Friday, 26 December 2014

Writing opportunities in January 2015

What better way to start a writerly New Year than to send out some submissions. There are quite a few opportunities listed below - all open in January 2015. And, for competitions, see our competitions page. Happy reading and writing through 2015 from the Garden Room Writers.

North West Words - hurry, hurry, the deadline for submissions to issue 3 is 01st January 2015. An online magazine seeking poetry, short story (max 2000 words), non-fiction (max 800 words), flash fiction (max 500 words) and jpegs of photography/art. For more details see here 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Friday, 7 November 2014

Absence, grief, writing

I truly believe that the books and writing we are meant to read find us. Even in the great chaotic morass of the internet, we can stumble upon beauty, truth and resonance. This piece by Colm Toibin reached out and grabbed me by the throat yesterday, and although my reaction is shaped by very specific circumstances and events that have been going on in my life recently, you need to read it too.
You need to read it because he is intelligent and insightful about what writers do. You need to read it because every author and book he mentions in the piece is have read Mary Lavin, haven't you? Julian Barnes? Joan Didion? If not, what are you waiting for?
You need to read it because you are human, and grief and loss touches us all, and great writing helps us heal. My copy of 'Nora Webster' is ready, waiting to be read. What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

November - some submission opportunities

For a variety of reasons, mostly work related, I couldn't manage my usual round up of submission opportunities last month. I noticed too that my fiction writing slipped far into the background of my life. These little postings help to motivate me; they keep me thinking about what might come next. And, it's nice to share them. So, I'm back with another one. Maybe it will motivate me, as much as anyone, to write and send out work soon.

Here's a list of what I've found to be open currently.

North West Words Magazine - they have just released Issue 2 and are seeking submissions for Issue 3.  Send up to three poems, or up to 2000 words of fiction, or up to 800 words of memoir to For further details see inside the magazine.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Shortlists, Long Lists and To do lists

My cousin Caroline in Rossnowlagh Oct 28th by my Aunty Marie 

I love October, I love autumn air, its colour and autumn clothes, back to school routine is established, I know the names and a fair bit about the students sitting in front of me and they have got their heads around their English teacher’s penchant for turning rainy day classes and days when half the class is at a match into impromptu creative writing lessons. It’s a busy month but I always feel I’m making progress in October after the go slow of August and the disorientation of back to school.
This October I've had the added satisfaction of seeing my name on the shortlist and then my Shelter placed third in the Bailieborough Poetry Festival Competition as well as seeing another poem and a flash fiction make it on to the longlists of the Allingham Festival competitions. 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

North West Words on Halloween Night

North West Words Arts Night is on Friday this week, 31st October at 8pm in Cafe Blend.

Martine Madden was born in Limerick, educated in Dublin and spent her early married life working in the Middle East. From some of the Armenian Diaspora there, she learned of the Armenian Genocide which took place in the Ottoman Empire or modern-day Turkey, in 1915. A much later discovery of the photographs of German officer, Armin Wegner, prompted Martine to write about the Genocide and her novel, Anyush, was published by Brandon in May 2014.

Michael Wilson’s has been writing and performing poetry for ten years and has been published in various formats, from magazines and anthologies, to collections of his own work and CDs. He is a graduate of the Islington Mill Art Academy, a group of self-directed artists who ran residencies in various locations including Glasgow, the Lake District, and Berlin. He has just released a new CD of his poems called All Life’s Settler’s Come at Dawn, and his performance at North West Words is part of a month long Irish tour to launch the record. He has also been asked, as previous winner of the Cheltenham Literature Festival UK All Stars Slam to compete in their final slam this Autumn, as a wildcard chosen from over a decade of the long running slam’s past winners.

On the same night at 7pm is the prize award ceremony for the NWW 2014 Schools Poetry Competition.

