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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.

Free Mia Gallagher reading in the Words by Water Festival Kinsale Oct 7th

Posted by Alison Wells on 6 October 2017.

Mia Gallagher has been in touch to send us this update on her reading as part of what sounds like a wonderful Words by Water Literary Festival in Kinsale. “On Saturday October 7th at 3pm in the intimate and unusual setting of Friar’s Lodge Hotel in Kinsale, I’ll be reading from Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland… I may even do a sneak preview of some new work due for publication next year. The reading...

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To be an Artist Embrace Failure

Posted by Alison Wells on 28 September 2017.

In a recent burst of success I was delighted to have a story included in Issue 7 of The Lonely Crowd magazine. I’ve written about how sometimes we can’t see if we are progressing or if we have the talent and ability required to write or be published. Submitting short pieces to competitions and magazines are a fantastic (and I think vital) way to give us the feedback and encouragement we need to keep pushing...

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Invest in your writing for little or nothing

Posted by Alison Wells on 18 September 2017.

I often talk about how difficult it can sometimes be to believe in ourselves as writers and to convince ourselves that we deserve to give ourselves the time or opportunity to try writing or commit to writing something long form alongside other commitments. To believe in ourselves as writers, to enjoy and develop our craft we need to invest in ourselves with time, with connections and with upgrading our skills. Most of us will earn...

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Antonia Fraser Grant and Eric Ambler Awards Announced

Posted by Alison Wells on 24 August 2017.

The Society of Authors opens two new grants to Authors’ Foundation applicants from this September. They say: We are excited to announce two new grants which will be added to our existing Authors’ Foundation grants, already worth more than £250,000 shared between 60-70 authors each year. All applicants for grants for work in progress will now be considered automatically for the Eric Ambler Awards, offered in memory of the spy thriller writer, and for the...

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Hospital Arts Festival 2017: Poetry and Short Story Competition

Posted by Alison Wells on 21 August 2017.

Submission deadline: 2nd September Aspiring writers and poets are being asked to write a poem or short story for the 2017 Hospital Arts and Culture Festival, which takes place from September 13-17th. Terms and Conditions Open Short Story Competition (1,000 words): Submissions by 2nd September to mrosactor@hotmail.com Judge Sheila Quealey, Master of Creative Writing. Open Poetry Competition: Submissions by 2nd September to mrosactor@hotmail.com Winners will receive a certificate and will be published in Limerick Post.    

Fabula Press Aestas 2017 Summer Short Story Competition

Posted by Alison Wells on 15 August 2017.

The summer (Aestas) contest is now open and submissions will be accepted till 14th October. Every year, Febula Press run two short story competitions – Aestas in summer and Nivalis in winter. The contests are not theme bound. There is no restriction on genre either, and we are happy to read historical fiction, mystery/suspense, and horror. However, for consistency of presentation we cannot accept children’s stories, fantasy, young adult or chick lit; likewise hardcore science fiction is...

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New Spanish and Irish Cultural Prize: The George Campbell Prize

Posted by Alison Wells on 10 August 2017.

The University of Malaga, via Aula María Zambrano of Transatlantic Studies, has created the George Campbell Prize. The aim of this project is to promote the investigation about the relationship between Spain and Ireland. Juan Antonio García Galindo, Vice chancellor of Institutional Policy, on behalf of the University of Malaga, and José Antonio Sierra Lumbreras, as patron, has signed a collaboration agreement to create the George Campbell Prize of Aula María Zambrano of Transatlantic Studies of...

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Paul Howard to appear at the inaugural Jonathan Swift Festival

Posted by Alison Wells on 6 August 2017.

Paul Howard has been confirmed for the inaugural Jonathan Swift Festival at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Paul will appear at 8pm, Friday 24th November, 2017. Join Paul Howard, multi-award-winning journalist, author, playwright and comedy writer, and the man behind the eternally popular Ross O’Carroll-Kelly series, for a special evening at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral as part of the 2017 Jonathan Swift Festival. Described by the Irish Independent as “one of the world’s funniest writers,” Paul Howard is a four-time Irish Book Award...

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‘Domestic Frictions’ Free Event Aug 10th at Farmleigh Hosted by Mia Gallagher

Posted by Alison Wells on 1 August 2017.

Word just in of a unique event in Farmleigh on August 10th . ‘Domestic Frictions’ is “an evening of words, music and images that explores the strange intimacies, joys and tensions of the domestic realm.” It will take place in the Ballroom at Farmleigh at 8pm and will be hosted by Mia Gallagher, writer-in-residence at Farmleigh whose latest novel Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland (New Island) has recently been released to critical acclaim. Mia...

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Druid Welcomes Submissions for New Writing and FUEL

Posted by Alison Wells on 31 July 2017.

Druid is delighted to announce the 2017 submissions details for New Writing, and its artist residency programme, FUEL. These two initiatives have been designed to support artists and enrich the company’s artistic programme. ‘In 2016 our script intake doubled, which is a very healthy sign for Irish writing. We want to take that further and look at creating the best conditions in which to nurture new writing. We’re looking forward to improving the process by...

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