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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.

Photo Prompt 3

Posted by ERMurray on 24 April 2013.

I’m back from my holidays in Bergamo, Italy, where I spent a wonderful week snapping lots of beautiful/interesting/inspiring sights. I’ve not yet done anything with the snaps (watch this space!) but the break certainly inspired me to get back to a photo-based #wordspark exercise! So, here goes… Write a piece of flash fiction of up to 200 words inspired by the following photo: Happy writing!

April inspiration

Posted by ERMurray on 4 April 2013.

It’s been a strange Spring weather-wise so far, but hopefully we can harness that and turn it into something creative… This week’s #wordspark challenge is to write a short poem, of no more than five lines, using the month of April as inspiration. Whether April conjures up images of light mornings or bright umbrellas, rainy childhood picnics or Easter egg hunts – simply let your mind wander and see where you arrive. Happy writing!  

Creative Theft!

Posted by ERMurray on 28 March 2013.

This week, your #wordspark challenge is to take a line from another author’s work & use it to create something new. Choose any line from any writer – just remember to reference the work so we can all identify it. In terms of what you create – it can be as short or lengthy as you like, a finished piece or a snippet of an idea. Just see where it leads you. Happy writing!

A new photograph prompt

Posted by ERMurray on 14 March 2013.

For this next #wordspark challenge, write a piece of flash fiction up to 100 words in length inspired by this photo:

Can you come up with a title?

Posted by ERMurray on 20 February 2013.

A slightly different approach this week on Wordspark, with Pinterest as the inspiration… I’d like you to think up a title for a short story collection that contains stories based around these photos.              

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!