Friday 29 April 2016

West Cork Literary Festival

Have you planned any festival for the summer? I will be reading at a couple, more details later, watch this space. West Cork Literary festival didn't invite me yet (next year guys?) even with all my West Cork roots and in-laws but I'm not bitter, no. I am magnanimous.

From Sunday 17th to Saturday 23rd July, Bantry will welcome a wonderful line-up of international and Irish writers. 

Zadie Smith, John Banville, Dame Marina Warner, Michael Harding, Nick Laird, Carol Drinkwater and Louis de Bernières are just some of the high profile writers. 

This year there are readings by Caitriona Lally, Gavin McCrea, Louis de Berniéres, Theo Dorgan, Sarah Howe, Jo Shapcott, Carol Drinkwater, Aiden O'Reilly, Andrew Michael Hurley, Cónal Creedon, Afric McGlinchey, William Wall, Thomas Morris, Max Porter, Carys Davies, Paddy Bushe, Matthew Sweeney, Lia Mills, Alice Carey, Marion Coutts, Lisa McInerney, Danielle McLaughlin, Eoin McNamee, Glenn Patterson, Joanna Walsh, Mary Morrissy and many more. 

There are still some places on their workshops if you have a week.

More information can be found on their website  and booking on the website is now open. 

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Barehands Submissions

Submissions are now open for Issue 22 and full guidelines can be found here. They published poetry and are starting to include reviews. Send a maximum of three poems

You can read issue 21 here to see what kind of poem works in their format. Featuring poetry from Vaughn M. Watson, Peter Lilly, Eileen Ní Shuilleabháin, Edward Ahern, Laura-Blaise McDowell, Emma Lee, Bethany W. Pope & Anne Tannam, photography from Conor Horgan, Hugh O'Conor, Clare Coyle, Ella Potter & Deianira Urovi, an essay by Claire Brankin, and Alvy Carragher reviews The Year of the Ingénue by Michael Naghten Shanks.

Monday 25 April 2016

The Bristol Short Story Prize

The Bristol Short Story Prize

Deadline: 30th of April 2016.

Prizes: £1,000, £700, £400. There will also be 17 runner-up prizes of £100 each. 
Twenty stories will be published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 9.

Submit stories of up to 4,000 words. Any theme, 
Entry fee is £8

Judging panel for this year’s competition, chaired by celebrated writer and short story champion, Tania Hershman. Tania is joined on the panel by acclaimed writer Niven Govinden, Simon Key, owner of the award-winning Big Green Bookshop in London, and Juliet Pickering,literary agent at Blake Friedmann. Suffice it to say, these judges know their stories.

Link here

Saturday 23 April 2016

Some More Upcoming Readings

Rescued by Maria Murphy published by Poolbeg launches:
Wednesday 4th May at 7pm in Barker and Jones Bookshop, Poplar Square, Naas.
Friday 6th May at 7pm in Waterstones, Patrick Street, Cork.

All welcome.

In 1889, on the beautiful Mizen peninsula lives a young woman called Ellen. Although the daughter of a simple fisherman, she is no ordinary woman. Ellen is a healer, with a heart and spirit as wild and free as the Atlantic Ocean she lives beside. She devotes her life to helping others, often in secret. But when a stranger, in the fine clothes of the landed gentry, is washed up on the sand in front of her remote cottage, she is fearful of helping him because of the trouble he could bring to her and those she loves.
Trying to stay faithful to a warning her grandmother passed on to her, Ellen has to do all she can to protect herself and her home from this stranger.  But perhaps it’s the stranger and his heart that needs protection from her?

There are lots of interesting events as part of Poetry Day Ireland 28th April 8pm
Sports-themed poetry from Poetry Ireland’s recent "Everything to Play For: 99 Poems About Sport" anthology. Guest readers including poets John McAuliffe and Rita Ann Higgins, broadcaster and poet Vincent Woods, Senior Counsel and poetry and sports enthusiast Cian Ferriter and sports historian and journalist Paul Rouse in the shadow of the hallowed ground itself, Croke Park.

