Sunday 30 December 2012

Francis MacManus Short Story Competition

It's a competition to write a short story for the ear, for the radio. That's not the same as a story on the page. Read your story out loud. Remember your audience can't go back to check a detail. Think lyric, rhythmic.

  • The competition is open to anyone born or resident in Ireland.
  • Only one entry per person is allowed.
  • Entries must be original work of the author and not previously published or broadcast.
  • Stories must be between 1,800 - 2,000 words.
  • Entries should be double spaced and type written on one side of A4 paper.
  • The Authors name should only appear on the official entry form.
Deadline: 21st January 2013

There is no Entry Fee for Submission. Free

Entries should be posted or delivered to:
                                                                RTE Radio 1 Short Story Competition
                                                                RTE Radio Centre
                                                                Dublin 4
Application and details here

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Next Big Thing

This a pass the parcel sort of a blog post, a challenge passed to me from the lovely poet Nessa O'Mahony here.
Have a read. She's discussing her next collection Her Father's Daughter. Then you can continue backwards to Noel Duffy to Colin Bell and so on.

I dithered for a while whether to answer about my novel or my poetry collection but the poetry is much closer to the finish line so I went with that.

1) What is the working title of your next book?
It keeps changing. Sometimes Good Sherry Trifle, after a poem title and a painting by a German painter, sometimes Dancer Cows Crossing from a line in another poem. A title should reflect the theme of the book, the mood but a first collection is written over a much longer time period than subsequent and I'm finding it hard to pin down. Maybe A Box Full Of Love or Opening The Box or Moon Water. The jury is still out.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I started writing poetry when I did a creative writing class and the teacher, the late Stuart Lane, made me. I came back with a sonnet which was the first poem I'd written since school. My English teacher had put me off poetry for decades.
And once you have some publications, prizes and poems you are proud of, you want them to go out into the world. But not too soon. I've read a good few first collections that, in my humble opinion, are not ready. Not cooked, still a bit raw on the inside and not in a good way, in an indigestible way.
So I've held back and kept at it, writing, doing readings, sending out, publishing. last year, moth editions published a poetry pamphlet, a dinky book called Some Poems (still available, €4 or £4 a bargain) and that went really well. We had to reprint. Now I have sheaves of poems that I think would work well between covers.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Um, poetry?
I do feel I have my own voice. I would be more upbeat than a lot of poets. Not always of course. That would just be wearying and dishonest but I do like to see the positive where I can. I also have a science bent that pops out in unexpected places. I am well read but not an academic poet.
I write as an immigrant so I do have the advantage of seeing some parts of contemporary life from the outside. I work full time and have a family and these parts of my life come into my poems too. Of course, there are universal themes, love, children, inadequacies and feminism but also there's Facebook, honey roasted parsnips, spicy wine and the economic crisis.
Some poems are in form, some are written to be read out loud but most are carefully honed free verse.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of the characters in the movie rendition?
Are there any movies based on poems? There's a thought.
Damien Lewis (Homeland) would be perfect for the poem Flaming For Vincent.
Otto from Amsterdam Otto recommends could be Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock).
This is fun. What else?
Fred Astaire is already in The Full Experience
My Mother in While It Lasted could be played by Alison Steadman and my Dad by Colin Firth.

5) What is a one-line synopsis of your book?
Opening the Box to find thoughts, worries, incidents and joy from contemporary life.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?
No. I don't see the point in self-published poetry. And agents who represent poets at the start of their careers are...rare as moon water.
I'd be extremely happy if a prominent poetry publisher in Ireland or in the UK were to publish me. Call me! Tweet me! Read my manuscript!

7) How long did it take you to write a first draft of the manuscript?
The oldest poem in the collection is probably ten years old. The youngest would be this autumn. I spend a lot of time with each poem, honing, changing, looking for the exact right word, the syllables, the sound, rhymes, half rhymes where rhymes add something. References to science, film, cartoon, songs, Greek Gods etc are carefully chosen. And if the reader doesn't get them, the poem will still stand on its own.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'd like to think I am the new Wendy Cope or Sophie Hannah when she still did poetry but I don't write so much in form. Carol Ann Duffy? Except not so prolific. If someone paid me just to write poetry, I would be so much more prolific. Except sometimes you can get too locked inside your head. Work gets you out the door and into the real world.
>Also love e e cummings and the way he plays with words and lines and grammar. He has fun and still gets the serious things out there.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The late Stuart Lane triggered my dip into poetry. Otherwise it's just life, listening to people on the train, looking out of the window, arguing with my nearest and dearest and the outlaws, reading contemporary poetry and fiction and watching tv and films and going to art galleries and eating and drinking and dancing and going to festivals.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Where else could you find a massive crush on Vincent Van Gogh, conga-ing cows, silhouettes of ponderosa pines, shrivelled conkers, bloody arm stumps, the buckled end of a belt, Monaghan mosquitos, Schrodinger's Cat, bubbles of ashes, a mashed potato contest and a box full of love?
Dip in, the water's lovely.

I have now taken off one more layer and am passing the parcel to the very talented poet JoAnne McKay.
JoAnne is an Essex native who has lived in Dumfriesshire for the past 14 years. She grew up in a slaughterhouse in Romford, and her first career was as a police officer in Bristol.
JoAnne published her first poetry pamphlet, 'The fat plant', in 2009. Her pamphlet Venti was runner up in the 2011 Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. She is currently studying at the University of Glasgow, between paid employment and bringing up her family.
She blogs often and interestingly at Titus The Dog.
She's looking to get her post up on or around 7th January 2013.

