Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Creative Writing: Going For it and Going Back to it with Pat Boran

Creative Writing: Going For it and Going Back to it with Pat Boran
Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th March: 10.30am-4.30pm
Visual artists often start off a new work by doodling and sketching. Why not writers? On Day One of this two-day session, participants will be introduced to a number of simple approaches to get the creative ball rolling, long tried-and-tested solutions that act as a kind of limbering up for the work to follow. On Day Two, the raw bits and pieces produced on Day One will be returned to and re-examined, both to expose the inherent problems but also to help participants reveal (and learn how to revise and amplify) their strengths. A lively, productive weekend is promised.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

World Book Day at the Irish Writers' Centre

In celebration of World Book Day, the Irish Writers' Centre invites all interested parties through its doors to experience an array of free events and activities for an Open House on Thursday 4th March. The Centre will be open to the public from 10am to 10pm. Events include the inaurural Ink Slingers Creative Writing Hour (a free writing workshop), book sale, the Neverending Story and an evening of literary performances. We are also delighted to announce that Senator David Norris will be performing his highly acclaimed Joycean One-Man Show at the Centre from 8pm.

Irish Writers' Centre features in the Guardian newspaper regarding the Arts Councils' decision to deny funding in 2010.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dublin Book Festival

The line-up for The Dublin Book Festival has been announced and it promises to be both an exciting and diverse three days, with over 100 Irish writers taking part. There are events to suit all ages and literary interests and as if that wasn't enough . . . they are all free!

Several Irish Writers' Centre tutors are participating, including Nessa O' Mahony, Jean O' Brien, Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Conor Kostick, Molly McCloskey and Kerry Hardie.

The festival runs from Saturday 6th March to Monday 8th March and events take place at City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2. Further information and booking available here

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions - February Readers Announced!

We are delighted to announce our four featured readers for the February round of The Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions, as chosen by our judge this month, Catherine Phil MacCarthy. They are David Murray, Megan Stack, Monica Strina, and Susan O’ Keeffe.

Megan has always had a passion for the written word, whether writing, editing or reading. After many false starts over the years she has started writing short fiction recently and finds this medium a great creative outlet. Megan is originally from Chicago. She lives in Greystones and works in a public relations consultancy in Dublin.

Monica was born in Cagliari, Sardinia, in 1978. She wrote in Italian until she moved to Ireland in 2000, when she won an Erasmus scholarship for UCD. She holds a Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and completed a Master of Philosophy in Creative Writing in Trinity College Dublin. She is currently working on a novel, and a collection of stories set in Sardinia.

David is a secondary school teacher. He has completed an Advanced Creative Writing course in the Irish Writers’ Centre.

Susan lives in Co. Sligo with her husband, three children, two dogs, two cats, four hens, one duck and one guinea pig. She enjoys walking, beautiful Sligo scenery, reading and the odd glass of red wine. She wishes there were more hours in the day to spend writing.

The reading takes place on Wednesday February 24th at 7pm. It is free and open to all, so do come along for what promises to be a great night of fiction.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reading: Nights at the Round Table

Members of the St. Stephen's Green Writers' Group will read from their work tomorrow evening, Wednesday 17th, from 7.30pm. For only €5 you can enjoy their poems and stories and you'll get a glass of wine, too! Hope to see lots of you tomorrow at the Writers' Centre.

More information on the event is here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day Reading

On Sunday 14th February, Young Hearts Run Free presents When Only Words Can Describe: Love at 2pm in the beautiful environs of the Unitarian Church, 112 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. The event features Kevin Barry (There are Little Kingdoms), Paul Murray (An Evening of Long Goodbyes, Skippy Dies) and Gerry Hunt Blood Upon the Rose) reading some of their favourite writing on the complex subject of love, and a musical performance from 3epKano. And there will be afternoon tea.

Admission is €10, and is, as ever, supporting the Simon Community.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions - shortlist announced

We are pleased to announce the shortlist for the February round of The Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions. They are:
Megan Stack
Phyl Herbert
David Murray
Marie Gahan
Monica Strina
John Martin
Elizabeth Costello
Susan O’ Keeffe
Brian Kirk
Congratulations to all of the writers! The shortlisted stories are with our judge for this month, Catherine Phil MacCarthy, and the winners will be announced shortly.
This is an ongoing monthly event for emerging prose writers, in celebration of the short story form. Further information available here

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who Loses Lost

Who Loses Lost is a new Irish literary webzine which aims to showcase up and coming talent in a variety of disciplines. Issues will be published on the site every two months, with topics ranging from Frederich Nietzsche to Intergalactic Warfare. Their first issue will be on the theme of Crowds and they are currently seeking submissions from "youngish and talented writers of poetry, prose, music, film and the visual photograph."

