Sunday, 30 September 2012

Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair

 Deadline Approaching for the Irish Writers' Centre Novel Fair
17th October 2012
The Irish Writers' Centre has begun counting down the days to the deadline of its esteemed Novel Fair. The deadline for the competition this year is on October 17th and the Novel Fair itself will take place on February 16th, 2013.
With just a few weeks left to enter, the terrific news of book acquisitions from last year's winners is flooding in. Finalists from 2011, Niamh Boyce, Janet Cameron and Kevin Curran are three of our success stories.  

Earlier in the year, Niamh Boyce sold her novel The  Herbalist to Penguin Ireland and more recently Janet Cameron's book, Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World, was snatched up by Hachette. As well as this, Liberties Press have laid claim to Kevin Curran's novel, Beatsploitation. With nine of the authors signed up with literary agents and many in talks with publishers, we eagerly anticipate more book deals before the end of the year.

Some changes have been made to last year's set up, which include reducing the number of finalists to ten so that the novelists will benefit from more quality time with the publishers.

Publishers who have already confirmed attendance at this year's Fair include Liberties Press, Penguin Ireland, Picador, New Island, Transworld Ireland, The Feldstein Agency, The Book Bureau, Marianne Gunn O'Connor Literary Agency, Jonathan Williams Literary Agency, The Lisa Richards Agency, and Lilliput Press. Each writer in attendance will have a stand at the Fair with copies of the synopsis, the finished novel itself and biographical material.

To find out more about the Novel Fair Competition, check out, or email If you already know everything you need to know and would like to enter, click here.

Boston Review Competition

BR Nameplate Red
September Cover Image
Contest Judge, Nathan Englander Deadline is October 1, 2012 

A final reminder: the Aura Estrada Short Story Contest deadline is tomorrow, October 1st! Boston Review Fiction Editor Junot Diaz and contest judge Nathan Englander are waiting for your story.

First prize is $1,500 plus publication in the magazine. Any author writing in English is eligible.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Over the Edge Winner 2012 announced

Congratulations to Sean Kenny on winning this prestigious competition in Galway last night.The standard is superb and on reading  another of his stories ( follow link) he is clearly a worthy winner.Well done to all short listed and long listed.

2012 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Seán Kenny

Our competition judge John Corless has chosen Seán Kenny as the winner in the fiction section. Seán is also the 2012 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year. He will received €700 prize money, be a Featured Reader at an Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library next Spring and Doire Press will read a collection of his short stories.

Seán Kenny is 33 and from Dublin. As a journalist, he has written for The Irish Times and The Irish Examiner. He was shortlisted for the 2011 Swift Satire Award and his short fiction has been published in Crannóg, The Irish Times, Southword and Wordlegs. One of his stories can be read here
Sean's winning entry was his short story Ending It.

UCD National Folklore Collection/ are looking for submissions of personal essays in the Monday Miscellany, Mining Memories and Writing & Me sections! See what they have there now and check here for full submission guidelines: are working with the National Folklore Collection in UCD to preserve selected submissions to these sections to add to their rich archive.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Bord Gais Energy Theatre Wagner's Tristan Und Isolde

Wagner’s Tristan Und Isolde at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and Steve Cooney at Vicar Street
Fergus Sheil, who is known to Kilkenny audiences as the Director of our festival choir and orchestra, is Artistic Director of Ireland’s newest opera company Wide Open Opera. He will conduct Wagner’s iconic opera Tristan und Isolde at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin on Sept 30th, Oct 3rd and Oct 6th. For more details see below.
Following his sell-out show at Kilkenny Arts Festival, Steve Cooney will perform with his All-Star band Éiníní this Sunday September 30th at Vicar Street. He will also be joined by four of Irelands most iconic singers: Christy Moore, Mary Black, Iarla Ó Lionáird and Luka Bloom. 
Both events really are the HOTTEST tickets in town this weekend and definitely not to be missed!
 Wagner's TRISTAN & ISOLDE is presented by new Irish opera company – WIDE OPEN OPERA
Sunday 30th September, Wednesday 3rd & Saturday 6th October 2012. Tickets priced from €15 on sale now. Doors open at 4pm, Running time: Approx. 5 hours including 2 intervals Click Here To Book
Regarded by many as the greatest operatic achievement of all time, Wagner’s TRISTAN & ISOLDE is presented by new Irish opera company – WIDE OPEN OPERA in a production originating from Welsh National Opera, originally directed and designed by Yannis Kokkos. A once in a lifetime event there will be just three performances of opera’s most ravishing love story. Spanning a performance time of five hours, this epic production involves leading Irish singers Miriam Murphy (Isolde) and Imelda Drumm (Brangäne) alongside international artists Lars Cleveman (Tristan), Brett Polegato (Kurwenal) and Manfred Hemm (König Marke).

