of inspiring anecdote, writing exercises and invaluable question and answer.

If you have been thinking about writing, but never got around to starting – I wouldn't know where to begin! I simply don't have the time! I can't do it alone! – then it could be that Getting Started is just what you need. Visit the links below for an in-depth discussion on the purpose of creative writing, and the value of having a learning environment to do it in. Because thinking about writing is not writing. Only writing is writing.

When: Classes take place on Monday evenings, between 7pm and 9pm.

Where: At the Bloomsbury offices of Faber and Faber on Great Russell Street, London.

Course cost: £1750. Deposit of £500 due on booking; balance due in two monthly payments of £625 taken March and April.

For more information, or to book, web

Saturday 12 February 2011

Valentines Day Massacre/ Love In

There's a tranche of lovely, slushy, warm-hearted poets reading for Free at the Irish Writers Centre this Valentines Day.

An evening of favourite love poems, prose and work from the following writers; Chris Binchy, Juliet Bressan, Mia Gallagher, Paul Grattan, Tom Mathews, Aifric MacAodha, Nessa O'Mahony, Gerard Smyth, and Macdara Woods.

Sounds Delish!

14 February @ 6.30pm
Irish Writers' Centre, 19 Parnell Square North, D1

Friday 11 February 2011

Guest Post - on Creative Writing Workshops

Do you have a resolution to get to a workshop? A class? A masterclass? An academy? A course?

Last month many will have signed up for creative writing classes. With every year that passes, more and more soldiers join what Patrick Kavanagh called the ‘standing army’ of Irish poets, and more legions are also added to the ranks of fiction writers, as judges of writing competitions and editors of literary journals will testify. Having attended several of these classes myself over the last fifteen years, and having experienced significant benefit from most of them, I speak as a fan. There are plenty of them on offer, from night classes in the local VEC to national organisations such as the Irish Writers’ Centre, and there seems to be no shortage of new teachers and workshops setting up shop, even during this current recession. Irish literary ambition, it would seem, is in constant supply.

As a student in classes over the last fifteen years, I have found that sharing my work with, and getting feedback from, experienced teachers and motivated peers to be very helpful, especially once you get over the beginner’s hump of taking comments on your poem/story personally. I’ve also had the privilege of leading workshops in haiku poetry for the last dozen years to students aged 8 to 80. It’s very gratifying as a teacher to see someone’s writing form - and confidence - improve and develop with encouragement and guidance.

But when is a creative writing class not a creative writing class? The solution to this koan, in contrast to Shakespeare’s rose, does lie in the name. Based on my own experience and the anecdotal evidence of other ‘emerging’ writers, the titles of certain courses or workshops smell sweeter to some prospective punters than to others. For instance, if you call a creative writing class a class, a course or a workshop, it will usually be attended by a majority of women. However, if you call it a Masterclass or an Academy, there is more likely to be a gender balance. It appears that male wannabe published writers are more drawn towards classes with prestigious titles, as are some of their female counterparts.

A parallel development takes place in creative writing groups or workshops, the more democratic - and less expensive – fora, where writers gather to share and critique works of fiction and/or poetry. These also tend to be populated more by women, with one major exception: groups (or events) which have a strong focus on performance. The prospect of a microphone tends to lure male poets and writers out of their garrets where the humble workshop fails.

The complex equation of inputs and outputs is crucial in the development of any writer, whether published or unpublished. It is interesting to note that the preferences for these seem to be largely influenced by gender, in this country at least.

Maeve O’Sullivan’s poetry and haiku have been widely published, and her first collection of haiku, ‘Initial Response’, is forthcoming from Alba Publishing in April. She is a member of Haiku Ireland, the Poetry Divas and the Hibernian Poetry Workshop. She and Kim Richardson will lead their annual residential workshop in ‘Creating from Within, Haiku and Mindfulness’, at the Anam Cara retreat in West Cork in August You can also find her on Twitter @maeveos.