Further information can be found on their website, here.

Literary Death Match in Dublin

Here's an exciting one for your diaries. New York based Opium Magazine bring their infamous Literary Death Match series to Dublin.

"Opium’s Literary Death Match . . . marries the literary and performative aspects of Def Poetry Jam, rapier-witted quips of American Idol’s judging (without any meanness), and the ridiculousness and hilarity of Double Dare.
Each episode of this competitive, humor-centric reading series features a thrilling mix of four famous and emerging authors (all representing a literary publication, press or concern--either online or in print) who perform their most electric writing (in eight minutes or less) before a lively audience and a panel of three all-star judges."

The Dublin judging panel features journalist/radio presenter Nadine O' Regan, playwright/producer Philly McMahon, and journalist/TV presenter Una Mullally. Contestants for the evening are award-winning fiction writer and poet Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Stinging Fly's hand-picked reader-representative Colm Liddy, author Brian O'Connell and spoken-word artist Marty Mulligan. The event is hosted by Opium's Todd Zuniga and co-produced by journalist Belinda McKeon.

The event takes place at The Sugar, 8 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin on Friday, March 5th.

When: Doors at 7:30, show at 9:15 (sharp), afterparty: 11 p.m. and beyond.

Cost: €6 preorder; €9 at the door; €6 with a valid student ID.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lapwing Poetry Book Launch

Time: 7pm
Date: February 10th
Venue: Irish Writers' Centre

Lapwing is a small poetry press based in Belfast, they have been publishing both local and international poets for over twenty years. Lapwing will be launching two collections tonight, Idle Time by Aubrey Malone and After The Accident by John Saunders. The launch will be introduced by Adam Rudden and will feature readings by both poets. The event is free and a complimentary glass of wine will be provided.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winners of the Writing Spirit Award 2009

The winners for the Writing Spirit Award were announced and the Irish Writers' Centre's Maire Robinson came in third for her short story The Weight of Words. Congratulations Maire!

Brian K won the top prize for his work Perpetuity and Gerry Boland was a close second for The Fox.

Writing4all, the organiser of the competition, said: "The high standard of the Top Ten shortlisted stories made the final selection very difficult."

The website quoted their esteemed judge Nadine O'Regan, who is also the Sunday Business Post's Books and Arts Editor. She said: "It was a very tough task to choose the top three, even after I had read and reread them several times. The ten (shortlisted) stories showed spark, ambition and great observational powers. I hope all ten writers persevere in their work; they have a lot of talent."

O'Regan went on to explain the reasons for selecting the top three: "For me, the outright winner was Perpetuity. The story was beautifully structured and paced, with simple, understated, yet specific language and compelling characters that were well individuated.

In second position, I placed The Fox. The author has a clear talent for etching characters with wonderfully strong, individual voices.

In third place comes The Weight of Words. I was moved by this story and I felt that the author gave a very truthful, poignant depiction of how a family can be affected by disease."

Writing4all reminds writers that a new competition has started. The 2nd Annual Writing Spirit Award for Short Fiction and Poetry is currently accepting submissions. Have a look at the Writers' Centre's website for more details.

Apprenticeships in Fiction 2010

Apprenticeships in Fiction 2010
A one-year professional development programme for first-time novelists
Deadline: 31st May 2010

Adventures in Fiction is proud to present five subsidized placements for first-time novelists of commercial and literary fiction, including one for crime, one for fantasy and one for fiction for children and young people (9+/teenage). The placements, which have an individual value of over £2,750 will take the form of an apprenticeships with a professional writer working in a similar genre. The five apprentices will be selected from open competition by a panel of experts including Hannah Westland from leading literary agency Rogers, Coleridge, White.
In its first three years, the scheme has already resulted in three publications and referred eight writers to literary agents. Six writers have secured funding, two from Arts Council England, to support placements.
Apprenticeships in Fiction aims to encourage diversity, excellence and originality.

For further information go to

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Girl in the Wardrobe

Jennifer Farrell has written a memoir entitled The Girl in the Wardrobe which was published last month by Original Writing. It won the inaugural Memoir prize at Listowel Writers' Week where Nuala O'Faolain was the judge.

For more information about Jennifer and to buy the book, visit her website:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Online Literary Magazine

wordlegs is a new online literary magazine, founded by Elizabeth Reapy and Cathal Sherlock.

