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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.

Overcoming Writing Obstacles

Posted by ERMurray on 4 October 2017.

Ever feel like you’ve hit a wall with your latest manuscript? Well, take a deep breath and relax – because this happens to every writer at some point. And when it does happen, you have two choices – keep going or give up. Both can be viable options, but most of the time, it’s simply part of the creative process and you need to keep going to get the results you’re looking for. It might...

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The Caterpillar Story for Children Prize

Posted by ERMurray on 4 July 2017.

The Caterpillar Story for Children Prize is now open for the third year running. The prize is for a story written by an adult for children (aged 7–11). Anyone (over 16) can enter, as long as the story has not been published before (either in print or online). The word limit is 1,500. It costs €12 per story to enter, and you can enter as many stories as you like. The three prizes are as...

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Irish Children’s Authors for Grenfell Tower

Posted by ERMurray on 23 June 2017.

Authors for Grenfell Tower is an online auction to raise funds for all those affected by the devastating Grenfell Tower fire. And the lovely Sarah Webb has organised a children’s bumper pack of books to bid on, which I am pleased to be a part of … ITEM: Summer Book Heaven: A Bumper Pack of Signed Irish Children’s Books and Book Swag (age 8+) DETAILS: A bumper pack of over 10 signed books and an original illustration...

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Varuna: Editing, Inner Critics & Writing Routines

Posted by ERMurray on 5 June 2017.

The ‘war desk’ It’s a week since I returned from Australia and my amazing residency at Varuna. I had expected to blog each week about the experience, but I quickly found my stride and instead, the writing took over. Which, to be fair, was the point – but of course, I had to berate myself a little for being slack and not checking in on my blog. The famous inner critic was in full flow....

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Bowerbirds, mountain trails & surprises: my Varuna writing residency

Posted by ERMurray on 13 May 2017.

I’m on a writing residency in Australia (thanks to the wonderful Tyrone Guthrie Centre), so I thought I’d check in. I stopped off on the way in Singapore, and this was a good idea. It’s a really safe and lovely city to explore, tranquil and small but with plenty going on. It meant I adjusted to the time zone before arriving in Australia (Singapore is 7 hours ahead of Ireland, The Blue Mountains, 9 hours). There was...

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Silent Books Exhibition

Posted by ERMurray on 7 April 2017.

You are cordially invited to join us for the official opening of the Silent Books Exhibition in Ballyroan Library this Saturday 8 April at 2pm with South Dublin Mayor Gus O’Connell and award-winning writer-illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick. The ceremony will be followed by a family workshop with Marie-Louise and a Monster Doodle with illustrator Tatyana Feeney. This is a free and family friendly event. We hope to see you there! The team at IBBY Ireland

Support your Career by Writing Online with E.R. Murray

Posted by ERMurray on 20 March 2017.

I wouldn’t be able to write if I didn’t freelance also; this is what pays the bills, enables me to attend festivals and workshops, and to travel while writing. Without it, I’d have to find an inflexible full time job (no festivals, no travel) and I’d probably move away from my home in rural Ireland – neither of which is on my priority list. Writing is fraught with uncertainty, and I love that my finances are...

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Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival 2018: Call for Festival Director

Posted by ERMurray on 2 March 2017.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council invites applications for the role of Director of Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival 2018. We are seeking a creative enthusiastic person with a strong arts/literary background and significant experience in programming events or festivals. Production experience is also a requirement. The Director will be responsible for creating an artistic vision for the festival and for leading the implementation of this vision. This post is now available on e-tenders and to...

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Last Call: Free W&A Short Story Competition

Posted by ERMurray on 10 February 2017.

Everyone knows the Writers & Artists Yearbook – but did you know they have a free writing competition every year? You’ll need to pull out a polished piece because the deadline is Monday 13th Feb – here’s the info… Short Story Competition For published and aspiring writers alike – enter our free annual short story competition and be in with a chance of winning a place on an Arvon residential writing course of your choice (worth...

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Doolin Writers’ Weekend Feb 3rd–5th. Who’s Coming?

Posted by ERMurray on 6 January 2017.

It may seem incredible with the New Year just beginning, but the time for literary festivals is almost upon us. The Doolin Writers’ Weekend held in Hotel Doolin, County Clare, is one of my personal highlights in the literary calendar – and this year is its 5th annual festival, kicking off on February 3rd until February 5th. Offering an eclectic mix of workshops, readings, music and food, you can expect a professional yet friendly experience...

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