Friday 30 August 2013

Mountains to the Sea Festival

3 - 8 September 2013

Tickets for this year’s book festival are selling fast! 

Margaret Atwood, Seamus Heaney and Colum McCann are sold out but there’s still tickets available for some of this year’s highlights including Booker Prize winner, Anne Enright, last year’s Irish Times Poetry Now Award winner Michael Longley and creator of The Fast Show Charlie Higson. And for fans of TV drama in our very special writing for television event we are delighted to welcome the writers of The Fall, Spooks and The Bridge to the Festival. 

For more information on these events and many others go to and don’t forget to book soon to avoid disappointment. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the festival! 

From the Poetry Now strange we have:

Shortlist for the dlr Strong/Shine Poetry Award 2013

The shortlist was chosen by this year's judge, poet Billy Ramsell. This year's finalists are Eleanor Hooker, Mary Noonan, Rebecca O'Connor and Michelle O'Sullivan. 

The shortlist has been announced for The Irish Times Poetry Now award worth €2,500

Harry Clifton was nominated for The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass, which is published by Bloodaxe Books. Clifton was Ireland professor of Poetry in 2010 to 2013, and won the Patrick Kavanagh award in 1981. He has published six collections, and is a previous winner of the Irish Times Poetry Now award. The Winter Sleep is “a reckoning with a lost political legacy, a meditation on love, marriage and middle age, and a reaching-back into foreign ancestry”.

James Harpur has published five poetry books and is poetry editor of the Temenos Academy Review. His latest collection “jour- neys into realms seen and unseen, ranging from the landscapes of Ireland to the visionary realms of the mystics”.

Dennis O’Driscoll has published nine collections of poetry, a collection of essays and reviews and Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney. He has previously won a Lannan Literary Award and the EM Forster Award. He died late last year. Dear Life features “contemporary issues – the internet era, global warming – as well as providing fresh perspectives on the timeless topics of working and ageing, loving and dying, God and Mammon”.

Catherine Phil MacCarthy is the author of four poetry books, a former editor of Poetry Ireland Review, and was writer in residence for the city of Dublin. The Invisible Threshold explores “the ‘liminal’, the state of being in transition from one moment to the next”.

Mark Roper won the 1992 Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection was editor of Poetry Ireland Review. A Gather of Shadow is“a deeply personal record of the loss of his mother”.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Novel Fair

The Irish Writers Centre has launched the next Novel Fair. The last two have been very successful in getting novels to publishers and out there. I do wonder how many of those already published or nearly there would have been picked up anyway.

The Prize

Twelve entrants will be anonymously selected by a judging panel to take part in the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair on February 22nd, 2014. Each writer will have a stand at the Fair where they will present the synopsis of their novel, the finished novel itself and biographical material. Top Irish publishers and agents will be invited to the Irish Writers’ Centre to meet these writers in person.

Entry Details

There is no limitation on style, genre, or target market, the only requirement being that the writer has not published a novel before.
To enter send a synopsis and up to 10,000 words of a novel.
Deadline for submissions: October 16th, 2013.

Details here

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Poetry Divas at Electric Picnic

Fresh from their triumphant appearance at Babble Festival in Cavan, The Poetry Divas will be making a welcome return to Electric Picnic.

When: Sunday 1st September
What time: 1.30 pm or thereabouts.
Where : The Word Stage, Mindfield

What: Start your Sunday off with some poetry. You know you want to.

Mindfield is that part of Electric Picnic where you never know what to expect. There's spoken word and cabaret, theatre and parliament, Science Gallery and the Theatre of Food. Make sure your weekend includes a taste of Mindfield.

Our buddies at Brownbread mixtape have two shows at Electric Picnic this year. The Word stage in Mindfield. 4pm Saturday and 5pm Sunday.  Well worth a look-see.

Nighthawks are also there and their lineup is a great mix. 5pm Saturday and 6pm Sunday.

And our friends at Caca Milis Cabaret are oozing with deliciousness too.

The Science Gallery always have events to spark ideas including the ever-popular Ignite.

Here's the full Mindfield lineup

We can't fit all 35,000 in The Word tent on Sunday around 1.30 but let's see how we get on.

