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Guest Blogs

A blog by ERMurray

Photos, people, experiences, dreams: in other words, ideas. They have to come from somewhere, but it’s not always easy. Let Wordspark inspire you. You never know where it might lead…

Elizabeth Rose Murray lives in West Cork where she writes, fishes, and grows her own vegetables. Her first book for young adults Caramel Hearts (Alma Books) was published June 2016. Her debut novel for children aged 10-12, The Book of Learning - Nine Lives Trilogy 1 (Mercier Press) was chosen as the 2016 Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read for Children and the follow-up The Book of Shadows - Nine Lives Trilogy 2 was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. The final installment The Book of Revenge will be published in February 2018.

Elizabeth has poetry and short fiction published in journals across the UK and Ireland - including Ogham Stone, Southword, South Circular, Esc and 3am - and has been shortlisted in various competitions including TV3AM Short Story, Francis MacManus, and Aesthetica Creative Works. She has also performed in Ciudades Paralelas: Station - a live writing installation.

Hoping to encourage new writers, Elizabeth provides manuscript reports and online writing courses through Inkwell Writers and Big Smoke Writing Factory. She is a regular at literary festivals, and offers adult workshops on writing for children and young adults, as well as multiple events and workshops for children and teens.

You can connect with Elizabeth on Twitter @ERMurray, Facebook www.facebook.com/ERMurray.Author or her blog www.ermurray.com

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

Writers aged over 40 invited to apply for national award

Posted by ERMurray on 17 July 2019.

Scottish Book Trust, the independent national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, has announced today (Wednesday 17 July) that the Next Chapter Award 2020 is open for applications. Now in its sixth year, the award seeks submissions from talented yet unpublished writers over the age of 40. The Next Chapter Award supports an emerging writer for whom finding time and space to write has proved especially challenging. Developing a specific piece of work to...

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Banagher Public Art Commission – Literature

Posted by ERMurray on 9 July 2019.

Offaly County Council would like to commission a professional writer to deliver a literature project with the potential to have a lasting impact for the community of Banagher, County Offaly, during 2019/2020. They would therefore, like to encourage a proposal that has a community participatory approach to literature. They are open to accepting a proposal from professional writers of genres including; poetry, fiction, short fiction, playwriting. Engagement with the community is a prerequisite and every...

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Vita and Virginia Movie Opens

Posted by ERMurray on 6 July 2019.

Based on a true story, Vita and Virginia details the passionate relationship between literary trailblazer Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki), and enigmatic aristocrat Vita Sackville West (Gemma Arterton). When their paths cross, the magnetic Vita decides the beguiling, stubborn and gifted Virginia will be her next conquest, no matter the cost. The ensuing relationship leads to the birth of Woolf’s bold experimental novel, Orlando. A daring celebration of a unconventional bond, and a vivid exploration of...

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The Short Story Competition

Posted by ERMurray on 4 July 2019.

Competition deadline: 30th September 2019 Set up in 2011, The Short Story competition showcases the best short stories from around the world including winners such as Angela Readman, Zoe Gilbert, Niamh MacCabe, C.G. Menon, among others. Two cash prizes are awarded: First prize: £500 Second prize: £100 Entry fee: £8 (PayPal only) Winning stories are freely available on the Past Winners page, and may be included in future anthologies. This year’s winners will be announced in December 2019. Click...

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Gransnet and HQ writing competition for women over 40

Posted by ERMurray on 1 July 2019.

Gransnet are delighted to announce that, together with HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, they are launching a fiction writing competition for women writers over the age of 40. They will specifically be looking for stories featuring a leading character aged over 40. Applicants are invited to submit 20,000 words to HQ by 30 September 2019. Five shortlisted writers will receive editorial feedback, with the overall winner being offered a publishing contract with HQ. Judges of...

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Norah Patten joins Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon

Posted by ERMurray on 27 June 2019.

Irish Scientist-Astronaut Candidate Dr Norah Patten will be a Special Guest at Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon. Born in Co. Mayo, and now based in Dublin, Dr Patten became fascinated by space and space travel after a visit to a NASA facility at age 11. She earned a PhD in aeronautical engineering at the University of Limerick in 2011 following internships at Boeing and Bell Labs. She has participated in several citizen science campaigns...

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Belfast Girls by Jaki McCarrick soon to open in Australia and Sweden

Posted by ERMurray on 19 June 2019.

Between the years 1848 and 1851, over four thousand Irish females took passage on ships from Ireland to Australia under the Orphan Emigration Scheme established by Earl Grey. Belfast Girls is the story of five women who make this journey. The play was developed at the National Theatre Studio and shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the BBC Tony Doyle Award and won the Galway Theatre Festival Playwriting Prize. It has since been...

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Literature at the Cairde Sligo Arts Festival

Posted by ERMurray on 15 June 2019.

Inspired by the creative energy of the Northwest, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is an 8 day cultural adventure, featuring a diverse programme of events to ignite the imagination. New to the Festival, this year sees a powerful literary strand, featuring the first ever Irish event with genre-busting Maggie Nelson, as well as talks and workshops with acclaimed essayist Sinéad Gleeson. Vagabond Verses presents an afternoon of pop-up poetry and performance in venues throughout Sligo town...

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Competition: Hay Festival Europa28

Posted by ERMurray on 12 June 2019.

Competition deadline: 1st February 2020 Comma Press is currently working in collaboration with Hay Festival and Wom@rts to present Europa28 – an anthology of essays and short stories bringing together 28 acclaimed women from 28 European countries to envision the future of Europe, which we believe is much needed in this tumultuous and ever-changing time. As part of this project, Hay Festival is running a writing competition which we think could be of interest to you to promote...

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Submissions Call for NEWvember New Plays Festival

Posted by ERMurray on 7 June 2019.

Submissions deadline: 28th June 2019 NEWvember is a festival of rehearsed readings of new plays that will take place over one weekend in Dublin produced by the theatre company AboutFACE Ireland. 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 comfortable place where writers can hear their plays read by professional actors, and discuss...

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