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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.

Belfast Girls by Jaki McCarrick soon to open in Australia and Sweden

Posted by ERMurray on 19 June 2019.

Between the years 1848 and 1851, over four thousand Irish females took passage on ships from Ireland to Australia under the Orphan Emigration Scheme established by Earl Grey. Belfast Girls is the story of five women who make this journey. The play was developed at the National Theatre Studio and shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the BBC Tony Doyle Award and won the Galway Theatre Festival Playwriting Prize. It has since been...

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Literature at the Cairde Sligo Arts Festival

Posted by ERMurray on 15 June 2019.

Inspired by the creative energy of the Northwest, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is an 8 day cultural adventure, featuring a diverse programme of events to ignite the imagination. New to the Festival, this year sees a powerful literary strand, featuring the first ever Irish event with genre-busting Maggie Nelson, as well as talks and workshops with acclaimed essayist Sinéad Gleeson. Vagabond Verses presents an afternoon of pop-up poetry and performance in venues throughout Sligo town...

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Competition: Hay Festival Europa28

Posted by ERMurray on 12 June 2019.

Competition deadline: 1st February 2020 Comma Press is currently working in collaboration with Hay Festival and Wom@rts to present Europa28 – an anthology of essays and short stories bringing together 28 acclaimed women from 28 European countries to envision the future of Europe, which we believe is much needed in this tumultuous and ever-changing time. As part of this project, Hay Festival is running a writing competition which we think could be of interest to you to promote...

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Submissions Call for NEWvember New Plays Festival

Posted by ERMurray on 7 June 2019.

Submissions deadline: 28th June 2019 NEWvember is a festival of rehearsed readings of new plays that will take place over one weekend in Dublin produced by the theatre company AboutFACE Ireland. There is no fee for submissions and all plays are read blind of name or gender by our panel. The spirit of NEWvember is to provide a dynamic, interactive and comfortable place where writers can hear their plays read by professional actors, and discuss...

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The Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing

Posted by ERMurray on 3 June 2019.

The publisher Canongate has partnered with the Nan Shepherd Estate and the University of Aberdeen to launch a competition to find the next big voice in nature writing, from communities underrepresented in the genre. The prize is inspired by, and in memory of, writer Nan Shepherd, whose masterpiece The Living Mountain remained unpublished for almost forty years and is now hailed as a modern classic. The winner of the Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing...

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Shortlists announced for 2019 Society of Authors’ Awards

Posted by ERMurray on 22 May 2019.

The shortlists for the Betty Trask, McKitterick, Somerset Maugham, ALCS Tom-Gallon awards and the inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize – an award for a first novel by a writer over 60 – were announced on Wednesday 15 May. In a celebration of inclusivity and the power of storytelling, the shortlisted names include established bestsellers, debut authors, poets and short story writers with the oldest nominee, Irish debut novelist Norma MacMaster, aged 81. The five prizes...

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Short+Sweet Dublin: Enter Your Play

Posted by ERMurray on 9 May 2019.

Short+Sweet is a 1 week festival, comprised of 20 original short plays, that will be written, directed and performed in Dublin by aspiring and amateur creatives [All 18 yrs +]. We are the little sister of Short+Sweet Sydney. Submissions are currently open for writers. You can find the link here. We will soon be accepting submissions from directors and actors, so keep an eye out on the website and our Facebook page. This is the...

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Competition: Stories Through The Ages Baby Boomers Plus 2019

Posted by ERMurray on 4 May 2019.

Competition deadline: 15th June 2019 Living Springs Publisher’s third annual Baby Boomers Plus competition is open to anyone who was born 1964 or earlier. The deadline for submissions for the 2019 edition is June 15, 2019.  The entry fee is $25. The word count for this contest is 900 – 4000 words. Stories for the Baby Boomers Plus  contest may be about any topic. Tell us about an experience growing up, or use the experience...

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2019 Society of Authors’ Awards value to exceed £100K

Posted by ERMurray on 27 April 2019.

The combined value of the 2019 Society of Authors’ Awards is set to reach six figures for the first time. Presented by a panel of celebrated judges, including Kate Mosse, Gary Younge, Mark Lawson, Anita Sethi, Susan Hill, Tahmima Anam, Pascale Petit, Inua Ellams and Jen Campbell, the combined value of this year’s nine Awards will be the highest yet, as we hand out more than £100K to novelists, poets and non-fiction writers in June. The Society of Authors’...

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The Mental by John MacKenna – back on tour and not to be missed!

Posted by ERMurray on 26 April 2019.

The Mental is the story of John Salter who spent forty years in psychiatric care for doing a good deed. Written and performed by John MacKenna, it is directed by Angela Keogh. ….superb,a great performance without any sentimentality…. ….affecting and moving…. …beautiful, gentle, hilarious yet heartbreaking… Catch The Mental at these locations around Ireland: Sat April 27 – Nenagh Arts Centre – 8 pm – Box office 067 34400 Thursday May 2 – Woodbine Books,...

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