Wednesday 31 August 2016

18th. Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award

Trophy and Cash Prizes
1st Prize is the Ledwidge plaque (a keepsake) inscribed with the winner’s name & cash prize. Cash prizes and books for Second and Third and merit certificates for finalists.

The first 3 poems will be entered in the Forward Prize UK
In addition, the winner will be invited to read at the annual Francis Ledwidge Commemoration at the National War Memorial Gardens in July 2017

Poems must be the competitor’s own work
not previously published or broadcast.
Poems should not exceed 40 lines of type
Entry fee: €4 per poem, 3 for €10.
Max. 6 poems (€20) payable to the Inchicore Ledwidge Society

Name and address and telephone number on a separate sheet.

Deadline: 5th November 2016 

The Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award 2016,
C/o 20, Emmet Crescent.
Inchicore, Dublin 8

Winners will be notified and results will be announced at our annual awards night 
Check out the Facebook page: InchicoreLedwidge Society

Monday 29 August 2016

New writing courses

There's a new term on the horizon and the whiff of back to school is in the air. It's always worth checking out what's going on in your local community school or library. Or check at your library.

The Irish Writers' Centre always has an innovative catalogue that covers a wide range. And there's the Big Smoke Writing Factory.

Recently I was told of a new course given by writer David Keane at SEDA College, Capel Street. Here's the blurb

This Creative Writing Course is for those who are ready to begin their journey of creative writing in fiction and need a little guidance. If you don’t know where to begin or don’t know what to do next then this is the course for you.

The course will focus on starting points, characters, structure, plot, theme, and point of view as well as many other aspects of writing fiction. Over the six week period participants will be encouraged to develop their writing skills based on coursework.

This course is for adults only and is facilitated in a positive and encouraging manner. All participants will be invited to share their work. This is not compulsory but is recommend in order to gain the most benefit out of the course. A textbook will be provided for each participant- this will be a guide and reference point, as well as a good read. The course will help build your writer’s toolbox and develop your existing skills.

Classes last 90 minutes and participants are also expected to make time to write during the week.

Date: Starts 13 September 2016 @ 7pm. Runs every Tuesday for 6 consecutive weeks.

Venue: SEDA College, Capel Street, Dublin 1.
Capacity: 12 maximum.
Fee: € 75 (includes textbook).
Info & Booking:

David Keane is a Dublin based writer. He is currently involved in several areas of writing, including fiction, poetry, and scriptwriting. These include several scripts (stage and screen) and a novel. His short screenplay, Lacewing, was runner up at the Waterford Film Festival 2015 and his treatment for a contemporary Irish screenplay, Grand, won him a place on a script development workshop run by Working Title Films. He has been included in several writing anthologies and came runner up in the unpublished poet category in the Poetry Ireland/TrĂ³caire Poetry Competition 2016.

Saturday 27 August 2016

Abridged 0 – 48: Mercury Red Submission call

The submission calls for Abridged magazine, a poetry and art publication, are always a good read.
This is the age of the inspirational. We wake up each morning to a torrent of messages on social media informing us that if we ‘be ourselves’ and ‘believe in ourselves’ we can achieve the impossible. Transformation will be quick and painless. A screen full of medicine men (and women) selling easy answers with beautiful backdrops. Conversely when we do achieve something there are legions of ‘trolls’ ready to lay siege to us. The age of the inspirational is an age of extremes. Love is public and anger is quick to surface. We search for the impossible and when it can’t be found we want to scorch the earth. Our loves, our hates, are quick. Our fear is now public domain.
This fear remains in the ether, an indistinct agent in our psychological lives, both invisible and disturbing as hypothetical warfare. When we feel under attack it solidifies and we name it.  It is in naming the thing that should be feared that it comes into focus, even merely as mirage or red herring. By naming it, mythologizing it, adorning it with colours and connotations so as to turn it into a child’s villain, we cast it from ourselves and make it temporarily stable enough to identify: a tangible enemy.  A named fear is a catalyst for all that frightens, within and beyond ourselves. Telling a story of good and evil, of black and white masks the problematic complexity of these qualities incestuous and changeful relationship. Light can obscure as much as darkness, and on each the other depends for definition.

