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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.

Red Line Book Festival 2019 Searches for a Writer in Residence

Posted by ERMurray on 22 April 2019.

Red Line Book Festival is inviting applications from writers for their inaugural Writer in Residence programme. The ten-week residency in South Dublin County runs from August to October 2019 and is supported by Creative Ireland in conjunction with South Dublin Libraries and Arts.  This residency is open to all forms of writing including, but not limited to prose, poetry, play-writing, and writing for children. The residency will see the chosen writer engaging with local communities...

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Cairde Sligo Arts Festival: 6th-13th July 2019

Posted by ERMurray on 19 April 2019.

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival (SAF) is set to return this July, with an extended programme of Irish and international writers, musicians, artists and performers. Acclaimed author of The Argonauts, American genre-busting writer Maggie Nelson will be making her first ever Irish appearance at the festival, in an event that is sure to be a festival highlight. As ever, music will be a strong core at Cairde SAF, from a sublime double bill featuring two of...

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Dromineer-Nenagh Literary Festival seeks Writer In Residence 2019

Posted by ERMurray on 15 April 2019.

Application deadline: 7th May 2019 Commencing Summer 2019 and continuing until the festival, which runs from the 2-6 October 2019. Dromineer-Nenagh Literary Festival seeks a Writer in Residence for 2019.  Expressions of interest are welcomed from experienced writers across all genres (Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Stories, Poetry, Spoken Word, Memoir, Songwriting/Composition, Play/Script writing).  We are particularly interested in writers who can work creatively to engage the local community and who have experience of socially engaged practice...

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Story Starter Wordspark 15

Posted by ERMurray on 12 April 2019.

Writing using five senses allow you to draw the reader into your story, to make it live for them. Look at these images and stretch your writing muscles – use them to create a new story or write 500 words describing a moment…    

Poula Poetry Call for Submissions

Posted by ERMurray on 10 April 2019.

Submissons deadline: 30th April 2019 Poula Poetry is a Blessington-based group of local poets who have been meeting since 2017 to share our love of poetry with each other and with the wider community. We presented some of our poems last year in events in Blessington Library and also on our well-received “Poetry Bus” Tour of West Wicklow which brought participants to various locations where we all enjoyed music and poetry in settings such as...

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PEN America’s 2019 Grants and Fellowships

Posted by ERMurray on 3 April 2019.

Note: these grants and fellowships are for U.S. residents only. Writers and publishers are invited to submit to PEN America’s 2019 grants and fellowships. Writing For Justice Fellowship The Writing for Justice Fellowship commissions writers to create works of lasting merit on critical issues related to mass incarceration, and catalyze public debate. The Fellowship aims to harness the power of writers and writing in bearing witness to the societal consequences of mass incarceration by capturing...

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Story Starter Wordspark 14

Posted by ERMurray on 31 March 2019.

A combination of apparently random images can produce totally different reactions from different writers, that’s the joy of the creative mind – what do you make of these? Or if they don’t tempt, scroll back through out posts to find your own combination of images…  

Blether: Val McDermid joins the search for stories

Posted by ERMurray on 29 March 2019.

Val McDermid, patron of Scottish Book Trust and award-winning crime writer, has today launched the search for real-life stories from the people of Scotland. The Blether campaign seeks submissions from all backgrounds and experiences, whether in written, audio or video form. Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, is searching for stories on the theme of Blether. Tied to A Year of Conversation 2019, Blether is a celebration of Scotland...

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Story Starter Wordspark 13

Posted by ERMurray on 14 March 2019.

Ideas for stories come from so many different places – snatches of conversation, a song on the radio, the contents of someone’s Tesco shopping basket. Weave your own ideas with ours and see what happens…write one story about each image, or combine them to see what you get. What’s the first word you think of when you look at each picture? How do they connect?    

Submissions Call for Bollocks to Brexit: an Anthology of Poetry and Short Fiction

Posted by ERMurray on 5 March 2019.

Submissions Deadline: 29th March 2019 CivicLeicester is inviting and accepting poems and short fiction for possible publication in an anthology on the theme, Bollocks to Brexit. Brexit has polarised the country and led to the normalisation of xenophobia, Islamophobia and hate crimes. Can the harm it is causing be stopped? Can it be reversed? Who should clean up the mess which the politicians have made and are making? What will the future be like for Britain?...

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