Monday 24 December 2012

2013 Cardiff International Poetry Competition

A biggie. Line up your poem-ist poems.

The judges in the 2013 Cardiff International Poetry Competition areformer Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion and National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke alongside Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch.

The first prize-winner will walk away with a cheque for £5,000 for just one poem.
Further prizes available are £500 for second place, £250 for third plus five runners up will receive £50 each.

The closing date for the competition is Friday 15 February 2013
The competition is accessible to all; it doesn't matter if you are an established poet or just dabble with verse now and then. All entries to the competition will be judged anonymously, so this is a great opportunity to have your poetry judged on its own merits.

Just make sure your poem is no longer than 50 lines, is unpublished, in English and is not a translation of another authors work, then send it, along with your entry form and payment, to Literature Wales.

The 2013 Cardiff International Poetry Competition is administered by Literature Wales and supported by Cardiff Council, follow it on Twitter @LitWales hashtag is #CIPC13

For more information visit http://www.literaturewales. org/cipc/

Saturday 22 December 2012

Doire Press Short Story competition

Doire Press have a competition for short stories to be published in a chapbook. It has the whiff of vanity publishing about it, only a whiff but buyer beware. It may be what you're looking for. Especially with the lack of outlets for short stories.

Doire Press is pleased to announce 2013 International Fiction Chapbook Competition

Winners will each receive 75 copies of their own professionally edited and printed chapbook published by Doire Press. Chapbooks will be perfect-bound, contain up to 40 pages, feature colour front and back covers, as well as their own ISBN and barcode.

Ten shortlisted entries will be included in an anthology.

Entries: one short story (3,000 words max)

Deadline: January 9th, 2013

Submission Guidelines:
Euro 10 for first entry, Euro 8 for each additional entry.
Cheques or money orders to be made payable to Doire Press.
Entry fees can also be paid via Paypal through the Doire Press website.
Email submissions will also be accepted with an additional €1 printing fee per entry email

Send entries via postal mail to: Doire Press, Aille, Inverin, County Galway, Ireland.

Entries must include cover page with full contact information and title of story. Entrants name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.

To read the full list of contest guidelines, submit via email or to pay by Paypal, please visit our website at

Thursday 20 December 2012

Stinging Fly Submission Guidelines

The Stinging Fly have changed their submission guidelines. I wonder why? Maybe one submission period meant the magazine was less in the spotlight for the rest of the year.

During 2013 The Stinging Fly will accept submissions in February, June and October. We will effectively, from now on, be working two issues in advance. Submissions received in February 2013 will be considered for our October issue (Winter 2013–14); June 2013 submissions will be read for our Spring 2014 issue; October 2013 submissions will be read for our Summer 2014 issue.

The editors remain the same though it appears.

Details here

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Ballymaloe Poetry Prize

It's close to the deadline if you are going to enter this. 31st December 2013

Details here

It's alsways useful to check previous winners and if you don't have the right Moth Magazine issue 8, here are some links.

Winner Bourdon by Paul McMahon

2nd Prize: I Crept Out by Sarah Clancy. (Facebook)

3rd Prize: The Fisherman (Facebook) by Lydia Macpherson

The Commended poems are in Issue 9.

Vico on The State (facebook) by Laurence O’Dwyer

Soldier and Piano’ by Kona Macphee

and ‘Girl with a Bag in Barcelona’ by Adam Wyeth
Note: The editor of The Moth will read everything, and then pass on a long longlist to the judge. Leontia Flynn.

Monday 17 December 2012

The Abandoned Darlings

The Abandoned Darlings invite you to come celebrate the launch of our anthology!

The anthology will be launched by very special guest EVA BOURKE
and will feature readings by some of the Abandoned Darlings.

And just to get you into the Christmas mood there will be mulled wine and mince pies!
So come join us for an evening of poetry, prose and Christmas festivities!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012
The launch takes place in upstairs in Busker Brownes at 18:30

See Galway Advertiser article

The anthology features poetry, fiction, and non-fiction set in harsh Russian winters, the Irish midlands, the Atlantic, and the Americas.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Uniquely Dublin International Competition

This is an all encompassing competition but includes an entry of up to 100 words. So get writing!

People from all over the world are invited to celebrate Dublin in a way that is compelling, innovative and popular. From a few simple words to short films, the competition is open to everyone, amateurs and professionals alike.

We're looking for entries that celebrate Dublin today. If you have something original to say, we want to hear it. Show us something that surprises or delights us. It could be a cartoon of your favourite character or a poem on Sandymount Strand. It could be a poster for the new Dublin or a piece of local slang as we've never seen or heard it before. It could be a painting, a slogan, a piece of propaganda or even a song. Make us look at Dublin with fresh eyes. Your eyes.

All you have to do is make a piece of work in one of the competition categories and send it to us. Works will be shortlisted by our distinguished panel of judges and then the public will decide the overall winner.

Why Enter?Not only will you have a say in Dublin's identity, but your work could be seen by thousands of people, and there are loads of prizes to be won.

There will be an exhibition of the winning entries in the Little Museum of Dublin in April 2013, submissions will be shown on billboards all over Dublin City, and prizes for the best work, including €10,000 for the overall winner and €1,000 for each of the category winners!

How to EnterThere are seven categories in which work can be entered; Film, Animation, Photography, Graphic Design, Written Word, Visual Arts and Music.

