Thursday 30 April 2015

Books Ireland Short Story Competition

Books Ireland invite you to enter their inaugural short story competition.

It is open to all writers of any nationality writing in English, with no restriction on style or theme.
The maximum number of words allowed is 2,600. The winning story will be published in a future issue of Books Ireland.

Adjudicator: Niall Williams
  • 1st Prize: €400 and a place on the Kiltumper Writing Workshop facilitated by author Niall Williams. The winning story will be published in Books Ireland magazine.
  • 2nd Prize €200
  • 3rd Prize €100
Closing date: 30 June 2015

Fee for each entry is €18 but only €8 for subscribers to Books Ireland magazine and Concession rate of €8 available for creative writing groups and book clubs. Please include name of group on entry form.

To enter, simply click on the following link >> DOWNLOAD THE COMPETITION FORM HERE

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Penny Dreadful open for Submissions

Submissions for Issue 6 are now open and will remain so till midnight on May 10th.
We will accept the following:
  • Stories = Up to 2 of up to 3000 words each.
  • Poetry = Up to 6, any length. (Note: Please include all submitted poems in the same file, or they may not be considered for publication)

Bio = Please include a short bio (100 words max) and any internet website linking things which are suitable for good, Christian eye-balls.
What we do want: Ball-grabbing, punch-in-the-face writing from nice, courteous ladies and gents.
What we do not want: Funny fonts.
If you are sending simultaneous submissions, tell us in your cover letter and if a work becomes unavailable, contact us immediately. Submissions are accepted via Submittable.
(If you are curious what manner of scribbling they enjoy, or want to support the publisher, buy one here.)

Sunday 26 April 2015

Patrick Kavanagh Student Poetry Awards 2015

For Second-level Students

Competition is open to second-level students throughout the thirty two Counties of Ireland.

Each student may enter one poem, of any length. 

 The competition will be divided into two sections.

Themes suggested for 2015 but no subject is excluded:

       (a)  Childhood - Memories - Growing Up
       (b)  Seasons – Environment –Nature
       (c)  Home - Family – Friendship
       (d) Celebrity – Fashion - Pop Culture - Politics
       (e)  Happiness - Hope – Laughter
       (f)  Warmth - Smiles - Fun

Deadline: Friday 29th May 2015 at 4 p.m. 


         Section A - 1st.   €75            2nd   €50        3rd   €35 (each with certificate).
         Section B - 1st.   €100         2nd   €75        3rd   €50 (each with certificate).

Each entry must be accompanied by an entry form signed by the student and countersigned by his/her English teacher.  No personal details (name, age, school, etc. should appear on the same page as the poem.

More here

Friday 24 April 2015

Dedalus Book Launches

There are four books in this launch. I'm not sure myself if it's a good idea to launch so many together. Not many people will have the readies to buy more than a couple. And the room will be overflowing. But what do I know? Anyway, support this press if you can.

Book Launch: Dedalus Press launch four titles 

All welcome

  • Clasp by Doireann Ní Ghríofa
  • Muse by Gerry Murphy
  • Wrong Side of Town by Aidan Murphy
  • Them’s Your Mammy’s Pills by Leland Bardwell
Monday 27 April 6.30pm
There will be readings from Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Gerry Murphy and Aidan Murphy, on the night, and Leland Bardwell's son will make a brief appearance on her behalf.

More details here.

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Mindshift: The Connected Writer - Getting the Gig, Putting it On (ILFD)

This sounds interesting as part of the International Literature Festival Dublin (formerly known as the Dublin Writers festival)

Are you looking to take part in more literary events and festivals? Or maybe you want to improve your skillset for readings, panel discussions and interviews. This professional development day as part of the International Literature Festival Dublin, supported by WORDS Ireland, is aimed at established writers. It will inform you on how to get the gig and how to connect with – and even wow – an audience.
Hear from Sarah Webb (writer and Children’s Curator of Mountains to Sea Book Festival), Martin Colthorpe (International Literature Festival, Dublin and formerly of the Southbank Centre) and Keith Acheson (Belfast Book Festival & Crescent Arts Centre) as they discuss knowing your USPs as a writer, connecting with relevant curators and organisers, and the etiquette of ‘getting out there’. Doireann Ni Bhriain will tackle how to prepare for the gig, your presence onstage, public speaking and the dos and don’ts of literary performances. Martina Devlin will also look at maintaining momentum both in the run-up to and the aftermath of the event.
Starts: Sat 23 May
Time: 10.30am – 4.15pm
Duration: 1 Day
Cost: €60/€50 Members
At the Irish Writers Centre

Monday 20 April 2015

Prizegiving of the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize

All four shortlisted poets will be there for the evening of the presentation of this big poetry prize. The shortlist was announced last month.

