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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.

The Short Story Competition

Posted by ERMurray on 4 July 2019.

Competition deadline: 30th September 2019 Set up in 2011, The Short Story competition showcases the best short stories from around the world including winners such as Angela Readman, Zoe Gilbert, Niamh MacCabe, C.G. Menon, among others. Two cash prizes are awarded: First prize: £500 Second prize: £100 Entry fee: £8 (PayPal only) Winning stories are freely available on the Past Winners page, and may be included in future anthologies. This year’s winners will be announced in December 2019. Click...

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Gransnet and HQ writing competition for women over 40

Posted by ERMurray on 1 July 2019.

Gransnet are delighted to announce that, together with HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, they are launching a fiction writing competition for women writers over the age of 40. They will specifically be looking for stories featuring a leading character aged over 40. Applicants are invited to submit 20,000 words to HQ by 30 September 2019. Five shortlisted writers will receive editorial feedback, with the overall winner being offered a publishing contract with HQ. Judges of...

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Norah Patten joins Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon

Posted by ERMurray on 27 June 2019.

Irish Scientist-Astronaut Candidate Dr Norah Patten will be a Special Guest at Dublin 2019 – An Irish Worldcon. Born in Co. Mayo, and now based in Dublin, Dr Patten became fascinated by space and space travel after a visit to a NASA facility at age 11. She earned a PhD in aeronautical engineering at the University of Limerick in 2011 following internships at Boeing and Bell Labs. She has participated in several citizen science campaigns...

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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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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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