Monday 30 September 2013

Some All Ireland Poetry Day events

First of all me.
I'm reading at the Irish Writers' Centre

Thursday 3rd October 2013 11.40am

A day-long (10am to 4pm) of poetry by some of Ireland's finest poets is at the centre of Poetry Ireland's celebration of All Ireland Poetry Day
Watch the live stream at

Francis Ledwidge: WWI Irish Nationalist War Poet - Talk
18:30, Wednesday 2nd October at the National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
On the eve of the All Ireland Poetry Day teacher, writer and performance artist Miriam Kilmurry will examine the place of Francis Ledwidge among the canons of WWI literature in her talk "Francis Ledwidge: WWI Irish Nationalist War Poet". Admission is free and no booking required.

Dean Crowe Theatre, in collaboration with Athlone Literary Festival, will host an open mic poetry night with music on Thurs Oct 3 at 7:30pm in the Dean Crowe, Athlone.
Poet/Writer John Sexton will open the evening followed with readings from Micheal Corrigan, Niall O’Connor, Michéal Kearney, Michael Corrigan, Éabha Rose, Declan Finneran, Amy Barry, Patrick Carton...and more....

1pm - Highlanes Gallery, Dundalk
'Variations on a Theme of Change, Transformation and Alchemy' is the theme chosen for a special lunchtime gallery event to mark All Ireland Poetry Day. Five Drogheda poets, Susan Connelly, Patrick Dillon, Roger Hudson, Marie MacSweeney and John O'Rourke, will present poems that explore the various aspects of change. All are welcome and admission is free, with people free to come and go.
8pm - Anaverna House, Ravensdale, Dundalk
A poetry reading with Enda Coyle-Greene and Richard W. Halperin. There will also be a musical interval and readings from the Dundalk writers' circle.


12pm - Laracor Graveyard
1pm - St Patrick's Cathedral, Trim
4pm - Ledwidge Museum, Slane
5pm - O'Reilly Memorial, Dowth
The Boyne Writers Group invite you to join them in celebrating the poetic heritage of Meath. They are holding a series of four readings to celebrate two Meath-born poets and two who spent many years in the county: F.R. Higgins, Jonathan Swift, Francis Ledwidge and John Boyle O'Reilly.
Join them at any or all of the venues, listen to or read poems by these poets and others of your choice.

8pm - Lough Derg Yacht Club, Dromineer
The Dromineer Literary Festival presents a poetry reading with Michael Longley, Mark Roper and Jennifer Matthews.

Sunday 29 September 2013

Radio Writing Workshop

This sounds rather thrilling. Good job Kilkenny!


Sessions House Arts Centre is proud to host through the Kilkenny Carlow Education & Training Board Weekend Radio Drama Writing Workshops.

Cost of the workshop is €25 per person
There are two weekend workshops running on the following dates:





Radio Drama and Performance Workshop - wherein a radio play will be devised, developed, scripted and performed, specifically for and about The Sessions House Arts Centre, the old Court House and Gaol in Thomastown, Kilkenny
Incorporating the rich history of the building, participants will devise a short piece for radio which they will subsequently perform and record under the facilitation of playwright, Gillian Grattan.
The workshop will explore the following; script writing, editing, acting, creating sound effects, character creation and development, microphone technique and the physicality of radio acting.

• Development of a story and plot which directly relates to Sessions House.
• Devising and writing of the script or scripts.
• Performance of the piece by participants for recording.
• Sound effects which will be sourced by participants as the project will be recorded in the traditional style: ie: no computerised effects.
• Music, an original piece to be devised by participants.
• Recording the piece, in a professional studio setting
• Performance of the piece to an audience in November at Session House.

Athlone Literary Festival

This literary festival is getting bigger.