And, don't forget that the NWW adult poetry competition is currently open for entries. The deadline is 14th November 2014, and the judge is Kate Newman from Summer Palace Press. For more details see here 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Donegal Creameries North West Words Poetry Prize 2014

This is the third year of the annual poetry prize from North West Words. They are seeking submissions of poetry both nationally and internationally. The judge, as in previous years, is the poet and Summer Palace Press co-founder, Kate Newman. Full details are available from the NWW website

The deadline for submissions is 14th November 2014, and entries must not have been previously published or have won a competition. There is an entry fee of €5 for a maximum of 3 poems, and submission must be by post. The address for entries is North West Words Poetry Prize 2014, 54, Thornberry, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. First prize is €250 and a perpetual cup. 

Good luck to anyone entering - I might be lucky enough to hear you read the winning poem at NWW Arts Night in January 2015.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Some opportunities in writing for children

If you write for children, here are a few things that might be of interest.

The Looking Glass - this is an online magazine from of Trinity College, Dublin. It is currently looking for submissions for children's or YA writing, deadline 26th September. See here  and past issues. They will accept poetry, short stories, plays, novel extracts, and also illustrations and comic strips. 

The Caterpillar - this is a hard copy, quarterly magazine of children's writing (7 -11 years apporoximately) from the same publishers as The Moth. They accept poetry and short story, see submission details here

The Caterpillar also have a poetry competition running currently with a deadline of 31st March 2015. There is a prize of €1,000 for the winning poem for children aged 7 - 11. And, on the topic of children's writing, here are some tips from the writer Sheena Wilkinson at the website

Oh, and I've just noticed another competition on the website A.M. Heath Irish Children's Prize 2014 deadline 20th October, win €1,000 and an agent.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Free online courses (MOOC's) on writing related matters this Autumn

I've posted before here on MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) in higher education, and other open resources. Below are details of a number of upcoming courses. They are free and online, or some provide accreditation if you pay a course fee. You can follow the course and all activities in the timescale set, or you can simply dip in and out of the resources given.
From edx - The Art of Poetry see here  This starts 30th September 2014 from  Boston University.

Another from edx - English Grammar and Style here  This one starts 22nd September 2014 and is 9 weeks in duration from University of Queensland.

Open Courses at University of IOWA  has a homepage here  They have a MOOC called How Writers Write Fiction details here  It starts 26 September and is  6 weeks long.

So, some good opportunities.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Allingham Arts Festival 2014

This year, the Allingham Arts Festival in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal runs from 6th-9th November 2014. It has a website and a facebook page with programme details, and there are lots of differing events across the four days on the theme of Creativity Across Borders. To name but a few, there is a literary evening on Saturday 8th with Theo Dorgan, Paul Lynch, Donal Ryan, Winifred  McNulty, and the Poetry Divas. For those interested in workshops, there are a diverse range including poetry, creative writing, animation, felt making and epublishing.

I'm proud to say that I won the Allingham Arts Festival Short Story Competition in 2011 with a story called With Matchsticks Not Money (now published  at The Linnet's Wings, Winter 2013). And this year again, they are running a number of adult and child art and writing competitions. See their competition page for full details. There are free to enter children's poetry, fiction and art competitions with the deadline 10th October 2014 (primary and secondary school). And, adult poetry and flash fiction competitions with a deadline 30th September 2014. The judges for the adult flash and poetry competitions are Donal Ryan and Monica Corish.

I must say, there are plenty of opportunities and events for all age groups - a real community effort.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Culture Night 2014

Next Friday, 19th September, is Culture Night. This is an annual event with free cultural activities all around the country. The website shows a list of what is going on in various cities, towns and villages. There are lots of events to choose from, wherever you live. 

In Letterkenny, North West Words is running an Arts Night in Cafe Blend from 8pm. There are readers and music. See NWW website and below.

Monday, 1 September 2014

My flash fiction 'Only Words' in The Incubator Journal issue 2

I'm delighted to say that I have a flash fiction story in issue 2 of the new journal, The Incubator.