Red Mercury is a mythical explosive. Abridged in 0 – 48: Mercury Red explores our need for immediate public affirmation, our virtual emotional lives and our search for the impossible personally and as a society then the anger when we realise our Nirvana is unattainable. 
Submissions may be up to three poems and can be sent to preferably in Word format or as part of the email. Art should be up to A4 landscape in size and 300 dpi or above. 
Please note this is a landscape format issue rather than our usual portrait. 
Deadline is 23rd September.

Thursday 25 August 2016

Resurgence Poetry Prize 2016 - Ecopoems

Do you have a true ecopoem or two?
The Resurgence Poetry Prize is the world’s first major ecopoetry award. Three prizes will be awarded each year for original and previously unpublished ecopoems in English (or any dialect of English). Poets may submit as many poems as they wish but each poem must not be more than 54 lines in length..  
Poems do not need to address a specific theme, but to be eligible a poems will in some way – thematically, structurally, linguistically or formally – investigate the interrelationship between human culture and the natural world.  A poem’s spoken quality – its suitability for being read and recorded aloud – will form part of the judging criteria. 
All details are on the Rules page.
With a first prize of £5,000 for the best single poem embracing ecological themes, the award ranks amongst the highest of any English language single poem competition. Second prize is £2,000 and third prize £1,000.
Deadline: 1st October
Head Judge: Jo Shapcott. The judges will read all eligible poems
The previous year's winners are on this page where you can also navigate to how to enter.

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival Open Poetry Competition 2016

Prizes: 1st prize: £600    2nd prize: £150    3rd prize: £50
Entry fee: £5 per poem, £3 per poem thereafter
Closing date: 3 September, 2016
Judge: Alison Brackenbury. The judge will read all poems submitted to the competition. There will be no sifting of entries.
Poems must be typed and no longer than 40 lines
Fee £5 for the first poem and £3 for each additional entry

Sunday 21 August 2016

Kubla Khan / Imaginary Worlds Poetry Competition

In this the bicentenary of the first publication of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, the Friends of Coleridge invite poets to enter poems for a prestigious celebration of this visionary poem under the theme, “Imagined Worlds”.
Winning poems will be published in The Coleridge Bulletin, the internationally distributed publication dedicated to furthering the understanding of Coleridge and his powerful influences on poetry and thought. 
The Awards Night will be held at CICCIC Taunton on Coleridge’s Birthday, 21st October 2016.
Fee: Adult (18+), entries £5.00 for first poem. £3.00 for up to two subsequent poems.
Young Person’s (10-17), entries free of charge for up to three poems.
 You can enter up to three poems. The length of each must not exceed 40 lines.
Adult First Prize £500. Two Runners up: £200 each
Young Person’s First Prize £75. Two Runners up  £25 each
Gregory Leadbetter. Gregory is a well-known poet and lecturer, and Vice-Chair of the Friends of Coleridge.
Liz Cashdan. Liz is a poet who has written a sequence based on Coleridge and his circle.  Her most recent collection is Things of Substance: New and Selected Poetry (Five Leaves 2013).
Ian Enters. Ian is a poet with three publications to his name; translator of Anglo-Saxon poetry and performer at the British Museum; novelist with two novels published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson; and dramatist of musicals and opera. He was until recently Chair of the charity Reading Matters.
Deadline for entries5pm Wednesday 31st August
Enter online only. Full details, rules and how to enter can be forund on the Friends of Coleridge website here:

Friday 19 August 2016

Manchester Review Submissions

The Manchester Review publishes two issues per year in Spring and Autumn. During their submission period they welcome unpublished fiction, poetry and essays from both established and new writers. 