More details on their website

C. Blurred Lines: A Poetry Workshop with Vona Groarke Fee: €15 2:00pm - 5:00pm

An Evening with author Pat McCabe 8:00pm Fee €10

Workshop: ‘Writing a Novel’ with James Lawless Fee €15 10:00am – 1:00pm

‘Song is Reality’ with Nóirín Ní Riain and Avia Gurman Fee €10 10:30am – 12:30pm

Poetry & Prose with Vona Groarke and Dermot Healy Fee €10 1:30pm – 3:00pm

From ‘Beyond Prozac’ to ‘Selfhood’ and beyond. A conversation with Dr Terry Lynch 3:30pm-5:00pm Fee €10

An evening of Comedy, Music & Poetry Fee €12 8:00pm-10:00pm

Paths to Publishing 12:00am-1:00pm Fee €5

 "Irish Identity & Culture, an Ever Changing Idea" Fee €10 3:00pm-5:00pm

Friday 27 September 2013

Developing your film script

From Dream to Screen: The Development Process of Run and Jump
On this half-day workshop, Ailbhe Keoghan, (co-writer, Run And Jump) and Mark McIlrath (script-editor, Run and Jump) will discuss their development process involved in the feature-length script, Run and Jump. Run and Jump, directed and co-written by Steph Green, had its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Irish Feature at the 2013 Galway Film Fleadh.

Development is now a necessary part of the writing process, especially where money from funding authorities and/or co-production is involved. This discussion aims to enlighten filmmakers to this process and how to navigate it successfully.

Topics covered will include:

  • The journey of development
  • The do’s and don’ts of development
  • Protecting what the story is while being open about how best to tell it.
  • Approaching how to develop the character/story/theme issues to make it a more effective emotional experience for an audience
  • Looking at a particular scene development scenario from Run and Jump.

Ailbhe Keogan is the author of the novel, Molly & the Cyclops, published by Hag’s Head Press. Her first screenplay, Run and Jump, was directed and produced by Oscar-nominated team, Steph Green and Tamara Anghie in association with Samson Films. The script was selected as one of twelve to take part in the 2010 Berlinale Talent Campus Script Station and as one of only five projects for the Sundance Institute’s June 2010 lab.

Mark McIlrath is a film script editor who works on feature film projects in Ireland, Italy, France and the UK.

Date: Friday, October 4th, 2013. Half Day (10.30am - 1.30pm)
Cost: €20 members/€25 non-members. Places are limited.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Dromineer Literary Festival

Planning to hit Tipperary the first weekend in October? There's lot going on.

Poetry: Thurs Oct 3 Michael Longley, Mark Roper, Jennifer Matthews

Prose: Sat Oct 5 Julian Gough, Donal Ryan, Paul Lynch, Alan McMonagle
Prose: Sun Oct 6 Theo Dorgan, Nicki Griffin

Poetry: Sun Oct 6 John W. Sexton, Maighread Medbh, Patrick Deeley, Susan Millar DuMars, Kate O'Shea, Adam White, John Saunders and Michael Gallagher
The tenth annual Dromineer Literary Festival will take place October 3-5, Thursday to Sunday, next month.  With support from the Arts Council, the Arts Office of North Tipperary County Council and the generosity of local sponsors, the festival committee have planned an exciting programme for 2013 that will include established and emerging writers.

For the festival's poetry evening and in celebration of the All Ireland Poetry Day, much loved poet, Michael Longley, will read alongside poet Mark Roper and emerging poet Jennifer Matthews at 8pm, Thursday evening, October 3 at Lough Derg Yacht Club, in Dromineer
Abbot Mark Hederman will officially open the festival on Friday evening October 4, at 7.30pm at Lough Derg Yacht Club.  The winners of the schools Poetry Competition and the adults' poetry and flash short stories will be announced.  The judges this year are: Mary Arrigan, Primary Schools Poetry Competition, Jean O'Brien, Poetry Competition and John MacKenna, Flash Short Story Competition.  Niamh Hogan and Stewart Andrews, actors with the Nenagh Players, will read the adults winning entries.
The Meet the Authors event will take place at the Nenagh Arts Centre at 8pm on Saturday night, October 5.  Multi-award winning, Nenagh born authors, Julian Gough and Donal Ryan will be joined on stage by acclaimed, and fellow rising authors Paul Lynch and Alan McMonagle. 
DLF committee member Paul O'Dwyer, an author, broadcaster and Dentist, will facilitate the conversation, readings and discussion by the authors. To get the most of the evening, we encourage the audience to read the books by these authors in advance of the event, all details can be found on our website  The Nenagh Arts Centre are taking bookings through their booking line, 067 34400.  
At lunchtime Sunday October 6, from 11.45am until 2.45pm, the festival will celebrate the rich diversity of new poetry published in Ireland in 2013 with The Launching Party.   Writers and poets participating in this event are: John W. Sexton, Maighread Medbh, Patrick Deeley, Susan Millar DuMars, Kate O'Shea, Adam White, John Saunders and Michael Gallagher.  Poet Jean O'Brien will introduce each writer and will read from her own work at the end of the event.  We are delighted that poet, Adam White, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Forward Prize for his debut collection Accurate Measurements. The winners will be announced in London, October 1.
From 3-5pm, Sunday afternoon October 6, afloat on Lough Derg, author and poet Theo Dorgan and Nicki Griffin will read from their new books Making Way `and The Skipper and Her Mate.  Places on board are strictly limited, to avoid disappointment, please book early by emailing 
The festival will conclude with drama and music from John Faulkner and Members of The Nenagh Players, from 6pm at The Whiskey Still in Dromineer village.
The festival artist this year is Galway based Dolores Lyne.  Lyne's wonderful exhibition, By Water, will be on view, with works for sale, at Lough Derg Yacht Club, throughout the weekend.
Programme link with prices here