I saw this tweet

and it seemed like a great way to spread the word.
  • If you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain then you'll LOVE the Poetry Divas
  • If you like gin &tonic in a can/ Tiaras/ feather boas/ kick ass poems then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you like a good funeral/ a good firkle/ a drop of the good stuff then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you like bubbles/ lollipops/ goddesses then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you like Barbara Kingsolver/ Catherine O'Flynn/ JRR Tolkien then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you have ever suffered unrequited love/ changing room mirrors/ wine snobs then you'll LOVE the Poetry Divas
  • If you like summer holidays/ doomed expeditions/ texting when drunk you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you like about redheaded men/ camping/ flying then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you like whiskey/ wine/ the Antarctic/ Princess Leia then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you have ever failed/ given up/ picniced/ had sore feet/ watched Star Wars then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you like pina colada and getting caught in the rain then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you have ever camped with teenagers/ flown with children/ walked home in high heels then you will LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you like potatoes/ mince/ wine/ swearing/ tiaras/ red headed men then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you like Catherine Jenkins/ Catherine Deneuve/ Cat Deeley/ Kate Moss/ Kate Winslet then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you like Kate Hudson/ Katniss Everdeen/ The Duchess of Cambridge/ Katie Taylor then you'll LOVE The Poetry Divas
  • If you like Katrina and The Waves/ hurricanes/ cats/ Catherine Zeta Jones then you'll LOVE the Poetry Divas
  • If you like Barbara Stanwyck/ Barbara Kingsolver/ Barbara Castle/ Barbarella/ Barbara Windsor, you'll LOVE the Poetry Divas
  • If you like Kate Tempest/ Cate Blanchett/ Kate Bush/ Katie Perry/ Katharine Hepburn, you'll LOVE the Poetry Divas

Lunchtime Reading at the Irish Writers Centre

On Saturday 31st August at 1pm, there are some debut novelists reading at the Irish Writers Centre.
It's free and everyone's welcome.
Join us at the Centre for another Lunchtime Reading. This afternoon we have two new new writers who's debut novels have both been met with a great deal of fanfare. Niamh and Janet secured book deals following the Centre's inaugural Novel Fair competition. Niamh's debut The Herbalist, published by Penguin Ireland, is a rich multi-layered story of life in 1930s Ireland told through the eyes of four women, each of whose lives is changed irrevocably by the herbalist. Janet's novel Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World, published by Hachette, is the story of a restless kid growing up in rural Nova Scotia in the late 1980s, whose world comes to an end when he discovers that he’s in love with his best friend Mark.

Both writers will read from their work and muse on the challenges facing new writers - in particular how one sets about promoting their own work.'

Sunday 25 August 2013

Basil Bunting Poetry Award

Another biggie.

In addition to our well established Open Competition, now in its fourth year for those over 18, we have introduced a Young Persons Award in which there are two categories; one for those who are 10-14 years old and one for those aged 14-18 years.

Sir Andrew Motion will judge the Open Competition and both sections of the Young Persons Award.

The Vorse Scribbin Award is an Award to celebrate Bunting’s Northern heritage and is open to those living in the north east.  This award will be judged by Hexham based poet Christy Ducker.

Deadline: 30th September 2013

The fee for the first poem is £8.00 and for any further poems £3.00 each

Open Awards
  • First Prize £1000
  • Second Prize £500
  • Third Prize £250
  • Up to three commendations of £50 each
The poems will be judged anonymously but Readers may be used to help the judge in choosing a long list

The prizes  will be presented at the Awards Ceremony to be held on Friday 29th November 2013 at The Queens Hall in Hexham when Sir Andrew Motion will also give a public poetry reading.

Link here

Friday 23 August 2013

Romance novel ebook competition

Piatkus Entice, pioneers of romance digital publishing and the online home of such internationally  famous authors as Sherrilyn Kenyon, Eloisa James and Christine Feehan, have teamed up with the Festival of Romance to offer you a fantastic opportunity!

We’re giving aspiring authors the chance to win an ebook publishing contract with Piatkus Entice. The winning author will receive intensive editorial guidance, publicity and marketing support and a contract with Piatkus Entice for the publication of the novel as an ebook.

I want in! How do I enter?

