Thursday, 6 June 2013

Sean O'Faolain International Short Story Competition

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Cork Peer review Workshop

A new weekly peer review workshop for writers of poetry and flash fiction will begin at the Munster Literature Centre and run every Friday morning of July/August. 

The workshop will be facilitated by Patrick Cotter director of the Centre.  

There will be a maximum of ten places and participants must have had either a poem or a piece of flash fiction published in a professional publication. 

It is envisaged many of the participants will already have books published. 

There will be a nominal charge each week of €5 to cover coffee and photocopies.  

If you are interested in taking part email Patrick at

Monday, 3 June 2013

McLellan Poetry Prize

The McLellan Poetry Prize is awarded in memory of Robert McLellan the poet, playwright and short story writer who spent his working life in High Corrie on the Isle of Arran.
Once again we will be offering a first prize of £1000 (along with 11 other prizes and commendations). 
Poems will be judged by Peter and Ann Sansom, who will present the prizes in person at a special festival event on 30th August. 
Deadline: 30th June 2013 
Poems should:
  • be no more than 80 lines  
  • Have a title
  • be in English, 
  • be previously unpublished 
  • must not have won a prize in any other competition.
This is an international competition, open to all.
Fee: £5 per poem and £4 each for three or more poems. Cheques drawn on a UK bank
or Pay Online
Full details can be found at

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Dublin Writers Festival

I spent a happy week volunteering at Dublin Writers Festival. I met lots of lovely people. Readers are such nice people, ready to chat and talk about books. Very patient queuers too, which was useful. Some queues I saw were way long.

First on Tuesday I went to the Jon Ronson event in the lovely theatre in Liberty Hall. The place was packed and the balcony was full too. Jon talked about investigative comedy. He tackles serious issues under the cover of comedy and talked about some of the situations he found himself in. Check out some of his clips on YouTube for a flavour and buy his newest book, Lost At Sea, which takes him from the Klu Klux Klan to LA drug barons to psychics. I have a theory that because he is a small, unassuming man in appearance, he can get away with a lot more than bigger guys as he does not come over as threatening.He was massively generous and patient with the huge queue to sign his books, talking to everyone who all came away with a big smile.

Thursday I went to Caitlin Moran, a hero of mine, hard core feminist and funny and irreverent, she says out loud many things I've thought for years, some of which I've never said out loud. The National Concert Hall was sold out, which with the chorus seats also open, is about 1,300 people, some of them were men too! Again, massively generous with her time at the signings and there must be loads of photos of her posing with her fans now, young and old.

Friday I went to see the Scottish poet Robin Robertson who was wonderfully dry and clever at Smock Alley, introduced by Paul Perry. I missed hearing Frank McGuinness but the reaction to his reading was very positive. I bought Robin Robertson's newest collection, The Wrecking Light, at the Gutterbookshop after. Check out his poem called A&E about going to hospital post heart surgery. Gruesom. I loe his sea poems too, the language is wonderful.

Saturday I went to an event in the Chester Beatty Library (love that building) talking about reading and sharing the reading experience with Christina Dwyer Hickey, Naomi Alderman and a very engaged audience.

After that Anthony Cronin's epic poem Titanic, first published more than fifty years ago, with musical colaboration by the traditional musician Donal Lunny. The music made the hair on your arms stand to attention. Great response from the audience at the United Reform Church.

On Sunday I had an early start at the GutterBookShop who had unfortunately started the day with a breakin and a visit from the guards. So I took some story books outside in the sunshine and read to the small group of children who came to storytime. We all enjoyed it immensely. One book we read was Where the Wild Things Are and I had kids roaring their terrible roars and rolling their terrible eyes fit to burst. I'd happily do it again and so would some of the other volunteers I talked to. So let's do that again!

Then hotfoot up to the Dublin Writers Centre to catch a chat with the indefatigable Programming Director Liam Browne talking to Thomas Keneally about one of his favourite books, Voss by Australian Laureate Patrick White.

Lastly a children's event in the Ark with writer Sally Gardner. A lovely lady but I felt she did not engage at all well with the children or their parents. Not every writer is a good speaker.

Sean O'Faolain International Short Story Competition

The Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition is an annual short story competition open to writers from around the world. It is dedicated to one of Ireland’s most accomplished story writers and theorists, sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre.

If the winner comes to Cork to collect their prize, we will lavish them with hotel accommodation, meals, drinks and VIP access to the literary stars at the Cork International Short Story Festival (18 - 22 September 2013).

  • First Prize: €2,000 (*approx $2602.11/£1700.04), publication in the literary journal Southword, AND a week-long residency at Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat. 
  • Second Prize: €500 and publication in Southword. 
  • Four other shortlisted entries will be selected for publication in Southword and receive a publication fee of €120.
Deadline: 31 July 2013.

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