Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Launch of Boyne Berries Issue 15

This Thursday 27th March is the launch of Boyne Berries issue 15 in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim, Co. Meath. And, I'm proud to say that I've a story included in it called The Visitor - the visitor being a very large, but portable, statue of the Virgin Mary. I'd love to attend the launch and read, but I'm working late and then early Thursday and Friday, so no go I'm afraid. Sometimes Donegal does seem very far from everywhere - though it has it's compensations too.

This issue of Boyne Berries marks the end of Michael Farry's editorship. He is handing over the role to Orla Fay who like Michael is a member of the Boyne Writers Group 

I met Michael recently at the Christmas Arts Night for North West Words in Cafe Blend, Letterkenny. He was the featured reader that night, and by his own account  it was a thoroughly enjoyable night for all. I was delighted to meet and spend time with him, and to listen to his poetry reading. Like all change I suppose there's some sadness that a particular contribution has ended, but I'm sure Michael has plenty of projects in mind to keep him occupied - keep an eye on his blog for details and other writing based news. 

But, it also means that there's a new editor on the Irish literary magazine scene - Orla Fay. All the best to Orla in her new and exciting venture. I read at the same event as Orla in the Irish Writers' Centre - what seems now like a very long time ago. We had both been chosen to read a short story in the Lonely Voice Short Story Competition that used to run monthly in IWC. It was nerve wracking for me to read on such an occasion, but really ejoyable too, and wonderful to hear the other three readers that evening. On that occasion, Orla was being recognised for a short story, but she has also published many poems, and a chapbook of poetry. I look forward to reading the new issues under her care. 

 Meanwhile issue 15 is available to buy after the launch on the Boyne Writers Group website here


Friday, 21 March 2014

NWW Arts Night Thursday 27th March 2014

Next Thursday is NWW Arts night again in Cafe Blend, Letterkenny. As usual there's a great line up of talent. Here are the details.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Some thoughts on reading at Over the Edge next week- and a poem

In ten day's time I will drive to Galway and join Breda Spaight and Afric McGlinchey as featured readers at the Over the Edge reading in the city library. I am thrilled and rightly nervous at the thought of this reading. Moreover, I am  proud to be doing it and glad of the validation of my writing. There is always this nagging question with me, how much of a writer am I really? Do I spend enough time and energy at writing to justify a claim to the title poet? On good days I see the progress I've made, other days I only see the rejection emails.
I don't have this kind of insecurity about my job, I'm good at it and I can say so. I know how to gauge that, how to up-skill and reinvent, reinterpret, keep fresh. I am inspired by my students and my colleagues in the English department and rarely too tired or otherwise turned off to make most days a good day at the office. There is an element of  performance in teaching and of course a script in the form of a syllabus and prescribed texts.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Some writing competitions for children - deadlines soon

There are a few writing competitions for children and teenagers running currently. So, if you have willing and talented relatives, friends, or maybe pupils, you might be interested in these under 18 competitions. They are three poetry and one short story award with different age categories listed. Prizes seem to mostly involve kindles, book tokens, or money - and the glory of winning!

Trocaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2014 - see here  Theme: It's Up to Us! Primary and secondary school categories (and there's an adult category too). Deadline 28th March  (extended to 07th April) 2014 . 

RTE Guide Puffin Children's Short Story Competition 2014 - see here  - three different age categories with different word lengths. Deadline 11th April 2014. 

Windows Publications 22nd National Poetry Competition 2014 - see here Primary and secondary school categories, and an Irish language category. Deadline 18th April 2014.

And another - this is a very big UK competition (7,478 entries last year).

Foyle Young Poets Award 2014 - deadline 31st July 2014. Ages 11-17, more details here  

So, write under 18's, write....

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Maureen Curran reading at the March Over the Edge

The March Over the Edge reading in the Galway City Library features Garden Room Writer Maureen Curran with Breda Spaight and Afric McGlinchey see here

I'm sure Maureen will enjoy her visit and reading in Galway.

Over the  Edge is run by Susan Millar DuMars and Kevin Higgins, and is now in its eleventh year of monthly readings -  Galway Advertiser

On a related note, Skylight 47 is currently open for submissions of poetry until 01st April 2014 - more details on their website

Monday, 10 March 2014

Two writing competitions from Read DL

Read DL is a reading and writing initiative in County Donegal. This year they are running two short fiction competitions with deadlines of 28th March 2014. One is a 6 word story competition, the other a flash fiction (maximum of 500 words). They are free to enter. Entries to be sent by email to readldl2014@gmail.com or the flash can also be sent by post to Brid Mc Intyre, ETB  office,  Ard O'Donnell , Letterkenny.

For more information on Read DL See here and  Read DL on Facebook

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Some Upcoming Writing Deadlines

So there's Spring in your step now, and you want to send out all those lovely finished stories or poems. Here are some ideas for magazines and competitions that are currently seeking submissions.

The Stinging Fly - a literary journal that publishes three times a year. Thomas Morris has just been appointed the new editor, see his editorial statement here . It publishes poetry, flash, short  story, reviews and essay see here 

Southword - twice yearly ezine, open for poetry and short stories (3,000 word max) in English or Irish until 18th March 2014 see here

Wordlegs -   ezine published three times annually, seeks poetry, flash (500 word max) and short story (2,500 max) by 31st March 2014. See here 

The Bohemyth - an ezine that publishes poetry, short story (2,000 word max), flash fiction, and photography monthly. It issues on 7th of each month and  takes submissions 1-23rd of the previous month see here  

Burning Bush 2 - a twice yearly ezine that publishes flash fiction (500 word max) and poetry. Deadline 1st May 2014 see here 

The Incubator Journal - a brand new quarterly ezine seeking flash (1,000 words max) or  short story (3,000 words max) by the deadline 31st March 2014. See here