Monday 23 September 2013

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Arts Grant Scheme 2014

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has a scheme of grants for the purpose of providing financial assistance to individual artists, arts groups and arts organisations engaged in arts projects or events at local or county level. Grants are also available to support the professional development and arts practice of individual artists, arts groups and organisations.

Individual artists, arts groups and arts organisations working in all art-forms (architecture, circus, craft, dance, film, literature, music, opera, spectacle, street art, theatre, traditional arts and visual arts) are eligible to apply. Collaborative applications are also welcomed.

Grants are available for the arts activity taking place during 2014.

Link here

Support includes:
Event/Project                                                               Maximum €7,000
Funding to support the production of an event, festival or long-term project by an individual artist, arts group or arts organisation that will allow the public an opportunity to engage with or experience the arts. The applicant/s must clearly define the outcome in the application.
Professional Development/Artists Supports             Maximum €2,000

Funding to develop or support studios, to purchase materials or equipment or to support the professional development of an artist, arts group or arts organisation. This could take the form of a bursary to allow the artist time to complete a specified body of work or a training opportunity such as a course. This cannot be used to fund third level training or travel. Please note that applicants applying to this funding strand must live or work in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

Small Arts Grants                                                          Maximum €1,300

Small Arts Grants are available to persons or bodies organising a small-scale community based arts event that would promote appreciation and practice of the arts while improving standards in the arts within the community. Activities that are eligible for funding include amateur/ community art exhibitions, musical and dramatic societies and community publications of a creative writing nature.


Sunday 22 September 2013

Skylight seeks submissions

The Galway based magazine, Skylight 47 Issue 3 will be launched in January 2014.

Deadline: 1st October 2013.

Please send up to four poems, along with a short biographical note, to
Send your poems as an attachment (.doc, .docx, .txt or .rtf) and in the body of the email.

Poems to be no longer than 40 lines and should be previously unpublished.

Saturday 21 September 2013

Louth County Council - Arts Act Grants

Hurry up if you're in Louth to apply for an arts grant.

Deadline: 4pm Thursday 26th September 

Link here

Louth Local Authorities operate a number of funding opportunities for individuals and organisations involved in the arts.

To apply, download the relevant PDF below, fill out the form, if applicable, and return by post or by hand to The Arts Office, Dundalk Town Council, Town Hall, Crowe Street Dundalk , Co. Louth.
Please note all
applications , irrespective of the address of the applicant within Louth, must be sent to – The Arts Office, Dundalk Town Council, Town Hall, Crow Street Dundalk , Co. Louth.
Please make sure the following is included -
  • For organisations, the name, address and contact number of the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.
  • All other sources of funding, such as voluntary contributions, grants, etc.
  • Charitible Status Number / Tax Reference Number, if any.
Louth Local Authorities may ask for further information in support of an application; however, responsibility for submitting all requested information rests with the applicant, and applications will be deemed ineligible if applications are not completed correctly and in full.Applicants must be resident in County louth, except in exceptional circumstances

Thursday 19 September 2013

Death Comes to Pemberley - PD James

Great Writing Great Places initiative has a interesting selection for Autumn.