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Short Story /Poetry Competition website .Boston Review

Great short story website.Boston Review.

Check out their archives and previous winners.

 Pirouette  by SCOTT MARENGO    In this touching and melancholy short story, a  deliveryman in rural northern California makes fast friends with an eccentric loner and his daughter. 

also Alexandra Thom’s The Piano (2012)

Re Short Story Competition
Each year, Boston Review runs competitions in poetry and fiction. We also partner with the Unterberg Poetry Center/92nd Street Y to publish the winner of the annual “Discovery”/Boston Review poetry contest.
We strongly encourage online submissions for our poetry and short story contests (Complete instructions for submission to all contests follow.

Aura Estrada Short Story Contest (Deadline: October 1, 2012)
The Boston Review Essay Contest (Deadline: December 1, 2012)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Competition deadline in Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction, a great way  to hone your editing skills-take a short story,  say 1500 -2000 word count and edit it back to 500 word count while retaining your characters, plot, story line, structure.Include a credible beginning, middle and end!
A challenge, an exercise, a skill, an achievement!
Flash Fiction Competition closes Sunday
The flash fiction and humour verse competitions both close on Sunday 30th September at midnight (UK time).  
For more info, or to enter, visit the websites: Flash 500 Flash Fiction and Flash 500 Humour Verse Competition.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Claire Keegan, Maeve Binchy Leaving Cert Syllabus 2014

Claire Keegan will now be part of the Leaving Certificate syllabus for 2014.Her story 'Foster' will feature with the work  an elite group of writers including Jane Austen and Emily Bronte.Another writer of note  on this list is the late Maeve Binchy.

Reading the list almost makes one want to repeat the leaving cert.Almost!

Texts prescribed for comparative study, for examination in the year 2014
ABRAHAMSON, Lenny (Dir.) Garage (Film)
ADIGA, Aravind The White Tiger
AUSTEN, Jane Pride and Prejudice
BALLARD, J. G. Empire of the Sun
BINCHY, Maeve Circle of Friends
BRANAGH, Kenneth (Dir.) Much Ado about Nothing (Film)
BRONTË, Emily Wuthering Heights
CUARÓN, Alfonso (Dir.) Children of Men (Film)
CURTIZ, Michael (Dir.) Casablanca (Film)
FRIEL, Brian Translations
HAMILTON, Hugo The Sailor in the Wardrobe
HARRIS, Robert Pompeii
HEMINGWAY, Ernest The Old Man and the Sea
IBSEN, Henrik A Doll’s House
ISHIGURO, Kazuo Never Let me Go
JOHNSTON, Jennifer How Many Miles to Babylon?
JONES, Lloyd Mister Pip
KAY, Jackie Red Dust Road
KEANE, John B. Sive
KEEGAN, Claire Foster
LEVY, Andrea Small Island
LEONARD, Hugh Home Before Night
LESSING, Doris The Grass Is Singing
McCARTHY, Cormac The Road
McGUINNESS, Frank Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme

Tuesday, 18 September 2012






WHAT INSPIRES YOU....................?

Sunday, 16 September 2012

short story competitions websites journals.

Upcoming dates for events-check websites for accuracy or alterations!

List of Irish Competitions/Journals/Databases
The Dublin Review
The Stinging Fly
Irish Pages
The South Circular
The Moth
New Irish Writing Page of the Irish Independent
The Dublin Quarterly International Literary Review
Hennessey New Writer Awards (through lrish Independent) - year round submissions
Francis MacManus Short Story Competition - deadline 2Oth January
Sean Dunne Young Writers'Award - deadline 31't January
Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award - deadline 2nd March
William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Award - deadline 31't March
Molly Keane Creative Writing Award - 31't March
Writing Spirit Short Story Award - 4 rounds, first round deadline is 3Oth April
Sean O'Faolain International Short Story Competition - deadline 31't July
Over the Edge New Writer of the Year - deadline August Bth
Fish Short Story/Flash Fiction Competitions - deadline November 30th
Labello Press International Short Story Competition - deadline 3lst December