Thursday 10 February 2011

Kildare and Kerry County Council Arts Service Awards 2011

Individual artists, art groups, and community projects from Co Kildare may apply for the Arts Act Grant Scheme

‘Arts’ means any creative or interpretative expression (whether traditional or contemporary) in whatever form, and includes, in particular, visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture, and includes any medium when used for those purposes

Assistance shall be given only in respect of a specific body of work, project, exhibition, activity or event that would, in the opinion of the Council, stimulate public interest in the arts, provide the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts, or assist in improving the standard and development of the arts taking place in 2011.

The Cecil Day Lewis Literary Bursary Award is open to both established and emerging writers and critics (critics?) in all genres to enable
• Research : towards the production of new writings
• Formal or informal training : Participation in a professional or post-graduate course, mentoring, or other initiative, which will expand existing practice

The bursary award is € 2,500.

Tyrone Guthrie Centre Residency Bursary Award
Two bursary awards will be made to artists from all fields born or living in Co Kildare to enable them to spend 2 weeks at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, the artists workplace in Monaghan.

Deadline: 5.00PM FRIDAY 18th MARCH 2011

Link here where you can download the form.

They also do:

Artists in Schools Residency Bursary Award
Dance Summer School Bursary Awards
Local Publishing Award

Kerry is much the same.
Deadline: 4.00p.m., Wednesday, 2nd March 2011
Link here

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Films about Writers

Have you seen some or all of these? Click on the photo to buy them on Amazon.

Shakespeare in Love

Let's start with one of the best. Fantasy fills in the blanks in the immortal Bard's less than perfectly documented history. 1999. Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush. Fab script by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard.

Becoming Jane

About Jane Austen - haven't seen this. Anyone else? 2006 Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy. I like him!

Wonder Boys

Michael Douglas as a failing writer on campus. Based on the novel by Michael Chabon. It's OK. Not great.

84 Charing Cross Road

Ann Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, 1986. Based on a true story as a series of letters by Helen Hanff. Sweet decade-spanning period piece. I cried.

Finding Forrester

Sean Connery, Anna Paquin, 2000. Sean as a reclusive writer. Not re-watchable. More about American so-called classless society and race than writing.

Finding Neverland

Johnny Depp, Kate Winslett. Definitely rewatchable, Fantasy meets reality and small boys who aren't ready to grow up.


Phillip Seymour Hoffman, 2005. Haven't seen this either but would like to. I read Truman Copote very young and was hugely impressed. I'm scared to re-read it in case I don't think it's as good anymore.


Laugh a minute story of poet Sylvia Plath. Not. Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig, 2003.


About CS Lewis. ...a heart awakened to great love is also opened to great pain. Not my cup of tea, frankly. Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, 1993.

Barton Fink

Coen Brothers. Just watched this. Surreal but how close to Hollywood life is it? Super cast. John Goodman, John Turturro, 1991

There are also some classic films where a minor side plot is a character waiting to hear back from their agent. Very true to life.


Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, your one from Grey's Anatomy, 2004. Re-watching this now. Love the humour, the relationships, the Not Merlot, the publishing subplot.

Little Miss Sunshine

Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear. What's not to like? Disfunctional family travels in a disfunctional van from Albuquerque to California for a beauty pageant. Plus Greg Kinnear cannot get his book published.

Here's some more. Any glaring omissions or recommendations?

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Contrary Submissions

I am not a huge fan of online mags, as you may have gathered, but this one pays.

Next submission deadline 1st March

Also fiction, commentary and other. I wonder what other is? How other it is?

Monday 7 February 2011

Laois Arts Grants

Another one.

The Arts Department have a number of awards and opportunites currently available to Arts Organisations, schools and Individuals. Including Arts Act Grants, The Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary and the Artists in Schools Scheme.

Persons born or living in the county will be eligible to apply for the Laois County Council Residential Bursary.

Link here

Deadline: Thursday 24th February 2011 before 5pm

Sunday 6 February 2011

London-Irish Literary Agents

There was in interesting feature by Catherine Heaney in The Gloss (The Irish Times magazine) last week. Mostly it was nothing we hadn't heard before.

mentions of the Irish agents Faith O’Grady, Marianne Gunn O’Connor and the usually gloomy Jonathan Williams who last year received over 2,800 submissions.
'the standard hasn’t necessarily improved. I think the sad fact is that there are more people writing than reading.’

which I doubt.

But it also mentioned some London Based Irish agents:
  • Peter Straus at Rogers, Caleridge & White (Colm Toibin, Pual Durcan and Hugo Hamilton as well as up and coming writer Belinda McKeon who has her debut out this year)
  • Ivan Mulcahy at Mulcahy Conway Associates (Hugo Arnold and Domini Kemp), 
  • Ed Victor (Edna O’Brien, John Banville and U2) 
  • Derek Johns at AP Watt (Sebastian Barry, Dermot Bolger, Nick Laird and Paul Murray)
Sarah Webb has also written a blog post on why she chose a London based agent, Philippa Milnes-Smith and Peta Nightingale at Lucas Alexander Whitley.

Galway Arts Grants

Check your local county for Arts Grants opportunity. Read the requirements carefully.

Closing Date: 24 February 2011

Link here.

Applications are invited by the Arts Office for our 2011 Artist Bursary awards. This fund provides funding to individual artists. Galway County Council will offer bursaries of €500 to a maximum of €3000, in respect of the professional development of individual artists practicing in any of the artistic disciplines. Funding will be allocated towards;
• Further educational or training opportunities.
• Development of new work (recording, exhibitions, residency, publication…etc)
• Opportunities to facilitate a significant shift in direction of work.

Bursaries will be awarded on the basis of artistic merit over any other factors.
Recipients of an award will receive monies in 2 instalments. 50% will be provided on receipt of a letter stating that you will be accepting the award. The remaining 50% will be provided on receipt of a full report on the activity in respect of which funding has been sought and evidence of expenditure.

• Applicants must be domiciled within Galway County Council’s administrative area.
• The work in respect of which funding is sought must be of high artistic merit.
• You should demonstrate efforts to secure income from other sources.
• You must have procedures in place for the documentation and evaluation of the work you are carrying out.

• Artistic ambition and excellence.
• Quality of artistic samples.
• Quality of proposed artistic project
• Potential impact on individual’s artistic or artistic development.
• Involve the support of recognised artist/(s) or arts or artistic institution.
• Documentary evidence regarding planned project (e.g. acceptance on symposium, contract with mentor).
• Project must take place by 30 November 2011

Saturday 5 February 2011

Commonwealth Short Story Competition

The Commonwealth Short Story Competition is an annual scheme to promote new creative writing for radio, funded and administered by the Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.

Entry is open to all Commonwealth citizens aged 19 and over to send in original, unpublished short stories for radio.

The 2011 Commonwealth Short Story Competition will open for entry via the online entry form from 15 January to 1 March 2011.

Entries should be original, unpublished, in English and no more than 600 words in length. Entries can be on any subject, but there will be a special award for entries relating to the 2011 Commonwealth theme, ‘Women as Agents of Change’ and a special award for a short story for children.
You can see the 2010 winners and find out more on the website here.

They also have some very useful tips for writing for radio here.

Friday 4 February 2011

Galway Over The Edge Poetry Book Showcase

What a line up! If you're anywhere near, get to Galway on Friday 11th February.

The 2011 Over The Edge Poetry Book Showcase featuring Mary Mullen, Aideen Henry, Tom Duddy, Brendan Murphy, Mary Madec, Louis de Paor, Colette NicAodha, Sarah Clancy, Breid Sibley, Elaine Cosgrove, Geraldine Mitchell, Edward Boyne, Johnny B. Broderick, Sean Lysaght, Gerry Galvin, Geraldine Mills, Kevin Higgins, Elaine Feeney & Susan Millar DuMars

(Confession, I think I've been mixing up the two Geraldines for years. Sorry ladies)

Where: Café 8 @ The Museum, Spanish Arch, Galway
When: Friday, February, 11th at 8pm.

In this annual retrospective of the year just past, every Galway-based poet who published a new collection of poems during 2010 is invited to read three poems from the collection in question. There will also be short readings from the anthologies Dogs Singing (Salmon Poetry), Behind The Masks (Galway Arts Centre Advanced Poetry Workshop) and Three Times Daily (NUI Galway MA in Writing class of 2009)

All welcome. There is no cover charge.