Entries must be sent by email. Please see the relevant category page for entry requirements and how to submit a work.
Entries will be accepted until January 28th 2013

Category Guidelines

Entries must be no longer than two minutes in length, of broadcast quality, and ideally in widescreen (16:9) ratio. All film entries must possess model release forms where applicable. Entries may be submitted by Dropbox only, and in both full HD and web optimised formats - contact for access.

Entries must be no longer than two minutes in length, of broadcast quality, and ideally in widescreen (16:9) ratio. Animation of any kind (digital, stop-motion, hand drawn) is accepted. Entries may be submitted by Dropbox only, and in both full HD and web optimised formats - contact for access.

Photographs may be colour or black and white, digital or film, and must be 300 DPI A3 portrait or landscape format. Entries must be submitted via email to

Graphic Design
Entries must be in hi-res pdf format, with all fonts outlined, CMYK, or hi resolution TIFF files - A3 landscape or portrait. If chosen for exhibition, entrant may be asked to provide artwork for display size larger than A3. Entries can be submitted via email only to

Written Word
Each entry must be no longer than 100 words long. Entries must be submitted via email to

Visual Arts
One single piece of painting, drawing, sculpture or handcraft. Work must be documented thoroughly. That documentation will form the basis of initial appraisal of the work. If chosen for exhibition, entrant will be required to deliver actual artwork to the Little Museum of Dublin on a pre-arranged date. In the first instance photos of work must be submitted via email to

One single piece of music, must be no longer than four minutes in length. Entrants must provide a high-quality audio recording (stereo 44khz minimum). Entries must be submitted by email only to

All entries must be submitted as per the category instructions. All entries will be acknowledged by email: if you do not receive an acknowledgement your entry has not been received. No entries posted or delivered to any of the competition patrons will be accepted.
For more information, visit

Friday 14 December 2012

Paradise Lost Reading

Friday 14 December starting at 10am 
Trinity College Dublin presents a reading of Paradise Lost aid of the National Council for the Blind of Ireland  
featuring including Seamus Heaney, Harry Clifton, Gerald Dawe, Seamus Heaney, Dave Lordan, Thomas Luxon, Iggy McGovern, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, David Norris, Michael O'Loughlin, Nessa O'Mahony, Eve Patten, Patrick Prendergast, Gerard Smyth, Joseph Woods, Macdara Woods and many more.
Graduate Memorial Building, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2

Monday 10 December 2012


Yes, it's that time of year again. And again I am a little late starting. Time is creeping on. Others are well on in their plans. Others have planned already and prepared. And as the lesser of the two instigators, I am honor bound to paticipate. But never fear, I am up to the task.

It's International Put Your Poem In A Shop Month.

(And Ireland are falling behind!)

Come on peeps. Write it, Put It, Photo it and Post it.

This year Titus has graciously volunteered to host. See here for a much better description about it.

So here's mine.
I was in London at the weekend and I was struck how friendly people were. Friendlier than I was used to. I'm wondering if it is the Olympics spirit that has kept on. When I was in Trafalgar Square, there was a lovely carol concert for the volunteers.

Since the Olympics

Now's the time for festive cheer
but London's friendly all the year
since last July it's our good luck
the volunteer spirit stuck.

I wrote it on a napkin from Pret a Manger and left it in said establishment in London City Airport.

So I don't know where Titus wants to count it!
I'm English.
I left it in England
I was going to Ireland.
I blog in Ireland.


Teaching Creativity Course

Teaching Creativity Teaching Creativity is an innovative new course in which anyone interested in becoming a teacher of Creative Writing can acquire the fundamental skills and inspiration to do so.

The module will be taught by poet Dave Lordan on behalf of The Irish Centre for Poetry Studies at the Mater Dei Institute, and will cover the teaching of creative writing in primary, secondary, adult and community contexts, areas in which he has acquired an abundance of experience over the years.

As well as boosting the CVs of participants and enhancing their teaching abilities, it will also provide specific opportunities for particular groups of people: Qualified teachers will discover new inspiration for the integration of creativity into the design and delivery of curriculum, as well as how to design a short course in creative writing, enabling a confident response to the increased emphasis on creativity in the Junior Cert, for example. Community educators and youth workers will be able to develop the potential for incorporating creativity into their work. Writers, both aspiring and established, can develop the skills that will enable them to do creative teaching work that will complement their craft.

Participants will be asked to produce a short course and lesson plans. A certificate will be issued to all participants.

The course can also be taken for credit as part of MDI’s Masters in Poetry Studies, as long as an expanded assessment piece is presented.

The module will be taught over four Saturdays at the Mater Dei Institute: January 19th, February 2nd, March 9th and April 13th.
Sessions will run from 9.45a.m- 12.45p.m.

The course fee is 200 euro.

The module co-ordinator, Michael Hinds, is happy to answer any

Saturday 8 December 2012

Strokestown International Poetry Award

I have never got anywhere with this competition though I've sent them some of my very best stuff. I wonder are the submissions pre-selected? I'm not bitter. No. No.

The Strokestown International Poetry Award is awarded for a poem in English not exceeding 70 lines, has a first prize of €3000, a second prize of €1500 and a third prize of €1000.

The judges this year are Iggy McGovern and Michael Schmidt for English. for Duais Cholmcille, Caoimhín Mac Giolla Leith; and for the inaugural Percy French Prize for Comic Verse, Eleanor Tiernan

Deadline: January 25th 2013
For more information, click here.