"wordlegs was thought up to offer literature to a younger Irish audience by younger writers...The main objective of wordlegs is to bring an audience of young Irish people back to literature by using the medium they are most comfortable with."

The first issue is now available online and features a short story by IWC's own Andrew McEneff. wordlegs are now accepting submissions for their summer issue. They accept short stories, poetry, flash fiction, creative non-fiction and one-act plays. See the website for further details:

Friday, February 5, 2010

2010 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year competition

2010 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year competition sponsored by Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop

In 2010 Over The Edge is continuing its exciting annual creative writing competition. The competition is open to both poets and fiction writers. The total prize money is €1,000. The best fiction entry will win €300. The best poetry entry will win €300. One of these will then be chosen as the overall winner and will receive an additional €400, giving the overall winner total prize money of €700 and the title Over The Edge New Writer of The Year 2010. The 2010 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year will be a Featured Reader at a reading to be scheduled in Galway City Library in Winter 2010/11. Salmon Poetry will read without prejudice a manuscript submitted to them by the winner in the poetry category. 

Entries should be sent to Over The Edge, New Writer of the Year competition, 3 Carbry Road, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland with an accompanying SAE. Entries will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on your poem(s) or story. Put your contact details on a separate sheet.

Criteria: fiction of up to three thousand words, three poems of up to forty lines, or one poem of up to one hundred lines. Multiple entries are acceptable but each must be accompanied by a fee. The fee for one entry is €10. The fee for multiple entries is €7.50 per entry e.g. two entries will cost €15, three entries €22.50 and so on. Fee payable by cheque or money order to Over The Edge. To take part you must be at least sixteen years old by September 1st 2010 and not have a book published or accepted for publication in that genre. Chapbooks excepted. Entries must not have been previously published or be currently entered in any other competition.

The closing date is Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010. A longlist will be announced in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on Wednesday, August 18th, 2010. A shortlist will be announced at the Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library on Thursday, August 26th. The winners will be announced at the Over The Edge reading in Galway City Library on Thursday, September 30th, 2010.

This year’s competition judge is James Martyn
James is from Galway where he is a member of The Talking Stick Writing Workshop. James writes both fiction and poetry. He has had work broadcast on both RTE and BBC and won the Listowel Writers Week Originals Short Story Competition. His work has appeared in The Cúirt Journal, West 47, Books Ireland, Crannóg, TheSunday Tribune, The Stinging Fly and The Shop. He was shortlisted for a Hennessy Award in 2006. He was shortlisted for the Francis McManus award in both 2007 and 2008 and for The William Trevor International Short Story Competition in 2007. His first collection of poetry, Shedding Skin, has just been published by Arlen House.


For further details contact Over The Edge on 087-6431748, e-mail or see


Free Workshop Space

The Irish Writers' Centre is sponsoring one student or unemployed person with a free place on the weekend course "Introduction to Writing with Catherine Phil MacCarthy". 

Interested parties should send a brief email to before 5pm today and tell us why you would like to do this course.  The recipient of the scholarship will be contacted this evening.

This scholarship is worth €140

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Succour Submissions

Succour are calling for submissions and they have an innovative idea as to how and when these should be written. If you would like to take part in this writng venture and are looking for a quiet space in which to write, the IWC will be providing a room from 10.30 - 4.30 on Saturday February 6th for anyone who would like to drop by. Find full details below:

Submission Details

For Succour 11, our Spring/Summer 2010 issue, we would like to invite submissions which pertain not to a theme, as has hitherto been the case, but which adhere to a pair of conditions.

Condition 1: All submissions should be written on Saturday February 6th, 2010.
Condition 2: What you write should not be an attempt to execute an idea – for a story, for a poem, etc – that has previously occurred to you. Rather, we would prefer you to write whatever happens to come into your head at that particular time.

The idea for this issue was inspired by 20 Lines a Day by Harry Mathews, in which the author sets out to follow a rule Stendhal once set himself, to write ‘Twenty lines a day, genius or not’. Mathews undertakes this project in an attempt to overcome ‘the anxiety of the blank page’; it becomes part of his writing practice, his way of starting off, getting in the zone, before going on to whatever his main writing project may be. We would like submissions to February 6th, 2010 to be written in the same spirit.

We will be accepting submissions to February 6th, 2010 from Saturday February 6th 2010 until Monday February 8th 2010 – thereby allowing a couple of days for typing up etc.
Maximum word count: 400

Send all work to: