Saturday 31 May 2014

Yeovil Literary Prize

Get your entry in by midnight (UK/Ireland time!) today, Saturday 31st May

Novel: send your opening chapter(s) and synopsis, no more than 15,000 words in total, for a chance of winning our £1000 first prize.
Short story: maximum 2000 words, first prize £500
Poem: 40 lines maximum, for a first prize of £500

Full details at

Hint - with only a short time left, a sense of urgency is needed, but always take time and care on your final editing! It may help to ask a friend to cast an eye over your work for a final check. It's so easy to become blinded to simple errors in punctuation, grammar, plot consistency, etc

Friday 30 May 2014

Dalkey Book Festival

19th to 22nd June there's a lot going on in Dalkey. But it's quite expensive. Wonder how that will affect sales. I'd be more likely to go all the way to Dalkey for 3 events at a €5. Or not go at all and not pay €15. Maybe they're all loaded in Dalkey.

Highlights IMHO include:

Thursday 19th June

21:00 Robert Fisk: Echoes of 1914
The Festival Marquee €15
On the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of World War One, award-winning journalist, Robert Fisk, offers a personal insight into the Great War, its impact and the lessons we have and have not learned from a human catastrophe on a monumental scale. With Colm O’Mongain.

Friday 20th June
18:30 Ghostwriting with Sue Leonard and June Considine
The Magpie Inn €5
Sue Leonard recently co-wrote the number one bestseller, An Act of Love with Marie Fleming, about Marie’s extraordinary life, and her fight for the right to die with dignity. She has worked on three other books as a ghost writer, and is a freelance journalist.
June Considine has published 16 novels for adults and children and writes as a freelance journalist.  She worked on the recent bestseller Donal's Mountain – How one son Inspired a Nation with Fionnbar Walsh, father of the late Donal Walsh.
They will talk about the challenges and rewards of ghostwriting.
All proceeds will go to the Dyslexia Association.

20:30 Donal Ryan and Colm O'Regan
The Festival Marquee €12.50
Comedian , Colm O’Regan, the author of the side-splitting Irish Mammies books, shares the stage with Donal Ryan, author of The Spinning Heart (winner of The Guardian First Book Award and currently shortlisted for the Impac ) and The Thing About December.
We saw this pair perform recently in Paris and this is one not to be missed. Both writers have a brilliant knack for picking up the day-to-day details that make up ordinary people’s lives and reveal so much about the Ireland we live in today.
Saturday 21st June
13:15 Kirsty Wark
St Patrick's Church €12.50
Kirsty Wark, one of the UK’s most respected and well-known journalists and broadcasters has recently published her debut novel, The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle, a multi-generational story of love and belonging set on the Scottish island of Arran. In a wide-ranging interview with Miriam O'Callaghan, she will talk about her novel, as well as her career in broadcasting, what it’s been like working on Newsnight, and other live topics from everyday sexism to Scottish independence.

19.30 Salmon Rushdie
St Patrick's Church €12.50
Rushdie is the author of eleven novels including The Satanic Verses and Midnight’s Children (which was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981 and, in 1993, was judged to be the “Booker of Bookers,” the best novel to have won that prize in its first twenty-five years).

Sunday 22nd June
12 noon John Banville
The Heritage Centre €12.50
Few writers could possibly imagine being described as ”the heir to Proust, via Nabokov” and mentioned in the same breath as Joyce, Beckett and James but John Banville is such a talent. This Booker and Kafka prize winning novelist and screen writer will explore with you his most recent novel, Ancient Light, his film adaptation of The Sea as well as Quirke. You will also have the chance to ask about his latest work penned by Benjamin Black, The Black–Eyed Blonde, a Philip Marlowe novel.

12.30 Lenny Abraham
The Festival Marquee  €10
Described by the Financial Times as "may be the best thing that ever happened to Irish cinema", one of the hottest names in European filmmaking right now Lenny Abrahamson comes to Dalkey. The award winning director of Adam and Paul, Garage, What Richard Did, and most recently Frank with Michael Fassbender, talks to Sinead Gleeson about the films he has made and adapting books for the screen, including his forthcoming film of Emma O'Donoghue's bestseller, Room. This is one for the movie lovers.