Thursday 6 December 2012

Gifts for Writers

Wondering what to get the writer in your life for Christmas? Or for me? Here's some ideas.

A beautiful notebook    

and a lovely pen or pencil

A Booker Prize winning book (or three)
Chocolates for inspiration or a word game or both together

A literary mug for tea. Also suitable for coffee, hot chocolate...
A Kindle

A really good book for your Kindle.

A really good dinky little poetry book

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Poetry Ireland Introductions

The Poetry Ireland Introduction Series aims to showcase emerging talent by offering a paid, public reading to poets workingtowards a first collection, and with a track record of publication injournals and magazines.

To apply for the Introductions series in Spring 2013, send no more than ten pages of poems and a short biographical note emphasising publication credits to: Introductions, Poetry Ireland, 32 Kildare St, D2

Deadline: Monday 7 January 2013.

This year Doghouse Books in Co Kerry has agreed to read (without commitment from publisher or poet) the shortlisted Introductions readers, with a view to publishing one full collection within the following year.


Saturday 1 December 2012


Kaleidoscope : A night of Music and Poetry
Featuring: Maya Homburger on violin, Barry Guy on double bass, Siobhan Armstrong on Harp, Benjamin Dwyer on Guitar, and Lucas Niggli on percussion, with poetry by Paul Perry

Curated by Maya Homburger and Barry Guy
The Odessa Cluib, 13 Dame Court, Dublin 2.
Wednesday December 5th, 2012. Doors @ 8.30pm, Music @ 9pm.

Tickets available from the Odessa Club on 016703080 - priced €10 (including €2 booking fee).

Kaleidoscope night, described by the Irish Times “one of those life-saving, spirit-lifting, pioneering Cultural Ventures we keep hearing about” brings a vibrant, dynamic musical experience to audiences and performers. Innovative and imaginative programming offers a diverse range of music from ancient to contemporary and experimental in a relaxed, intimate and beautiful setting.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Ropes Submissions

From the blog of Michael Farry here.

ROPES is a literary journal published every year by the students of the MA in Literature and Publishing in NUI Galway. It is now open for submissions on the theme, 'Coming of Age'.

All proceeds from the journal go to the youth mental health charity JIGSAW.  This is a great opportunity for writers to be published and it is in aid of a good cause!

Deadline Monday 14 January 2013.

To submit, go here. Queries to

Link to the poster. They are on Facebook here.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Donegal Creameries & North West Words 2012 Poetry Competition

This new poetry prize offers the Donegal Creameries Perpetual Cup with €250 in prize money for the winning poem.

The judge for the competition is Kate Newmann (Director, Summer Palace Press).

The prize is open to anyone over 18 years of age. Each poem submitted must be the original work of the author.

Entries must not have been previously published in any media, self-published, broadcast and/or won any competition.

 Deadline: Friday, 7 December 2012.
Further information and full competition details are available on North West Words' Facebook page.

Note you have to post.

Fee: €5 per entry of up to 3 poems.

Monday 26 November 2012

Reading For Simon

Soundings For Simon is a fund-raising evening of poetry 
The Bad Ass Café, Dublin 
7 pm Tuesday 27th November.

Guest Poets include Paula Meehan, Seamus Cashman, Eileen Casey, Tom Conaty, Maggie O’Dwyer, Una Ni Chealaig, Kerrie O’Brien, Jane Clarke, Daragh Bradish and more.

Tickets € 13 includes glass of wine/mineral/coffee and finger food.

Also in Letterkenny  
8pm Thursday 29th November 2012,

Shirley McClure, Jane Clarke and Win McNulty will be reading their poetry alongside singer-songwriter, Miffy Hoad, at North West Words

Café Blend, Letterkenny

Free in.

Sunday 25 November 2012

Poetry Divas at DkIT

Look out Dundalk, the Poetry Divas are coming. And we're bringing our very own honorary Divo, Michael Farry.

Michael Farry is a retired primary teacher.His poetry is in journals in Ireland and abroad, and was selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions, 2011. In 2009 he was third in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry MS Competition, shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Competition and the Plough Prize. Doghouse Books published his first collection, Asking for Directions, 2012

See the article in the Dundalk Democrat.

The Poetry Divas are coming to DkIT for a gig at the Mac Anna Theatre in DKIT, Wednesday, November 28th, from 6.30-8.15pm. The evening will be hosted by DKIT’s new Writer-in-residence Ferdia Mac Anna, author of The Last of the High Kings and The Rocky Years.

The Poetry Divas have performed at the Festival of the Fires, Liss Ard and the Electric Picnic festivals this year.

You can look forward to a night of great poetry, epic satire, emotion, craic, beauty and reflection in a special and unique celebration of rhyme, word and image.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Mumsnet/Walker Short Story Competition

Writing for children?

Write a story for the Walker Books/Mumsnet Book of Bedtime Stories:
Enter the Walker Books/Mumsnet writing competition and your story could be included in an illustrated gift book of Bedtime Stories for the under-sevens. For your chance to be considered, submit your original manuscript of up to 1,500 words

Deadline: 30 November 2012

All entries will be read and a shortlist of 20 stories will be compiled by a panel of leading industry experts, including former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen. The shortlist will be announced on 28 January 2013 and available online for Mumsnetters to vote for their favourite stories and determine the ten winning stories.

The winning authors will each receive £500 and the winning stories will be illustrated and included in a book of bedtime stories published by Walker Books in October 2013. 

