Saturday 31 March 2012

Bloody Scotland’s Glengoyne Whisky Short Story Competition

Do you dabble in crime?

Just as Scotland is world-renowned for its fine malt whisky, so it is known for the exceptional quality of its crime fiction. To celebrate and recognise this synergy, Glengoyne Highland Single Malt is proud to sponsor a new short story writing competition as part of Bloody Scotland.

With the aim of discovering the next big name in crime fiction, Bloody Scotland’s Glengoyne Whisky Short Story Competition gives you the opportunity to be published in an ebook anthology of short crime stories entitled Worth The Wait.

The best story overall will win the stunning prizes described below, including the inaugural trophy.
The theme of the competition is Worth The Wait. You can interpret that any way you like! However, we are looking for crime stories.
Maximum length 3,000 words.
Link here

Deadline: June 29th 2012.
Entry fee is £10 or the equivalent in your local currency (as determined by PayPal at the point of payment).

The main prize from Glengoyne Whisky will be presented to the winner on September 16th 2012 at the Bloody Scotland festival. However, if you can not be there in person, we will make arrangements to deliver it to you.


Top prize
  • A bespoke hand-engraved Glencairn Crystal Decanter filled with an exceptionally rare 35 Years Old Glengoyne Highland Single Malt, worth over £2,000.
  • Publication as the lead story in a short story ebook collection entitled Worth The Wait to be published by Blasted Heath.
  • Your choice of any week-long residential writing course run by the Arvon Foundation during 2013.
  • Weekend pass for the Bloody Scotland festival in September 2012.
  • Publication in the Worth The Wait ebook.
All entries must be original, must be previously unpublished, and must remain unpublished before September 14th 2012. This includes any form of publication, including print, ebook or online (e.g. on a blog).

The purpose of this competition is to encourage new talent so we are restricting entry to previously unpublished writers. That’s not so easy to define these days! However, you may not enter if you have had a full-length work (novel, novella, short story collection) published in print or electronically, or broadcast on television or radio, or performed on stage commercially. However, if you have self-published in print or electronically, or if you have created a publishing company to self-publish, that’s fine; you may enter.

Caca Milis Cabaret dates

Helena Mulkerns presents music, song, dance, poetry, spoken word, comedy, film, drama and
more in an intimate cabaret setting with wine bar and all for just €10 at the door. It’s the:

Caca Milis Cabaret
A little post-modern vaudeville

Wexford Arts Centre Theatre, Cornmarket, Wexford

(and sometimes further afield)

Friday evenings from 9pm. Only €10

17 Feb: The IMBOLG Fundraiser Cabaret, €20 adm
Special Guest Jack L, Wexford Arts Centre
23 March: The Cabaret CELTIADD-CEILTEACH
The Lyric Theatre, Carmarthan, WALES

27 April: The BEALTAINE Solas Lae Cabaret
22 June: The SOLSTICE Midsummer Cabaret
03 Aug: The LUNASA Summer Arts Cabaret,
01 Sept: The ELECTRICPICNIC Cabaret, Mindfield
21 Sept: The CULTURE NIGHT Cabaret WAC
02 Nov: The Grand SAMHAIN Masqued Mexican
Cabaret, fancy dress 11pm - late!

Booking: 053-912-3764
or through:

Friday 30 March 2012

Power flash fiction competition

In this Saturday's Irish Times (except my copy didn't have a magazine so I had to go and find it on facebook)
  • Entrants must submit a 450 word short story based on the theme:
    "Celebrating what truly matters".
  • Closing Date of entries is April 17th.
  • The judging panel comprises of ...
    • Orna Mulcahy
    • Shane Hegarty
    • Eileen Battersby
    • Roisin Ingle
    • Bernice Harrison
    • Gary Quinn
    • Madeleine Lyons
  • Winner will be announced and published on May 26th in the
    Irish Times Magazine. Prize includes:
    Publication of winner's Short Story in the Irish Times Magazine.
    Publication of winner's Short Story in Volume 2 of the Powers Irish Whiskey Short Story Collection.
    All proceeds of this book go to The Hospice Foundation.
Why did we choose the theme ‘Celebrating what truly matters’?
Old Ad
Powers has always been woven into the heart of true Irish community. With a bottle pride of place in every Irish home, Powers has traditionally been the accompanying toast to mark all of life's occasion's - from the seemingly small to the highly significant.
Building on this heritage and within the background of the great sociological changes that have swept the country we wanted to create an outlet for people to champion these moments of life through that quintessential Irish written form - the short story.
By allowing people to share and create stories around this theme we hoped to create a forum for the Ireland and the Irish of today to express & celebrate what truly matters to them.