Salmon Poetry is launching the following collections in the Irish Writers' Centre, Dublin, on Wednesday 27th April at 6.30pm:

"Anchored" by Lorna Shaughnessy
"Quiet in a Quiet House" by Richard W. Halperin
"Evidence of Freewheeling" by Trevor Conway
"Bearings" by Patrick Moran
"Ghost of the Fisher Cat" by Afric McGlinchey
"Virtual Tides" by Paul Casey
"The Rain Barrel" by Nicholas McLachlan
This promises to be a lovely evening of poetry with readings by each poet. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Visit us online for further details:

Sunflower Sessions is on the same evening so you could spring from one to the other. Wednesday 27th April in Jack Nealon's Pub on Capel St Dublin, upstairs 7.30pm.

Poems on a Sunday Afternoon
by Castle Ward Arts and Crafts & Down Arts Centre
Sunday 24 April 2016 2.30 – 4.30pm 

All welcome to this chill afternoon. They invite budding readers, writers and signers to join in celebrating the written word in all its forms.  Offering a friendly space to read, they hope that those gathered will join in by sharing a piece of their own work, or perhaps a favourite poem.

In the featured spot is Stephanie Conn - whose first collection 'The Woman on the Other Side' (Doire Press) launched recently.

Thursday 21 April 2016

Banshee Submissions

Banshee is a new magazine of contemporary writing which publishes twice a year. They are looking for submissions of fiction, short story length or flash or articles to their 3rd issue.

Deadline: 30th April 2016
  • All submissions should be previously unpublished.
  • Stories and essays should be 1500-5000 words. Flash fiction should be less than 1000 words, poems no more than 40 lines.
  • We are happy to read up to two stories, up to two essays, up to four flashes and up to six poems. However, we ask that each writer submit in only one of the above categories.
  • Submissions should be in one .doc or .docx format attachment, double spaced, and in a non-quirky font.
  • Please include a short bio (max 50 words) in the body of your email.
  • Email to bansheelit at gmail dot com, with the category of the work (flash/story/essay/poetry) in the subject line.
  • We believe in paying writers. We can offer contributors a small fee as well as a copy of the journal.
Link here

Editors are Laura Jane Cassidy, Claire Hennessy and Eimear Ryan (none poets as far as I know. Ladies if you want some poetic editorial input, let me know. I have form...)

They say:
Some of our favourite themes include coming of age, sexuality, gender, mortality, complicated relationships of all shapes, the joys and frustrations of the creative life, our relationship with technology, and the extended adolescence of young adults in the 21st century. While our outlook is literary, we’re open to genre elements. 

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Writer in residence

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Writer in residence

Deadline: 12 noon on Wednesday 27th April 2016

Access, at agreed times, to a room on the top floor of dlr LexIcon. It is a requirement of the residency that the writer spend at least 10 hours a week working in dlr LexIcon.

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 Creativity and will have a particular emphasis on writing for 8-18 year olds.

The writer’s work may draw inspiration from this theme in a variety of ways. The residency is envisaged as a part-time residency 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 children and/or young people and potentially a range of schools in the county. 

Link here

Sunday 17 April 2016

Some upcoming readings

Near Dublin?
Thursday 21st April 19:00
Ranalagh Arts Centre 
Hibernian Writers reading from their anthology, The Lion Tamer Dreams of Office Work including Maurice Devitt, Amanda Bell, Maeve O'Sullivan, Brian Kirk, Philip Cummins, Evan Costigan and John Saunders. All Welcome. Should be good. Buy a copy!

Near Galway?
Bone FireMonday 18th April  8pm
Venue: Dock 1, upstairs
The 2016 Cúirt Festival of International Literature invites you to the launch of Bone Fire by Susan Millar DuMars published by Salmon Poetry
Wednesday 20th April 3pm
Saturday 23rd April 9pm 
Open mic An Caife Bia Slainte Main Street Manorhamilton Leitrim
Saturday 23rd April 8pm
Triskel Arts Centre Cork
Launch of William Wall's new short story collection Hearing Voices Seeing Things published by Doire Press.

Any more, let me know.

Friday 15 April 2016

Competition for a Free Place on Leanne O'Sullivan's week long poetry retreat in Anam Cara

Competition for a Free Place in Leanne's workshop retreat in Anam Cara

Since our workshop will take place on the magical, mythical Beara Peninsula, it is very fitting that our poetry -- which is, after all, a concentrated imaginative and intellectual response to our experiences and contexts -- will seek to possess something of the essence of this very special part of the world.

