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
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...Read the full article >>
Call for ideas!
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...Read the full article >>
Postcard Prompt (2)
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...Read the full article >>
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 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...Read the full article >>
Photo Prompt (1)
We’re all drawn to photographs. They’re a powerful medium that resonates with us on many levels as we try to make sense of their content. Our emotions, expectations, beliefs – are all affected, and often by what isn’t in view. Throughout the year, I’ll be posting photo prompts for you to use to inspire a piece. This week, write a poem of less than 20 lines, inspired by the photo shown. I’d love you to see what...Read the full article >>
Last year I visited Belfast and was lucky enough to time my visit with a book sale at The Linen Hall library. I picked up three books for £5 – The Poetical Works of Scott, a lovely old edition of Wuthering Heights and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as a gift. But inspiration can come from the most surprising of places…Look what I found inside the poetry book: This week, use this...Read the full article >>
Postcard Prompt (1)
Postcards are a great stimulus for writers. Just ask Michael Kimball! The image or destination on the front can inspire a setting or story –but the message on the back or the journey the postcard has made can be just as exciting. Who bought it? Why? What was their message? Did the postcard ever make it to the intended recipient? What happened to the postcard along the way? Who touched it? Did the postman read...Read the full article >>
What grabs you?
As people, we naturally filter information about strangers based on our own experiences. It’s an instant, ingrained reaction. So, why not use this natural ability to help devise fresh characters? Sit on a bench or wall somewhere busy, where people are passing through – a street, train station, shopping mall, for instance – and observe for twenty minutes. As people pass, note down their most distinctive features; do they wear a particularly striking piece of...Read the full article >>