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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.

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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WOW! Women On Writing Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

Posted by Alison Wells on 28 June 2018.

Competition deadline: 31st July 2018 WOW! Women on Writing is back again with another contest! About the Contest: Seeking creative nonfiction essays between 200 – 1000 words on any topic and in any style–from personal essay to lyric essay to hybrid and more! The mission of this contest is to reward bravery in real-life storytelling and create an understanding of our world through thoughtful, engaging narratives.   Prizes: 1st Place: $500, publication, interview, and gift...

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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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The Daily Mail Penguin Random House First Novel Competition 2018

Posted by Alison Wells on 15 May 2018.

Competition deadline: 1st June 2018 The Daily Mail and Penguin Random House have launched the third year of their nationwide competition to search for a new writing talent. The winner will receive a £20,000 advance and publishing contract with PRH imprint Century and the services of literary agent Luigi Bonomi. Entrants are invited to submit the first 5,000 words of their novel, along with a 600-word synopsis. Submissions can be of any adult genre except...

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Three Irish Playwrights selected for SCRIPTS Ireland’s Playwriting Festival

Posted by Alison Wells on 11 May 2018.

Three playwrights from across Ireland have been selected for this year’s SCRIPTS Ireland’s Playwriting Festival in Birr, Co. Offaly. Taking place from Thursday 14 June- Sunday 17 June 2018​, over 70 submissions on the theme​ Dreams were received this year. The selected playwrights are David Donovan from Dublin, Kildare native Brendan Farrell and Sionnáin Ní Nulláin also from Dublin. The trio will travel to Birr for a week of mentoring in Ju​ne​ with writer Eugene...

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$2,500 Awaits Winners of Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition

Posted by Alison Wells on 7 May 2018.

Competition deadline: 15th May 2018 Writers of short fiction may now enter the 2018 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. The competition has a thirty-seven year history of literary excellence, and Lorian Hemingway and her small judging panel are dedicated to enthusiastically supporting the efforts and talent of writers of short fiction whose voices have yet to be heard.  Lorian Hemingway, a granddaughter of Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway, is the author of three critically acclaimed books:  Walking...

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