It's an ezine edited by Kelly Creighton with a website here which publishes fiction and other media. In various submission calls it also seeks essay, poetry, review and memoir. See their submission policy for more detail. The next call for submissions opens during the month of September for issue 3. So, brush up that work and send it on in.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Happy First Birthday to the GRW Blog

Today is the first anniversary of our public blog for the Garden Room Writers Donegal. Thank you so much to all of our readers out there, and to the members of our writing group.

Here's to many more years of reading and writing and sharing!  

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

North West Words Arts Night August 2014

Next week is the last of the month, so that means North West Words Arts Night on the final Thursday 28th August. It's at 8pm in Cafe Blend, Letterkenny with a line up of writers in both poetry and fiction, and  an open mic afterwards. There's also music too as usual.  

The featured writers are Edward O'Dwyer and Lisa Burkitt. See North West Words Website or Facebook North West Words

Friday, 15 August 2014

North West Words Magazine seeks submissions

North West Words (NWW) is a voluntary run organisation that promotes the arts in the north west of Ireland. It has been running a very enjoyable arts night in Cafe Blend, Letterkenny since 2010, and has just finished its second year of the North West Words Writing Weekend. It also runs both adult and school poetry competitions.  Two of the members of Garden Room Writers, Maureen Curran and Nick Griffiths, are on its organising team. 

NWW has had a hardcopy magazine for a while, but has very recently moved to a softcopy and online version in addition to launching a new website. They have a Facebook site and the newly launched website    

The new magazine issue 1 is available on the website, have a look here  It contains poetry, fiction, non fiction, feature articles and an interview with the acclaimed writer Jon McGregor. I'm proud to say I have a non fiction piece included in Issue 1. It really is a beautifully produced magazine. Well done to the editors Maureen Curran, Eamonn Bonner and Denise Blake, and all the contributors. 

And, now for more good news. NWW magazine seeks submissions of  poetry (3 max.), fiction (2000 words max.), and non fiction for issue 2. See further details within issue 1 of the magazine or here

Deadline for submissions to issue 2 is 01st September. So send those lovely poems, stories and memoir pieces to as soon as possible, and good luck

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

NUI Maynooth Summer Writing Institute

For a week at the end of July, I had the good fortune to attend the first ever Summer Writing Institute at NUI Maynooth. It was organised by the university Writing Centre at Maynooth, and so a huge thank you from me to Alison Farrell. 

The facilitators for the week were two staff members from BAWP (Bay Area Writing Project) University of California, Berkeley, Greta Vollmer and Kirstin Land; so, more and massive thanks to these two women. They have years of experience in both the teaching of writing, and in community building towards the teaching of writing at all educational levels. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

August - some submission opportunities here                   

Gee, I can't believe it's late summer already. So, what the are the writing opportunities that might tempt you this month? Here are a few ideas and deadlines.

The Stony Thursday Book - a poetry journal published annually, and this year's deadline is 08th August.  For more details see here
Abridged - accepts poetry and art for themed issues, the current call is for 0-37 Torquemada. The deadline is 31st August, see their website  for further details. 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

In response to a comment after the poetry review in today's Irish Times

what women write is of the body
the body we toil to preserve and to serve
up, we write of Sile na Gigs
the body familiar, the body of history and hysteria

we write of our genitals these days,
of our lovers’ too
we dare to speak its name
we dare to write it white

we write of domestic bliss and of love
we strive for the universal in the local
the shelter of words when the sky is falling
for the secular prayer to fill the void

while children are dying in Gaza and maybe 
we could take our hands out of our knickers
and write about expelling Israel’s ambassador
or the sale of the country’s most beautiful theatre

or the consultants getting a pay-rise
but sure who'd read it anyway
now that books are dead?

and a girl in a workshop last week
had it on good authority poetry isn’t far behind them.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Blessed by writing experiences this week - NWW Writing Weekend

I've been looking forward to this last week in July for a long time. So far, in the middle of the week, I'm just blown away by all I've learned and enjoyed about writing. 