The poem (max. 40 lines) should be based on or inspired by a mythological narrative. Your narrative may be updated into a modern context if you wish, though the bones of mythology should reside.

Please submit your entry (as an attached word.doc without personal information on the poem) to Sue at

Deadline for submission: 30th April 2016 (Midnight GMT)

Here's more on the workshop, Lining Our Thoughts - A Poetry Writing Workshop Retreat

Arrival: Saturday, 30th July 2016
Departure: Saturday 6th August 2016

"This workshop is for those who would like to begin to write poetry or those who would like to develop poems they have already started.  The main aim of my workshops is to encourage writers through discussion, exercise based and free writing, while also allowing them to take risks in a supportive environment. Each session will focus on a different topic, such as imagery, perspective, storytelling, rhythm and form. Everything a writer needs is inside of themselves, and it's my goal to help them refine the effectiveness of how they communicate their subject matter.
"Morning sessions will include a reading of poems by established writers (which will be supplied) with discussion of what makes these poems effective, writing exercises and also excursions to some sites in Beara that have given inspiration to my own writing.  In the afternoons, I will be available for one-to-one sessions and this will also be free time during which participants can enjoy the creative peace of the retreat and do some writing."

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Pocket Poem competition for Butlers Cafe/ Ireland Poetry Day

Poetry Ireland and Butlers Chocolate Cafés are inviting poets to submit poems for our Poetry Day Ireland 2016 competition. The theme of the competition is open, but poems should mention either chocolate or coffee or give a flavour (!) of the coffeehouse and café.
Poems should be no longer than sixteen lines.

The winning poet will:
  • Have their poem printed on a Pocket Poem card, which will be distributed in all 18 Butlers Chocolate Café branches on Poetry Day Ireland, 28 April 2016.
  • Win a guaranteed place in an activist poetry masterclass with Rafeef Ziadah in Dublin on 19 May 2016.
  • Win a ticket to every poetry event in either the International Literature Festival Dublin (21-29 May 2016), or Cúirt International Festival of Literature (17-24 April), or to West Cork Literary Festival (17-23 July 2016).
  • Be invited to read their work as part of a public reading on Poetry Day Ireland (28 April 2016).
  • Receive a 2-year subscription to Poetry Ireland Review.
  • Win a pass for 4 people to the Butlers Chocolate Experience.
The runner up poet will:
  • Have their poem printed on a Pocket Poem card, which will be distributed in all 18 Butlers Chocolate Café branches on Poetry Day Ireland, 28 April 2016.
  • Be invited to read their work as part of a public reading on Poetry Day Ireland, 28 April 2016.
  • Receive a box of Butlers Chocolates.

Entry procedure and dates

The competition is free to enter, and poets are welcome to submit up to four suitable poems.
The closing date for entries is 5pm on Thursday 14 April 2016.

At this stage it's probably better to submit through the online application form 

Monday 11 April 2016

Fool For Poetry International Chapbook Competition

The Fool For Poetry International Chapbook Competition run by the hard working Munster Literature Centre is now open for submissions. I've had a read of the books from the last two years and I was very impressed with the standard.

Deadline 31 May

The first and second prize winners will receive a cash prize (1st prize: €1000, 2nd prize: €500*), chapbook publication, 50 free copies of their chapbooks.

The winning poets will be offered a reading and given three nights' accommodation at the 2017 Cork Spring Poetry Festival.

The competition is open to new, emerging and established poets from any country BUT at least one of the winners will be a debutante (with no chapbook or book published previously).

Up to 25 - 50 other entrants will be publicly listed as "highly commended".

Manuscripts must be sixteen to twenty-four pages in length, in the English language and the sole work of the entrant with no pastiches, translations or 'versions'. The poems can be in verse or prose.

Each chapbook is guaranteed a review in Southword Journal.

Link here

Saturday 9 April 2016

Francis MacManus Short Story Competition 2016

The competition was founded in memory of Francis Mac Manus, the Kilkenny born novelist, biographer and former Head of Talks and Features at Radio Éireann. Since its establishment in 1986, the competition has been a launching pad for several new and emerging writers who have subsequently received national and international acclaim. They include Molly McCloskey, Anthony Glavin, Claire Keegan and Nuala Ní Chonchúir. 

The winner of the overall prize will receive €3,000 and prizes of €2,000 and €1,000 will be awarded to the second and third prize winners.