Tuesday 8th October 7pm
Public Theatre (Exam Hall), Front Square, Trinity College, Dublin 2

In honour of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, spend an evening with best selling crime author PD James as she talks to Declan Burke about her lifelong passion for Jane Austen and the writing of Death Come To Pemberley which was long listed for the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Admission free
Booking essential.
Maximum of 4 tickets per person. Tel: 01 674 4862 Email:

In association with the School of English, Trinity College

  •  Blood on the Page 24th September 6.30pm with John Curran, Andrew Hughes and Michael Russell
  • Oscar, Lady Wilde and Merrion Square 22nd October with  Dr Jarlath Killeen (TCD)
  • Dublin On A Plate 4th November 6.30pm with  Rosanne Hewitt-Cromwell (author and food blogger), Biddy White Lennon (author and food writer) and Gillian Nelis (Managing Editor with The Sunday Business Post )
  • Looking at the Stars 18th November 6.30pm with Sarah Griffin, Elizabeth Reapy and Stephen James Smith. 

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Graphic novel submissions

Are you an aspiring graphic novelist? Do you have an original story to tell? Jonathan Cape and Comica have got together with the Observer to offer you the chance to see your work in print and win £1000.

Open to UK and Ireland based writers.

Take this opportunity to get your work read by industry experts. The judges are Joe Dunthorne (author of Submarine and Wild Abandon), Stephen Collins (author of The Gigantic Beard that Was Evil), Rachel Cooke (The Observer), Dan Franklin (Publisher, Jonathan Cape), Paul Gravett (Director, Comica Festival) and Suzanne Dean (Random House Creative Director).

The first prize is £1,000 and the publication of your  4-page story in The Observer New Review.
The runner-up will receive £250 and your work will appear on The Guardian. Deadline for entries: 27th September 2013.

For entry forms and terms and conditions click here.

For a plan of how your story will appear in The Observer and for layout dimensions, click here.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Quantum Shorts

I am a Physics nerd so this competition is appealing and challenging.

Quantum physics is a crazy theory but every experiment done so far backs it up: the world really is a crazy place. Particles can be in more than one place at the same time and quantum computers really could solve in a flash problems that make today’s supercomputers stumble. Even teleportation isn’t science fiction. But fiction is what we’re looking for. After last year’s Quantum Shorts film competition drew some fantastic short films, this year we want stories.

We challenge you to take inspiration from quantum theory to write flash fiction: a short story no longer than 1000 words. Don’t think you have to make it full of explano-babble, weird science or quantum powered-gadgets: as long as it is engaging, and clearly linked to some aspect of the quantum world, we’d love to read your entry. To help, we’ve suggested some themes and styles you might want to explore - visit our inspiration pages to learn more.

Deadline: 1 December 2013 

Sunday 15 September 2013

Electric Picnic 2013

Finally, the write up for this year's fantastic Electric Picnic Weekend, Stradbally, Co Laois.

This year, all 35,000 tickets sold out. There were some generous early bird offers which I think must have helped. Keep an eye out for next year.

We arrived Friday.
We started with The Dionnes on the main Body and Soul stage, doing classic Motown covers in lovely shimmery silver dresses. Their voices were so fabulous, I wondered if they were from the Dublin Gospel Choir. Anyone know?

Then Hudson Hawk on the Main Stage who I really enjoyed. They started as buskers.

I also dropped into the Theatre of Food. It's always well visited; Nevin Maguire was doing his thing and seemed genuinely excited to be there. Also a wogious poet on The Word Stage. Ah well.

There were a couple of half-hearted showers but we sheltered at the Bacardi bar with the now traditional Mojitos. We had watched the lovely, bouncy barmen being trained early in the art of pouring a measure from a height. Try it at home! Then a lovely green chicken curry.

We caught a bit of Daithi earlier at the main Body and Soul Stage, a whizz on the fiddle, really popular with the crowd.

I didn't enjoy Friday so much. The other big tents were closed so it was only the Main Stage and Body and Soul so the crowd was jammed for Fat Boy Slim - all elbows in the boobs. And it was cold.

We saw Ronan O'Snodiagh later in the Irish tent in Mindfield who was fantastic. He had a kind of electric bodhran and also a Hang. His kids were joining in from the side too.


Started off with the traditional coffee and people watching in Body and Soul.

There were some new art pieces dotted about the place and lots of red-headed men.