You can read some of the winning entries from last year's competition on facebook here to get an idea of what they are looking for.

Thursday 29 March 2012

Ó Bhéal - Guest Poets in April and May

Upcoming Events for April and May 2012
(scroll down for full details - the online version is here.)
Leeanne Quinn – 2nd April
Paul Jeffcutt – 9th April
5th Anniversary Five Words Vol V and Other Poets’ Poetry – 16th April
With earlier Wordshop from 7pm Fiona Clarke Echlin – 23rd April
Sheila Fitzpatrick O’Donnell & Joseph Healy – 30th April
In association with Foras na Gaeilge Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin – 7th May
Fergal Gaynor – 14th May
Kit Fryatt – 21st May
In association with Foras na Gaeilge Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin – 28th May
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 around 10.00pm

Ó Bhéal is held every Monday in the Hayloft, upstairs at The Long Valley, Winthrop Street. See the map:

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Poetry London Competition

The Poetry London competition gets lots of entries.
Neil Astley, founding editor of Bloodaxe Books, will be the competition judge in 2012.

Deadline: 1 May 2012

First Prize £1000
Second Prize £500
Third Prize £200
plus publication in Poetry London
Four commendations will be awarded, of £75 each

The maximum length is 80 lines.
Entry fee is £3 per poem for Poetry London subscribers, for non-subscribers £5.
For competition rules and entry form see here

Tuesday 27 March 2012


A Galway festival that sounds like great craic.

Friday 30th March
6.30p.m. Opening of the festival with Fiona Clarke Echlin in Sullivans Royal Hotel. Speaker Cllr Bridie Willers
Music by Mary O’Sullivan and Claire Sawtell
8p.m.       Gerry Hanberry reading from his new book on Oscar Wilde’s family
10p.m.     Music Session and craic with Locho Cullen and Fred Johnston in Sullivans Royal Hotel

Saturday 31st March
10a.m.    Poetry Workshop in Sullivans Royal Hotel with Fred Johnston: 10 euros and 7 euros  concession (ALL OTHER EVENTS ARE FREE)
12p.m.    Eddie Lenihan in Gort Public Library
1p.m.     Clare Three Leggéd Stool poets in O’Grady’s Bar and Restaurant
2p.m.     Mary Ellen Fean and Knute Skinner in Sullivans Royal Hotel
4p.m.      ‘I spent yesterday with Kate O’Brien’ a talk by Brian O’Rourke in Sullivans Royal Hotel
5p.m.      A lecture on Æ (George Russell) by Pearl Finn in The Gallery Café
7.30pm. Wine reception at Gort Public Library
8p.m.      Concert in Gort Library with music by harper Siobhán Armstrong and Roisín Elsafty and readings from the poets Ciarán O’Driscoll and Martin Dyar

Enquiries to 091.564822 or 087.2178138 or

Monday 26 March 2012

Nonsense poems

Free to enter!

Derbyshire Literature Festival Nonsense Poetry and Flash Fiction Competition.  This contest celebrates Edward Lear’s bicentenary
nonsense verse (up to 40 lines) or flash fiction story (up to 100 words).  

There are three age categories: 12 and Under, 13 to 17, 18 and Over.  

The winners in each category will be invited to perform their piece at An Evening of Nonsense which will be taking place during the Festival.  

Derbyshire Poet Lauriate Matt Black will be judging.  

Deadline: 1 April

    Comp Page: Click Here.
They have a form and some hints.

Sunday 25 March 2012

Meath Poetry Magazine Launch

The hard working Co Meath group who edit and publish the Boyne Berries are launching their 11th issue, a great achievement in these challenging times. Sales don't cover costs. More writers send material to the magazine than buy the magazine. So please buy a copy to keep this show on the road.

