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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.

Being a Writer: Should I give up or Keep Trying?

Posted by Alison Wells on 21 July 2017.

Like other creative pursuits, we write because we have to, because we can’t help it. We enjoy it, sometimes, at other times it seems like a form of madness to dedicate hours of our precious time to producing material that might never see the light of day. If our goal is publication – particularly traditional publication (as opposed to self-publishing) it can be a particularly long road. And its a road we take alongside the...

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John McGahern Award 2017

Posted by Alison Wells on 14 July 2017.

Submissions deadline: 5pm, 31 July, 2017 Leitrim County Council Arts Office is now accepting applications from emerging writers for the inaugural John McGahern Award. The award is offered by Leitrim County Council and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre as part of the Iron Mountain Literature Festival which will be held on Friday 6th & Saturday 7th of October in Carrick on Shannon. Arising from the John McGahern seminar which ran from 2007 for eight years, the Iron...

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Flash 500 New Competition Listings

Posted by Alison Wells on 7 July 2017.

The always excellent Flash 500 have a selection of on-going writing competitions: Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition Now in its eighth year, this quarterly open-themed competition for fiction up to 500 words has closing dates of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December 2017. Entry fee: £5 for one story, £8 for two stories Prizes: £300, £200 and £100 Flash 500 Novel Opening Chapter & Synopsis Competition This annual competition, now in its fifth...

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Cover Reveal: 99 Red Balloons by Elizabeth Carpenter

Posted by Alison Wells on 5 July 2017.

I am so excited about this book! It’s pacey, gripping and has the best plot twist you’ll read this year, one you definitely don’t expect! From Elisabeth Carpenter comes a debut psychological thriller guaranteed to take your breath away. It’s perfect for fans of Broadchurch and The Missing. Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter? When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home...

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Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival Announced With a Stunning Line Up

Posted by Alison Wells on 27 June 2017.

The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival has announced a stellar line-up of best-selling authors, influential politicians, stars of the screen, and literary world. Tying in with Harrogate International Festivals’ over-arching theme of ‘Generations’, the line-up is designed to celebrate literature and ideas passed down, honoured or reinvented through the ages. One of the UK’s most renowned broadcasters, Joan Bakewell, will discuss her thoughtful and spirited book, Stop the Clocks. Joan Bakewell, presents A History of Britain...

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Society of Authors Awards £94,000 in Prizes

Posted by Alison Wells on 21 June 2017.

The Society of Authors has distributed £94,000 in prizes to authors at its annual Authors’ Awards ceremony on 20 June 2017. Novelist and poet Ben Okri presented the prizes to writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, at a ceremony held at the Army & Navy Club, Pall Mall. £35,000 was awarded in prizes for poetry (the Eric Gregory Awards and the Cholmondeley Awards) £31,500 was awarded in prizes for fiction (the Betty Trask Prize, the...

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NEWvember Festival Call for Plays

Posted by Alison Wells on 31 May 2017.

AboutFACE Ireland are very happy to announce that from June 1st, we are accepting submissions for our annual NEWvember New Plays Festival. NEWvember is a festival of rehearsed readings of new plays that will take place over four days at Belvedere House in Dublin’s city centre. There is no fee for submissions and all plays are read blind of name or gender by our panel. The spirit of NEWvember is to provide a dynamic, interactive and...

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Sebastian Barry, Paul Howard, Ryan Tubridy amongst those visiting Kells for Hinterland

Posted by Alison Wells on 23 May 2017.

  Hinterland Festival of Literature, Kells June 22 – 25, 2017  Stephen Frears, Sebastian Barry, Deirdre Purcell, Patricia Scanlan, Ryan Tubridy, Alex Salmond, Chris Mullins, Paul Howard and Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ performed in a local funeral parlour…. We knew of Kells for four brilliant years in partnership with the Hay Festival, and now Kells goes it alone. They’re delighted to introduce the first Hinterland Festival of Literature & Arts, bringing their own version of the eclectic mix we’ve come...

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Shelter by Sarah Franklin Cover Reveal

Posted by Alison Wells on 17 May 2017.

Released on 27th  July, this is a beautiful, unique and deeply engrossing novel about finding solace in the most troubled of times, about love, hope and renewal after devastation. 1944. Connie Granger must leave Coventry after her family home is blitzed, she must learn to survive alone, hiding a huge secret. She finds work with the Women’s Timber Corps in the Forest of Dean and soon starts to work as a lumberjill. It’s here that...

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7 Writers on Mercier Press Fiction Competition Short-List

Posted by Alison Wells on 10 May 2017.

Ireland’s oldest independent publishing house, Mercier Press has announced the short-list for their fiction competition. Works by seven of Ireland’s budding writers were chosen: Tommy by Cammy Harley Tuesdays are Just as Bad by Cethan Leahy Blackpitts by Conal Quinn A few Dark Acres by Darragh Breen Soaring Spring, Eternal Autumn by David Lynch The Sugar Sugar Café by Michael Sheehan The All-Ireland by Tadhg Coakley In addition to a publishing deal, the winner will...

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