Caught some of Josephine's set at the Rankin Woods Stage (used to be Crawdaddy). There were lots of female singer-songwriters this year.
Felt like death. Got a massage.

Watch John Murry at the Rankin Woods Stage. He's a singer from Mississippi who's intensely personal album The Graceless Age has to be checked out on Youtube. A highly charged set left the audience mesmerised and made me tear up at the end.

Went to Fossetts Circus. I think this is the first circus I've ever been to. I decided that the type of performance (juggling, clowning, a very good magic show) is the same as the entertainment that they had in medieval times and earlier.

Pieminister Pies for lunch. And a few Paulener (strong)

Mindfield was dedicated to Seamus Heaney and in between the shows on the Literary Stage, the were playing poems read by the man himself. Quite a few of the interviewees read a poem too. We dedicated our happy death poem to him at our show. It was quite moving.

Met up with the Divas in the Literary Tent to see the writer Stuart Carolan (Love/Hate) and actor Aidan Gillen (Love/Hate, Game of Thrones and The Wire) Three of my top TV programs of recent years. They seemed taken aback by the crowds in the tent and hesitant at times. Interviewed by Sinead Gleeson.

Robert Plant - total legend on the Main Stage giving new twists to Led Zep classics.

And the highlight Bjork. Magical, genius, mad, amazing. Dress by Alexander McQueen. Backed by a 14 strong icelandic choir. Heaven. And moving. I teared up again.

Saw Prison Love, a super bluegrass kind of band on the Trailer Park stage late at night. I'm pretty sure I saw them last year. Great fun.


Starting again with Body and Soul on an overcast day.

Then our Poetry Divas gig. (Photo castaboldeye) fueled by smuggled Diva fuel (Gordon's gin and tonic in a can.) We had a great reaction and an ever increasing audience. Lollipops and bubbles. High Shoes, Drinking and seductive potatoes - we had I all. We were propositioned from a red-headed man in the crowd and buoyed by the reception. It was great to meet some of the audience afterwards. Thanks everyone. Kate Tempest and BP Fallon both dropped by, which was nice but unnerving.

Kalle Ryan and the Brownbread mixtape show was a great mix of comedy and passion on The Word Stage.
I also then caught Erin Fornoff whose poem about catching coals with her brother I particularly liked.

Then Colm Keegan and Stephen James Smith, inveterate performers both who got a great audience reaction.

Chilling Out.
Eric Lalor on the Comedy Stage was disappointing. A Ballymun comedian who just wheeled out the old stereotypical favourites for stale laughter.
Hermitage Green on the Electric Arena Stage are an unsigned band (not for long) in the Mumford league.
I had a wander around the Green area. There was lots of craft but it was focused more on workshops so you only go to see people trying stuff out rather than the professional masterpieces.

And the grand finale - the inimitable poet Kate Tempest - a legend and a sweetheart. Fantastic.

Friday 13 September 2013

Shore Writers’ Festival

Shore Writers’ Festival is a free, unfunded festival for young and emerging Irish writers and will be held in Co. Sligo on November 1st, 2nd and 3rd 2013. It is organised by the team at 

They will be creating an exhibition space for the postcards at the festival and would love to have Irish writers and readers abroad represented through their words.

Shore Writers’ Festival are asking Irish writers/ literature lovers abroad to send them postcards with a few words on their experiences away for this year’s Shore Writers’ Festival. These postcards can contain messages of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, quotes, anecdotes or whatever you like. They can be political, poignant or fun.

All postcards are welcome and will be exhibited at the festival.
Please send your postcards to: Shore Writers Festival c/o wordlegs, Claremorris, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Closing Date: October 15th 2013

Queries to:
Twitter: @wordlegs ; @shorewriters

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Abridged Submission Calls Abridged 0 – 13: Mara Submission Call

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

Abridged 0 – 34: In Blue Submission Call
This issue encourages the consideration of the vital connotations of the concept of ‘blue’ to the human condition and the individual’s contemplation of place, purpose, self and essence. The strong association of the colour blue with the natural (the sea and sky), the broken (melancholy) and the forbidden (pornography) have led to said colour concurrently evoking ideas of apparent wholesomeness, failure and seedy delinquency. Blue runs underneath us and domes above us; it is what bore us and what we aspire through imagination to return to: another dimension, another means of perceiving, breathing, moving, experiencing… It is the colour of the most subtle moods of pain, not burning with the disarming immediacy of horror or despair but throbbing in mellow multiplicity and tonal diversity, slowly moving through the depths of reflection. Blue dances with dappled light, altering perception and renewing reflection. In creative discourses we take it from outside us and hold it as our own, making our subtle moods of humanity material by weaving them through its soft, swelling diversity. Blue was our home, to blue we long to return. We wish to wallow in its mellow discontent hoping for a return to the good old days. Days that never did or could have existed: days that define us.

