Saturday 31 December 2016

The Story House – ‘Writing for Young People’

The Story House – ‘Writing for Young People’ 
Mon. 20th to Sat. 25th February at Lisnavagh House, Co. Carlow
This is a unique five day taught residential course, led by two award winning writers, Sheena Wilkinson and Elizabeth Rose Murray, with midweek guest writer Patricia Ford (of Childrens Books Ireland). Limited to 12 participants – with workshops, one to one tutorials with each writer, and time and space to write. A deposit of €200 secures a place on the course – the fee of €700 is fully inclusive of all accommodation, food, workshops etc. 
Writing Changes Lives – 3 x 1 day Saturday workshops Jan. 28th, Feb. 4th & Feb. 11th in Brewery Lane Theatre
These are my own writing workshops, based on the work of Pat Schneider and ‘built on a trust in the inherent talent in people and trust in the power of writing as a process’. Anyone who has written with me I think understands how that is proven over and over as we write together in the workshops. For more background I highly recommend Pat Schneider’s book Writing Alone and With Others – it is in local libraries and in the Book Centre, Waterford. The fee for the workshops is €150. Suitable for anyone beginning, or beginning again, to write.
2017 Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend – Fri. April 21st to Sun. April 23rd
This year in Brewery Lane we will be joined by two very talented writers and experienced teachers of writing, Lia Mills and Catherine Dunne, and already there is significant interest, just through word of mouth. The emphasis this year will be on the tools of fiction and memoir, with workshops and one to one meetings to discuss your work. There is an early bird offer of €160 if paid before Fri. 19th February, after that date the full fee of €175 will apply. Limited to 12 participants. 
For bookings and enquiries please email:
Link here

Friday 30 December 2016

Centre Culturel Irlandais residencies

Deadline: Wednesday 11 Jan 2017

Artist Residencies in Paris!

Our annual residency programme offers great opportunities for artists of all disciplines to tap into the resources of Paris and the CCI, as well as being an important means of showcasing Ireland's dynamic contemporary culture on an international stage.

Residencies of up to 3 months running from September of the same year to June of the following year, open to practitioners in all art forms with a record of professional achievement. Travel from Ireland, accommodation and a monthly stipend of €700 per month included. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in March.

The artist in residence will be asked to participate in the cultural programme of the Centre Culturel Irlandais.

Applicants must be Irish citizens or normally resident in Ireland, with professional involvement in creative practice. (Does that count out quite a lot of serious poets?)

There are some supported residencies in partnership with various organisations. See link here

Thursday 29 December 2016

3 free taster writing classes in the National Library

There will be 3 free taster classes on the following dates in January: 

SATURDAY a.m. January 14 and 21, and Sat p.m. on January 21. 

Both A.M. sessions will run in the lovely Cafe Joly at the National Library, Kildare Street and start at 11.00 a.m. 
P.M session will start at 2 p.m. on 21/1 in the bar of Buswells' Hotel. Molesworth Street. JOIN US opportunity now exists for 

ADVANCED workshops on Tues, Weds and Thursday nights, for 10,10 and 6 workshop meetings respectively. Friday night 

START TO WRITE in Glasthule is also accepting 2 joiners from Jan 13th. 

New term of Saturday morning classes at the NLI from JANUARY 28th. 

Contact Yvonne Cullen at 086 1701418 or at to book or enquire.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Maria Edgeworth Literary Poetry Competition 2017

Poetry Competition

€250 - First Prize

€75 -  Second prize

€50 - Third Prize

Deadline: 24 Feb 2017

The Maria Edgeworth's festival will be starting 5th May 2017 in Edgeworthtown.

1. Entry Fee must accompany all entries. Each submission is €5.
2. All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not have been published, accepted for publication, broadcast or honoured by the closing dates for entries.
3. Name and address to go on a separate attached sheet.
4. Poems limited to 40 lines.

Judge: Professor Iggy McGovern

Cheques made payable to: Edgeworth Literary Society or Payment can be made online through PAYPAL at

Entries to be sent to: Competition Secretary, Edgeworth Literary Society, Old School House, Ballymahon Road, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Nollaig na mBan event at the Irish Writers Centre

This sounds like a lovely evening for traditional Women's Christmas on Friday 6th January 7:30pm €10. I would love to be invited to read.

A Nollaig na mBan event honouring Maeve Brennan's centenary

Join us on 6 January for our annual celebration of Nollaig na mBan, which this year coincides with the centenary of Maeve Brennan's birth. Broadcaster and journalist Sinéad Gleeson will MC this special evening of entertainment, with contributions from writers Claire-Louise BennettAngela BourkeDoireann Ní Ghríofa and Anne Enright alongside music from singer-songwriter Inni-K.

