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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.

Love: Writer & Journalist Lucille Redmond on her short story collection

Posted by Alison Wells on 4 April 2012.

Writer and journalist Lucille Redmond’s new ebook of short stories is striking and powerfully descriptive. Journalist, writer and winner of the Hennessy Awards Lucille Redmond has just brought out an ebook of short stories entitled Love. Displaying marvellous descriptive dexterity and imaginative flair, this sometimes surreal, always striking and experimental book of stories explores many varieties of this thing we call ‘Love’. It offers us a very memorable and highly original collection that lingers long...

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Guest post by Dr. Ailsa Cox, founder of the Edge Hill Prize for short stories

Posted by Alison Wells on 28 March 2012.

Dr. Ailsa Cox, founder of the Edge Hill Prize on the origins and selection process of this prestigious prize for short story collections. I’m very pleased today to present a guest post from Dr. Ailsa Cox, who teaches creative writing at Edge Hill University. She’s a writer and critic whose stories have been widely published. She is the founder of the prestigious Edge Hill Prize for  a short story collection. The longlist for 2012 (see below)...

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Somewhere Else, or Even Here: Scott Prize winner A.J. Ashworth on Short Stories

Posted by Alison Wells on 21 March 2012.

I talk to author A.J. Ashworth about her short story collection Somewhere Else, or Even Here which won the Scott Prize. In line with this year’s focus on all things short story related, I’m delighted to talk today with A.J. Ashworth. Ashworth, a former journalist originally from Lancashire is the author of the collection Somewhere Else, or Even Here, winner of the Scott Prize and published by Salt. This short story collection is stunning. There are no weakstories,...

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Mother’s Day interview with bestselling author Colette Caddle

Posted by Alison Wells on 14 March 2012.

Having just published her twelfth book, Colette Caddle talks about being a mother and a writer On the occasion of Mother’s Day, I caught up with bestselling and well loved author and mother Colette Caddle to explore the realities of combining a writing career and motherhood. Colette Caddle lives in north county Dublin with her husband and two sons agedthirteen and eight. She came to writing later in life after a number of jobs including computerprogramming...

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Does writing ruin your love of reading?

Posted by Alison Wells on 2 March 2012.

Can being a writer interfere with the unadulterated pleasure of enjoying a good book? The thing about most writers is that they were avid readers throughout their lifetimes and generally from childhood. Reading is at the core of being able to write, to have an instinctive feel for what is a good story, to be carried away by the thrill of immersing yourself in another world. Something happens though when you begin to write in...

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Top Ten Fun Recession Beating Grooming Tips for Writers

Posted by Alison Wells on 11 February 2012.

A tongue in cheek look at how you can be a successful writer while saving money! 1: Save on manicures and nail trimming by typing extremely fast for long periods. If you participate in the yearly NaNoWriMo challenge you will automatically lose all your fingernails. 2: Dispense with face creams, anti-wrinkle products and Botox. This will automatically give your face a deeply etched, lived in look that will suggest wisdom and gravitas. This otherwise haggard, drained appearance...

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Short Stories: Dead or Alive?

Posted by Alison Wells on 31 January 2012.

People are divided as to whether short stories are dead or alive but at least we’re talking about them You know, I’d really like to own a bookstore so that I could put a table (maybe a small one) at the front of the shop and put short story collections on it so that readers could at least have the chance to get the book in their hands and have the page fall open on...

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Emotional energy and novel writing

Posted by Alison Wells on 26 January 2012.

Novel writing requires emotional energy – how do we maintain and access it? I’ve not been posting as regularly as usual and that’s because I’ve been very much engaged in my current novel – The Book of Remembered Possibilities. With hints of Audrey Niffenegger’s themes of twin selves and different timelines as in The Time Travellers Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, it juxtaposes the story of a mother in the uncertain Ireland of today with her...

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View from The Stinging Fly magazine: Declan Meade

Posted by Alison Wells on 12 January 2012.

In this post we hear from Declan Meade, editor of the literary magazine The Stinging Fly The Stinging Fly was established “to seek out, publish and promote the very best new Irish and international writing”. It features short stories and poetry as well as book reviews and author interviews. I asked founding editor Declan Meade about the challenges and possibilities in running this well regarded literary magazine as well as his wider views on writing and...

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Going Indie: Short story publisher Bridgehouse

Posted by Alison Wells on 1 December 2011.

Debz Hobbs Wyatt from Independent short story publisher Bridgehouse tells us about it’s challenges and rewards. If you go to the Bridgehouse website you will be struck by their byline – passionate about new writing. When you discover that Bridgehouse is particularly passionate about short stories (although they have just released the novelBloodMining winner of their debut novel competition ) it gets even better. Bridge House Publishing was conceived by Editor Gill James in 2008. Dr. Gill James writes...

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