Last weekend was the North West Words Writing Weekend held in Cafe Blend and the Radisson Blu, Letterkenny. All this week, I'm at the very first Summer Writing Institute at NUI Maynooth. I think I might just explode with delight before the end of it all. My head has been filled with so many lightbulb moments... more about the  NUIM experience in another post.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Poets' House Poetry Series

A few years ago, the Garden Room Writers arranged a very enjoyable weekend set of workshops in The Poets' House at Falcarragh, Co. Donegal. We covered both poetry and short story sessions in a very productive two days with Janice Fitzpatrick Simmons and Gréagóir O'Dúill. And, some of our poet members have benefited over the years from their public workshops. 

In recent times, they have been running The Poets' House Poetry Series. Forthcoming on Saturday 02nd August 2014, they have workshops and an evening of readings by Ciaran Berry and Janice Fitzpatrick Simmons.
Then on Sunday 03rd August at 7.30pm there is New Writers Reading with Chris Allen, Stephen Sexton and Karen Blaney. For more details see their Facebook page

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Number Eleven Magazine

As Deirdre mentioned in her post on July 15th I have been fortunate enough to have a short story called 'Snowdrops' published in Number Eleven magazine. It is the first time I have had anything published so it's a great buzz to see your work presented so well and available for people to read. The on-line magazine looks great and there are nine other short stories for you to enjoy.
The value of being part of a writing group cannot be underestimated. Without the Garden Room Writers suggestions and encouragement my story would probably still be scribbled on some random pieces of blank A4 gathering dust on a shelf. With this encouragement I spent one whole Bank Holiday Weekend finishing and polishing off the story as best I could, researching magazines in order to submit it to the most appropriate one and ignored all the others jobs I had on my to-do list for the holiday weekend. The focus paid-off and when I got an email saying the story had been selected for publication in Issue Five I was very, very happy indeed. Many thanks to Number Eleven and my fellow Garden Room Writers!

Michael Morpurgo in Manchester

Well, I had a little trip the other week for a friend's wedding and as luck would have it I found myself in Manchester on the same day as Michael Morpurgo was there reading from his book, Private Peaceful, accompanied with music by Coope, Boyes and Simpson, an amazing acappella trio. The concert was part of the Manchester Children's Book Festival.
I was a student in Manchester - on occasion I could be found dancing on tables in the Flea and Firkin (that is what tables are for in Manchester in case you are not aware). Seventeen years later (eeek...yes, seventeen years later) I found myself in one of the student buildings on Oxford Road sitting and listening to this spellbinding concert. At the start a voice in my head would speak and say, 'Oh my goodness, he wrote Warhorse, HE actually wrote Warhorse...and I am hear listening to him read.' I wanted to go out onto Oxford Road with a megaphone and shout 'Everyone needs to come inside here and listen to this' - suffice to say I was quite excited. But, as he began to read, and as the music filled the atrium, weaving in and out of the lines he spoke, the story and characters became the focus; you were drawn in, you held you breath, you were thinking of nothing else and time seemed to stop.
Check out the Michael Morpurgo website for details of further events/reading and if you are in the right place at the right time go!!
p.s The wedding was ace too - though I did not dance on any tables this time...

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Garden Room Writers have been busy

We've had a run of publishing luck in the Garden Room Writers this summer. And, as I'm sure you know, it doesn't come easily getting work published. So I'm delighted to say we've achieved a few successes between us recently. You can read most of the pieces from the click links detailed below. 

Annalisa read a lovely story at the group one night. We said - send it off it's a good one. We were right too. It has found a home with Number Eleven (issue 5) which is a journal edited by Graham Connors with assistant editor Sinead O'Hart. You can read 'Snowdrops' over at Number Eleven here and submissions to the journal are currently open.  They are seeking both short story and flash.

Maureen has been very busy too, she's been organising the North West Words Writing Weekend (25 - 27th July) in Letterkenny see NWW new website  But, she also has a poem in the latest edition of Crannog (issue 36) called 'The First Good Day'.  Submissions for Crannog are currently open during July and they take poetry and stories, see here. I must say, Crannog is a journal I've been buying for years and it doesn't disappoint. 

