Sunday 31 August 2014

Writing the Historical Novel workshop

Dublin Festival of History

Friday 26th September at 10.15am

Course fee €25.

Places are very limited – book now.

Here’s what historical fiction isn’t: a costume drama, a shop window for archaic customs, or a platform for the sort of “thee” and “thou” language which has fallen into disuse. 

Here’s what historical fiction is: a story set in the past and brought to life in the present, with themes and dilemmas with resonance today. 

At its core, historical fiction is a compelling story in which plot and character are more important than setting. Yet the setting can enhance a reader’s enjoyment of the novel.

Author and journalist Martina Devlin will give a two-and-a-half-hour workshop investigating how and why a historical novel can and must become a story in its own right – without sacrificing accuracy.
Award-winning writer Martina Devlin, whose prizes include the VS Pritchett Prize, has written two historical novels: Ship of Dreams about the Titanic disaster, and her latest novel The House Where It Happened about the last conviction for witchcraft in Ireland.

VENUE: Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2

More on the festival here

Friday 29 August 2014

Allingham Poetry and Flash Fiction Competition

Deadline: Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Allingham Flash Fiction Competition will be judged by Donal Ryan, the Allingham Poetry Competition by Monica Corish.

The prize in each category is €250. 
The winners and runners up will be invited to read their work at the Allingham Festival on Saturday, 8 November 2014.

You may submit up to 5 poems, maximum 40 lines per poem; and up to 5 flash fictions, maximum 700 words each. Entries (whether emailed attachment or hardcopy) must not have any identifying name on them.

The entry fee for both competitions is €4 for 1 entry, €10 for 3 entries, €15 for 5 entries. Entries can be submitted by email or by post. Poems and flash fictions must be submitted separately.

Full competition details can be found on the website.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Poetry Divas at Electric Picnic

The Poetry Divas are madly excited to be reading at Electric Picnic this year. We will be in Mindfield on the Sunday afternoon. You could spend the whole weekend in Mindfield, there's so much there for all the senses. But there's music too. And Art. And Comedy. And fabulous food. So we will venture out.

The Legend that is Marty Mulligan from Mullingar curates The Word Stage which is where you will find a plethora of spoken word and music from all over. So come and see us some time after 2.30pm. We have a cracking set which will surprise and entertain.

They say:

as ever, the MindField arena will return to Stradbally once again. Expect the usual mix of talks, theatre, poetry, literature, science displays and good eats.
The overriding theme of the 2014 edition, however, will be Africa: The Rising Continent.
At its centrepiece will be Fergal Keane Talks Africa, hosted by the BBC journalist and noted author, along with Ugandan publisher Andrew Mwenda and an eclectic panel.
David McWilliams will host his Leviathan debates, this time focusing on the threat to human rights defenders in Africa.
New additions come in the form of CoderDojo – the open source movement of free computer coding clubs for young people – and former 10cc man Kevin Godley, who will be demonstrating his WholeWorldBand App.
Add in Brunch with Miriam O'Callaghan, energetic five minute Ignite talks on the Science Gallery Stage and much, much more and you have a vibrant MindField that is going to be very easy to get lost in.
The Word Stage, hosted by the inimitable Marty Mulligan from Mullingar features a wealth of poetry, slam and musical talent including: Canadian poet and rapper, C R Avery, The Brownbread Mixtape, Dublin’s Underground Beat, Cúirt Literary Festival Showcase, The Monday Echo, Milk and Cookies, The Whitehouse Poets, Lingo Spoken Word Festival Showcase, Storymap, Come Here to me, Olaf Tyaransen, The Mary Coughlan Band, Ka Tet, Ska’s Good Gravy, Cronin, Mojo Gogo, Sinead White, Festival Favourites - The Poetry Divas, David Donoghue and Clive Barnes as well as many others.

Monday 25 August 2014

IV edition of international award for "Museum of Words" microfiction

The César Egido Serrano Foundation and the Spanish ‘Museum of Words’ ‘microfiction’ competition has a first prize of $20,000. For a 100 word story, that's ...that's $200 per word.

Open to international writers, entries can be submitted in English, Spanish, Arabic or Hebrew.
Entries must be sent exclusively by filling in the entry form that can be found on the website

All stories entered must be original, unpublished in all means (paper, electronic publications, network…) and have not been awarded in any other contest. Check out the website for the full details.

