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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.

Michael Mullan Cancer Fund Writing Competition Winners

Posted by ERMurray on 5 October 2018.

Newbridge Community Library was the venue where the winners and runners up in the Michael Mullan Cancer Fund Writing Competitions were announced on Wednesday evening, 3rd October. With Mario Corrigan in charge as MC, things went like clockwork and a very enjoyable evening was had by a very attentive audience. Six entries in each category – poetry, flash fiction and short story and all were invited to read out a short piece from their entries....

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John O’Connor Writing School and Literary Arts Festival 1st-4th November 2018

Posted by ERMurray on 28 September 2018.

The acclaimed Armagh-based John O’Connor Writing School and Literary Arts Festival enters its third year with a packed three-day programme featuring international class poets and song writers, prose, stage and screen writers and how-to-write experts, including Martin Lynch, for drama and poetry lovers. There is even a session by leading PR man Joris Minne for those in small businesses, art groups and charities who want to learn how PR works and how to write press...

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Ignite Fellowship to fire-up careers of professional writers

Posted by ERMurray on 24 September 2018.

Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, has today launched a new fellowship programme. Recognising the achievements of professional writers, the Ignite Fellowship will offer tailored, practical and financial support to help writers find time and space to fire up their careers. The Ignite Fellowship has been developed in consultation with Scottish Book Trust’s Writers Advisory Panel and is a renovation of the previous Mentoring programme. The panel concluded that...

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The first Mslexia Novella Competition is now open

Posted by ERMurray on 17 September 2018.

Competition deadline: 1st October 2018 What do Silas Marner, Of Mice and Men, Brokeback Mountain and Metamorphosis all have in common? They’re all novellas – in fact, some of the world’s best loved works of literature are novellas – yet works of fiction between 10,000 and 40,000 words are notoriously difficult to place in the current market, despite the stories they tell being perfectly suited to their length. Just because mainstream publishers prefer longer works doesn’t mean...

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Historic Dublin Bookshop Re-Opens for One Night Only

Posted by ERMurray on 14 September 2018.

Parsons, one of Europe’s most famous literary establishments from 1949 to 1989, becomes a bookshop again for one night only this coming Monday 17th September, from 6pm. Now an FBD insurance office, the shop on the crest of Baggot Street’s canal bridge was home-from-home for local writers Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh and Frank O’Connor.Other regulars included Maeve Binchy, Mary Lavin, Flann O’Brien, Ben Kiely and Seamus Heaney. It will now host the launch of Princess...

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Inaugural Irish Book Week announced for 27 Oct – 3 Nov

Posted by ERMurray on 12 September 2018.

The inaugural Irish Book Week takes place from October 27th – November 3rd, a nationwide celebration of Irish books and bookshops. A collaboration between Bookselling Ireland and Publishing Ireland, the week will see events taking place throughout the country, celebrating Irish books and the central role bookshops play in Irish society and culture. The week aims to encourage people into their local bookshop, and to highlight the important role bookshops play in the fabric of Irish...

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Doolin Writers’ Competitions

Posted by ERMurray on 7 September 2018.

Doolin Writers’ competitions are now live, with judges Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Dave Lordan, & Danielle McLaughlin. Closing date for entries: 1st December 2018. The 2019 Doolin Writers’ Weekend is on 25th-27th January. The winning story/poem will appear in the February 29th edition of the New Yorker Magazine. All details on www.doolinfestivals.ie

Irish playwright Jaki McCarrick makes her New York Debut

Posted by ERMurray on 31 August 2018.

Presented by The Pond Theatre Company, the world premiere of The Naturalists marks Jaki McCarrick’s New York debut. The Pond is an ambitious, women-led theater company dedicated to bringing some of the most exciting new theatrical voices from the U.K. and Ireland to the U.S., many for the first time. The Pond’s 2016 sold-out debut, a revival of Mike Leigh’s ABIGAIL’S PARTY, was declared a New York Times critic’s pick. Directed by The Pond co-founders...

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Winter Writing Residency Award at Greywood Arts

Posted by ERMurray on 16 August 2018.

I’m really excited about this one as I went to Greywood Arts for the first time earlier this year and I’m due to return for another week in December; the space is fantastic (I really loved having a separate writing study), the hosts are helpful and friendly, I got tonnes of work done, and there are fabulous woods to roam, as well as a great pub across the road for a bite to eat or...

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Writing Prompt: 3 Images

Posted by ERMurray on 23 July 2018.

It’s been a while since we’ve done this, but a few people have requested we get some writing prompts back on here, so I thought, why not? To kickstart the prompts, I challenge you to write a short piece (100 to 200 words) in your medium of choice (prose or poetry) in response to the three images below. You need to include all three images in your piece.                 ...

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