Irish Writers' Centre:
Poets & Writers:

Penguin Ireland RTE Short Story Competition Results

Penguin  Ireland RTE Short Story Competition results.Winning stories now published on RTE Ten.
'Cuckoo Money' by Mary Healy was published on RTE Ten as a runner up in their recent short story competition.Over 1000 entries were received and  ten were  short listed  and these will be published on RTE Ten over the next few days.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Social Media courses-FREE

Kilkenny and Tippereary  County Enterprise Board's are offering  half day sessions on social media for beginners and advanced-these are FREE.Probably available from other counties as well.Sessions on Apps available, how to create videos, blog, etc etc.I guess I may be speaking to the converted here but have  look at their website!Well worth a look.

The Stinging Fly's latest success story.Mary Costello

Declan Meade strikes me as someone who does not get easily excited, but he is cleary enthused about Mary Costelloe's new book, and rightly so.If you buy one book of short stories this year , treat yourself to this one.
There was great excitement in both London and Dublin last week at the news that The China Factory by Mary Costello, published by The Stinging Fly, has been nominated for The Guardian First Book Award. The short story collection, published to critical acclaim in May of this year, is one of only six fiction titles amongst the longlist of eleven books that have been selected – alongside titles from major publishers such as Virago and Fourth Estate.
Learning of the book’s inclusion in this prestigious longlist Mary Costello said, “It’s wonderful to get this kind of news – and especially with a book of short stories. I did get a little thrill seeing the words ‘Irish short stories’ in there among the novels and non-fiction.”
The China Factory features twelve haunting stories, as Mary Costello precisely examines the perils and passions of everyday life and relationships and, with startling insight, casts a light on the darkest corners of the human heart. marycostello

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

NUIM Kilkenny Music of Leonard Cohen, Paul simon

An intersting eclectic course commencing for music lovers, aspiring musicains,would be DJ's, wilted flower children or someone who simply wants to spend some pleasant time with interesting people.

Short course - Word of Mouth: Ten Great Songwriters

Key Course Information
10 weeks
Closing Date: 
Monday, 1st October 2012
NUIM Kilkenny Campus

Word of Mouth: Ten Great Songwriters

This course will look at the work of some of the preeminent and most gifted songwriters of the twentieth century. Each workshop will look at the work of an individual - with a brief biography/ discography; a close listening to and analysis and discussion of the lyrics of six of each songwriter's most impressive compositions - putting them into a musical; social and historical context. The emphasis will be on listening; discussing and responding to the songs. The featured songwriters are: Leonard Cohen; Paul Simon; Judy Collins; Joan Baez; Randy Newman; Mickey Newbury; Dar Williams; Jackson Browne; Mary Chapin Carpenter and Dave Mallett.
Tuesdays 7pm - 9pm, October 9th - December 11th
How much?
10 week course fee €150.
How to Apply?
Download the application form here or contact Kilkenny Campus at 056-7775910 / 01-7086755 / 087-2630999 or 
Closing Date for applications: 
Please return the completed form and course fee by Monday, October 1st to: Kilkenny Campus (NUI Maynooth), College Road, Kilkenny.

Monday, 10 September 2012

NOVEL COMPETITION deadline October 17th

At the recent RTE Guide /Penguin writers Day the Irish  Writer's Centre was represented and reminded us of this event- well worth considering if you have a novel ready.
It was described as 'speed dating with  publishers! You get 15 minutes to 'sell' your novel to the various agents and publishers.
Several writer's whose work was selected last year  have been working closely  with publishers. Niamh Boyce was one of those who signed  up with Penguin Ireland. Her book 'The Herbalist' will appear on our book shelves in the near future.novel fair Irish Writers' Centre

Sunday, 9 September 2012

RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Winners 2012

RTE Guide Penguin Short Story Competition received over 1000 submission this year.

On Friday 7th Sept the 2012 the winners ceremony and writers day was opened  by Jane Alger, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.An impressive line out of  publishers, editors, agents, sales and marketing experts were present and  despite a 10% drop in the Irish market they said they  are always looking for new talent.

Ten lucky people made it to the short list and will be published on RTE TEN over the next few weeks -thank you for including me on that short list and my story 'Cuckoo Money' can be read there.
Congratulations to overall winner Laura McKenna and well done.Her winning story was 'Song of the Hummingbird.'