As in previous years, we're encouraging those attending to take part in a New Year's Kris Kindle extravaganza. Bring along a much-loved book by a female writer, wrap it and label or tag it with a description of no more than three lines. If you bring a book, you go home with one too!

Maeve Brennan was born on Dublin's Great Denmark Street just along the way from the Irish Writers Centre on 6 January 1917. She moved with her family to Washington DC in 1934 and later settled in Manhattan where she eventually joined the staff of The New Yorker, to which she contributed book reviews, fashion notes, essays, and short stories. The stories were gathered in two volumes, In and Out of Never-Never Land (1969) and Christmas Eve (1974). Maeve Brennan died in the Lawrence Nursing Home in Arverne, New York, on 1 November 1993. The Stinging Fly Press recently reissued The Springs of Affection, the posthumous selection of her Dublin-based stories, first published in 1997. They are also publishing a new edition of The Long-Winded Lady, Maeve's columns from The New Yorker, to coincide with her centenary.
Link here

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Cinnamon Poetry Pamphlet Prize

Poetry Pamphlet Prize
4 prizes of 30 copies plus publishing contracts for each of the four winners.
Open to beginners and established writers.
Judged by Ian Gregson.
The fee is £10.

Deadline: 31 March, 2017

Submit online, 15-25 poems of up to 50 lines each (pamphlet competitions)

Sunday 18 December 2016

Cúirt New Writing Prize 2017

The Cúirt New Writing Prize, in memory of Lena Maguire, is now open for  submissions.

The categories are poetry and fiction.

There is a €500 cash prize for the winner of each category and the opportunity to read at the Cúirt/Over the Edge Showcase event at Cúirt 2017.

The entry fee for each submission is €10, this can be paid via the Paypal button.

This year’s judges are poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa and writer Sarah Maria Griffin.

The youth strand of the prize ‘Young Cúirt’ is for ages 12-17. The winner will receive €100 cash prize and will read at the Cúirt Labs in April.

The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 31st  January 2017 at 5pm.

More information here

Friday 16 December 2016

Recommended Independent Irish Bookshops Part 2

Getting close to Christmas, I hope you have books on your list. Here are some year round recommendations of lovely local independent bookshops to visit  and support. I haven't visited every bookshop in Ireland so these are just personal recommendations.
If you have a favourite bookshop I've missed, please let me know

Part 2 - Dublin and surrounding

Books Upstairs, D'Olier Street, Dublin
Long an institution near trinity, they moved round the corner to a lovely new premises. There is a cafe upstairs where there are frequent events and more treasures in the basement. The poetry section is wide and generous, including my own book and I've read there a couple of times. The people are full of time for talking about books.

Gutter Bookshop, Cow's Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin
Run by the inimitable Bob, the Gutter book shop wasn't long in becoming a Dublin institution. There's a lovely selection of Irishm British and international titles and an imaginative children's section. They are often to be found supplying books to the various literary festivals around Dublin but the poetry section is tiny.
They have regular readings and book group.
There's a branch in Dalkey too. Website

Alan Hanna's Bookshop, Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin
Another instititution, you can spend a lot of time persuing the selection of old and new. They serve tea and coffee too.


Dubray Books has a number of bookshops in and around Dublin stocking best sellers, literature, great non-fiction and more esoteric selections. They often have signed copies too.


Chapters Bookstore Parnell Street, Dublin is a large store with a wide selection, passionate, knowledgeable booksellers and second hand books upstairs.

Winding Stair Bookshop on the Quays, Dublin is a beautiful shop where you can take a cup of tea and read in the window. They've a great selection of new and classic books; the poetry section includes my book and it well worth a visit. There are readings from time to time, it's a small space but welcoming.
Last time I was in they had lovely cards and magazines.


Wednesday 14 December 2016

Recommended Independent Irish Bookshops Part 1

Getting close to Christmas, I hope you have books on your list. There is something very special about opening the door of a bricks and mortar bookshop and wandering around the shelves, checking the recommendations and talking to the booksellers. There's the smell of books too, so delicious.

Here are some year round recommendations of lovely local independent bookshops to visit  and support. I haven't visited every bookshop in Ireland so these are just personal recommendations.
If you have a favourite bookshop I've missed, please let me know

Part 1 - Outside Dublin

Charlie Byrnes Bookshop, Cornstore Mall, Middle Street, Galway
a must visit excellent shop stacked full of books with nooks and crannys to explore, table displays of book selections with great support for local writers. Their poetry section is wide and includes my book so I like it!
They have regular readings and events.

