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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.

Write a postcard…

Posted by ERMurray on 30 January 2015.

…to someone in your life that you’ve lost contact with. You can tell that person the things you wish you’d said, tell that person some of the highlights of your life, whatever you want. I’ve been away in Cambodia for a month, and it is a country that is so beautiful, filled with amazing people – but it is still suffering from the effects of the Pol Pot regime, with lots of questions left unanswered...

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What Do We Have in Our Pockets?

Posted by ERMurray on 15 December 2014.

This week’s #wordspark is inspired by a stunning Youtube video, written by and featuring one of my favourite short story writers, Etgar Keret. Before you watch the video, think about the following prompt: A man finds a coat on the train. He goes through the pockets to se who the coat belongs to, but finds something he doesn’t expect. What does he find? What does he do next? What happens as a result? Does it...

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Some deadlines worth aiming for!

Posted by ERMurray on 19 November 2014.

There’s nothing like a deadline to ‘prompt’ you into writing. So this week, instead of giving you an idea of what to write, I’m offering you a few ideas of where to submit your writing. Use this list of competitions as a motivator to finish that story/poem/novel – and get submitting! November 2014: 100 Words, 100 Books – Short Fiction competition – from The Book Show RTE 1, there are 100 books up for grabs...

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First line teaser…

Posted by ERMurray on 5 November 2014.

The concept behind this week’s #wordspark is simple: we give you part of the first line, you use it to start your piece of fiction. For those of you that like some guidelines/boundaries to work with, make the piece no more than 300 words. But if you’d like to write more – that’s fine! Go ahead! The whole idea is this will get you started. Where it leads is up to you. And the line...

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Over to you…

Posted by ERMurray on 7 October 2014.

This time around, instead of getting you to write, we want to talk about YOUR WRITING. Where do you get your ideas? Your inspiration? What conditions do you need to be able to get creative thoughts stirring? What stops you being inspired and how do you overcome the challenge? Are there any tricks or tools you use to get going? Let’s pool our ideas folks and support each other on this 🙂 I look forward to...

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More Spontaneity…

Posted by ERMurray on 22 September 2014.

Once again on #wordspark, it’s time to return to thinking about submissions. We recently featured an article on Spontaneity, “an arts journal all about inspiration, where one idea really does lead to another.” The approach is simple but effective: all submissions are to be inspired by one of the poems, short stories, paintings or photographs already published in the journal. I think this is a brilliant idea and was delighted to be included in the first and third issues. For...

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Photo prompt #wordspark to kickstart your writing

Posted by ERMurray on 4 September 2014.

It’s that time of year when you start feeling the pinch; shorter days, cooler air, and longer nights drawing in. But don’t panic – see this as extra writing time! To kick start your additional time putting ink on paper, see what this photo inspires. Write a short poem or couplet, a paragraph or flash fiction piece of no more than 200 words based on the photo – whatever it inspires, write! Who knows, it might...

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Can 100 #wordspark words win you $20K?

Posted by ERMurray on 28 August 2014.

This latest #wordspark challenge requires you NOT to post your work on here, but to go away and create a 100 word flash fiction piece that you can submit to the Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation/Spanish ‘Museum of Words’ microfiction competition. The prize: $20K! The wordcount: 100 words. The theme: Mandela: Words and Concord You can read more about the competition here. Please do give it a try – it’s free to enter with a November deadline and...

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Google Poetics Writing Prompt

Posted by ERMurray on 3 July 2014.

For this #wordspark, we’d like you to try your hand at some google poetics! If you’re not sure what google poetics is all about, have a look at the image below and you’ll get the idea… See what combinations you can come up with and add in the comments below…but be warned, it can be addictive! You can read more about google poetics in an an earlier Writing.ie blog post by Kate Dempsey here. Happy writing!...

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Three little words…

Posted by ERMurray on 3 June 2014.

This week, we’re taking inspiration from Mash Stories and asking you to create something splendid using the following three words: bias, kitchen, vertigo. Your piece (flash fiction, poetry or monologue) should be no longer than 200 words and incorporate all three words using them exactly as they appear above (no variations – that’s cheating!) This is a bit of fun to get your creativity flowing – remember to share your ideas below! But if you’re...

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