This was the format for the day

Getting Published
Speakers - Patricia Deevy, Editorial Director.Penguin Ireland and Sheila Crowley, Literary Agent, Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency

The Published Author 
Speakers -Sinéad Moriarty, Anna McPartlin and Naomi Alderman

 Selling and Marketing your book
Speakers Maria Dickenson, Books Purchasing Manager, Eason & Son, Donal O’Donoghue, Features Editor, RTÉ Guide & Cliona Lewis, Publicity Director, Penguin Ireland.

Message of the day from all concerned:-Use social media!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Elements of 50 Shades of Grey  at the Irish Writers Centre-What is it with erotic fiction at  the  moment?
Could this be incorporated into the Masters Programme in NUI?
And WHO would we get to do it??!
Writing Desire: Flesh Made Word with Sean O'Reilly & Kimberly Campanello
25th September: Tues 6.30pm-8.30pm €280/260 members
How can we write about sex? Irish writing seems to shy away from any attempt to represent the reality and complexity of our erotic lives. Sex is a secret. Desire is merely a plot-device. The story of a character’s erotic life or the growth of a character’s erotic taste seems to have no bearing on a convincing psychological portrait of a literary character. This 10-week course looks at the history of the genre of erotic writing, looking at some classic texts in both prose and poetry, and concentrating on student’s writing in this field. Using both poetry and prose, participants will learn that the ‘erotic’ is more than the description of sexual acts but the context in which they take place, about power and phantasy, and in particular, about the representation of desire itself. Emphasis will be on participants own work and feedback in a group setting.
Course reading includes writers who have made desire the central theme in their work: Kundera, Trocchi, Roth, DH Lawrence, Angela Carter, Bataille, Edna O’ Brien, Gombrovitch, Miller, Nin, The Ages of Lulu, Casanova, Venus in Furs, Surrealism, confessional erotic bestsellers like One Hundred Strokes Before Bedtime up to the new phenomenon of fan-fiction/mommy-porn like 50 Shades of Grey. And in poetry: Ginsberg, Hughes, Neruda, Lorca, Takahashi, Gertrude Stein, Yeats, Auden and others.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

NUIM Kilkenny
Creative writing for publication venue in St Kierans College Kilkenny

IntroductionThis course will give participants a practical grounding in the writing of fiction and creative non-fiction for publication. The course allows students to work with professional writers who will act in a mentoring capacity. The practical emphasis will help students to progress towards producing work of publishable standard and marketing it.
Course Aims- To develop creative writing skills.
- To cultivate a disciplined approach to writing.
- To develop students’ skills in critically assessing their own and others’ work.
- To provide an understanding of the economics and structure of the publishing industry.
ContentModule 1: Writing: Creative Non-fiction
Module 2: Publishing Industry Awareness
Module 3: Writing: Short Story
Module 4: Writing: the Novel

Suzanne Power                                                        John Mackenna
Lecturers in NUIM Ceative writing for publication.
Courses recommence in September 2012-great fun, great tutors, a great experience.
Many former students have gone on to win national an international literary competitions.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

A Day of poetry with Niall MacMonagle and Claire Keegan

A Day of Poetry with Niall MacMonagle organised in conjunction with Claire Keegan

Next saturday Niall MacMonagle will be coming to Co Wexford ( September 8th)
 His lecture on poetry, Best Order Best Words, will be held in the Millrace Hotel, Bunclody. This day is being organised in conjunction with writer Claire Keegan.
Niall MacMonagle  believes, as he wrote in the intro to Outside In, that "to read is to be free. It is to live many lives, it offers stories from outside ourselves that can bring alive in our minds and imaginations worlds within us."
 Famous for his 'Lifelines' poetry anthologies, he has just brought out a new book of poems, 'Off the Wall'. He really loves his books classic literature, contemporary novels, all poetry. "It is a great, great sadness in my life that more people don't realise how wonderful poetry is."

An interesting day ahead.....!

More details of this and other workshops from

A haven for writers at Russborough

Russborough House
Russborough have just launched their latest venue for writers.The Arch Group of Kilkenny based writers were the first to enter the doors of this hallowed place and had a wonderful time in the company of Mary Morrissy who called in to visit and read an extract from her latest work.

Mary Morrissey

Mary has several books published, the latest being 'The Pretender'
She won a Hennessy Award for short fiction in 1984, a Lannan Literary Award  1995, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize in 1996.
Her collection of  Short Stories includes

She has also published  two Novels