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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.

Scary stuff!

Posted by ERMurray on 13 February 2013.

This week, inspired by the Nightmare Club reading initiative, I would like you to try and write a one sentence synopsis for a ghost story. The synopsis can be aimed at any age group – but the spookier, the better!

Opening sentence

Posted by ERMurray on 6 February 2013.

This week’s Wordspark is short and sweet. Write an opening sentence containing these three words: STORM NAVY TWO Sounds easy? Let’s see what everyone comes up with… I might even give it a try myself!

Some favourite Wordsparks so far…

Posted by ERMurray on 29 January 2013.

I’m really happy with the number, and quality, of responses from readers/writers to this blog…so a huge thank you to everyone who’s participated. There’ll be plenty more Wordsparks to keep the ideas flowing as of next week, but for now, I thought it was time to celebrate some of the contributions. Here are a few of my favourite Wordspark responses so far… * “Breathes life, takes life, one of life’s pleasures, dead, alive.” by C....

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Posted by ERMurray on 17 January 2013.

This next wordspark is short but sweet, to get your brains in gear. Describe the sea in just ten words, for someone who has never seen it. That’s it! You don’t have to write sentences – it could be a rhyming couplet, a string of adjectives, a piece of uber-flash fiction. It’s up to you! Be as inventive as you like. You might even want to extend your piece and submit to the SeaMagic website....

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Postcard prompt (3)

Posted by ERMurray on 2 January 2013.

To start the New Year, we bring you another inspiring postcard prompt. Your Wordspark this week is to write a piece of flash fiction, up to 100 words max, inspired by the postcard shown. Please continue sharing your work as it’s a delight to read – and if you have time, maybe you’d like to comment on someone else’s? Happy writing!

Festive inspiration

Posted by ERMurray on 18 December 2012.

Christmas is coming, so we’d love to see some festive-inspired writing. But how easy is it to stay away from cliches? This week, write a short story (we suggest less than 1000 words but write more if you wish) about a child’s Christmas day. The piece could be written as an adult’s memory, or perhaps in present tense from a child’s perspective. It could be a reworked traditional tale or an overheard conversation – there...

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Call for ideas!

Posted by ERMurray on 13 December 2012.

The Wordspark blog has been really well received and I’d like to thank everybody for their interaction, hard work and cooperation. There have been lots of great pieces posted and I’m looking forward to reading more (we have a special Christmas-inspired Wordspark coming soon). This week, instead of posting a writing prompt, I’m asking for ideas. I thought it would be nice to turn it over to you guys – pick your brains and gather...

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Postcard Prompt (2)

Posted by ERMurray on 6 December 2012.

As promised, here’s the second of our postcard prompts for you to use to inspire a new writing project. This may be used as a writing exercise in itself, or developed into a polished piece ready for a competition or submission. Your Wordspark this week is to write a piece of your choosing, inspired by the postcard shown. We’ve been receiving some amazing responses on previous posts, so please keep sharing and post your piece as...

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Rhyming couplet

Posted by ERMurray on 29 November 2012.

This week, use the photo to write a rhyming couplet. Try to keep away from cliches or overly obvious rhyme. A short – but not as easy as you might think – #wordspark to get the creative side of your brain in gear. Perfect for a quick warm up before settling down to write… Don’t forget to post your couplets below. Happy writing!

Opening lines

Posted by ERMurray on 19 November 2012.

Opening lines need to grab your audience and make them want to read on. They need to reveal, intrigue and pose questions. Your opening line is the hook – your chance to pull the reader into the story. But how much practice do you give to opening lines? This week, think up an opening line inspired by the image shown and post it in the comments section below. Let’s see what we can come up...

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