The shortlisted poems are: ‘Disco Jesus and the Wavering Virgins in Berlin, 2011’ by Jude Nutter, ‘Eidolon’ by Lisa Bickmore, ‘Fantasia on a Theme by Elvis’ by Kathryn Simmonds and ‘Saratoga Passage, August 2014’ by Matt Hohner.
Details and judge's comments here

Irish Writers Centre 23rd April at 7pm.

The overall winner (€10,000) will be announced at a special event in Dublin on 23 April 2015 hosted by Darina Allen and the publishers of The Moth. The three remaining shortlisted poets will each receive €1,000. 

All welcome. Wine!

Saturday 18 April 2015

The Runt - Open for Submissions

i haven't seen a copy of the Runt but check them out on Youtube. Refreshing. And you can't go wrong with this kind of of artwork I think.

Our 8th issue will focus on the dual themes of historical fiction & alternate history. We welcome submissions on either theme in any artistic or literary medium your creative brains can concoct.
Historical fiction constitutes any piece of work (be it poem, story, essay or whatever) focused on a historical setting. A heartbreaking romance written from the point of view of the horse Caligula made a senator? A rumination on the personal life of Genghis Kahn? An account of the life of some poor Joe Schmo 6 caught up in the crossfire of the 1916 Rising? It's entirely up to you!
Alternate history is a genre which is based on those tantalising 'what ifs.' A story set in a 21st century America still under British control? A poem about JFK's disgrace after he survived assassination but was exposed as an adulterer? A neat bit of photoshop showing Attila the Hun firing off a text on his Android? These are but a few options available to you!
Fiction Guidelines:
Maximum wordcount: 2,500
Art Guidelines:
Portrait dimensions
Deadline: May 8th
Send your submissions to

Thursday 16 April 2015

WORDS Ireland Mentoring Scheme - Wicklow Writers

Produced by Children’s Books Ireland,Irish Writers Centre and Poetry Ireland, developed by WORDS Ireland in partnership with Wicklow County Council Arts Office

WORDS Ireland is offering five mentorship opportunities to Wicklow writers who are seeking to engage with a mentor over a period of six months from May 2015.

This scheme is open to writers in any fiction genre: young adult and children’s books, short stories, playwriting, screenwriting, novels or poetry. The mentorships will focus on Manuscript Development in the main, but may include other aspects in the professional development of the writer.

Who is eligible to apply?
To be eligible for the scheme the applicant must have been born in or be resident in County Wicklow for the last two consecutive years. The applicant will have with a track record in a professional capacity, such as having poems or short stories published in recognised journals or magazines (print or online), or a book of fiction, or a collection of poetry or short stories published by a recognised publisher. 
Mentee contribution:  While the costs of this scheme are being funded by Wicklow Arts Office and WORDS Ireland, the successful mentee are requested to contribute €100 to help offset costs and to demonstrate seriousness of intent.
See the Irish Writers Centre website for full details. 
deadline: Friday 24th April at 5pm

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Newbridge June Fest Literary Miscellany Competition

The competition is open to people living or working in Kildare, from Kildare or attending a writing group in Kildare.

Any genre will be acceptable.

Prose to be no more than 750 words and poetry no more than 40 lines.

Deadline: Tuesday 5th May 2015

5 euro fee per entry to cover costs.   Two entries €8. 

Limited to two entries per person.
Cheques payable to: Junefest Newbridge

Entries can be posted or dropped in to Newbridge Library.  Please clearly mark the envelope Junefest Literary Miscellany.

All entries must be type written. 
Include a separate sheet with your name and contact details and the name of your story/ poem and your connection to Kildare if you live elsewhere. The pieces will be judged anonymously so please do not put your name on the entry itself.  

