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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.

Your Invite to The Book of Learning House!

Posted by ERMurray on 11 March 2016.

On March 20th, as the grand finale of my Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read Campaign for Children, 23 Mercury Lane from my book will be recreated on Merrion Square as part of the St Patrick’s Festival celebrations. I’ll be there (taking all of the photos and videos I can!) along with magicians, art & craft workshops, one of the characters from my book (can you guess which one?!) and REAL RATS. Yes, pet...

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Writers’ Residency in Birr: March 4th Deadline!

Posted by ERMurray on 2 March 2016.

This is a quick reminder that applications are still sought for the 2016 Writers’ Residency in Birr, Co. Offaly. This residency/retreat is in the Georgian heritage town of Birr. The opportunity is for professional writers who are seeking a short break from daily routines; it is for those who feel the need to re-invigorate themselves into completing current work; and it is also for writers who may simply need inspiration, through a change of place...

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Spark Your Creativity at Big Smoke Writing Factory

Posted by ERMurray on 7 January 2016.

Sometimes we forget that input is as important as output, and that inspiration and energy can come from working in creative places and spaces set up exactly for that purpose. So I thought I’d give the wordspark writing prompts a break and concentrate for a little while on finding out more about some of the excellent writing and creativity centres that we have in Ireland. This week, I speak to Claire Hennessy from the Big...

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E.R. Murray’s Recommended Reads for 8-12 year olds

Posted by ERMurray on 15 December 2015.

It’s present buying time, so for the 8-12 year old readers in your life, here are some of my favourite reads of 2015 …   The Maloney’s Magical Weatherbox by Nigel Quinlan (Hachette) What do you get when you combine a magical tourist, a bog beast, and two hags, with some very mixed-up Irish seasons? A unique and exciting adventure that conjures lots of belly laughs! Written from different viewpoints, this exciting page-turner successfully blends fantasy...

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Explore, Be inspired, Create – in Ardagh!

Posted by ERMurray on 5 December 2015.

Sometimes we forget that input is as important as output, and that inspiration and energy can come from working in creative places and spaces set up exactly for that purpose. So I thought I’d give the wordspark writing prompts a break and concentrate for a little while on finding out more about some of the excellent writing and creativity centres that we have in Ireland. This was inspired by a recent visit to Ardagh, County...

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A Musical Memory

Posted by ERMurray on 16 November 2015.

After the fun I had answering questions for Derek’s Music & Me section of this site, I thought I’d offer a music-based prompt that might help stir up an idea for a poem or short story. Think of a song that triggers a specific memory – an event, a time in your life, a specific emotion. What do you think about every time you hear this song? Copy out the song lyrics that have the most impact,...

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Short and Sweet La Muse Retreat Contest

Posted by ERMurray on 25 September 2015.

I stayed at the wonderful La Muse Retreat in France earlier this year. The hiking is incredible, the rooms lovely, and the atmosphere perfect for getting some serious work done. The owners, Kerry and John, have created a wonderful space for you to retreat from everyday life and immerse yourself in your latest WIP. As well as getting a substantial amount of work competed, I also made some inspiring new friends, so I’d highly recommend...

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A Mystery Writing Prompt

Posted by ERMurray on 5 August 2015.

With all the excitment of Jax Miller’s #FreedomsChild, I decided to get in the spirit and try a #mystery writing prompt this week… You can write as much or as little as you like, but I’d recommend prose for this one… After a drunken night on the town, you wake in a strange place, held hostage by a stranger. You have no recollection of the night and no idea how you got there. The stranger accuses you...

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The Note

Posted by ERMurray on 13 June 2015.

There’s a note on the windshield of your car. The note says, “I’ve taken your most prized possession. If you want it back, unbroken, meet me tonight in this parking spot. And bring me something to trade.” You decide to turn up because your most prized possession is extremely valuable to you. Write the scene in 500 words or fewer (whatever form you choose) – and post your response in the comments below! Happy writing...

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Inspirational Writing Quotes

Posted by ERMurray on 7 April 2015.

The skies are blue, the sun is peeping out – and you might be tempted to head outside instead of sticking to your writing schedule. So instead of a #Wordspark, this week I’m giving you some inspirational quotes to help you keep going… “I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten — happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another....

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