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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.

What is the book YOU want to write?

Posted by Alison Wells on 1 May 2011.

It starts with an idea, a germ, a gem, something that really catches you imagination. It’s something you’ve been thinking about for years or its something that strikes you out of the blue, a serendipitous thing, two separate thoughts colliding. It’s a wonderful idea for a novel, you can just see it, you even begin to hear the characters talk. You sit down to write, you can’t help it, you jot down ideas, you scribble...

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Mother writer interviews: Maria Duffy

Posted by Alison Wells on 25 April 2011.

My four children are aged between 10 and 3.  As a novelist and short story writer I was interested to find out how other women writers with young children manage their writing time and find creativity among chaos. In this series of weekly interviews, we hear from writers from Ireland, England, the U. S. and Australia who are at various stages in their writing career. This interview is crossposted from my blog Head Above Water Maria...

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Writing Smart: Make everything count, twice!

Posted by Alison Wells on 16 April 2011.

Your writing time is limited but you can use your writing cleverly to make the most of publication opportunities that arise. Personal blog or journal entries about a life experience might be modified and shaped to be submitted for the wonderful radio vignettes on Sunday Miscellany and The Quiet Quarter on Lyric FM (Irish radio) which are always open for submissions. If you are writing a memoir, you can extract it for radio or print opportunities which will then...

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The wonders of flash fiction

Posted by Alison Wells on 31 March 2011.

Being a mother of four young children and lacking daily headspace, flash fiction for me has been an ideal format for exploring ideas and producing a substantial body of work in short bursts. Flash fiction can be anything from a few words up to about a thousand words when technically at that point it might be called a short short. A famous example of a six word story is Earnest Hemingway’s ‘For Sale, Baby Shoes,...

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Writing and the Space Time Elastic

Posted by Alison Wells on 22 March 2011.

The person who longs to write may crave the space and time to do it, may have an idealised remote cottage by the sea in their minds or a paid sabbatical or a writing retreat. Although creative writing might be a the centre of their identity over and above their normal occupation, it does not, as Martha Williams reminds us, pay the bills (unless you are very lucky or Dan Brown). We need to fit writing...

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Confidence, Courage and Self-doubt

Posted by Alison Wells on 3 March 2011.

In this blog I’m going to be exploring how we can find ways to write even in the busiest of times but in this article I want to take a step back to see what is necessary to give us the best chance of writing and developing as a writer. First we need to see ourselves as and have the confidence to call ourselves writers whether we are published or not. One writer I heard...

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Get Into Your Writing Head

Posted by Alison Wells on 11 February 2011.

Hello fellow scribblers and would be scribblers, my name is Alison Wells. I’m a psychology and communications studies graduate but first and foremost I’ve learned in the past couple of years to call myself a writer and this has paid dividends. This year I’ve managed to complete a short story collection,  a novel and been short-listed in several major short story competitions. You can read more about my progress and about balancing life with writing...

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