Please make no more than one submission per issue. 

Simultaneous submissions are permitted. They only accept Word documents

In the subject line, please include your name and the category (Fiction/Poetry/Art/Non-Fiction) and make sure that identifying details are also on your submission.

Prose Please send only one piece of fiction or non-fiction. Very rarely do we publish works longer than 6,000 words.
Poetry Please send no more than 3 poems.
Art Please email a link to your online portfolio. Unfortunately, they cannot accept music, visual art, or video submissions by post or as email attachments.
They strongly encourage online submissions to

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Poetry Workshop at the Five Glens Arts Festival

I'm running a poetry workshop at the Five Glens Arts Festival, Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim.

Poetry's oldest duty is preservation. The life we live eludes us as we live it, and when we are old we cannot credit what we have lost -- measured by the fragments that we keep – Donald Hall

Memories are increasing disposable in our throwaway society of soundbites and changeable fashion, process, ideas and images. Too many things are about speed up, speed up, newer, better, shinier. But these very memories we have are potentially a rich source of inspiration for writing. We can preserve the moments, places, people, thoughts and relationships, be they beautiful, mundane or uncomfortable, by capturing them in poems, to hold and to keep.

This  workshop if for anyone who would like to being to write poetry or for those who already have some memories captured on paper. It will be a safe, supporting environment so you can leave with the draft of at least one piece of writing with energy and confidence.

€15.00 pre-booked €18.00 on door  (max 12 people)

Saturday 27th August 11am

followed at 4pm by the results of the Dermot Healy International Poetry competition.

Please pre book!

Also for those with smallies, there is an Origami workshop , 2pm for smallies/beginners (and their accompanying adult) and 3pm drop in for older, more ambitious. Led by the lovely Grace Dempsey.

The Five Glens Arts festival was created in response to the profound level of creativity which runs in a fine seam through the entire North West of Ireland.  The Arts in all of their formats are alive and very well in this part of the world with the concentration of professional creative practitioners not found elsewhere across Europe.

Here in Irelands North West, tucked away in the mystical lands of North Leitrim, you will find the market town of Manorhamilton. It is nestled at the very heart of The Five Glens of Leitrim, Glenfarne, Glenade, Glenboy, Glenaniff and Glencar. These glens have always been alive with artistic endeavour and enterprise.

The Festival is a celebration of the arts in their myriad forms and is a reflection on the profound level of creativity which is to be found in this special place.  We celebrate the Visual Arts, Literature and Poetry, Dance, Theatre, great food and of course Music throughout the weekend with local, national and internationally advertised events. Come and experience the talent brought to you by these artists in what has proven to be a great weekend to mark the last days of summer.

Sunday 14 August 2016

The Poetry Divas are going to Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat

Next Saturday, 20 August 2016 The Poetry Divas are going to Anam Cara Writing Retreat in Beara, Co Cork. And we have a special guest diva, Eileen Sheehan. Should be great. Please come along if you are anywhere near.
The Poetry Divas is a collective of women poets. We read our own poems at events and festivals all over Ireland, blurring the wobbly boundary between page and stage. We tailor each show to the occasion and audience and aim to give a deliciously infectious show that’s bound to touch a nerve. We are all well-published and anthologised poets in our own right: Kate Dempsey's debut collection, The Space Between, was published by Doire Press in 2016; Maeve O’Sullivan has published three collections: Initial Response (haiku, 2011), Vocal Chords (poetry, 2014) and A Train Hurtles West (haiku, 2015); and Special guest diva Eileen Sheehan's collections are Song of the Midnight Fox and Down the Sunlit Hall. Given the name and ethos of the venue, our theme for this performance will be friendship." After their presentation, the mike will be open for more poetry and song.
Donations on the night in aid of Cork Art Cancer Support House in Bantry.
8:00 P.M.
Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat, Eyeries, Beara

To book a seat, ring 027 74441.
Information on the Anam Cara retreat and other upcoming workshops and events here

Saturday 13 August 2016

Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2016

Deadline: midnight on 31st August 2016.