Sunday 12 April 2015

Spring Awakening at the Irish Writers Centre

Spring Awakening, taking place on Thursday 16 April, is the inaugural event for Culture Dublin 1 - an organisation dedicated to promoting awareness and engagement with cultural institutions in the Dublin 1 postcode. A day of free, open culture, where you can step inside some of Dublin's most venerated buildings and celebrate this often-overlooked area of the city centre. 

The Irish Writers Centre is delighted to promote cultural activities in and around our Dublin 1 home and will be participating in three free events as part of Spring Awakenings:

Dublin City Bike Tours | 1pm

A free literary bicycle tour around Dublin. Book here.

Novel Writing Workshops | 4.30pm

Beginning your Novel with Rob DoyleBook here.

Finishing Your Novel with Mary O'DonnellBook here.

Launch of Novel Fair 2016 | 7pm

The launch will allow aspiring novelists to gain the inside track about how the Novel Fair works. Aspiring novelists should attend! More details here.

Friday 10 April 2015

Moth Short Story Prize

Donal Ryan judges this year's Moth Short Story Prize, with prizes of €3,000, a week-long writing retreat at Circle of Misse in France (including a €250 travel stipend) and €1,000.

(Oooo, lovely)

There's a word limit of 6,000, and an entry fee of €12.

Closing date 30 June 2015.

You can find more details or enter online here.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Mslexia Poetry and Pamphlet Competitions

This year the Mslexia Poetry Competition for single poems will be judged by renowned poet and critic Deryn Rees-Jones, and the first prize is £2,000 – plus two optional extras: a week’s writing retreat at the idyllic Cove Park, and a mentoring afternoon with the editor of The Poetry Review. Other winners will receive a share of the remaining £1,025 prize pot, and all winning poems will be published in the September 2015 issue of Mslexia.

Plus they’re once again offering a special prize for the best poem by an unpublished woman poet. So if you’re an early-career writer who’s looking to see their work in print and pocket a tidy £500, this prize is especially for you.

There's also the annual Poetry Pamphlet Competition? For collections of 20-24 pages of 18-20 poems, the first prize is the publication of the pamphlet by Seren Books, plus £250, 25 complimentary copies of the pamphlet and royalties from all subsequent sales. If you’ve never had a full-length collection published and want to take your work to the next level, this is the competition for you.

Deadline 15 June 2015

Monday 6 April 2015

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Bursary

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary allows a successful Artist to spend two all–inclusive weeks at the prestigious Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Co Monaghan. This idyllic artists’ retreat plays host to artists from around the world working in a variety of art forms.

Please click here for an application form.

Applicants must be born in or domiciled in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area.
Deadline for receipt of applications: Fri 22 May 2015, 4pm.

Saturday 4 April 2015

Writer in Residence in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council invites applications for a writer in residence for the period June 2015 to May 2016. This writer in residence is managed by dlr Arts Office and is grant-aided by the Arts Council.

The residency is open to writers working in any genre (e.g. fiction, non-fiction, poetry, script-writing, etc).The residency this year will focus on the theme of The History of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County. The writer’s work may draw inspiration from this theme in a variety of ways. The residency is envisaged as part-time which will allow time for the writer’s own work in addition to engagement and interaction with both the general public and, more specifically, with those with an interest in writing themselves.

The writer in residence will focus on working in dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire and we are pleased to announce that the successful applicant will have access to a room on the top floor of the new Central Library and Cultural Centre.

Closing Date: 22nd of April at 12 noon

Link here 

Thursday 2 April 2015

Literary Agents in and around Ireland

I have posted about Irish agents before. It is consistently my most popular post. So I thought I'd do it again. I'm updating it with some names you may not have heard, agents not necessarily based in Ireland but who are or have been looking in Ireland for Irish-based writers, including one who asked to be included so she's actively looking. It's worth doing your homework and seeing who else they represent to see if you fit in with their interests.

The Lisa Richards Agency
108 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4
Contact: Faith O’Grady
Website here

For fiction, looking for exciting new writing – distinctive voices, original, strong storylines, and intriguing characters. For quality non-fiction, memoir, history, narrative, biography, lifestyle, sports, self-help, quirky humour and pop culture. 
If sending fiction, please limit your submission to the first three or four chapters, and include a covering letter and an SAE. If sending non-fiction, please send a detailed proposal about your book, a sample chapter and a cover letter. Every effort will be made to respond to submissions within 3 months of receipt.