On the other hand, Ann has been writing something very different which has come from her correspondence with Jon McGregor and The Letters Page journal. Jon is a critically acclaimed short story writer and novelist. He was one of the judges in the recent Davy Byrne's Short Story Award. Ann interviewed Jon by postcard - no, you didn't misread that. She writes her account of the interview at the newly launched North West Words Magazine - read it at page 23. This is a new online version of the NWW magazine which was launched recently along with their new website. They are now accepting submissions of short story (2,000 word max.), memoir (800 word max.) and poetry for issue 2 see details here  deadline 01st September. And, The Letters Page accepts hand written letters of one A4 page; it  is currently closed to submissions, but watch out here for the call regarding issue five. 

Finally myself - I've a memoir piece called 'Backstage Carpentry' in the new NWW Magazine at page 36,  North West Words Magazine 

  Happy reading, and writing.

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Festifál Readings, Main Street, Falcarragh, 18th and 19th July 7.30-8.30pm

This sounds like a nice way to spend a writerly summer's night. It's part of the North West Art and Music Festival - Festifál. The Poets' House presents poetry readings 7.30 - 8.30pm and an open mic in the Green Tent, Main Street, Falcarragh next Friday and Saturday night. Music sessions running Friday, Saturday and Sunday also. For more details of all events see the Festifál Facebook page

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Three free to enter fiction competitions

Writing competitions usually have an entry fee which is fair enough as they need to pay those involved. Occasionally, and I presume for a variety of different reasons,  the odd one is free of charge. Here are a few I've noticed recently with no entrance fee. It all helps, especially if you entering a number of competitions...the fees mount up.


Costa Short Story Competition 2014 - deadline 01st August 2014, short stories of 4,000 max. word count. A panel of judges select a shortlist of six stories which are added to the competition website for public voting - author names are not disclosed during voting. The winners are chosen by public vote.  Entrants must be over 18, and for further details see here

Summer Short Story Competition from University of Leicester (The Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning) - deadline 12th September 2014, short stories of 2,500 max. word count on any theme. However, only unpublished writers can enter, and entrants can't be fulltime students.There are two categories age wise: a junior competition ages 10-15, and an adult competition defined as those over 21 years of age. For further details see the  website

IV Edition International Flash Fiction Competition 'Museum of Words' - deadline is 23rd November 2014, and  there is a competition slogan 'Mandela: Words and Concord', but entries can be on any subject. The max. word count is 100 words, and up to two entries can be submitted per person. The prize for the winner is a rather amazing $20,000. Further details of the competition rules can be found at this website and the winning flashes from last year are available here  

There are details of lots more competitions on our competitions page. Happy writing.

Gee, update, I just found another, but for this one you need to be London resident. I'll add it down here as a bonus one.

London Short Story Prize 2014 - deadline 19th September 2014, for short stories of up to 8,000 words. See more details here  Entrants must be London resident and over 18.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

July - some journals and competitions accepting submissions

The weather has been very good in Donegal recently, a rare and wonderful thing indeed. Though it's not so conducive to the writing life. Ah well, we really must enjoy while we can.

The possibility of some sun may be a little distracting, but here are some submission ideas for July if you do polish off some writings in time.  

The Stinging Fly - open during July, and takes poetry, fiction, book reviews and essays. See here

Crannog - open for submissions in the month of July. Takes short story (2,000 word max.), flash and poetry. See here

And for more see below...

Friday, 27 June 2014

Some summer online readings

There are lots of interesting online magazines currently publishing really good work. So, here are some ideas for online summer readings.

Five Dials issue number 32 from Hamish Hamilton.

The Letters Page  issue 3  'Travelling Light' Spring 2014. 

Burning Bush 2 poetry and flash fiction, issue 6.  