The competition is open to you if you are:
(a) a resident of UK or Republic of Ireland;
(b) 18 years old or over at the time of entry;
(c) a registered member of Mumsnet or Gransnet (free to register);
(d) free to enter into the terms and conditions set out in the rules of entry;
(e) happy to have your story edited;
(f) happy to take part in reasonable marketing activity and publicity

More info here:

Thursday 22 November 2012

Eight new ten minute plays

Location:Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire
Date:Saturday 24th November
Time: 2.00pm
Tickets: Free

Join us at the Pavilion Theatre for a Rehearsed Reading of eight individual plays specially written by Pavilion Playwrights and set in the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown area.

Professional actors from stage and TV will take part in the readings under the direction of Conall Morrison, Pavilion Theatre Artist in Residence 2011-2012.

The Pavilion Playwrights were initiated by Conall Morrison during his time as the Pavilion's Theatre Artist in Residence; funded by the Arts Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Tickets are free and booking is not required.
Read More

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Poets read for Pussy Riot

Did you notice the hiatus? Did you miss me? I was travelling. I'm back now full of caffeine.

Tomorrow Wednesday 21 November is the nine month anniversary since Pussy Riot, the punky protest group of Russian women performed in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow and were locked up for denouncing the Russian Orthodox Church’s support for President Vladimir Putin.

Three members of the collective, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, were arrested and held in custody until August when they were each sentenced to two years in prison on charges of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’. At their appeal hearing in October, the two-year jail term of Samutsevich was suspended, but the sentences against Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were upheld. They have since been separated and transferred to notorious prison colonies, far from Moscow and their young children.

In order to raise and maintain awareness of their case, English PEN launched Poems for Pussy Riot, inviting poets from all over the world to write creative responses to the case. A collection of the contributions, Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot, was published as a pay-by-donation e-book on 1 October 2012 to coincide with their first appeal hearing. A print-on-demand version is now also available, with all proceeds going to the Pussy Riot Legal Fund and English PEN’s Writers at Risk Programme.

The Poetry Divas are among a good number of poets reading at an event in Dublin, supported by Irish PEN, on Wednesday 21 November at The Grand Social (35 Lower Liffey Street, Dublin 1). Start time is 6.30pm and admission is free. 

Participating Poets include: Kimberly Campanello, Sophie Collins, Sue Cosgrave, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Christodoulos Makris, Máighréad Medbh, Paula Meehan, Alan Jude Moore, Christine Murray, Sam Riviere and The Poetry Divas. 

Link here

Monday 12 November 2012

Galway Review Call for submissions

From the lovely and generous Niamh Boyce's blog 

Galway Review are looking for submissions for their print anthology coming out in January 2013. This printed and bound work will be the  first print venture for The Galway Review - 

They say:

To submit simply send poemsreviewsshort stories, or journals with ‘Anthology Submission’ in the subject field. Please send your writings within the body of the email and attach the photographs as jpegs. We can’t wait to see your work! Please keep your submissions clear and sharp. 

Remember  that:
  • readers who lack your particular background, may need a simple and clear context;
  • the writings ought to make sense to readers anywhere in the world, not just to your own self.
So no dense writing that makes the reader feel dense.

  Deadline December 1st 2012

Saturday 10 November 2012

Crime Writing with Arlene Hunt

An intriguing weekend workshop on crime writing at the Irish Writers Centre

17th November 2012 10.30am-4.30pm


A course designed as a practical approach to crime fiction writing. Over two days we will discuss how to develop characters, plot and atmosphere. Hone your criminally-minded skills as we create scenes of murder, revenge and ask whodunnit and why? Police procedural v Private I, which offers more scope to the author? And POV, can first person delivery stymy plot development or does it take the novel to another level?

Thursday 8 November 2012

The 'On the Nail' Literary Cabaret

Caca Milis Cabaret on tour.

The Limerick Writers' Centre presents the 'On the Nail' Literary Cabaret with special guests from Wexford Caca Milis Cabaret.
Venue: The Beltable, Limerick
Time: Saturday 17th November @ 8pm

Admission: €10 / €12.50 / €15 /

Tuesday 6 November 2012

The 2012/13 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition

The 27th annual Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition is now open for entries.

JUDGE: Simon Armitage.  (A personal hero of mine)

DEADLINE: Last post on 29 November 2012, or online by midnight on 1 December.

ENTRY FEE: £25, or £20 for North subscribers and Friends of the Poetry Business. A £1 surcharge is applied to online entries.

The Book & Pamphlet Competition invites entrants to submit a collection of 20-24 pages of poems for the chance to win a cash prize and publication by Smith/Doorstop Books.
Four first stage winners are selected and given the opportunity to submit a full-length manuscript to the second round of the competition, in which one of them can win book publication. The three first-stage winners receive pamphlet publication. 
All four winners will receive an equal share of £2,000, and have a launch reading at The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere (Spring 2013) and read alongside Simon Armitage at the 2013 Off The Shelf Festival in Sheffield. 

The winning collections are beautifully produced, widely promoted, reviewed in high quality poetry magazines and nationalnewspapers, and entered for all eligible awards and prizes. The collections are also launched at high profile readings and distributed via bookshops across the UK.
Consequently, many previous years’ competition winners have gone on to achieve glittering careers; including Mimi Khalvati, Michael Laskey, Patrick McGuinness, Allison McVety, Pascale Petit, Kathryn Simmonds and Catherine Smith. 