Boyne Berrries 11 will be launched on Thursday, 29th March, at 8pm in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim Co. Meath.  The launch will be performed by the sports commentator and author, Michael Slavin.  He has written such books as Showjumping Legends: Ireland, 1868-1998 and The Book of Tara, among others.  He also runs the book store on the Hill of Tara.

I wonder do they sell Boyne Berries there?

Admission to the event will be free and tea and coffee will be provided.  Writers featured in the magazine will read from it.  The magazine will be available to purchase on the night and from The Boyne Writers' site
Boyne Berries 10th celebration edition was a thing of beauty with colour and illustrations. I value my copy.  Boyne Berries 11 is back to black and white.

Saturday 24 March 2012

Welcome to Britain

Pull up a chair
Have a cup of tea
Is my crown on straight?

Buxton Poetry Competition.  This annual contest from the High Peaks, presented by Buxton Festival and the University of Derby, is for poems of up to 40 lines on the subject of ‘Welcome to Britain’.  
Deadline: 6 April

Prizes: Open Category (19 and over) - £300, £200, £100.  Young People (12 - 18) and Children’s categories - book tokens.  

The 15 finalists will be invited to an Awards Event at the Devonshire Dome during Buxton Festival 2012.  

Their entries will be displayed at the Dome throughout the Festival (7 - 25 July 2012).
Entry Fee: Open Category (19 and over) - £5.  

Young People and Children - free.

Link here 

Check out the statement

"We're sure this year's theme will bring in a really broad range of poems, reflecting our very varied society and great heritage. Poems that focus on a particular place or figure from history maybe, or on some British invention or (especially this Olympic year) the sports and games we play; even our distinctive (for better or worse) food and drink - even the weather! - any or all of these subjects might make a winning poem."

Friday 23 March 2012

The Arena Flash Challenge 2012

This is all over social media but maybe you missed it.

A story told in 500 words or less.
Open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 125.

Quirky, daring, challenging and provocative writing encouraged.

I can do quirky, in fact I find it hard to do not quirky. The others are less my thing...

Deadline: April 30th.
Winners announced: May 15th

Winner crowned Arena Flash Champion 2012

Is there a real crown? Or just a tiara? Any money or just fame?

4 runners up broadcast during Arena Flash Fiction week

Judge Dave Lordan.

Update: The winner receives a week at Annaghmakerrig, the artists' retreat in Co Monaghan.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Abridged 0 - 26: Rust Submission Call

Rust. What does that bring to mind? Want to write a piece about it? Make some Art?

Abridged, one of my favourite things to come out of the North (I also like wheaten bread and marching bands with swirling kilts)

The passage of time makes abrasive records on steel flesh. The air whips our iron bodies and breaks our sense of power. Steel razors are muted and frayed under time’s persistent grind, objects of strength peppered with the omnipotence of rain, of wind. Our illusions of permanence are skeletal. Crumbling ghosts in an obedient return to earth. People, objects, things rot on the periphery. Take comfort in the crowd. Backward glances leave us unnerved by a sinister image, grey carcasses seeping with orange reds. Tattered forms, broken, fragile, finished. There is an eerie resemblance, a premonition perhaps. Nature is adamant, an absolute presence, a confirmation that we are merely passing through. We are a small movement, temporary occupants. How insignificant are our industries, our wars, our structured societies, our manufactured supremacy. The body electric fails and falls. Rust is our mutability. Rust is our diminution. Our dominion. The natural translation of colour. The evolution of the elements.

Abridged, the poetry/art magazine is looking for submissions for its Rust issue. 

A maximum of 3 poems may be submitted of any length. 

Art can be up to A4 size and can be in any media. It should be at least 300 dpi. 

Submissions can be emailed to 
posted to: Abridged c/o The Verbal Arts Centre, Stable Lane and Mall Wall, Bishop Street Within, Derry BT48 6PU. 

Deadline for submissions is 21st April 2012.