Authors include June Considine, Roisin Meaney, Laura Cassidy, Martin Malone, Pauline McLynn, David Maybury, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Denise Deegan, Paul Howard (Ross O’Carroll-Kelly,) Roisin Ingle and Hector.
Faith participated at the Novel Fair 2015.

The most high profile one (but Jonathan is a bit grumpy when I've met him.)
Jonathan Williams Literary Agency
Rosney Mews, Upper Glenageary Road, Glenageary, Co Dublin

Literary Agency, evaluating, editing, rewriting, proof reading, consultancy; General fiction and non-fiction, preferably by Irish authors (home 10%) Will suggest revision;
Jonathan participated at the Novel Fair 2015.

The Book Bureau
7 Duncairn Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow
Contact: Geraldine Nichol

Preferences are commercial womens fiction, crime/thrillers and literary fiction. Full-length MSS (home 10%, USA 15%,translation 20%) Fiction preferred -thrillers, Irish novels, Literary fiction, women’s and general commercial fiction. No horror, science fiction, children’s or Poetry. Strong editorial support. Send a preliminary letter, synopsis and 3 sample chapters.
The Book Bureau participated at the Novel Fair 2015.

Marianne Gunne-O’Connor Literary Agency
Suite 17 Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2

Commercial and literary fiction, non-fiction, biography, children's fiction (UK 15%, overseas 20%, film/TV 20%). Send preliminary letter plus half-page synopsis and first 50pp.
Authors: Cecelia Ahern, Chris Binchy, Ken Bruen, Claudia Carroll, Julie Dam, Noelle Harrison, Patrick McCabe, Mike McCormack, Paddy McMahon, Morag Prunty, Niall Williams. Founded 1996.
Mariane Gunne-O'Connor participated at the Novel Fair 2015.

The Feldstein Agency
54 Abbey Street Bangor BT20 4JB N. Ireland
General enquiries:

Email a 1-2 page synopsis of your work and a brief biography. They are currently only accepting submissions of adult fiction (excluding romance, science fiction and fantasy) and adult non-fiction, so no children's or young adult books, poetry or short stories.
Website here 
The Feldstein Agency participated at the Novel Fair 2015.

Sally Anne Sweeney wrote to me so they are definitely looking. She's moved to
Mulcahy Associates
First Floor 7 Meard Street London
After a career with Reuters, the Dubliner, Ivan Mulcahy set up his own literary agency in London. Interesting article in the Irish Times here. Recently the agency had three bestsellers in the UK book charts at the same time: Vivienne Westwood’s own story written with historian Ian Kelly, comic David Mitchell’s collection of essays and broadcaster Clare Balding’s second volume of memoir.
They accept email submissions only. Send a covering letter, synopsis, and the first three chapters to:

Curtis Brown
5th Floor, Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4SP
Website here.
Literary Agent Sheila Crowley began her career in publishing at Poolbeg in Dublin before moving to the UK in 1991, and went on to hold several key positions and most recently at Curtis Brown.
She focuses primarily on women’s commercial fiction, thrillers, mind, body, spirit, sport and celebrity books, young adult and children's fiction and general mass-market non-fiction.

Most of Sheila's authors have moved with her. They include: Tasmina Perry, Jojo Moyes, Santa Montefiore, Melissa Hill, Rachel Hore, Alison Kervin, Shari Low, Kitty Sewell

Gregory & Company
3 Barb Mews, Hammersmith, London W6 7PA
tel: +44 (0) 20 7610 4676
website here
Jane Gregory specialises in crime fiction and up-market commercial fiction. Among the many authors Jane represents are: Adele Geras, Mo Hayder, Val McDermid, Chris Simms, Martyn Waites and Minette Walters. At the moment the agency is particularly looking for burgeoning new talent in the fields of excellent crime fiction, epic family sagas, historical novels and upmarket commercial fiction. No children’s books, young adult fiction, SF/fantasy/horror/paranormal, poetry, short stories or plays/screenplays. At the moment we are not actively looking for any non-fiction titles, and we are especially not interested in spiritual or New Age philosophy, or business books.

Interview here at Mslexia. Send a one-page synopsis (not a glorified jacket blurb) that gives a full explanation of the plot, and the first ten pages (double spaced for ease of reading). Please include a brief letter telling us about yourself, why you have written this book, and about your past work and future writing plans.