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Guest Blogs

A blog by Derek Flynn

Derek Flynn runs Writing.ie's SongBook blog, and is an Irish writer and musician. He has a Masters in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. He’s been published in a number of publications, including The Irish Times, and his fiction was featured in 'Surge', an anthology of new Irish writing published by O’ Brien Press with the aim of showcasing “the very best of the next generation of Irish authors”. Online he can be found at his writing/music blog – ‘Rant, with Occasional Music’ – and on Twitter as @derekf03

You can follow Derek online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Music & Me: Arlene Hunt

Posted by Derek Flynn on 26 February 2015.

“Music & Me” is a new feature in which authors talk about their musical influences, their favourite musicians and their “musical guilty pleasures”. This week’s victim author is crime writer, Arlene Hunt. Arlene is the author of eight novels, including her latest, The Outsider, which was described as “Masterful” by the Sunday Times. What are your earliest musical memories? I listened to all kinds of weird Irish folk music when I was a kid, (‘Lemon...

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Music & Me: Liz Nugent

Posted by Derek Flynn on 19 February 2015.

Today is the beginning of a new feature on Songbook – “Music & Me”, in which authors talk about their musical influences, their favourite musicians and their “musical guilty pleasures”. First up is Liz Nugent. Liz is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel Unravelling Oliver, winner of the “Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award” at the Irish Book Awards. What are your earliest musical memories? My Dad’s collection included a lot of Johnny Cash and Frank...

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Stellar Line-up Confirmed for Ennis Book Club Festival

Posted by Derek Flynn on 13 February 2015.

Man Booker Prize nominee Niall Williams, former politician Des O’Malley, Eason Novel of the Year winner Mary Costello, crime novelists Val McDermid and Paul Carson and multi award-winning short story writer Colin Barrett will join a host of internationally renowned figures at the Ennis Book Club Festival 2015 in County Clare from March 6th-8th. The 2015 Festival Programme was launched today (Tuesday, 20 January 2015) and features author visits, readings, lectures and workshops in various...

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Brutally Honest Writing Advice from Brutally Honest Writers

Posted by Derek Flynn on 5 February 2015.

Getting Started If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favour you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker Following the Rules There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. – W. Somerset Maugham First Drafts The first draft...

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Tinder Press Launch Campaign For Unagented Manuscripts

Posted by Derek Flynn on 20 January 2015.

Headline imprint Tinder Press will celebrate two years of publishing by opening submissions for unagented manuscripts for two weeks in March. Tinder Press publisher Mary-Anne Harrington said ‘Since we launched Tinder Press with the publication of Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell, we’ve had a huge amount to celebrate, and 2015 is already shaping up to be an exciting year, with new novels from Patrick Gale and Sarah Winman. ‘At Tinder Press we are...

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Don’t Give Up the Day Job

Posted by Derek Flynn on 14 January 2015.

Writers often hear the phrase “Don’t give up the day job”. Not because they’re bad writers, but because only a small percentage of authors actually make their living from writing full-time. It’s interesting to note then that this is not a new phenomenon. In an article for “Business Insider” entitled “15 Famous Writers Who Worked Other Jobs To Pay The Bills”, Vivian Giang looks at the vast spectrum of jobs that some of the world’s...

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Call for Applications for Waterford Artist-in-Residence

Posted by Derek Flynn on 6 January 2015.

Are you an artist? Includes writers! Waterford Healing Arts Trust say: “The Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) invites artists to of all arts disciplines to apply for its 2015 Artist-in-Residence programme. WHAT has been running an Artist in Residence programme since 1994. This year, the focus of this residency will be the artist’s engagement of patients in University Hospital Waterford in participatory / collaborative arts experiences. WHAT invites artists of all arts disciplines with a...

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Best Music Books of 2014

Posted by Derek Flynn on 24 December 2014.

2014 was a bumper year for music books. (Yes. I said ‘bumper’. I’m bringing that word back. Deal with it.) Here’s my pick of some of the best. The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus Greil Marcus is one of a dying breed: an old-school rock critic in the Lester Bangs mould (You may remember Lester Bangs as the rock critic played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie Almost...

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An Editor’s Guide to the Worst Writing Mistakes

Posted by Derek Flynn on 11 November 2014.

Editor and Creative Writing teacher Dr. Stephen Carver wrote a blog post recently outlining the top writing mistakes he encounters. First off, he quotes Newman and Mittelmark from their book How Not to Write a Novel: “We are merely telling you the things that editors are too busy rejecting your novel to tell you themselves, pointing out the mistakes they recognize instantly because they see them again and again in novels they do not buy.”...

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When Writers Attack …

Posted by Derek Flynn on 30 October 2014.

Many writers are known for their sharp turn of phrase and withering put-downs. It’s no surprise then that when they decide to turn their attention to other writers, the results are entertaining to, to say the least. Vladimir Nabokov is regarded as one of literature’s finest prose stylists, and he certainly wasn’t shy when it came to sharing his opinion of other writers. On Dostoevsky: “Dostoevky’s lack of taste, his monotonous dealings with persons suffering...

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