I'm thinking gates, old cars, ginger hair, ginger cats, gingerbread, chains, shipyards, skips, sick plants, abandoned train lines, bridges, The Angel of The North

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Poetic Republic Poetry Prize 2012

This competition has a novel way of judging. All participants have to judge (or they are excluded).
  • Round 1, all poems are in the mix. Every participant has to read 12 and select 4 with a short comment on why. Tuesday 1st May to Saturday 12th May
  • Round 2. 20% from round 1 go through. Every participant has to read 12 again and select 4 with a short comment on why. Tuesday 15th May to Saturday 26th May
  • Round 3 is 12 sortlisted poems from Round 3. All entrants (including the shortlisted entrants) are free to choose whether they participate in the judging. Shortlisted entrants will be unable to rate their own poems. Tuesday 5th June to Saturday 16th June
You don't get to judge your own poem. You get to read comments on your poem at the end.

Entries must not exceed 42 lines (not including title or blank lines). 

Deadline midnight (UK time) 30th April 2012

£7.00 per entry


Single poem prize £2,000
Portfolio prize (two poems) £1,000
The two prizes may be awarded to the same person.
Qualification for the portfolio prize requires two or more entries. Where more than 2 entries are made the two most highly rated poems will be considered the "portfolio."

The prize winners will be announced in October 2011.
This year, for the first time, they will produce a digital eBook publication featuring the best work from the prize. This will be a first of its kind co-created publication where the act of taking part accomplishes the editorial process.

Link here

I might enter just to see how it works.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Wigtown Poetry Competition

A well thought of competition

Fee structure
The first poem submitted costs £7.00
Multiple entries: the first three poems cost a total of £19.00. and then it gets more complicated.

Entries may be in English, Scots, Scots/Irish Gaelic.

Poems must not exceed 40 lines (not including title).

Deadline : 7 May

Link here

Monday 19 March 2012

Poetry Magazines Balance

I've been going through my more recent poetry magazines on the back of this article and the apparent gross imbalance in Poetry magazines of men v women.

The selection is unscientific in that these are just magazines I've bought recently. But here's the lowdown

The Rialto - a premiere league UK Poetry Magazine.
Spring/Summer 2011 edited by Michael Mackmin
Includes Poems by Simon Armitage, Les Murray and George Szirtes (featured poet)
41 poets, 23 women.

The SHOp - a magazine of Poetry. Based in West Cork
Edited by John Wakeman and Hilary Wakeman.
Includes poems by John F Deane, Gabriel Fitzmaurice and Joseph Woods. I am very fond of this magazine.
50 poets, 19 women.

Fourteen - a magazine devoted to poems of 14 lines. I love this mag. Edited by Mike Loveday & Frances Spurrier. 49 poets, 20 women.

The North Issue 42 based in Sheffield.
Edited by Peter Sansom and Ann Sanso. Includes poems by Ian McMillan and Carol Ann Duffy.  42 poets, 20 women.

Cyphers 64 Edited by Leland Bardwell, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Pearse Hutchinson and Macdara Woods in Dublin 6. 28 poets, 10 women.

 Anon Three the anonymous submissions poetry magazine, editor Mike Stocks, external readers Tiffany Atkinson, Adam Smyth. Includes poems by Julia Deakin, Stephen Murphy and Gregory Woods. 26 poets, 9 women.

Interesting that the imbalance is judged without names here. I wonder what the proportion of submissions is like.

Poetry Ireland Review 103 edited by Catriona O'Reilly. Includes poems by Derek Mahon, Jean O'Brien, Mary O'Donnell, Paul Perry, Tom French, Nick Laird, Michael O'Louglin and me!

Poetry September 201,1 editors Christian Wiman, Don Share, Fred Sasaki, Valerie Jean Johnson. An establishment American magazine featuring Sharon Olds and lots of American poets I maybe should have heard of, only 3 who are appearing there for the first time.
16 poets, 5 women.

Boyne Berries 10 edited by Michael Farry, Orla Fay and Paddy Smith. A lovely production open to new writers. includes Peter Fallon, Kevin Higgins, Niamh Boyce, Brian Kirk, Susan Connolly, Liam Aungier and Peter Goulding. 40 poets, 18 women.