18.30 John O'Donnell
The Heritage Centre €10
John O’Donnell has been published in Ireland, England, America, Australia and New Zealand. His work has also been broadcast on RTE and BBC. Awards include the Hennessy Award for Poetry, the Ireland Funds Prize and the Seacat National Poetry Prize. He has published two previous collections Some Other Country (Bradshaw Books, 2002) and Icarus Sees His Father Fly (Dedalus Press, 2004); his latest collection On Water was published by Dedalus Press in May 2014.As a fiction writer his work has appeared in various publications, and in 2013 he was awarded the Hennessy Award for Fiction. A senior counsel, he lives and works in Dublin.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Circa Words 2014

Circa Words 2014! is a two-day experimental writing festival taking place over Bloomsday weekend. The Dublin Writers Centre will be paying homage to James Joyce as 'godfather' of experimental fiction by providing a space for contemporary experimental fiction writers, publishers and readers to meet, experience new forms of writing and even share their work.
The experimental savant, the eager-to-learn-more, the experi-curious and the experi-unaware are all equally welcome!
Saturday 14 June

10.30am-12.30pm: The Bloomingle
The festival begins on Saturday morning with a marketplace where teams from progressive journals will meet and 'sell their wares' to interested writers and readers. Budding writers will equally get the chance to pitch to journals in this give and take environment. We're expecting a bustling morning with lots of networking and sharing of information. Prepare to unearth the hive of activity that is the Irish journal scene.
Free event, all welcome.
2-4pm: The Big Ol' Yap 
Moderated by Dave Lordan, experimental fiction writer and teacher, this talk-shop delves into the experimental style; past, present and future. Writers and editors from experimental journals will discuss the viability and the relevance of the style. Does it belong in the mainstream? How has it evolved? Is it weird for weird's sake? 
Expect discussions, disagreements and just a bit of chaos.
Free event, suggested donations: €5. All welcome.
7-8.30pm: Dubliners 100 with John Boyne, Evelyn Conlon and Thomas Morris

Dubliners 100, published by Tramp Press, is a modern re-telling of Dubliners by fifteen contributing writers and celebrates the centenary of its publication. Join us for an in conversation event with authors John Boyne and Evelyn Conlon, and Thomas Morris who devised and edited the collection, as we discuss the challenges of picking apart Joyce's stories and reinventing them as contemporary and individual.
Cost: €7/€5
Sunday 15 June 


Having been informed, enthused and inspired by our Saturday events, we hope to see you for our Sunday workshops where we encourage you to experiment with your own writing.

Writer and gamer Charlene Putney will take participants through their paces on how to produce interactive fiction and experimental fiction writer Dave Lordan will facilitate a fun, Joycean inspired workshop. More details to follow on our site!

Sunday 25 May 2014

Fifth Japan-EU English Haiku Contest

The Embassy of Japan is pleased to inform you of the Fifth Japan-EU English Haiku Contest, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Delegation of the European Union to Japan, and sponsored by Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan.

710 haiku poets submitted entries on the theme Rainbow for last year's fourth contest. For this year's contest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the EU Delegation to Japan are pleased to call on contestants to share their haiku related to the theme of Wonderful Encounter.

The organisers have set up a Fan Page on Facebook ( and selected haiku will be uploaded. The aim of the contest is to deepen the relationship between Japan and the EU and encourage people to enjoy both writing and reading English haiku.

  • The deadline for applications is Friday, 27 June 2014 (2.00am, Brussels time).
  • The contest is open to nationals of EU member states and Japan who are currently residing in the EU or Japan. It is open to all ages.
  • One winner each from Japan and the EU will be announced in due course. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EU Delegation to Japan will offer the winners a round-trip to Matsuyama City, the birthplace of modern haiku in Japan. The contest winners will be notified by e-mail and given further details of the prize.

Friday 23 May 2014

Send your Limerick to Limerick

I think Limerick's are quite hard to write. But why not have a go. You could win some dosh.

You can print this off or enter online on Facebook
Deadline midnight 31st May
There will be one winning prize of €1,000 plus 2nd and 3rd cash prizes of €200 and €100

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Cape Open Submissions

From 1-30 June, 2014, Jonathan Cape will be open for fiction submissions from new writers of high calibre and imagination. 

Submissions should be an initial 50 pages of prose fiction. These can be part of a novel or novella, or short stories. The pages can be finished work or a work in progress. 

For graphic-novel submissions, please contact the editors through

Submissions should be emailed as attachments to 

Monday 19 May 2014

Poets Meet Painters

Poets Meet Painters
writing competition

Prize: €250

Judge: Cherry Smyth

Closing date: 1 July 2014
Hungry Hill Writing was originally established for writers on the Beara peninsula in Ireland.
This competition is for poems inspired by works of art exhibited at Mill Cove Gallery or displayed on their website (

Full details at

Saturday 17 May 2014

Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition 2014

Bradshaw Books of Tigh Fili is pleased to announce the launch of the Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition 2014

The aim of this competition is to give emerging writers the opportunity to publish their first collection of poetry...and to raise funds for the publishers. They rely mainly on grants to continue.

The prize includes:
1. The publication of a first collection by the winning poet.
2. The competition winner and two runners-up will also be featured in Volume XVI of the Cork Literary Review.

This year’s judge is: Joseph Woods again.

Deadline: 21st July 2014

Submit 5-10 of your best poems initially.
Upon qualifying for the shortlist of 12 ,
poets will then submit a full manuscript of 50 poems minimum for
Fee: €20
The poetry competition is open to poets of any nationality writing in English.

More info here

Caveat: I don't think Bradshaw books are very good at publicity....Have  look for former winners...Angela Carr in 2013, Annette Skade in 2012.

Thursday 15 May 2014

Dublin Writers' Festival

This year's Dublin Writers' Festival is absolutely packed with a fantastic mix of events. Way way to many to do justice here.
But I'll try.

First and foremost

Tuesday 20th May 7pm The Liquor Rooms
The Word including The Poetry Divas. Our first Dublin event in an age. Much too long.

The Liquor Rooms brings you Word: a new series of spoken word, live
literature, performance poetry, discussion, debate, chats, rants and more!


Other highlights:
Saturday 17th May 6pm Conference Hall Dublin Castle
Jo Baker & Joanne Trollope Reimagining Jane Austen
In recent years Jane Austen’s work has inspired a host of new novels, from PD James’ Death Comes to Pemberley to Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. But what are the pitfalls of
adapting classics for the modern age? Should you expect your readers to know the originals, and what happens when you change the point of view?

7pm Axis Ballymun Polarbear, Colm Keegan and Miss Kate
Early Hours offers an eclectic mix of performance, poetry and music. Polarbear is one of the most respected spoken-word artists and storytellers in the UK whose unique performances combine the language and rhythmic patterns of hip hop with the day-to-day musings of a man trying to figure things out. Dermot Bolger says of poet Colm Keegan that his work “delves into the richest and the darkest corners of the human condition, without … ever compromising the deep humanity at the core.” Throw in Miss Kate’s soulful blend of Blues, House and Urban influences and you’ve got a night to remember!

Sunday 18th May 4pm Arne Dahl Smock Alley
In recent years Swedish crime drama has swept all before it, and now Arne Dahl has become the latest writer to join the likes of Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell on bestseller lists across the globe. His Intercrime series, about an elite team of detectives investigating the dark underbelly of Swedish society, has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide and been made into an award-winning TV series.

Monday 19th May & Wednesday 21st May 7pm Irish Writers Centre
Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series
Since its establishment in 1989, Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series has offered exciting opportunities for talented, emerging poets to showcase their work. Many well-known poets have
come through this series including me. This year, the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series will team up with the Irish Writers’ Centre and Dublin Writers Festival for two cabaret-style evenings in the ambient surroundings of the Irish Writers’ Centre to reveal nine new promising voices: Erin Fornoff, Angela T Carr, Larry Stapleton, Breda Wall Ryan, Kevin Conroy, Colm Scully, Rachel Coventry, Paul McMahon and Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin. This year’s programme will also include specially selected
musical accompaniment from new and emerging musicians, singers and songwriters.

Thursday 22nd May 6pm Smock Alley
Simon Armitage
Few poets can count a BAFTA, a CBE and an Ivor Novello among their awards, but Simon Armitage is one. In the 25 years since he published his first collection, Zoom!, he has established himself as the face of modern British poetry, earning both critical and popular acclaim. His astonishingly varied body of work includes ten collections of poetry, two novels, a bestselling memoir (All Points North),
translations from the classics and plays for radio, TV and stage.
Now Professor of Poetry at Sheffield University, he remains as prolific as ever. In 2011 he walked the 256-mile Pennine Way as a kind of modern troubadour, giving poetry readings in return for bed and board, a feat described in the bestseller Walking Home. In 2012, to celebrate the London Olympics, he conceived and organised Poetry Parnassus, the largest international gathering of poets in history. Now, following celebrated translations of The Odyssey and The Death of King Arthur, Armitage comes to Dublin Writers Festival to talk about The Last Days of Troy, his new dramatisation of Homer’s Iliad, currently on stage at the Royal Exchange in London, and to read from a selection of his work over the last 25 years.

Friday 23rd May 8pm Smock Alley
Everyday Sexism
Two years ago,” said Laura Bates in a recent interview, “I didn’t know what sexism meant.” But, when, after enduring a spate of unrelated incidents, she began to ask friends and colleagues about their own experiences, a shocking fact emerged: every woman she spoke to had encountered sexism not at some point in the past, but earlier that week. Soon afterwards Bates set up the Everyday Sexism Project, a website dedicated to documenting people’s personal experiences of sexism, and now, more than 50,000 posts later, the project has spread to 18 other countries and Bates has emerged as a leading figure in feminism’s ‘fourth wave’.
Chaired by Sinéad Gleeson, Everyday Sexism gathers a panel of leading journalists and campaigners to explore sexism in all its contemporary forms. What kinds of sexism are most prevalent today, and how can we resist them? Joining Bates to discuss these issues are Dearbhail McDonald, Legal Editor at the Irish Independent, and Jenny Dunne, who runs the Irish branch of Hollaback, an international website dedicated to ending street harassment.

Lots of info here

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Over The Edge Writers’

Over The Edge Writers’ goes from strength to strength. If you are in or near Galway, make a point of checking it out.

May Over The Edge Writers’ Gathering in Galway
at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop

The May Over The Edge Writers’ Gathering presents readings by fiction writer Anna McCarthy, and poets Cormac Culkeen, Billy Ramsell & Maeve O’Sullivan. The evening will also see a reading, by members of his family, from Tom Duddy’s posthumously published second poetry collection: The Years (HappenStance Press, 2014).  The event will take place at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Middle Street, Galway on

Saturday, May 17th, 6pm.

All are welcome. There is no cover charge.

Tom Duddy was born in 1950 in Ramolin, near the small town of Shrule, Co. Mayo. He came to live in Galway in 1969, and later taught Philosophy in the School of Humanities at NUI Galway. His academic publications include A History of Irish Thought and Dictionary of Irish Philosophers. A chapbook of his poems, The Small Hours, was published in 2006, and his first full collection, The Hiding Place, in 2011. Sadly, in 2012, Tom became ill and died, aged 62. A posthumous collection, The Years, was published earlier this year by HappenStance Press.

Anna McCarthy was born in London and lives in New York with her husband and young daughter. Her work has appeared in Otoliths and was featured in the 2012 Du Maurier Festival. She was an Iowa Review Short Story Awards finalist in 2013 and the winner of the hotly contested fiction category in the 2013 Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition. She teaches at New York University.

Billy Ramsell was born in Cork in 1977 and was educated at the North Monastery and UCC. Complicated Pleasures, his first collection, was published by the Dedalus Press in 2007. He holds the Chair of Ireland Bursary for 2013 and has been shortlisted for several other prizes. He edits the Irish section of the Poetry International website and co-runs an educational publishing company. His most recent collection: The Architect’s Dream of Winter was published in 2013.

Cormac Culkeen is a writer of poetry, fiction and short stories from Dunmore, Co. Galway. Some years ago his work was published in The Burning Bush literary magazine, and more recently, his work has been published in Skylight47. He has been a featured reader at the Over the Edge open reading in October 2012. He lives and works in Galway and has been attending creative writing classes at Galway Technical Institute with Susan Millar Dumars.

Maeve O’Sullivan’s poems have been widely published and anthologised since the mid-1990s. Initial Response, her debut collection of haiku poetry was published by Alba Publishing in 2011, and was well-received by critics. She also performs at festivals and literary events with the spoken word group The Poetry Divas. Her poem ‘Leaving Vigo’ was recently nominated for a Forward Prize for a Single Poem by Revival magazine. Her poetry collection Vocal Chords was published earlier this year by Alba Publishing.

Sunday 11 May 2014

12th Hewitt/Glens-of-Antrim Spring Festival

Fri 16th & Sat 17th May 2014 at The Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough
Spring programme includes: 
  • bestselling Chocolat author Joanne Harris with her new book; poet & controversial critic, 
  • Robert Crawford; theatre critic & journalist, 
  • Joyce McMillan; poets from around the UK; 
  • the usual book-panel but with a different focus 
  • creative-writing class; 
  • all-day bookstall from No Alibis; 
& the familiar Glens hospitality & literary ambiance of the coast road's Londonderry-Arms Hotel. 

Friday 16th May

Creative Writing with John Glenday 
7pm £12  

Writer's Block vs Reader's Block: John Glenday leads this intimate writing workshop, looking at strategies for increasing creativity and output & how to hone their poetry to appeal to readers. No advanced preparation is required.

Saturday 17th May 

The Great Scottish Novel 
11.15am £8 

Our annual Great Northern Novel panel debate takes on a Scottish flavour in light of the upcoming Scottish Independence referendum. Poet John Glenday, theatre critic & cultural observer Joyce McMillan and Lagan Press poet Damian Smyth debate the merits of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, James Hogg's Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner and Alexander Trocchi's Young Adam.

Tae Think Again! With Robert Crawford & Joyce McMillan 2.15pm £8 
Have Scotland's writers signed-up to cultural independence? Or like Scotland's footballers, are they playing on a UK-wide pitch? Join Joyce McMillan, theatre critic for The Scotsman, and Robert Crawford, author of  

Bannockburns: Scottish Independence and the Literary Imagination, 1314-2014 in discussion with poet and broadcaster C.L. Dallat
Children of the Devolution! 4pm £8 

Poetry from across the dis-United Kingdom, representing nations that have defined their own political & imaginative independence. John Glenday (Scotland) will be joined by Paula Cunningham (Northern Ireland) and Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch (Wales).
Joanne Harris & Robert Crawford 5.30pm £8 

A poet with a strong regional voice , followed by a best-selling novelist who has made provincial France her fictional heartland.
Introduced by Anne-Marie Fyfe 

Friday 9 May 2014

Poets to Check Out - Sophie Hannah

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Words on the Street - European Literature Night

This night had good reviews last year so it may be worth checking out.
Nassau Street Area, Thursday 15th May starting 6.30pm
Eleven Countries, Eleven Voices, Eleven Venues, One Great Evening
A bright spring evening wandering around Nassau Street/Kildare Street/Dawson Street in Dublin listening to well known Irish people evoking life in modern Europe - maybe stopping for refreshments on the way....does that sound enticing?