Poems are welcomed in the following two categories:
  • English as Second Language – open to all poets over 18 years of age who write in English as an additional language
  • Open category – open to all poets over 18 years of age.
These prizes will be awarded in both categories:
  • First prize – £1,000
  • Second prize – £200
  • One Special Commendation non-cash prize
Fee: It costs the equivalent of £5 to submit a poem, or £4 per poem for more than three entries. You may enter as many poems as you wish.

Usual conditions. In particular please note:
  • All entries are judged anonymously and the poet’s name must not appear on the poem itself. 
  • All poems must have a title and must not exceed 50 lines in length (excluding title).
  • The prize money is generated entirely through entry fees and maybe reduced if an insufficient number of entries is received.
  • Prize-winners and shortlistees will be notified by early October 2016 and invited to an award ceremony on 25 November 2016 in Oxford.
Judge: Daljit Nagra

Full details at

Thursday 11 August 2016

University of Limerick Writer’s Fellowship

Applications are invited from Irish writers of established reputation across all genres (eg fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, drama, film) for the Arts Council/ University of Limerick Writer’s Fellowship which is co-funded by the University of Limerick and the Arts Council.

The Fellowship will be tenable either for the period January – June 2017, or, if it suits the Fellow, for the full calendar year January-December 2017, with one introductory session to be undertaken in autumn, 2016. The Creative Writing programme at UL is led by Professor Joseph O’Connor and is taught by a number of acclaimed writers, including novelists Donal Ryan, Giles Foden and Sarah Moore Fitzgerald.

The Fellow will be a part of UL’s Creative Writing community and will engage with students, staff and faculty in a number of ways. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to teach at the UL Creative Writing Summer School in New York and to develop her/his own work in a supportive environment. The stipend for the Fellowship is €20,000.

Interested candidates are invited to submit a covering letter outlining areas of interest, teaching experience (if any), ideas for engagement with UL’s Creative Writing programme, and a full CV to include the name and contact details of 3 referees to our Programme Coordinator for Creative Writing, Claire Ryan,

The closing date for applications will be no later than 12 noon on 26th August, 2016. Interviews will take place approximately one month later, at the University of Limerick.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Bailieborough Poetry Festival Prize

Baileborough Poetry Festival is on in October. The popular poetry competition is now open for submissions.

Deadline Wednesday 31st August 2016.
  1. First prize of €300 for winning poem with a 2nd prize of €50 to be awarded. There will also be a special prize for a local entrant domiciled in Cavan or Meath.
  2. Each poem must not exceed 50 lines, and should be typed, single-spaced.
  3. Up to three poems may be submitted per entry. You may submit as many entries as you wish. Fee €5 per poem or 3 poems for €10
  4. The judges this year are Michael Farry and Mairead Donnellan.
  5. All shortlisted poems will be featured at a reading at Bailieborough Poetry Festival in October 2016, and authors will be invited to attend. 
Other details on entry are on this link

Sunday 7 August 2016

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition

Chicken House no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts, but they do offer unpublished and unagented writers of children's fiction the chance to submit their work to the annual Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. They say 
We're looking for original ideas, a fresh voice and a story that children will love!
First prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000, plus representation from a top children’s literary agent.
To enter, you must have written a completed full-length novel suitable for children/young adults aged somewhere between 7 and 18 years. By full-length we suggest a minimum of 30,000 words and ask that manuscripts entered do not exceed 80,000 words in length.
Deadline: Sunday 18 December 2016
Fee: £15
Link and tips here

Thursday 4 August 2016

Writing for Mslexia magazine

Mslexia is a great writing magazine committed to promoting women writers. So yes, you have to be a woman to submit.