Just email the first two chapters of your novel and a short, enticing synopsis of no more than 100 words to

Deadline: 2nd September.

Your submission can be any genre of romance writing you can think of, but please attach it as a Word document, with the subject line ‘Piatkus Entice competition’. All submissions will be read and considered by the Entice Team who will, after copious cups of fortifying tea, compile a shortlist of their three favourite submissions.

More details here

Thursday 22 August 2013

Windows Publications Extravaganza 21st National Student Poetry Awards will be held in association with Cavan Arts Office & Culture Weekend on Sunday 22nd September 2013 in the Cavan Crystal Hotel, Dublin Road, Cavan.

This will include a Poetry Master Class by the poet and playwright, Noel Monahan from 12-2pm.

Topics Covered Include:
* Poetic Inspiration
* Responding To A Poem
* Finding A Form For Your Poem
* Arranging Your Work On The Page
* Rhythm, Line Breaks & Editing
* Getting Your Poetry Published

Two participants will be chosen to read their work at Windows 21st National Poetry Awards Ceremony at 5pm on the same day in Cavan Crystal Hotel.

Workshop costs €40 (includes coffee) and places are limited so please book before 6th September. All enquiries and booking to 0870534737.

21st National Student Poetry Awards will take place on the same day at the same venue at 5pm. Guest speaker will be Jack Keyes, Cavan County Manager. Guest poet Terry Mc Donagh (Hamburg).

Art exhibition with international artists James Brady (Monaghan), Elena Duff (Berlin) and Anne Petersen (Galway).

Wednesday 21 August 2013

The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition

Nature Poetry is all around. Write a really great one for this prestigious competition.


1st PRIZE £1000
2nd PRIZE £500
3rd PRIZE A Place on a Creative Writing Course at Ty Newydd in 2014 (worth £540)

ADDITIONAL PRIZE, a personal tour with Mark Cocker of his most cherished wild life places in East Anglia.

You can submit up to six poems in one batch, the first poem includes an administration fee. If you wish to submit more than six poems you will need to make a second submission which will include a second submission fee.

Entry Fees

£6 for your first poem £3 for each subsequent poem.

Judge : Ruth Padel

Deadline: midnight on September 30th 2013

Link here

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Poems of Place

There are a few events in Heritage Week that include some literary pieces.

Poems of Place from a Gifted Inheritance.

Friday 23rd August 7-10pm

Sonnets and Serenading at Castle Saunderson
Poems of Place from a Gifted Inheritance…historic talk, twilight walk and a celebration of our cultural heritage

Includes Poets heather Brett and Noel Monaghan.

Admissions free - All welcome.

Link here

Monday 19 August 2013

The International Dublin IMPAC Literary Award Shortlist Nominee

This  sounds like an interesting reading. I'd like to read her book.

Kjersti A. Skomsvold will read from her work at the Central Library, Ilac Centre

On Friday 23rd August at 1pm

Admission is free, booking essential as places are limited.
Tel: Open Learning Centre at 01 873 4333

About the Author: Norwegian author Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold (born 3 December 1979 in Oslo) made her literary debut in 2009 with the novel Jo fortere jeg går, jo mindre er jeg (The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am). The book was nominated for the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize and won the Tarjei Vesaas' Debutant Prize (judged by The Literary Council of The Norwegian Authors´ Union). It was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2013. In 2012 Skomsvold published her second novel, Monstermenneske (Monsterhuman) which will be released in English in 2014 by Dalkey Archive Press.

Firefly Children’s Book Prize, 2014

Firefly Press (not that one!) are looking for a new Children's books author.

We want: an amazing story for 7-9 year olds.
The story will be 15,000 to 20,000 words written in English, set in contemporary Wales.

The judges are: Catherine Fisher, bestselling children’s author and first Young People’s Laureate Wales, Francesca Rhydderch, novelist and editor, and Firefly publisher Penny Thomas.

First Prize is £500 plus a week’s writer’s retreat at Chawton House Library and the chance to discuss their work in person with Firefly editors Penny Thomas and Janet Thomas, with the possibility of developing their book for publication. The week at Chawton House Library (CHL) is accommodation only, dates to be agreed between CHL and the competition winner. The prize must be taken before the end of 2015.