Abridged 0 – 13: Mara Submission Call

0 – 13: Mara sees Abridged explore our home city’s forgotten spaces, the excluded places lost and alone that impinge on our consciousness like an aching tooth, the covered up and boarded, the hidden and hurt, the Derry and Londonderry lurking in Derry/Londonderry. Mara in Buddhist mythology is apparently the embodiment of all unskilled emotions and a metaphor for the entirety of conditioned existence. We have no interest per se in religious mythologies but note that the similarity of the ‘conditioned existence’ of Buddhism, and the ‘terms and conditions applied’ of Abridged. This is not a project about the beauty of contemporary ‘ruins’ though in some cases there is an undeniably poetic appeal to decay and neglect. It focuses on the forgotten architecture and social places, the places that whilst seemingly unimportant were vital cogs in the engine of a place or a person. Nostalgia is not an aim of this work; rather it is a reflection on where we are now and how we have arrived here. We are looking for poetry only for this issue. It DOES NOT have to be about Derry. Architectural abandonment and decay can be seen as a metaphor for a million other things…This issue will be in association with artist Mara Cavalli whose photographic work will be featured in the issue and whose film-work will be available on the Abridged website initially exclusively for the Abridged readership. The issue will contain a password which gives access to the work. There will also be an exhibition.
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 (preferably) be emailed to or posted to: Abridged c/o The Verbal Arts Centre, Stable Lane and Mall Wall, Bishop Street Within, Derry BT48 6PU. 
Deadline: 30th September 2013.

Monday 9 September 2013

Creative Art for 55+

The National Gallery and many other galleries and museums offer all sorts of workshops and talks, mostly for free for adults and for children.

I'm teaching an afternoon creative writing course at the National Gallery in Dublin this Wednesday 11th September at 3pm

Tour numbers limited to 15, first-come, first-served basis.
On arrival check in at the Information Desk.

Link here for other courses.

Events are free and no booking (or experience!) is necessary.
It's aimed at older adults but no one's asking for ID so all welcome.

We'll be using some paintings in the collection for inspiration to create some writing.

Surprise yourself and give it a go. Please spread the word.

Sunday 8 September 2013

OU Creative Writing Course

Does your writing need a boost? How about an online course from the well known, highly regarded Open University? Better get a move on!

There are still places available on the Open University's online creative writing courses. You can do either A215 Creative Writing, which includes fiction, poetry, and life writing, or A363 Advanced Creative Writing, which continues development in fiction, poetry and life writing, and also teaches scriptwriting for radio, stage and screen.

Tutors in Ireland include Nessa O'Mahony, Maureen Boyle, Andrea McCartney, Csilla Toldy and Heather Richardson. Each course lasts seven months and consists of face to face and online tutorials. The course materials are excellent and the guidance and feedback always constructive. 

There are sample exercises and tasters on :

Saturday 7 September 2013

Jeremy Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing

This one has a prize of £7,500. Dearie me. And Free to enter? Yum. What's a girl to do?

Entries are now being sought for the 2014 Jeremy Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing, the annual short story competition run by the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in association with Oxford Gastronomica, part of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University. Food and drink has to be at the heart of the tale. The story could, for instance, be fiction or fact about a chance meeting over a drink, a life-changing conversation over dinner, or a relationship explored through food or drink. It could be crime or intrigue; in fact, any subject as long as it involves food and/or drink in some way.

Applicants are invited from anywhere in the world. They can be published or unpublished authors, but the entry itself must be previously unpublished. The story should be up to 2500 words and must be written in English.

Your short story should be up to 2500 words in total in English and have a food and drink theme at its heart. Entries should be submitted by email as a Word document to the

Deadline: October 1, 2013
one submission per person and not previously published.

