Sunday, 23 February 2014

North West Words - February Arts Night

Gosh, it's nearly that time of the month again. The last Thursday means North West Words at Cafe Blend. And, as always, there's an interesting line up.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Michael McLaverty Short Story Award 2014

The Linenhall Library is running its biennial short story competition again this year in honour of Michael McLaverty. The deadline is 30th June 2014, maximum 3,000 word stories, and it is judged by Bernard MacLaverty and Ann Tannahill. For more details see here and here  

My Dad worked in his first teaching post in Belfast with the self same Mr McLaverty as the school principal. Maybe that will eventually bring me luck in this competition! I've entered it more than a few times in the past. To enter, writers do have to be born in Northern Ireland or ROI.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Reading the Credits, Crediting the Reader

Browsing the publishing credits of Jane Clarke, whose work I have enjoyed in journals and when she read at North West Words, I discovered her poems had featured in Envoi journal. A bit of googling later and I ordered a copy of the journal published in Wales by Cinnamon Press and edited by Cinnamon's Jan Fortune. That was the Summer 2013 issue and included poems by Kevin Graham, a Dublin poet whose work I have also spotted in the journals over the years.

The work published in Envoi, interesting reviews, and especially the insightful editorial directing readers to particular poems in the issue indicated a sensibility I liked, so I chose three poems to submit for the next issue due out in November. I sent Going Nowhere Slowly, which has since been published in Word Bohemia, Testimony and A Brother for Luka which I'm very fond of but no editor has been to date.
Testimony was chosen by Jan Fortune for publication and my contributor's copy arrived a few weeks ago.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Five Free to Enter Writing Competitions - short story and feature writing

Often writing competitions can be expensive to enter, or the combined entry fees start to add up to a lot of money. Here are five current competitions that are free to enter. I've ordered them by deadline date as some are closing very soon.

Cork County Library and Arts Service Short Story Competition 2014: Cork County Library are running their annual short story competition with the deadline 14th February 2014 and maximum word count of 2,000. Entrants need to be a public library member.

The judges panel for the 20 shortlisted entries are Dave Lordan, Vincent McDonnell and Billy O'Callaghan. Entry is free and first prize is attendance and accommodation on a week long writing workshop at the West Cork Literary Festival 2014 in Bantry. Entries can be posted, handed into Cork County libraries, or emailed. For entry form and more details see Cork County Council website here

Opening Lines - BBC Radio 4 Showcase for Short Stories: maybe not strictly a competition, but the three chosen stories are broadcast on Radio 4 which is pretty cool. Also, the transcripts of all the best stories will be published on the programme website. The deadline for submissions is 14th February 2014, and maximum word count is 1,900-2,000. To enter you must not have had a short story broadcast on radio before. For further details and some advice on the type of story sought see here

Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 2014 Short Story Competition: deadline 15th February 2014 for further details see here Stories must be 2,000 words or less and on the theme of 'the visit'. Prizes are £500, an Arvon residential writing course, and publication on the related website.

17th Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2014: this is run by Waterford County Council Arts Office. It is open now with a deadline of 14th March 2014. The competition is for submissions of short stories of 2,000 words and under. There is a first prize of €500 and no entry fee. More details and the entry form are available here

Thresholds Feature Writing Competition 2014: run by the short story forum Thresholds. There are two categories of entry sought both requiring 1,500 words or less - Author Profile see examples here and We Recommend see here First prize is £500, and the two runners up £100. The winning and shortlisted entires will be published on the Thresholds website. Deadline 02nd April 2014. For more details see  here

So, get writing!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Two new ezines - The Incubator Journal & Silver Apples Magazine

I've come across two new ezines recently looking for submissions. Have a look at their websites for more details.

The Incubator Journal - quarterly - edited by Kelly Creighton and looking for writers from Ireland and Northern Ireland. Submissions open in March 2014. In March, accepts fiction and memoir (3000 words max.) In June, accepts fiction and one act plays (3000 words max.) In  September, accepts fiction and essays (2000 words max.) In December, accepts fiction and poetry (4 poems max.) Website here  and Facebook and on Twitter @IncubatorThe

Silver Apples Magazine - edited by Grainne O'Brien and Alex Dunne, the website is here  and Facebook and on Twitter @silverapplesmag They are seeking submissions of poetry, short story, art and photography by 31st March 2014.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

North West Words Arts Night and Poetry from the 2013 Donegal Creameries Competition

Well, you had to arrive early last Thursday night to get a seat in Cafe Blend. The regular monthly NWW night was dedicated to readings of the shortlisted, highly commended, and winning poems from the Donegal Creameries and North West Words Poetry Prize 2013. Congratulations to all the winning entries and particularly to Monica Corish shown in the photo below being presented with her cup.

I always enjoy NWW, but this was definitely a particularly special night. Many of the poets were there to read, one had even travelled from Poland. For those who couldn't be there, a regular participant of NWW read out their poem. So, the audience got to hear all the shortlisted and winning poems. It was a rare treat with such a variety of voices and themes. 

The competition judge, Kate Newman, spoke generally about the competition entries and her judging process. And then, after each poem was read out, she explained why she had picked it, and what made it special for her. It was a pleasure to listen to her comments, and so obvious that she had invested much time and thought in her choices.

The winning entires were:

Winner: Monica Corish, Leitrim, Back Where We Started

2nd place: Eithne Reynolds, Dublin, The Shed

3rd place: Brendan Kinnane, Meath, Hammer

Highly Commended:
Edward O'Dwyer, Limerick, Texting God

Gavan Duffy, Dublin, Breakdown

Bogusia Wardein,  Poland, The First Letters of the Alphabet

Winifred McNulty, Donegal, Lloyd's Lighthouse

Anne O'Connell, Sligo, The Reek

Ellen Factor, Derry, Lovebirds
Connie Roberts, USA, Pallas Lake

Patrick Hull, Dublin, Windowseat

Guy Stephenson, Donegal, Veldtshoen

Maurice Keady, Dublin, A Centuary of Poppies

Clare O'Reilly, Kildare, Bog Woman

Congratulations to the poets above, the NWW team, and Cafe Blend for a lovely night.