As one of the objectives of the organising César Egido Serrano Foundation is the value of the word and dialogue as a tool for uniting peoples, so the slogan of this contest is Mandela: Words and Concord. However the rules state that your story can be on any subject.

The three remaining finalist stories in the remaining language categories will receive a $2000 runner up prize each.

Deadline: November 23rd 2014.

Last year there were 22.571 entries received from 119 countries. You can read the winners here

Saturday 23 August 2014

Writers And Artists Short Story Competition

There aren't very many free competitions so I thought I'd mention this one, from the publishers of the Writers and Artists Yearbook, that bible of publishing, at least before the internet existed. I wonder if sales are down?
  • a cash prize of £500
  • a place on an Arvon residential writing course of your choice
All you have to do is enter a short story (for adults) of no more than 2,000 words, on the theme of 'Joy' and email it to with "WAYB15 competition" as the subject line.
The closing date is midnight on Sunday 15th February 2015. The winners of the competition will be announced on this site in March 2015.
No purchase necessary, but entrants must be registered on
Link here

Thursday 21 August 2014

Five Glens Arts Festival

There's a lot going on in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim. this weekend 22-24th August

Stone Carving Workshop by Jackie McKenna
Fri - Sun 10am-5pm
For info, charge & booking contact: info@
The Leitrim Sculpture Centre, New Line

Summer Exhibition by The Ballagh Centre Art Class
Fri 9-5pm & Sat 12-5pm
Mixed media artwork exhibition accompanied by
photographic work by Joel Smith

Opening Open Mic
Hosted by The Mullies Crowd
Fri 7-10pm/ FREE
All welcome to perform and sing along :-)
The Market Square, Main St.

The Hermit Collective
Saturday 1-3pm/ FREE
Art, music and spoken word with great food and drinks.
An Cafe Bia Sláinte, Main St.

Ekphrastic Workshop by Monica Corish
Sat 10am-12pm/ €7
Creative writing inspired by artwork.
The Leitrim Sculpture Centre, New Line

Children’s Print Workshop by Fiona McCarthy
Sat 10:30am,1pm & 4pm/ FREE
Materials provided, bring an apron! Ages 6-10. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Each workshop 45 mins. Booking advised 0894320987 /
Digital Media Studio, LSC Sheehans, Main St.

Outdoor Painting Workshop by Maria Bagnoli
Sat 11am-4pm/ €5
Please bring your own materials. Critique afterwards. Meet at Bee Park Community Centre

Inaugural Dermot Healy Poetry Prize giving & Readings
Sat 4pm/ FREE
Award giving ceremony for 1st prize and two commended prizes. Presentation by Helen Healy.
Readings from shortlisted and invited poets.
The Glens Centre, New Line

North West Open Exhibition Awards Ceremony Sat 3pm
Exhibition open Fri-Sun, 11am-4pm/ FREE
Group exhibition showcasing work from artists based in the North West of Ireland.
The Leitrim Sculpture Centre, New Line.

Sat 8:30-11pm
€8 in advance / €10 at the door
A night of original poetry and music hosted by Stephen Murphy featuring John D. Kelly, Cormac
Lally, Gabriel Kelly, Phoebe Dick and Mick Blake. With special guest Rira.
The Glens Centre, New Line

The Pig Executives, Hog Roast & Traditional Music Session
Sat 5:30-8pm
Readings from ‘The Shakings of the Bag’ by local creative writing group with trad music and a hog roast on a spit (€5 per plate).
The Market Square, Main St.

Jimmy Joe & Friends
Sat 9pm ‘til late
Music by Jimmy Joe Dolan with special guests.
Heraghty’s Traditional Pub, Main St.

BENBOPHILIA by Rachel Webb
continues Sat & Sun 12-6pm/ FREE
Photography Exhibition
The Parlour @ McKenna’s, Main St.

Breath by Rob Ireson
Transcend the everyday in an altered reality; Inflatable interventions at surprise locations.

Sat 4pm/ FREE
Music by Leitrim singer/songwriter.
The Market Square, Main St.

3D Tree - Street Art by Grainne McGarty

Sand Casting Workshop by Jim Fee
Sat 11am-2pm/ FREE
Plaster casting in sand
McKenna’s, Main St.