In Dublin well known Irish people will read contemporary writing from eleven European countries in eleven venues, many of which are unusual and not normally easily accessible to the public. 

Anne Doyle (former RTÉ newsreader); actors Maria Doyle Kennedy, Bryan Murray, Phelim Drew and Aoibhinn McGinnity; TV presenter Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh; Aengus Mac Grianna (RTÉ newsreader); UK author Jon McGregor;  RTÉ Radio One's Aine Lawlor and Joe Duffy and   musician and radio presenter Fiachna Ó Braonáin

will read in places such as

Mansion House, Freemasons' Hall, Buswells Hotel, European Union House, Hodges Figgis, Royal Irish Academy, No. 5 South Leinster St., St. Ann's Church, Royal College of Physicians, National Library and the  Alliance Francaise

A map and information booklet showing the location of the venues with information about the readers and readings will enable the public to move from venue to venue. This will be available from libraries in Dublin, Failte Ireland tourist offices, National Library and the venues.

The eleven participating countries will each be represented by a short (15 minutes) translated piece of a novel, poem or short story which will be read every 30 minutes so people can wander from venue to venue taking in readings from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain & the UK. The first reading in each venue starts at 6.30pm and is repeated on the hour and half hour with the final reading at 9pm.

First launched in Prague, it has now become a major international cultural event promoting European cultural heritage by presenting contemporary writers, well-known and newcomers to the broader European public.

Monday 5 May 2014

The Moth International Short Story Competition

The Prize is open to everyone, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished.  There is a 6,000 word limit. The entry fee is €9 per story and you can enter as many stories as you like. 

You can enter online or simply send your story or stories along with a cheque or postal order made payable to The Moth Magazine Ltd. and an entry form (downloadable here) or a cover letter with your name and contact details and the title of story attached to: The Moth, 81 Church Street, Cavan, Co. Cavan, Ireland. 

This year’s competition will be judged by Mike McCormack, a recipient of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature whose debut short story collection was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His novel Notes from a Coma was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award and was described in the Irish Times as ‘the greatest Irish novel of the decade just ended’. 

The three winning stories will feature in the autumn 2014 issue of The Moth and the winners will be invited to read at a special event at the Winding Stair Bookshop in Dublin in September 2014. 

Saturday 3 May 2014

Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize

Liverpool Hope University has partnered with Royal Court Liverpool and the Liverpool Echo to launch a major new competition to find the UK's next great playwright. This exciting new national competition is a chance for a playwright to win a cash prize of £10,000 and have their work considered for staging by one of the most prolific producing theatres in the North West.
Established and new writers are eligible to enter the competition providing they enter a script that has not been professionally performed.

The winning plays will be considered for production by Royal Court Liverpool.

in addition to the main cash prize of £10,000, there are two Highly Commended prizes of £1,500 to be awarded at the judges discretion in the Over 21 category. There will also be an 21 and Under category with a £2,500 prize for the best submission by a young writer and two Highly Commended prizes of £500 each, again awarded at the judge's discretion. Writers under 21 will be eligible for the main prize.

In addition to possible production by Royal Court Liverpool, one of the winning texts will have a rehearsed reading as part of the Cornerstone Arts Festival 2014 at Hopes Creative Campus.

The competition is open to any UK resident over the age of 18 and as such, we anticipate a high level of interest.

Submission Fees
  • 21 and Under £15 
  • Over 21 £20 

Deadline 5:00PM BST on 30th May 2014
See more at:

Thursday 1 May 2014

Listowel Competition - twitter

Are you a tweeter, if so, why not try this competition from Listowel Festival.

Write a 140 character twitter story for us before the 12th May.

The tweet must finish using our special hashtag #LWW2014.

The Irish Independent will publish the best and they will offer the winners a Listowel Writers' Week Festival Ticket.

So get writing but remember your entire story, start, middle and end must only be 140 characters!