The two runners up will receive prizes of £50 plus free editorial advice.

Entry is £10
Deadline for entry is 31 August 2013 for the first 3,000 words.
See Terms and Conditions

Saturday 17 August 2013

Poets to Check Out - Neil Hilborn

Neil Hilborn's love poem with OCD is well worth a listen for the passion. It will leave a lump in your throat.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Galway Review Submissions

Just seen this. How come I missed it?

The Galway Review is an online mag with a following. It accepts submissions from all countries, as long as they are written in English or Irish. They say:
As Galway’s leading writing resource website we have a loyal audience who return again and again to check out our constantly changing content.

Link here

Manchester Writing Competition

Humungeously huge enormous prize for this one.

Deadline for Entries: Friday 30th August 2013

Under the direction of Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University is launching the 2013 Manchester Poetry and Fiction Prizes – major international literary competitions, celebrating excellence in creative writing, and open to anyone aged 16 or over (with no upper age limit).

The Manchester Writing Competition began in 2008, funded in the first instance by the University’s innovative Enterprise Fellowship scheme. The project was designed to attract the best new writing from around the world, and to establish Manchester as the focal point for a major literary award. Since it began, the Competition has awarded more than £50,000 to its winners.

Initially, the Competition alternated annually between Poetry and Fiction but, from 2013, both will be running every year, with £10,000* awarded to the writer of the best portfolio of poetry, and another £10,000* to the writer of the best short story.

To find out more about our courses, events and competitions:
visit the Manchester Writing School website

Entry Fee £17
Poetry- All entrants are asked to submit a portfolio of three-to-five poems (total maximum combined length: 120 lines).
Short Fiction -  All entrants are asked to submit a story of up to 2,500 words in length.

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Poetry Divas at Babble Festival

I hope to see a load of you this Friday 16th August in Cavan, at the Open Mic as part of the Babble Literary Festival. It's hosted by the lovely people at Cavan Creative Writers' Forum. 8pm Blessings Bar. Come and say hello. Come and read some poetry. Come and listen.

It aims to showcase some of the established and emerging literary talents that this border region has to offer. - See more at:

The Babble Festival weekend will start on Friday night with Poetry Slam supremo Stephen James Smith and he Fabulous Poetry Divas in Blessings Bar in Cavan Town plus readings and music. An afternoon on the Saturday writing workshop with Tom McIntyre at the Backyard Arts Centre, Moynehall, Cavan. A debut of a new play by Cavan-based playwright, Tara Maria Lovett at Chapter 1, Cavan and an open air concert with Mundy on Saturday night. The Festival ends with the official launch of the “Babble Journal 2013” by keynote author, teacher & Fermanagh resident Carlo Gébler at the Kilmore Hotel in Cavan.

The members of Cavan Creative Writers’ Forum came up with the name Babble for this summer’s literary festival. The name was chosen for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the group felt that water was the powerful and fluid connective between counties in this border area. The ‘babbling’ fluidity of the porous Lakeland region was seen as a byword for the more static and hackneyed emblem of the bridge, often referred to in the Peace building measure. Water, the Forum believes has more kinetic power to flow, change and it transgresses most rigid or mapped borders between lands, people, communities and nationalities.

Secondly, the Forum chose Babble for its slightly subversive and quirky quality. In many ways, all talk is nonsense — right back to our pre-verbal cries, gurgles and babble. Moreover, all talk, chatter and verbal exchanges flow in one stream or another gushing or pooling to shape the written words of literature. Sometimes, art and literature can be seen as elitist, lofty and exclusionary (especially by non-writers). Therefore, in choosing Babble it decided to undercut that notion and dispel any assumptions of pretentiousness in a good humoured  way— as satirical literary journals such as Blather (Flann O’Brien et al) once did!

Sunday 11 August 2013

Roald Dahl Museum Poet in Residence

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre’s mission is to inspire in everyone a love of creative writing and reading using the Roald Dahl Archive, his stories and his life. We seek a variety of ways to engage children, families and life-long learners with books and creative expression both at the Museum and through outreach work. Our Residency programme forms a fundamental and exciting part of our mission.