For more click below

Sunday, 22 June 2014

National Flash Fiction Day - Maureen and Deirdre read at Flash Fury

Last Saturday was National Flash Fiction Day and Big Smoke Writing Factory were running Flash Fury in Arthur's Pub on Thomas St. Dublin. It was a reading event of flashes up to 500 words plus a competition for 99 word stories. All readings were chosen from submission by email.

Maureen and I decided to enter flashes as we liked the idea of getting to read on that day, and we were happy to do the road trip to Dublin. Two of my teenage daughters wanted to come along for the ride (to go shopping of course!) so we could fill the car and go.

Well, both our stories were chosen for readings, and we were mightily pleased and honoured that we got the opportunity to read together. Garden Room Writers (well, two of us) hit Dublin. It was a hot day, but there was an appreciative audience there for Flash Fury. The organisers were so welcoming, and very pleased that we'd made the effort to come from Donegal. And, I really enjoyed the whole event - thank you Big Smoke Writing Factory, it was well worth the drive. I'd recommend the experience if it's running again next year.

There were a wide range of readings, and readers - from new writers to the very experienced. Nuala NiChonchuir was judging the 99 word competition from 5 shortlisted stories read out for us by their authors. She read one of her own flashes from Of Dublin and Other Fictions called  Fish which was an unexpected treat.

I'm not going to try to name names because I'll end up leaving someone out. The readings were very diverse in theme from funny to sad,  real to fantastical, and all were very enjoyable. The 99 word stories had been printed on postcards and were spread around the tables, so I've a handful of stories home with me too. Bernard O'Rourke won The 99 competition - well done Bernard.

Here's me reading Only Words - the story of a revenge by dictionary. 

There was a nice Summery buzz in the room upstairs at Arthur's pub, sunshine streaming in behind us as we read and street sounds rising in the open windows. I really enjoyed the imagery in one particular story. I can't remember the guy's name, and he's not on the BSWF twitter pics. Aghh, that's annoying.  He wrote of the disco-ball effect of sun dappled through leaves in a gorgeous love flash called The Dance.

Here's the winning 99, Bernard O'Rourke's Sunbathing, published on gorgeous postcards along the other four 99ers.

Here's me reading just after Deirdre. I read Cover Girl which you can read below. 

Cover Girl
Karen stood behind her friend and twisted Sarah’s hair in a loose knot. The girls smiled at their reflection.
“I can see the album cover now, you and Tom standing just like this,” Karen said. “It’s so exciting. You’re going to be massive.”

The dart was quiet.  Sarah wrote on the train sometimes at this hour, took her notebook or phone out and put down a few words or chords.  She hummed aloud if the going was good and no one bothered. The crinklies couldn’t hear her and the mums were miles away dreaming distant futures into the eyes of their kids.

Sarah’s mum wasn’t one for dreaming. More of a planner for rainy days. Sarah took after her dad. Always greener on the other side with those two. Sarah’s favourite memories were of the two of them listening to music on Sunday afternoons while her mum visited her aunt and whatever new cousin had just been born.
“Didn’t they call the last one Shannon?” or Lauren or Jamie or whatever it was, she would ask when her mum announced the name of a new arrival.
“You know perfectly well they didn’t. Have you done your homework?” her mum would reply going out. 

Then it was just her dad and her and a long Sunday stretched on the floor, while he filled in her real education: the history of rock and roll, punk, mods, prog rock, new romantics, stadium rock, of pop, decent pop when there were still songwriters. She’d play a new song for her dad and he’d listen, really listen. Then he’d pronounce it derivative and pull out an old album, or wait for her to search itunes for the original.

She admired the dress again. Sarah would be her brand ambassador Karen said when she tried to offer payment. This dress was way more than Sarah could afford and they both knew it. Wearing it on the album cover was the least she could do.
She checked her appearance in the mirror as the lift brought her up to the hotel room booked for the shoot. She floated out of the lift. She kissed Tom who dashed toward her.
“You smell good,” he purred, “Come, meet Jenny, the photographer.”
“We’ve been thinking Sarah, of something like this,” Jenny handed her some photos. “Maybe Tom and his guitar on the right, you looking ahead beside him. The light is fading guys we need to move on this. In five ok?”