Link here

Sunday 4 November 2012

Leaves Literary Festival

A new one for me, literary festival in Stradbally, Co Laois from Nuala on Women Rule Writer blog.

The festivities commence on Friday 9th November with the official launch in Áras an Chontae at 7.30pm. The event will also incorporate the launch of exciting new poetry collections by Ann Egan, Kathy D’Arcy, Jamie O’Connell and Pat Boran with James Ryan chairing the readings.  Readings by all the authors will be interspersed by music from guitarist, Conal Rae from Laois School of Music. Admission is free and books will be on sale on the night.

The Festival also includes a Children’s Programme.  On Friday 9th November award-winning author and illustrator, Niamh Sharkey, Laureate na nÓg, will visit schools in the county to create a Monster Doodle and then on to Abbeyleix Library for a reading at 3.30pm.  Children’s author Roisín Meaney will also pay a visit to some lucky schools in Laois and give a reading in Portlaoise Library at 3.30pm. Admission to the children’s events is free of charge.

Adult writers workshops will also take place in the Dunamaise Arts Centre. Hennessy award winner Niamh Boyce will hold a workshop entitled, “Poems Beget Poems” on the Friday 9th November running from 10am to 4pm.  This workshop would suit writers who have begun to write poetry and would like to explore it further. 

Also for adults, well-known writer John MacKenna will hold a workshop entitled, “Seasons of the Heart”, exploring the ways in which we can draw on nature and our own life experiences to create fiction and memoir. This workshop runs from 10am to 4pm on the Saturday 10th November in the Dunamaise Arts Centre.   

The final event on Saturday evening is an exciting mix of readings and music featuring Christine Dwyer Hickey, Niamh Boyce and Nuala Ní Chonchúir, chaired by Seamus Hosey,
with music by  harpist Claire O Donnell. This will take place in the Arthouse & Library, Stradbally at 8.00pm on the 10th November.

Bookings for all events can be made at the Dunamaise Arts Centre Tel:  057 8663355.

Friday 2 November 2012

Experimental Poetry Evening

Sounds interesting. I'm all for pushing the boundaries and seeing what's out there.
Roger Hudson, Nuala Leonard, Brian Quinn, Anne Tannam        

Four poets, masquerading as Word Jungle, experiment in presenting their poems in different combinations of voices and degrees of dramatization.
Hudson n Fitch
Roger Hudson and ambiencellist Claire Fitch present an experimental concert of poetry and improvised music reflecting on moods and meaning

Venue: Centre for Creative Practices, 15 Pembroke Street, Dublin 2
Time: Thursday @ 8pm
Admission: €6

Thursday 1 November 2012

Interview with David Mitchell

One of my favourite authors interviewed in New York Times here.

"As a future writer, however, my stammer was an effective if merciless boot-camp instructor."

Looking forward to seeing Cloud Atlas on film.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Silversmith Poetry Competition

Christmas shopping early? Why not write a poem?

Competition from Maison Vee and The Journal/original plus. Theme is 'Earrings'.

The winning earring poem will be published in The Journal and its author will get to choose a pair of Maison Vee earrings.

Deadline: 12 November 2012

Free to enter

Entries marked 'competition' to Sam Smith at The Journal:

Sunday 28 October 2012

Moth Short Story Prize 2012

1st prize is €1,000, and this year we have a 2nd prize of a week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse ( in France.

The judge is Martina Evans. Martina has published four books of poetry and three novels. Her first novel, Midnight Feast, won a Betty Trask Award and her third novel, No Drinking No Dancing No Doctors, won an Arts Council England Award. In 2011, she was awarded the Ciampi International poetry prize by the the Premio Poesia Ciampi Committee from Livorno, Italy.

Deadline: 31 March 2013.

Further details are available on their website:

Entry fee is €8 per story for payment made by credit/debit card (via paypal) or cheque (Irish and UK only)
Entry fee is €9 per story for payment made by money/postal order

You can enter all online.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Kate Mosse

That's Kate Mosse the writer, not the model.
She's in conversation with Mia Gallagher as part of the DLT library voices presents series. More power to DLR Libraries, that's what I say.

Meet the author of the bestselling Languedoc Trilogy which comprises Labyrinth, Sepulchre and now, Citadel. Few historical novelists can bring the past to life with such compelling immediacy and imaginative brilliance. Kate Mosse was co-founder of The Orange Prize and is a tireless campaigner for reading and literacy.
Pavilion Theatre, Marine Rd, Dun Laoghaire
Saturday November 3rd at 2.30pm
Tickets 10 & €8 concessions from
Kate Mosse said some interesting things about the Orange prize which, as you know, is a prize only for women writers. I'll see if I can find the link. 

Here we go from The Guardian

"in many areas of the arts – whether it's the number of theatre directors, the number of women getting commissions for big plays, the number of women in film or in classical music – representation of women is poor, and in some cases it's worse than it was."

Friday 26 October 2012

Poetry School/Pighog Press pamphlet competition

First Prize: Publication by Pighog Press and 40 copies of the pamphlet
4 Runners up: a free place on a Poetry School activity
Judges: Julia Bird and Brendan Cleary
Deadline: 31 January 2013

The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over writing poetry in English anywhere in the world. Initially entrants are invited to submit ten poems (or ten sides of poetry on A4, not more than 30 lines per side) for consideration by the judges by 31 January 2013.

The judges will select a shortlist of up to twelve poets by 22 February 2013. Short-listed poets will be asked to submit complete pamphlet collections by 28 March 2013 for final judging. Shortlisted poets will also be invited to read at an event in Brighton in May 2013, when the winner will be announced. 

If you have:
a) attended a Poetry School course or workshop since 1 January 2010 or you have attended or booked a course by the competition closing date (30 January 2013)
b) have purchased a Pighog publication from the Pighog website ( since 1st January 2012

Fee is £10 otherwise £15.

I'd recommend picking up one of the judge's books.

Link with more details here

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Magma Magazine Competition

I have a soft spot for Magma. The mag is great and the editorship changes so it's different every time and they don't get stuck in a rut.

Anyway, they've a competition, two competitions.

Deadline 16 December 2012.

Magma's Judge's Prize
Judge: Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales
11 to 80 lines (unusually long)
First Prize £500
Second Prize £200
Third Prize £100

Editors Prize for a short poem
Up to 10 lines
Judged by a panel of Magma Editors comprising Laurie Smith (panel Chair), Julia Bird, Roberta James, Rob Mackenzie, and Karen McCarthy Woolf.
(I would love to be a guest editor on a magazine. Offers please)
First Prize £500
Second Prize £200
Plus 10 Special Mentions £10 each
As part of the prize, all 15 winners will have their poems published in our Spring Issue 2013 and be invited to read alongside Gillian Clarke at Magma’s prize-giving event in London.

Competition Entry Fees: £5 per poem or £15 for four poems, except for Magma Poetry magazine subscribers who pay £3 per poem or £9 for four poems.

 More here

Monday 22 October 2012

Dublin Book Festival 2012

The Dublin Book Festival 2012 is in different venues this year. The programme looks innovative. 
It's the week of 13th to 18th November.  
Here are my own personal selection but there's loads more.
Children’s Treasure Hunt
All Ages
Beginning in the Children’s Area, 
Smock Alley Theatre
Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th, 12.00pm – 4.00 pm  •  Free entry
Follow our intriguing clues around Temple Bar to explore many fun and cultural sights, and perhaps even discover a prize at the end!
No booking required, simply turn up on the day at anytime and go to the Children’s Area.

Literary Walking Tour
 Meeting at front steps, Smock Alley Theatre
Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th, 11:00am and 2:30pm
8 /6 concessions, children under 14 free
Join Pat Liddy on a fascinating walk in the ancient area around the Smock Alley Theatre – a historic centre for publishing houses, newspapers, monasteries, cathedrals and a stomping ground for famous writers drawn here by the taverns and civic occasions.
A History of Ireland in 100 Objects – Fintan O’Toole
 Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
Sunday 18th, 12.00pm – 12.50pm  •  Free entry
What’s the object for your times? Join Fintan O’Toole, author and literary editor of The Irish Times, and guests to discuss the 10 objects on exhibition at the National Museum at Collins Barracks and vote for your preferred object. This last object chosen will be added to the other 99, which have appeared weekly in The Irish Times, and will feature in a book on the subject, to be published by the Royal Irish Academy in March 2013.
Readings from Large Mammals, Stick Insects and Other Social Misfits with Felicity McCall YA (Young Adult)
 Children’s Area, Smock Alley Theatre
Sunday 18th, 12.00pm – 12:50pm  •  Free entry
Derry author and journalist Felicity McCall reads from her novel Large Mammals, Stick Insects and Other Social Misfits. Take a glimpse inside the lives of fifteen-year-old Aimée and her co-best friends Bree and Beks as they prepare for Aimée’s school exchange partner to arrive with her totally fanciable brother. Brilliantly funny stuff.
No booking required, but seats are limited so we advise you to arrive 15 minutes before the start time.
Inspiration for Writers: Writing for Young Adults – Alan Early, Siobhán Parkinson and Sheena Wilkinson. Chaired by Robert Dunbar
 Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
 Sunday 18th, 3.00pm – 3.50pm  •  Free entry

Robert Dunbar, commentator on children’s books and reading, leads Sheena Wilkinson, winner of two Bisto Children’s Book of the Year Awards and winner of a White Raven Award, Alan Early, author of the acclaimed Arthur Quinn series and Siobhán Parkinson, well-known author and Ireland’s first Laureate for Children’s Literature, in a discussion about writing for young adults.
Inspiring Short Stories: Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Mary Costello and Nuala Ní Chonchúir. Chaired by Eithne Shortall
 Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
Sunday 18th, 4.00pm – 4.50pm  •  Free entry