Children’s Puppetry Workshop by Eileen O’Toole
Sat 11am-2pm
Each workshop lasts 25 mins. Participate €2/ FREE to watch
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Market Square, Main St

Like A Marble Rolled by Phoebe Dick
Sunday 3-4.30pm
A story told in rhyme with projected hand drawn illustrations.
An Cafe Bia Sláinte, Main St.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Louth Arts Grants

If you're in or from Louth you can apply for an arts grant.

Deadline: 4pm Thursday 25th 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 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.

Sunday 17 August 2014

The Flambard Poetry Prize

Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts are very pleased to announce a new prize for poetry, The Flambard Poetry Prize, which has been set up in recognition of the achievements of Flambard Press and the inspiration of founders Margaret and Peter Lewis.

Between 1990 and 2012, Flambard Press published an acclaimed range of poetry and fiction, helping to nurture many emergent and established writers regionally and nationally. It was recognised as one of the finest small independent presses in the UK.

The Flambard Prize will be awarded annually to the best group of five poems submitted by a poet who has not yet published a single-authored pamphlet or collection.

Each poem should be no longer than 40 lines.

The cost of entry is £5 per group of five poems.

First prize: £1000
Second prize: £250

Deadline:1st September 2014.

All entries will be judged by Peter Bennet and Gladys Mary Coles.

For information on how to enter and guidelines please visit The Flambard Poetry Prize website

Friday 15 August 2014

Bard of Armagh Annual Festival of Humorous Verse

The Bard of Armagh Annual Festival of Humorous Verse will take place this November in Armagh.
They are running a poetry competition and poems should be no longer than 650 words and shouldn’t exceed nine minutes performance time. It should be humorous verse (suitable for family audience and radio broadcast!).

You can submit written entries or you can also send in your entry on CD/tape.

Cost: £2 per poem.

The competition closes on the 1st of October 2014 and the finals will take place in Armagh on the 21st of November 2014.

For further information, visit their website.

Wednesday 13 August 2014

2nd Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition

Every Tuesday at midday five words are posted on the Ó Bhéal competition page at

You have one week to compose and submit poems that must include all five words for the week. At noon the following Tuesday, these words will be replaced with five new words.

The competition is running for a total of forty-one weeks, until the last week of January 2015.

A single prize of €500 will be awarded to one winner, who will also be invited to read at Ó Bhéal's seventh anniversary event, on Monday 13th of April 2015 (an additional travel fee of €100 plus B&B accommodation will be provided for this).

A shortlist of twelve poems including the overall winner will be announced during the first week of March, 2015. The shortlisted poems and winning entry will be published in Five Words Vol VIII - the next annual anthology of five word poems, launched at the same event.

Judges for this year's competition are Jennifer Matthews and Billy Ramsell.

Further details about the competition can be found on the Ó Bhéal website: click here  

Monday 11 August 2014

Poets to Check Out - Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen - How to speak poetry

"Avoid the Flourish"

Saturday 9 August 2014

Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair

The Novel Fair is an initiative by the Irish Writers’ Centre that aims to introduce up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents.

The 2014 Fair was attended by representatives from: Curtis Brown, Diane Banks Literary Agency, Hachette Ireland, Jonathan Williams Literary Agency, Liberties Press, Lilliput Press, Lisa Richards Agency, Marianne Gunne O’Connor Literary Agency, New Island, O’Brien Press, Penguin Ireland, Poolbeg Press, The Book Bureau and Transworld Ireland.

The Prizes
Twelve shortlisted entrants will be anonymously selected by a judging panel to take part in the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair on 21 February, 2015. 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. To fully prepare them for the day, the winners also receive a place on a seminar on ‘How to Pitch Your Novel’, two weeks in advance of the Fair (7 February, 2015).

This year they are extending the prize to those who make the longlist. Twenty-four applicants who are longlisted and who do not proceed to make the shortlist of twelve will have their work evaluated and critiqued by the judging panel.

Entry Details
The entry fee is €45 (€40 for members) and can be paid by PayPal, cheque, postal order, credit or debit card or cash (paid in person) at the Irish Writers’ Centre.

Deadline 24 October, 2014.

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, you will need to send a synopsis and up to 10,000 words of a novel.