Each of the 25 short-listed stories is recorded being read by a professional reader. The judges listen to these recordings and read the stories to consider their broadcasting and short story qualities before they select the winning entries. The entire shortlist is broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 following the announcement of the competition winners. 

Remember the story should be written for the ear rather than the page. Read it out loud.

Deadline: Friday 27th May 2016.
Stories must be between 1,800 and 2,000 words in length

The judges for this year are Evelyn Conlon, Declan Meade and Mary Morrissy.

To receive an entry form please send a stamped addressed envelope to: 
RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition, RTÉ Radio Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4  
or download an entry form here.

Bridport Poetry, Flash, First Novel and Short Story Competition

This is one of the most prestigious writing contests in the British literary calendar.

Do you have a really good poem or short story? Or a few? I mean, really REALLY good?
  • poem - no more than 42 lines
  • short story - no more than 5,000 words.   
  • flash fiction category - stories of up to 250 words 
  • First Novel - 5,000 to 8,000 words
This year’s judges are Patience Agababi (poems) Tim Stevenson (flash fiction) and Tessa Hadley (short stories) and Kerry Young (First novel).

    Closing: 31st May (postmarked)


In each of the main categories (Short Stories, Poems) - £5,000, £1,000, £500.  There are also ten runners-up prizes of £100.  These are called ‘supplementary prizes’ to make you feel less like an also-ran.  The top four poems will be submitted to the Forward Prize. 

Prizes in the Flash Fiction category are £1,000, £500, £250, plus three supplementary awards of £100.

The Peggy Chapman-Andrews first novel award, named after the Prize’s founder, has a first prize is £1,000 plus a up to a year’s mentoring from The Literary Consultancy through their Chapter & Verse scheme. A runner-up prize of £500 is also offered. Three shortlisted writers will receive £100. Note: Novelists have to be resident in Great Britain (which sounds like it excludes Northern Ireland!??)

The top 13 short stories will be entered for the National Short Story Prize worth £15,000, and the Sunday Times Short Story Award worth £30,000.  

The top 4 poems are submitted to the Forward Prize for best single poem. 

There's also a prize for the highest placed piece from a writer in Dorset of £100. 

All winners will be invited to an awards ceremony on October 15th at the Bridport Open Book Festival.

The judges have some pointers here on the blog well worth reading.

Note: Entries must never have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast nor winning or placed (as in 2nd, 3rd,, runner up etc) in any other competition.

    Entry Fees:Poems - £7.  Short Stories - £8.  Flash Fiction - £6, Novel - £20

    Comp PageClick Here.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Poetry reading by Noel King, Catherine Ann Cullen and Louis Mulcahy

Some terrific Kerry poets are making the trip to Dublin to read some poetry. 

The Swan Bar, Aungier St (corner of York St), Dublin 2
(opposite Whitefriar St Church)
3pm Saturday April 9th, 2016
Entry free. Fine poetry and great pints on sale.
Further info:

Noel King was born and lives in Tralee, Co Kerry. His poetry collections Prophesying the Past (2010), The Stern Wave (2013) and Sons (2015) are published by Salmon. He edited more than fifty books for Doghouse and was poetry editor of Revival Literary Journal in 2012/13. His short story collection, The Key Signature & Other Stories, will be published by Liberties Press in 2017.
Catherine Ann Cullen was born in Drogheda but spent summers in Tralee where her mother’s family were neighbours of Noel King’s family. Her two collections of poetry A Bone in My Throat (2007) and Strange Familiar (2013) were published by Doghouse. She has published two children’s books with Little, Brown in the US. Her third collection, The Other Now, is due from Dedalus in October 2016.

Louis Mulcahy is a potter who writes poetry. His first full collection, Dhá Chlog ag Bualadh (2012) and first collection in English, The Clogher Quartet, Book One (2014) were published by An Sagart Publishing. The Clogher Quartet, Book Two was launched in 2015. He was founder and director of An Fhéile Bheag Filíochta 2007-14. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the NUI.

Sunday 3 April 2016

Launch of Peacekeeper, the debut poetry collection of Michael Whelan

This should be an interesting collection. Michael Whelan is a soldier poet and his first collection is inspired by his work with the UN peacekeeping forces.

Wednesday 13th April 6.30pm in the lovely county library in Tallaght, published by my own publisher, Doire Press.

All welcome.