 Éilís Ní Dhuibhne is the author of over eleven books. She has been the recipient of many awards, including the Stewart Parker Award for Drama and several Oireachtas Awards for Irish-language fiction. Mary Costello’s stories have been anthologised and published in New Irish Writing and in The Stinging Fly. The China Factory, her first book of stories, was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. Mother America is Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s fourth short story collection. Ní Chonchúir has won rté radio’s Francis MacManus Award, the Dublin Review of Books Flash Fiction Prize, the Cúirt New Writing Prize, the inaugural Jonathan Swift Award and the Cecil Day Lewis Award. Eithne Shortall is the chief arts writer for the Sunday Times Ireland. She specialises in literature, theatre, film and writes a fortnightly column on arts and heritage. She is also an occasional book reviewer for rté Radio 1’s Arena.
In Their Own Write: John Boyne, Siobhán Parkinson, Dermot Bolger, Donal Ryan, Colm Keegan and Deirdre Sullivan
 Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
Sunday 18th, 5.00pm – 6.45pm  •  Free entry
What does it mean to have an established writer endorse your work? Dublin Writers Festival invites John Boyne, Siobhán Parkinson and Dermot Bolger to nominate emerging writers to share the stage and showcase their work. Donal Ryan’s recent debut novel The Spinning Heart was chosen as the flagship release for Doubleday Ireland, in a co-publishing venture with Lilliput Press. ‘I can’t imagine a more original, more perceptive or more passionate work than this.’ (John Boyne). Colm Keegan’s debut collection Don’t Go There was published last year by Salmon Poetry. ‘The poetry … brims with frenetic energy and a hard-earned street-wise lyricism, bereft of false notes or unearned experience.’ (Dermot Bolger). Deirdre Sullivan’s debut novel Prim Improper, published by Little Island, was shortlisted for the Bisto Children’s Book of the Year Award (2011). ‘A writer with a sparkling talent … her first novel for young teens is even more hilarious and touching than I could possibly have imagined’ (Siobhán Parkinson).
Kevin Barry and Mike McCormack In conversation with Sean Rocks
 Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
Sunday 18th, 8.00pm – 9.30pm  •  10/8 concession
Bringing the Dublin Book Festival to a close, we have two of Ireland’s finest short story authors, Kevin Barry and Mike McCormack in conversation with Sean Rocks, presenter of rté Radio 1’s Arena.Kevin Barry is the author of the story collections Dark Lies The Island and There Are Little Kingdoms and the novel City Of Bohane. He has won the European Union Prize for Literature, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and the Sunday Times efg Private Bank Short Story Award. Mike McCormack, has published two novels and won several awards, among them The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His story ‘The Terms’ from his collection of short stories Getting It In The Head was adapted into an award-winning short film. Mike’s new collection of short stories, Forensic Songs, was published earlier this year.
In Memory of Maeve Binchy – Patricia Scanlan, Sheila O’Flanagan and Sinéad Moriarty
 Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
Saturday 17th, 1.00pm-1.50pm  •  Free entry
Three of Ireland’s top female writers come together to reveal how the legendary author Maeve Binchy inspired their writing and helped to pave the way, not only for them, but for a host of Irish female writers over the years.
Silver Threads of Hope: Roddy Doyle, Siobhán Mannion and Declan Hughes In conversation with Sinéad Gleeson
by admin on September 17, 2012
Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
Saturday 17th, 2.00pm – 2.50pm  •  Free entry


 This anthology of short stories by Ireland’s most prominent authors has been released in aid of Console. Editor Sinéad Gleeson (broadcaster and journalist with the Irish Times) joins contributors Roddy Doyle (Booker prize-winning author of The Commitments), Siobhán Mannion (Hennessy New Writer of the Year 2011) and Declan Hughes (award-winning author of the Ed Loy PI series).
The European Muse: Irish Poets Inspired by Europe
 John F. Deane, Harry Clifton, Moya Cannon, Mary O’Donnell, Michael O’Loughlin and Judith Mok. Chaired by Peter Sirr
Presented by Poetry Ireland in association with Dublin Book Festival
Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
Saturday 17th, 3.00pm – 4.20pm  •  Free entry

Irish poets discuss poets and poetry from Europe that has influenced and inspired them over the years. With John F. DeaneHarry CliftonMoya CannonMary O’DonnellMichael O’Loughlin and Judith Mok. Chaired by Peter Sirr.
 Catherine Fulvio, Lilly Higgins, Jane Travers and Sheila Kiely
Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
Saturday 17th, 4.30pm – 5.30pm  •  Free entry
Join our food writers for a lively discussion about the evolution of the cookbook – from print to online. Are cookbooks a thing of the past? Catherine Fulvio is proprietor of the Ballyknocken House Cookery School, a prolific cookery writer and one of Ireland’s top television culinary stars. Lilly Higgins is a Ballymaloe-trained chef and an enthusiastic food blogger. Sheila Kiely runs a Food Safety Management Consultancy and her blog is one of the big names in the foodie blogosphere. Jane Travers is the author of Tweet Treats, a book of over 1000 recipes which were composed on Twitter in 140 characters or less.
Irish Publishing Business Day
 Main Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre
Friday 16th, 10.00am – 4.30pm  •  By Invitation Only
A series of three events aimed at those working in the publishing sector. The events will explore innovations and developments in the industry with a particular focus on digital publishing.
To make an enquiry about this event please email:

Inspired by Science – New Worlds and New Ideas in Association with Dublin City of Science

 With Celine Kiernan and Conor Kostick   YA (Young Adult)
Launch Area, Smock Alley Theatre
Friday 16th, 10.00am – 11.00am
Booking essential, places limited to one class onlyFind out what inspires top sci-fi and fantasy authors Conor Kostick and Celine Kiernan. From the virtual worlds and sophisticated technology of Conor Kostick’s The Avatar Chroniclesto the fantastic world of Moorehawke inCeline Kiernan’s international smash-hit trilogy. Hear Conor and Celine talk about how they were inspired and the incredible worlds they have created. You might even be inspired to create a fantastical world of your own!To enquire about booking, please email:
Ages 7-8 years
Pearse Street Library
Friday 16th, 10.30am  – 11.30am
Booking essential, places limited to one class only
Join us for a fun and imaginative workshop, creating characters and writing a story together with your class. Then write your own ending, draw some pictures and at the end of the workshop take your story home to show all your family and friends!
To enquire about bookings, please email: