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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.

St. Michael’s House launch ‘Bring a Book, Buy a Book’ Campaign 2016

Posted by Alison Wells on 29 February 2016.

St Michael’s House, one of Ireland’s largest providers of community‑based services for children and adults with an intellectual disability, has today launched its 2016 ‘Bring a Book, Buy a Book’ campaign. It will run from 1st-8th March. The campaign asks volunteers to contribute their second hand books and purchase books donated by their colleagues, fellow students, friends or family at a cost of €2 per book. The campaign encourages reading for all and all funds...

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Romping through Dubliners with At it Again!

Posted by Alison Wells on 25 February 2016.

At it Again! love bringing Irish literature to life. For their most recent literary adventure, they have been distilling the essence of James Joyce’s fifteen short stories Dubliners. Jessica Peel-Yates takes us through how they took Joyce’s series of unfortunate events and created Romping through Dubliners… Where did the series of fun pocket guides start? We were on a romp in the Dublin mountains when a great little idea came bounding along. With Bloomsday around...

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Writers! Bare all – what is your writing uniform?

Posted by Alison Wells on 27 January 2016.

Online you often hear the odd comment from writers that they are still in their pajamas when someone calls to the door. Marian Keyes famously wrote many of her books from Under the Duvet. It got me wondering, what is the de rigeur attire for writers, what do you put on when you’re getting into the writing groove? Do those who write regularly from home get up and dress professionally for their writing shed at...

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David, Alan and Ray – why we must keep creating

Posted by Alison Wells on 15 January 2016.

This week we were plunged into sudden shock at the unexpected deaths of two luminaries of the world of arts and entertainment, David Bowie and Alan Rickman, both at 69 and from cancer. These individuals did what the best artists do, show us what it means to be alive, poignantly, vibrantly, originally. Bowie through his perceptive and original lyrics, his reinvention of the self, his mesmerizing musical performances (even though he reportedly found performing difficult)...

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National Library Partners with Google’s 1916 Virtual Experience

Posted by Alison Wells on 12 January 2016.

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has announced its partnership with the Google Cultural Institute’s 1916 virtual tour ‘Dublin Rising 1916-2016’, as part of the Ireland 2016 centenary programme. Dublin Rising 1916-2016 is a virtual city streets tour exploring the iconic places, people and stories of 100 years ago, narrated by actor Colin Farrell and featuring exhibitions from six prestigious cultural institutions. The virtual tour was launched at an event in Dublin by An Taoiseach...

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Help Get ArtConnected!

Posted by Alison Wells on 4 December 2015.

Currently the European Arts Sector is under-resourced and many members of the Sector face significant difficulty to find paid jobs and to make their living in their profession. On the other hand funders and market opportunity providers complain that they do not receive high enough numbers of applications to their calls. This is a result of a significant of information asymmetry in the Arts Sectors in the whole of Europe. However, complaining is not all...

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Tethered By Letters Competition Deadline Extended

Posted by Alison Wells on 26 November 2015.

Tethered by Letters have recently decided to extend the deadline for their current contest to December 31, so writers have an extra month to submit for a chance to win cash prizes and publication in F(r)iction, their triannually-printed collection of literature and art. They say: Tethered by Letters’ Fall 2015 Literary Contest  Tethered by Letters is currently accepting submissions in three categories: short story (1,000 to 7,500 words, open genre), flash fiction (55, 250, or...

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Bill Bryson Honoured With ‘Bord Gáis Energy International Recognition Award’ at Irish Book Awards

Posted by Alison Wells on 16 November 2015.

Best-selling author Bill Bryson will be honoured at this year’s Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards with the ‘Bord Gáis Energy International Recognition Award’. He will be presented with the award on Wednesday, 25 November 2015 in the presence of a host of celebrated Irish authors representing the very best of Irish fiction, crime, sport, food, children’s and non-fiction genres. The ‘Bord Gáis Energy International Recognition Award’ aims to honour international writers who, in the view of...

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Must Hear Voices Coming to the Dublin Book Festival: Kevin Barry & Nuala Ní Chonchúir

Posted by Alison Wells on 5 November 2015.

The Dublin Book Festival will have over 50 events with nearly 100 authors and contributors taking part over four days in venues throughout Dublin 12th-15th November 2015. Smock Alley Theatre will be the festival hub, where  the majority of events and a magical Winter Garden with its bookshop, cafe, Children’s area and Grown-Up Reading area are located. There will be events for everyone; from fiction to crime, poetry to politics, 1916 Walking tours and a discussion...

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Is NaNoWriMo for you?

Posted by Alison Wells on 26 October 2015.

I usually shy away from bandwagons and hype but back in 2009 when I first heard about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I was intrigued. The idea was to write 50,000 words in one month – that’s 1667 words per day. At that point I had four kids under ten – the eldest turned nine in the NaNoWriMo month of November and the youngest turned two in the same month, my husband had a demanding...

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