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Guest Blogs

A blog by Alison Wells

Alison Wells runs the Random Acts of Optimism blog and lives in Bray, Co. Wicklow with her husband and four children. Her short fiction been published in many magazines and online and print anthologies and she has been featured on Sunday Miscellany. Shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, Bridport and Fish Prize's she has just completed a themed short story collection Random Acts of Optimism and a literary novel The Book of Remembered Possibilities. To read Alison's full blog, visit Head Above Water. Find out in her Random Acts of Optimism how she manages to juggle writing, children and life.

You can follow Alison online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Writing goals – how to achieve them and what if you don’t

Posted by Alison Wells on 15 March 2020.

This post is crossposted from my personal blog Aims and intentions – direction but not dictatorship. There are many blogposts across the internet about setting goals this January but the emphasis I want to put on this post is yes, on achieving goals but not beating yourself up in the process! Speaking from experience I know how we can scupper ourselves by getting frantic, confused and guilty so this is what I’ve done that helps...

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John Broderick Writer in Residence Mentoring Scheme

Posted by Alison Wells on 11 August 2018.

Applications are invited from emerging writers who are resident in County Westmeath. This opportunity is open to writers of poetry and/or adult fiction. The selected mentee will work with the John Broderick Writer in Residence Annemarie Ni Churreain at Athlone Library. Mentoring consists of 10 sessions of 60 minutes. Applicants are asked to submit the following: A cover letter with an introduction to your proposed writing project/ ideas 3-6 pages of creative writing A CV...

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Scéalta Beo Storytelling and Mythology Festival 2018

Posted by Alison Wells on 2 August 2018.

Creative Ardagh will be hosting a unique storytelling and mythology event this August 11th and 12th. Scéalta Beo will have a diverse programme for adults, teens and families including workshops and performances over the two days. Some of our panel of international storytellers and mythology experts have been working on new pieces on Midir and Etain especially for their appearances. The weekend promises to be an extremely memorable occasion. Saturday will be an adult-focused day,...

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Call for Writer and Artist in Residence

Posted by Alison Wells on 26 July 2018.

Meath County Council invites applications for a Meath County Council for the period September 2018 to December 2018. These Residencies are managed by Meath County Council Library Service. Closing date for receipt of applications is August 7th 2018 at 5:00pm The residency is open to published writers working in any genre of fiction or poetry that has significant experience in delivering high quality writing experiences for children and young people. The residency will fund a writer...

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Oleg Sentsov: A fourth birthday behind bars

Posted by Alison Wells on 13 July 2018.

Friday 13 July is the Ukrainian writer and filmmaker Oleg Sentsov’s 42nd birthday. This will be the fourth birthday he spends behind bars, away from his children and family. Instead, he will be on day 61 of his hunger strike, calling for the release of imprisoned Ukrainians in Russia. Oleg’s cousin, Natalia Kaplan, visited him in prison earlier this month. He has reportedly lost 15 kg. Speaking to the press, she said “Yesterday he was...

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The John O’Connor Writing School Short Story Competition 2018

Posted by Alison Wells on 9 July 2018.

Competition deadline: 28th August 2018 The John O’Connor Writing School and Literary Arts Festival, sponsored and supported by internationally renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Paul Muldoon, has a two-fold purpose. It aims to to celebrate and commemorate the life and works of John O’Connor as well as offering practical guidance and assistance to aspiring writers through its workshops and master classes in the various literary genres and writing for commercial purposes. Entries are currently invited from...

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The ITT Short Story Competition

Posted by Alison Wells on 2 July 2018.

Competition deadline: 13th August 2018 The Institute of Technology,  Tallaght [Dublin, Ireland] in association with the Red Line Book Festival and South Dublin County Council are pleased to announce the opening of the ITT Short Story Competition 2018 for entries. The ITT Short Story Competition is run by the Institute of Technology Tallaght, in conjunction with South Dublin County Council, and in association with the Red Line Book Festival, and is free to enter. This year’s judge is Deirdre...

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The ‘Maeve Binchy and Famous Irish Writers Walk’ Returns

Posted by Alison Wells on 12 June 2018.

The ‘Maeve Binchy and famous Irish Writers Walk’ has returned to Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre for the summer. The walk is perfect for fans of Maeve. Taking place on Fridays at 13.15 from the 8th June until the end of September, the guided walk starts at the Writers’ Gallery at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. The walk is the perfect way to learn about Dalkey’s rich literary history. Visitors can discover how Maeve approached...

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Write Here, Write Now Competition Winners Presented with Awards

Posted by Alison Wells on 30 May 2018.

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, presented the awards to the winners of the prestigious Write Here, Write Now competition, run by Hot Press Magazine in association with Creative Ireland. The competition, which invites entries from students all over Ireland, is also supported by PayPal and Canon. There are separate strands in the competition for Second and Third Level. This year’s theme was Social Media: A Writer’s Tale. Forty writers, evenly split between Second...

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Plaque unveiled to ‘Envoy’ editor, John Ryan

Posted by Alison Wells on 22 May 2018.

Author Brendan Lynch and Senator David Norris have unveiled a plaque at number 4 Duke Street, Dublin to commemorate artist and writer, John Ryan, who died in 1992. He was founder of Envoy literary magazine, and benefactor to Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh and many impoverished writers of the 1950s. He launched the first Bloomsday celebration with Flann O’Brien in June, 1954. Brendan Lynch remembered: ‘In the late-1950s, I lived in the heart of Dublin’s Bohemia...

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