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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.

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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SCOOP open for submissions

Posted by ERMurray on 15 December 2016.

A few weeks ago, I interviewed SCOOP, a wonderful new magazine for young creatives. And now, SCOOP have now opened up submissions for under 13’s with the Super-duper Scooper Short Story Project. “We at Scoop love our readers to get involved with our magazine, and we LOVE discovering new writing talent. So if you are, or if you know, someone who’s thirteen or under who’d like the chance to be published in a future issue ofScoop, simply …...

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Irish Book Awards & Making Dreams Reality

Posted by ERMurray on 1 November 2016.

Writing a book was simply a dream. I’ve always loved books; they’ve been my sanctuary for as long as I can remember. They got me through a traumatic childhood and continued to stick by me through thick and thin over the years. Books helped me dream, learn, imagination, escape, relax, feel secure and so much more. I’m turning 40 next year, so that’s a lot of hard work and support they’ve had to offer. As...

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Why Writing Community Support Matters

Posted by ERMurray on 26 September 2016.

The Book of Shadows – Nine Lives Trilogy 2 is officially out in the world! That’s the third book published in 12 months (my Dublin launch was exactly one year to the day of my debut launch) and as you can imagine, it has been a crazily fun but pressured year. I can hardly believe that I have three books hurtling into readers’ hands, as it’s all been so fast – so thank you all...

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The Book of Shadows is almost here – & you’re invited!

Posted by ERMurray on 31 August 2016.

It’s my third book in a 12-month period, and yet holding that initial copy of an actual physical book for the first time never gets old. I’m in the middle of writing the final part of the trilogy, and it feels like a very long time since I thought about/edited/looked at The Book of Shadows – Nine Lives Trilogy 2… and yet, when I came off my walk today and found this waiting, it all...

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ERMurray’s #1stdraftdiary Week 4 (36,500 – 50K)

Posted by ERMurray on 2 August 2016.

Returning to #1stdraftdiary after a break, I feel completely disconnected. I had a wonderful time at West Cork Literary Festival and also a week in the UK – but what about my characters? What’s happening in the plot? I had zero idea about what was happening before, now I have less than zero –how is that possible? Another issue is that after delivering four books in a 20-month period, I can feel myself burning out....

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ER Murray’s #1stdraftdiary Week 3 (28K to 36.5K)

Posted by ERMurray on 7 July 2016.

One of the most amazing things, and something I didn’t expect, is the amount of people joining in with #1stdraftdiary. Although I’ve been finding my own journey this time around to be disjointed and frustrating, I’m loving the response it’s getting from others. From people thanking me for being honest about the process and making them feel better, to lots of writers joining in to kick start their own work or understand their own process,...

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ER Murray’s #1stDraftDiary week 2 (14K-28K words)

Posted by ERMurray on 24 June 2016.

The first draft continues… Usually I try and write more than 2000 words a day so I can take a day off here and there, but that is stretching my limits at the moment. This first draft is proving harder than the others I’ve done, and I think it’s because it’s been so full on since signing contracts. It’s my fourth book written or edited within 18 months & the last of the constant deadlines –...

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#WritersWise June 23rd – You’re invited!

Posted by ERMurray on 22 June 2016.

Following in the footsteps of Vanessa O’Loughlin (was it as Sam Blake, or Inkwell or writing.ie that she guest hosted? So many talents that woman, so many hats!!) I’m joining the fabulous #WritersWise team on twitter this week to talk all things books! The topics & info is listed below, and it starts at 8pm UK/Ire, 3pm ET on Thursday June 23rd – come and join us?  #WritersWise is a regular tweetchat aimed at writers, aspiring writers and...

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