Mslexia magazine was recently redesigned to widen the  range of submission opportunities. Whether it’s just one sentence about your life, or an entire 2,200-word short story, a rollicking rhyme to read aloud to children or a carefully-crafted villanelle, there's lots in the list below to choose from.

All submission slots are completely free to enter, and they welcome work from both published and unpublished women writers.

Here’s what we’re seeking for our December 2016 issue:

The following opportunities are open to all women writers, regardless of whether you subscribe to Mslexia (though subscriptions work out at just £2 per month, posting to a UK address). Except where stated, they pay (modestly) for everything they publish.

Secret fantasy
This is the next theme of the special ‘Showcase’ section – pages dedicated to stories up to 2,200 words and/or poems up to 40 lines, this time on the topic of erotic passion. Requited or unrequited, chaste or salacious, enacted or simply longed for, take a walk on the wild side of your romantic imagination. (Deadline: 5 September 2016)

Rhyme story
Many picture books for children have, at their heart, a narrative in the form of a rhyming text. Send rhyming texts of up to 200 words (preferably fewer), that tell a story to read aloud to a small child. (Deadline: 11 October 2016)

First page surgery
Please submit the title and first page of your novel (any genre, up to 300 words). Our guest industry expert will comment, in the magazine, about how it might be changed to catch an agent’s or editor’s eye. If you’re feeling shy, you’re welcome to use a pseudonym. This is an unpaid slot. (Deadline: 11 October 2016)

A memoir piece about something you were (or are now, in retrospect) deeply ashamed of (up to 300 words). (Deadline: 11 October 2016)

Pitch perfect
Send a ‘pitch’ (pithy description) for a writing project you’re planning to submit to an agent, editor or producer. The project might be a novel, memoir, biography, theatre play or screenplay, but your word limit is 100. The guest industry expert will suggest ways of making it spark the interest of the people you need to impress. If you’re feeling shy, you’re welcome to use a pseudonym. This is an unpaid slot, but the most recent pitch featured in the magazine resulted in the author finding an agent. (Deadline: 11 October 2016)

Life sentence
One sentence only, of no more than 25 words, describing an interesting (or poignant, or bizarre, or traumatic, or uplifting) event your recent writing life. There’s publication, and a credit, but no payment for these. (Deadline: 11 October 2016)

D is for
A piece of creative non-fiction inspired by an alphabetic prompt (e.g. ‘H is for hawk’). Up to 300 words. (Deadline: 11 October 2016)

Self-publishing survivors
Do you have a tale to tell about your self-publishing experience? We want to interview people who are prepared to share their triumphs, trials and tribulations – and their advice for fellow travellers. Please send a brief outline. We will contact you directly if we decide to interview you for the magazine. (Deadline: 11 October 2016)

Up to 200 words, in second person, of advice to your younger self, based on your later experience of creativity and life – that might benefit fellow writers today. (Deadline: 11 October 2016)

To submit your work, visit our website and use the online form, or email

Monday 1 August 2016

The Poetry Society’s annual National Poetry Competition

The Poetry Society’s annual National Poetry Competition is for previously unpublished single poems.

Ten prizes

First prize: £5000
Second prize: £2000
Third prize: £1000
Seven commendations: £200 each
Winning poems are published on The Poetry Society website, and the top three in The Poetry Review. Winners are invited to read at events and festivals all around the country, including Ledbury Poetry Festival. Up to 150 longlisted entrants will also be offered discount on selected activities from The Poetry Society, and one of our competition partners the Poetry School.
Judges: Moniza Alvi, Gerry Cambridge and Jack Underwood.
Deadline: 31 October 2016
  • All poems must have a title and must not exceed 40 lines in length (excluding title).
  • The first poem submitted costs £6.50. Subsequent entries in the same submission cost £3.50 per poem. Poetry Society members (including those joining at time of submission) get a free second entry, with subsequent poems at £3.50.
Link here