In five it was. Sarah numb. Tom taking centre stage. Karen’s dress crumpled on the bed. A hotel robe dropped to her waist and Sarah barely able to stop shaking long enough for the photo. The image was right first time. Jenny was delighted. Tom bit her ear when the others left.

“Nice dress babe, new? You can buy a whole new wardrobe once the money starts coming in. We’ll be minting it Sarah. You’re amazing. That cover will be smoking.” 

Maureen Curran 

North West Words Arts Night Next Thursday 26th June 2014

June, good weather, my holidays are looming, and NWW is next week - what a combination! I always enjoy NWW, but I must say I'm particularly looking forward to this one as a fiction writer. Alan McMonagle is reading, and Siobhan McNamara, with music by Maryann McDonnell.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Competition 2014

This is an annual competition with the winner published in the RTE Guide. It's for stories of a maximum word count of 2,000, and has a deadine this year of 11th July. The winner last year was Trisha McKinney who is from Donegal, and now lives in Dublin. Her story Soft Rain is available here  and the story from the 2011 winner, Val Nolan, here  For entry details see here

Sunday, 15 June 2014

June - some ideas for publications and competitions currently accepting submissions

If you have work ready and want ideas for submitting, here are some publications currently looking for submissions. Remember to read the requirements carefully, they differ between publications. And, always read published work from past issues to get a sense of the most suitable place to send your piece. There are quite a few Irish journals currently seeking work.

The Stinging Fly - open during July, and takes poetry, fiction, book reviews and essays. See here

Wordlegs - seeking submissions for the Autumn 2014 issue, takes poetry, flash and short story. See here

And for more see below...

Friday, 13 June 2014

National Flash Fiction Day events including some free competitions

National Flash Fiction Day 2014 is on 21st June and is in its third year. There are lots of events associated with it including a range of free to enter competitions, and readings (if you happen to live near the relevant venues). Some of the competitions allow submission of previously published works. The website is here  and a list of events here  

Here are some competitions with deadlines still open:

Flash Fury: Flash Fiction Reading and Competition 2014 - this is run by the Big Smoke Writing Factory. Though the deadline for it is really soon (14th June), and the winners must be available to read their winning entry from 3-6pm on Saturday 21st June at Arthur's Pub on Thomas St., Dublin. There are two events, a reading for which you can submit a 500 word story for consideration, and 'The 99' competition (stories must be 99 words exactly). Submissions for the reading can be published or unpublished, but 'The 99' requires previously unpublished pieces. Entry is free for both, the judge is Nuala Ni Chonchuir, and full details and guidelines are here

Flash Flood 2014 - deadline 19th June, and word count maximum 500 words. The winning entries will be posted online throughout National Flash Fiction Day. For further submission details see here  

Fish Facebook Flash 2014 - entry free, and the winner gets a free entry to the Fish Publishing Flash Fiction competition. Seems a bit strange though, to win a competition and then simply get entry to another competition!  See Fish Publishing Facebook

Twisted Tales 2014 - from Raging Ardvark Publishing for International Flash Fiction Day - on the theme of twisted tales. Deadline 23rd June, previously published work can be entered, and entry is free. Word count is 350 - 750 words, and the winners will be published in an e-book, for further details see here

And, here are some useful resources on flash fiction:

Litro podcast  Flash Fiction Special: Feat. Tania Hershman, Vanessa Gebbie, David Gaffney, Calum Kerr (and Kafka)

Stories in your pocket: how to write flash fiction an article by David Gaffney The Guardian 14/05/12

What is flash fiction? from Tania Hershman

Flash Frontier February Feature: Ethel Rohan, Nuala NiChonchuir and Dan Powell on flash fiction

What not to do on writing flash fiction by Callum Kerr founder of National Flash Fiction Day here  and advice on beginnings and endings here

Happy writing.