Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Theme me up (and Ciaron and Karen's poem a year on)

I've been idling on the theme of ‘Take Me Home’, the Abridged call out that just closed today, for the most of the month of March. I don’t write to a theme very often, although I have written in response to images and to other poems now and again. Now that I think about it I have written poems ‘to order’ for births, birthdays, for my brother’s wedding and to commemorate a dear friend and that’s similar I suppose. Still for those ‘public’ poems there are responsibilities and parameters inside of which I need to find a hook, an image or other access point to the theme. It’s a real challenge then to say something true to myself at the same time.
It shouldn't be that hard to write to a theme; I expect my students to do it and they do. My husband John's working to a brief all the time, managing to satisfy not just the client and planner but his own creative impulse too. Carol Ann Duffy never ceases to impress me, not least by her ability to write to themes as diverse as the Hillsborough tragedy and Richard III. If you haven’t read her poem Richard written for the re-interment of his remains at Leicester Cathedral last week and read by Benedict Cumberbatch, then do so here.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Creative Writing Competition 2015 - from Read DL, ETB and Wonder - deadline Friday 13th March

Entry is free 
Criteria for the Creative Writing competition :

·         It must tell a complete story—with a beginning, middle, and end
·         It must have a setting
·         It must have at least one identifiable character
·         It must contain a situation/conflict and a resolution
·         It cannot be a descriptive passage, a literary reflection, an essay or a poem

Please do not put name or personal contact details on the same page as the creative writing entry itself.

Cover letter accompanying entries should include:

          Name, address, email address and phone number of author.
          Title(s) of each entry submitted.

No alterations can be made to the entry once it has been submitted, and no entries can be returned (so please remember to keep your own copy).

The committee will select the three winning entries from a shortlist submitted to them by the Judging Panel.   All decisions of the Judging Panel are final and no correspondence or discussion can be entered into regarding those decisions.  Any attempt to contact the judges in regard to the competition will result in immediate disqualification.

Copyright will remain with the author, but the READ DL committee reserves the right to arrange first publication or broadcast of selected entries as it sees fit.

The 1st Prize winning author will be invited to read their selection at the READ DL Closing Ceremony

The three winning entries will be published in North West Words Magazine.   Authors of the three winning entries will be invited to read their selections at a North West Words event.

Submission of an entry implies the author’s acceptance of the conditions set out above.


                             1st Prize                  €50 in book vouchers
                             2nd Prize                €30 in book vouchers
3rd Prize               €20 in book vouchers

Closing Date

All entries must be received by 5pm, Friday, 13th March 2015.

All entries should be sent or delivered to:

Bríd McIntyre
Adult Education Centre
Ard O Donnell

or sent by email to:



Sunday, 8 March 2015

Fat Fox Books

My Sunday evening activities are a classic example of why I seem to struggle to get anything written these days...I sit down with the best of intentions of writing, then I come across a really useful website on publishing for children's writing and before I know it, three hours later, I may have a little further insight into the publishing industry...but have I actually written anything?...no, of course I haven't. So, to make myself feel a bit better I am sharing with you the lovely website I came across for Fat Fox Books. It is a new independent publishing company and publishes books for children aged 3-14. They are one of few publishers that accept unsolicited material - submission details are here. The website also has links to other useful sites for children's writing that you can spend hours (yes, hours) browsing. Time for bed. Tomorrow I will write something BEFORE I switch on the computer.

The Bath Children's Novel Award

Find details here on this new award for children's and YA novels. It is open to unpublished and independently published novelists. The closing date is 11th october 2015. Full details will be published on April 2nd. The competition link also has a useful Q&A with the judge Sallyanne Sweeney....October is only seven months away...get writing...no pressure...