They also have a large section of second hand books so it's impossible to leave without buying some.

Barker and Jones, Naas, Co Kildare
This is like book emporium. It has the usual selection of bestsellers, children's books, newspapers and magazines, cards etc. There's an excellent cafe with indulgent cakes and they are great at supporting local authors. I read there and was made very welcome.


Blackbird Books, Solstice Centre, Navan Co Meath
I was very fond of this new bookshop in Naas but I haven't had the chance to visit since they moved. They do everything with such care, a terrific selection of recommendations, support for local writers and they stock poetry including my book, and great coffee and cakes too. The owners are lovely too, what's not to like!


Stonehouse Books, Kilkenny.
Another trhiving local bookshop in Kilkenny down Kieran Street. Make sure you drop in and buy some books. They also stock some poetry including mine!

Link here

Maynooth Bookshop, Co Kildare
This shop must make its living with supplying school books but that doesn't stop them stocking lots of intriguing titles including my own. Great for stationary too.


Kinsale Bookshop, Co Cork
Kinsale has an embarrassment of bookshops and must be a terribly well read town to support them all. Long may that continue.


Kerr's Bookshop, Clonakilty, Co Cork
Clonakilty also supports a few bookshops. I do like this one, always welcoming, great for recommending books.

Saturday 10 December 2016

The Moth Retreat

There are new retreats popping up all over for writers and artists, each with their own ethos. This one is from the lovely people who run the Moth Magazine.

The barn features a large studio/living area and kitchen/breakfast room downstairs, and a bedroom and bathroom upstairs.

Fresh eggs are provided every morning, and fresh vegetables (when in season), in warm, inviting accommodation that is in keeping with The Moth aesthetic, and where a keen eye has been kept on William Morris’s golden rule: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’

There is an easel in the studio downstairs, and a writing desk upstairs, and a bicycle is provided (though the publishers of The Moth, Rebecca O’Connor and Will Govan, will be on hand should you need to purchase groceries or a lift to Cavan Town).

The Moth retreat is situated along a beautiful country lane in Ireland (3 kilometres from the local village of Milltown and 19 kilometres from Cavan Town) and surrounded by some of the county’s famed 365 lakes. Just a few kilometres away is Drumlane Abbey, founded by Saint Colmcille in the sixth century. The county also hosts the source of the River Shannon and has its own Burren, with numerous geological sites recognised by UNESCO.   

How to apply:
Accommodation is €300 a week and is self-catered. A minimum stay of 1 week is required, and a maximum stay of 2 weeks. The accommodation is specifically for artists and writers.

Link here

Thursday 8 December 2016

North West Words Poetry Competition

North West Words is a non-profit orgranisation based in Donegal.  This competition is now in its fifth year and is open to original and previously unpublished poems in English.

This prize is open to anyone over the age of 18 as long as the poem is the original work of the author submitting it. Entries must not have been previously published in any media, self-published, broadcast, and/or won any competition.

The maximum number of poems per entrant is 3.

Send your poem(s) along with a cover letter with name, address, and phone number and/or email address, and title(s) of each poem submitted. Please do not put your name or personal contact details on the same page as the poem(s).

Postal entries to North West Words Poetry Prize 2016, Upper Corkey, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.  Online entries should be attached in one document and copied into the body of the email and sent to

Deadline: Saturday, 31st December 2016.

North West Words is a non-profit organisation run on voluntary effort.

The competition fee of €5 per entry (up to three poems) goes towards the administrative costs of the competition. Payment may be made by Cheque, Postal Order, Money Order or via Paypal on our website

The 2016 English Poetry competition will be judged by Kate Newman from Summer Palace Press.

A shortlist will be published on North West Words’ Facebook page and at North West Words’ January event in Florence Food Company. The winner will be announced and the prize awarded at North West Words Event in Florence Food Company, Letterkenny, on Thursday, 23rd February 2017. (The winning poet will be notified on Thursday, 16th February 2017) The author will be invited to read their winning poem at this North West Words event.

 Copyright remains with the poet, but North West Words reserves the right to first publication or broadcast of the winning poem.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Honest Ulsterman Submission Call


There's a new Honest Ulsterman Submission Call now open. Honest Ulsterman is an online

We're calling for poetry (up to 4 poems), prose and critical writing/interviews for our Februrary issue. Prose can be up to 5000 words. We'd also welcome aural/video poetry.

Submissions can be sent to

Deadline: 20th January 2017.

Link here

Thursday 1 December 2016

Eavan Boland: Inside history launch