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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.

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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Story Starter Wordspark 12

Posted by ERMurray on 27 February 2019.

How have you been getting on with our story starter ideas – do go back over previous posts and check out the images – select your own combination to fire your imagination. Perhaps write 500 words from one of these characters point of view, or a 500 word description of the place you can see here. Use these images to hone your skills, and don’t forget, use the five senses to ensure you are showing...

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The Red Line Book Festival Seeks Expressions of Interest from Writers and Artists

Posted by ERMurray on 18 February 2019.

The Red Line Book Festival now invites submissions from writers, poets, publishers and cultural organisations to submit ideas for events to be taken under consideration for the 2019 festival which will run from the 7th – 13th October 2019.  The objective is to provide a platform for emerging and established writers/poets to reach new audiences, and audiences that may be new to the Red Line Book Festival. The deadline for receipt of submissions is 12 noon on 29th March 2019. The...

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Beckett in Foxrock 2019 – All that Fall

Posted by ERMurray on 14 February 2019.

Saturday 23rd March at 8pm Tullow Church, Brighton Road, Foxrock Beckett in Foxrock 2019 – All that Fall is organised by Tullow Parish and Mouth on Fire Theatre Company in association with Foxrock Area Community and Enterprise (FACE) with the support of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature. How many villages have a play written about them by a Nobel Laureate? That rare distinction applies to Foxrock Village. All that Fall,...

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Scottish Book Trust Announces Recipient of Next Chapter Award 2019

Posted by ERMurray on 12 February 2019.

An aspiring author from East Renfrewshire has been announced as the recipient of Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award 2019. Samina Chaudhry was born in Manchester, and completed her Masters degree in Pakistan. Seeing first-hand the social and political strife – and one day being held at gun point along with her husband – Samina made the decision to leave. They originally did not plan to stay in Scotland for long, but the warmth and...

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Story Starter Wordspark 11

Posted by ERMurray on 1 February 2019.

You can never have too many ideas – keep a notebook with you ALL the time to jot them down in – you think you’ll remember them but you won’t! Tear out articles from magazines and newspapers, keep a scrapbook, keep your inspiration close to hand. But if you’re stuck or want something totally fresh, see what you can do with our story starter ideas…