Before you submit your work, check the Terms and Conditions to see if you are eligible. See details and entry form on

Thursday 7 August 2014

Hanna Greally Literary Awards

The maximum length of composition for poetry submissions is now 100 lines (previously 60), while prose and short stories submissions of up to 1,000 words (previously 300) will also be accepted.

The theme for this year's competition is open - entries will be accepted on any theme, topic or subject. The Ger Hanily Memorial Cup, which forms part of the Awards, will be awarded to the best entry received on the theme of Coman's Wood.

The overall prize winner will receive a publishing package deal from The Manuscript Publisher, valued at €1,000.
**If that's what you want. Buyer Beware

Cash prizes, crystal trophies and certificates will be awarded to runners-up in various categories including National Poetry Winner, National Prose Winner, National Short Story Winner together with an award for a Highly Commended entry among any of the poetry, prose, short story entries. A prize will also be awarded in a special category for National Schools.

Full terms and conditions of entry are available from the SiarScéal website
Deadline: 5pm on Friday, 10 October.  
Fee: €5 per entry; €10 for up to three entries.
Winners will be announced at the SiarScéal Festival, which takes place on Saturday, 25 October at Roscommon Library in Roscommon Town. 
The full Programme of Events takes in an evening of readings, concert recitals and workshops.

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Abridged 0 - 37: Torquemada Submission Call

Abridged, the poetry/art magazine is looking for submissions for its Torquemada 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 
Deadline: 31st August 2014.
Abridged 0 – 37: Torquemada focuses on the confessional and faith; the lies we tell and the secrets we keep, the hypocrisy of love and hate and the pointedness and pointlessness of the penance we ascribe ourselves and others, the faith that keeps us going and makes others suffer. Torquemada is the first in a trilogy very loosely based on Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Lots of info and words around the Torquemada idea here
Very generously you can read previous issues on the site too. I have poems in some issues - Mutation, Desire and Dust and Time.

Sunday 3 August 2014

Poetry Divas at Leonard Cohen Festival

Dublin - as a UNECSCO City of Literature long renowned for its poets, writers and musicians - is the perfect host for this Leonard Cohen Event, which  is an established bi-annual festival that travels the world.

Since the first gathering in Montreal in 2000, the event has captivated audiences in Hydra, Greece (2002); New York, USA (2004); Berlin, Germany (2006); Edmonton, Canada (2008); Krakow, Poland (2010); and Madison, USA (2012).

Among the highlights of the Leonard Cohen Event Dublin are an exclusive screening of never before broadcast footage of one of Leonard’s concerts from his 2013 tour which has been provided by his manager, Ed Sanders, specially for the Dublin Event. 

Friday 8th August 2014

An afternoon of spoken word features John MacKennaDermot BolgerGerard SmythLeif Bodnarchuk – who worked with Cohen from 2008-2013 – and festival favourites, The Poetry Divas

We are so excited and a little nervous. Bring it on!

Friday 1 August 2014

New Roscommon Writing Award 2014

Do you have connections to Roscommon? Here's one for you.
The NEW ROSCOMMON WRITING AWARD 2014 is organised by the Roscommon Writer-in-Residence scheme, which is funded by Roscommon County Council and The Arts Council and supported by the Roscommon Herald, the Roscommon People and by Shannonside FM.

The winner will receive a monetary prize of €500 and will have their winning entry printed in the Roscommon Herald and the Roscommon People. It will also be broadcast on Shannonside FM. 
Also : Four runners-up will receive €50 each

Deadline: Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Competition Rules
  • Entries, in English, on any theme, in any literary form, will be accepted.
  • The competition is open to anyone over 18. All entrants must have a connection with the county of Roscommon (born in, living in, currently working in, went to school in, etc).
  • Typed entries (handwritten entries cannot be accepted) must be no more than 500 words. Mark the number of words in your entry on the bottom of the page. Entries over the 500 word limit will be automatically disqualified.
  • Include your name, address and contact details, plus your connection to the county. Include these on a separate page, not on your entry.
  • There is no entry fee
  • The competition will be adjudicated by Roscommon born poet, Jane Clarke. The judge's decision is final.
  • Post your entry to: NEW ROSCOMMON WRITING AWARD 2014, Roscommon Library, Roscommon Town, Ireland.
  • OR email your entry to: Title your email NEW ROSCOMMON WRITING AWARD 2014.