The winning entry will be announced at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in March 2014. The winner will receive £7500.

Info here

Thursday 5 September 2013

EFG Sunday Times Short Story

This is apparently the world's biggest short story competition for a single story, so you'd better have a fantastic story to enter. All my stories are fantastic, of course.

Deadline: 27 September 2013.

The award aims to honour the finest writers of short stories in the UK and Ireland. It is open to authors with a previous record of publication in creative writing (so you're up against the full spectrum).

The story should be 6,000 words or under from an author writing fiction from anywhere in the world. They need to have been published in the UK or Ireland.

Prize: The winner will receive £30,000, and the five shortlisted writers will each receive £1,000 as well as having their work published online. A longlist will be announced in February 2014. The winner will be announced in April 2014.

Last year’s winner was Junot Diaz for his story ‘Miss Lora’.

Please see below for details on how to enter, or, for the first time, you can also visit the dedicated website for the Award:

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Newspaper Blackout Poetry

My new obsession. Making poetry by blacking out newsprint and leaving a few words...

See here

Monday 2 September 2013

Review of Evening with acclaimed poet Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan interviewed by Paul Perry
Photo Credit Olly Griffin

This review of the evening with the amazing US poet Kay Ryan Nenagh Arts Centre, August 24 2013 is by Eleanor Hooker from Dromineer Literary festival.

It was a exceptional evening of poetry in Nenagh Arts Centre on Saturday night, August 24, with readings by Kay Ryan and Mary Mullen, facilitated by and with an interview conducted by Paul Perry.

Mary Mullen's poems, tender and true, elicited a warm response from her audience. It was a great pleasure to hear the timbre of Mullen's work, spoken in her meditative and intimate voice.  If you have not already done so, make it your business to get Mary’s collection Zephyr (Salmon Publishing).  Mullen's 93year old mother and her cousin travelled from Alaska to hear her read.

Poet Paul Perry interviewed Kay Ryan before she took to the podium.  His scholarly and thoughtful questions demonstrated close reading and profound insight into Ryan’s poetry, and we, the audience benefited from this, as we learned about this extraordinarily gifted and unaffected poet’s writing life and process. Ms Ryan said she was especially impressed with the freshness of Perry's interview and in particular with his questions on her concerns with aesthetics and her poetry. Ryan said it was a crucial consideration for her and a connection she had not been asked on before.

It is quite something to hear laughter at a poetry reading; it is undoubtedly the spontaneous response that bonds an audience to their reader.  Kay Ryan quips and philosophical observations drew ready laughter from her audience, a response she had said earlier in her interview, pleases her very much. Ryan read from Odd Blocks: Selected and new Poems (Carcanet) and included a poem, written only last week.

When the evening concluded, everyone knew they had attended a special evening with three quite remarkable poets.

This poetry evening was the Dromineer Literary Festival’s contribution to the Gathering celebrations. We are grateful to North Tipperary LEADER Partnership, whose generous sponsorship enabled us to hold this exciting event.   We would also like to thank Brendan Maher, Manager of Nenagh Arts Centre and John Cummins, the Arts Centre’s stage manager, for their kindness and huge help in preparing for this event.

Members of the Dromineer Literary Festival have taken Ms Ryan to see The Burren in County Clare, afloat on Lough Derg and to see ancient monuments in the locality.

Sunday 1 September 2013

Bard of Armagh

The Bard of Armagh Competition 2013 is now accepting submissions.

Over £3000 in prizes

The poem should be no more than 650 words and should not exceed 9 minutes performance time.

The poem must be the original work of the entrant. It should be humorous verse, suitable for family audiences and radio broadcast.

*Suitable for Family audiences - counts out quite a few of mine so

Each entry should be type written in English. It should have a detachable cover page stating clearly the entrant's name, address, telephone number and the title of the poem.

CD/Tape recorded entries are also encouraged.

There will be an entry fee of £2.00 for each poem.

Entries should be sent to:
Mr John Makem, 34 Fergort Rd, Derrynoose, Co Armagh, N. Ireland.
BT60 3DN

Final closing date for entries is 1st October and competitors will be contacted by mid-October.

Finals will take place in the Armagh City Hotel on Friday 22 November 2013.