From November 2013 to February 2014 we would like to work with a poet to continue to enrich Roald Dahl’s legacy. The poet will be involved in the delivery of a number of projects, including workshops to students in targeted Buckinghamshire schools, and family events at the Museum during school holidays. The poet will also have five days set aside to work on their own piece of writing. We would love the poet to spend time working in Roald Dahl’s chair in our replica Writing Hut!

Deadline: Monday 19 August.
Interviews will take place in the week beginning Monday 2 September.  

Link here

Friday 9 August 2013

Quilt a Poem - Baileborough Festival Poetry Competition

Baileborough have a competition for their first poetry festival on the weekend of 4th and 5th October this year.

The LitLab group of writers are hosting a weekend of readings, workshops, a poetry competition and launch of a new anthology of the group’s work. Visiting poets will include; Nessa O’Mahony, Barbara Smith, Heather Brett, Rebecca O Connor and Noel Monahan. The venues will include the town library in the old Market Square, Bia restaurant and the Wesleyan Church. In conjunction with the poetry festival there will be a quilt exhibition hanging in the arts space of the library.

Go to the Cara Poetry Competition website here and take a look at the quilts then write (or adapt) a poem inspired by one of them.
  1.  Poems must be about, or inspired by, any of the quilts exhibited on the page.
  2. Deadline Friday 13th September.
  3. First prize of €250 for winning poem
  4. All shortlisted poems will be featured at a reading at Bailieborough Poetry Festival on Saturday 5th October 2013, and authors will be invited to attend.
  5. Each poem must not exceed 50 lines, and should be typed, single-spaced. Please identify the quilt to which each poem relates.
  6. Up to three poems may be submitted per entry.
  7. Fee €5 per entry (3 poems)

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Charles Macklin Festival and Poetry Prize

The Charles Macklin Autumn School will take place from Thursday 10 October 2013 to Sunday 14 October 2013. The weekend is dedicated to local playwright and actor Charles Macklin who was born in 1690 and died in 1797 aged 107.

The Charles Macklin Poetry Prize 2013

There are three cash prizes for a single unpublished poem.
  • 1st prize - €200 
  • 2nd prize - €100 
  • 3rd prize - €50
  • There will also be three highly commended poems chosen.
Winners shall be invited to read their poems at a prize-giving ceremony which will take place
during The Charles Macklin Autumn School 10th – 13th October 2013 in Culdaff,
Inishowen, Co Donegal.

The poem can be of any length but must be no longer than 40 lines.
The entry fee is €8 per poem.

Pretty steep fee I think. Maybe they're all very rich in Donegal

Deadline: 30 August 2013

Anonymous entry,
no named judge that I can see.
Postal entries only.

 Link here.

Monday 5 August 2013

Dromineer Literary Festival Writing Competition

The Dromineer Literary Festival Writing Competition is open for entries.

There are two categories for entry: Poetry and Flash Fiction.

The Judges are Jean O'Brien for Poetry and John MacKenna for Flash Fiction.

Entry fee for poems is €5 for the first poem, plus €3 per additional title.
Entry fee for flash fiction is €10 for each entry.

The prizes awarded in each category are:

1st Prize: €500
2nd Prize: €350
3rd Prize: €150
Deadline: 30th August 2013.

For further details about the competition, please see the Dromineer Literary Festival website

Saturday 3 August 2013

Words for Castle Ward Writing Workshops

Attend a writing workshop in the beautiful surrounds of National Trust’s Castle Ward property. Drawing inspiration from the Farmyard area of Castle Ward, taking in the artists & makers of Castle Ward Arts & Crafts, these workshops offer you the chance to gather material for your imagination and create new work. Open to over 16s with all levels of experience - and all forms of writing. The workshops are facilitated by Olive Broderick, verbal artist with Castle Ward Arts & Crafts. 

Dates: 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 August
Time: 10.30am-12.30pm
Venue: Farmyard, Castle Ward, Strangford. Cost: £3

No booking required. Come to the Trailblazer Cafe in the Farmyard, Castle Ward for 10.30am on Saturday’s in August. Each workshop will have a different theme so you are very welcome to attend one, a few or all the workshops. Bring pen and paper! A small amount of walking involved.

Further information from

Find out about more arts & craft workshops happening during summer at