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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.

Scottish Book Trust Launches Anti-Poverty Campaign

Posted by ERMurray on 27 August 2019.

As Scottish Book Trust marks its 21st anniversary, the independent national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, has launched a new fundraising campaign to provide crucial support to vulnerable families and help fight the effects of living in poverty through reading and books. From improving employability, social skills and family bonding to reducing stress and anxiety, developing language skills and doing better at school, the benefits of reading, even for a short time each...

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The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize

Posted by ERMurray on 23 August 2019.

Competition deadline: 1st October 2019 The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize is calling for previously unpublished short stories of up to 2500 words related to the theme, ‘All Lit Up’. The top prize is $1000 AUD and publication in Mascara Literary Review. A highly commended entry will receive $250 AUD and publication in Mascara Literary Review. The judges are Australian authors Effie Carr and Helena Fox. Submissions close October 1, 2019. Entry fee is $15...

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Red Line Book Festival Poetry and Short Story Competitions

Posted by ERMurray on 14 August 2019.

Competition deadlines: 19th and 23rd August 2019 Red Line Book Festival is calling on creative writers to submit their work for its 2019 poetry and short story competitions. Now in its seventh year, the Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition attracts hundreds of entries from all across the island of Ireland annually. The 2018 winner was Linda McKenna for her poem Unsettled. The winning poet will win a cash prize of €300, as well as an invitation to read their...

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Bookselling Ireland announce Introduction to Bookselling Course

Posted by ERMurray on 12 August 2019.

Bookselling Ireland have announced the first Introduction to Bookselling course, where potential new booksellers can find out more about day-to-day bookshop life, as well as the practicalities of how to create a strong business, understanding bookshop finances, and how to gain customer loyalty. Led by a group of award winning booksellers, Patrick Neale from UK based Jaffé & Neale Bookshop and Café, along with guest speakers Janet Hawkins from The Blessington Bookstore and Dawn Behan...

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Into the Void Fiction Prize

Posted by ERMurray on 8 August 2019.

Competition deadline: 1st November 2019 Prizes 1st Place: $1000 + publication on the website and in print Issue 15 of Into the Void 2nd Place: $200 + publication on the website and in print Issue 15 of Into the Void 3rd Place: $100 + publication on the website and in print Issue 15 of Into the Void Timeline August 1st: Submissions open November 1st: Submissions close December 1st: Shortlist announced December 14th: Winners announced Terms...

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Offaly County Council looking for a Youth Arts Facilitator

Posted by ERMurray on 6 August 2019.

Offaly County Council have extended the deadline for the Youth Arts Facilitator tender, with a new deadline for submissions to be delivered by 3p.m. on 11th Sept 2019. Offaly County Council Arts Office is seeking tenders for the appointment of a temporary youth arts facilitator; for the delivery of a pilot project which will explore a new model of youth arts provision, the focus being: enabling young voices in the initiation, development and delivery of...

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Poetry Ireland announces inaugural Dublin Fringe Festival project

Posted by ERMurray on 25 July 2019.

Poetry Ireland is delighted to announce its brand new project, Versify, which will cultivate and spotlight the most exciting new voices in Irish spoken word poetry.  Versify is the first partnership between Poetry Ireland and Dublin Fringe Festival, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year.  The search is now on for six original new performance poets, who are invited to submit samples of their work for the chance to take part in the project (deadline: Friday 2 August)....

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Silver Apples Magazine Short Story Competition

Posted by ERMurray on 22 July 2019.

Competition deadline: 30th September 2019 About the Competition: The theme of the competition is “Redemption” and we are asking for people to submit original works of fiction that have previously been rejected from other magazines or competitions (this is an honour-system, we trust you to be honest!). All submissions should be between 1500 and 3000 words. The competition is open to anyone, anywhere in the world over the age of 18. You may enter up to three...

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Writers aged over 40 invited to apply for national award

Posted by ERMurray on 17 July 2019.

Scottish Book Trust, the independent national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, has announced today (Wednesday 17 July) that the Next Chapter Award 2020 is open for applications. Now in its sixth year, the award seeks submissions from talented yet unpublished writers over the age of 40. The Next Chapter Award supports an emerging writer for whom finding time and space to write has proved especially challenging. Developing a specific piece of work to...

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Banagher Public Art Commission – Literature

Posted by ERMurray on 9 July 2019.

Offaly County Council would like to commission a professional writer to deliver a literature project with the potential to have a lasting impact for the community of Banagher, County Offaly, during 2019/2020. They would therefore, like to encourage a proposal that has a community participatory approach to literature. They are open to accepting a proposal from professional writers of genres including; poetry, fiction, short fiction, playwriting. Engagement with the community is a prerequisite and every...

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