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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.

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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Carlow Arts Festival Announce 2019 Programme

Posted by ERMurray on 24 April 2019.

Carlow Arts Festival, the first big cultural event of the Irish Summer, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a host of events taking place in Festival HQ at Carlow College, St. Patrick’s and VISUAL, as well as at local landmarks from 4 – 9 June 2019. Visitors can immerse themselves in international and award-winning artistic adventures from Finland, Denmark, Spain, Catalonia, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland including festival premières, spectacular free performances,...

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Red Line Book Festival 2019 Searches for a Writer in Residence

Posted by ERMurray on 22 April 2019.

Red Line Book Festival is inviting applications from writers for their inaugural Writer in Residence programme. The ten-week residency in South Dublin County runs from August to October 2019 and is supported by Creative Ireland in conjunction with South Dublin Libraries and Arts.  This residency is open to all forms of writing including, but not limited to prose, poetry, play-writing, and writing for children. The residency will see the chosen writer engaging with local communities...

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Cairde Sligo Arts Festival: 6th-13th July 2019

Posted by ERMurray on 19 April 2019.

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival (SAF) is set to return this July, with an extended programme of Irish and international writers, musicians, artists and performers. Acclaimed author of The Argonauts, American genre-busting writer Maggie Nelson will be making her first ever Irish appearance at the festival, in an event that is sure to be a festival highlight. As ever, music will be a strong core at Cairde SAF, from a sublime double bill featuring two of...

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Dromineer-Nenagh Literary Festival seeks Writer In Residence 2019

Posted by ERMurray on 15 April 2019.

Application deadline: 7th May 2019 Commencing Summer 2019 and continuing until the festival, which runs from the 2-6 October 2019. Dromineer-Nenagh Literary Festival seeks a Writer in Residence for 2019.  Expressions of interest are welcomed from experienced writers across all genres (Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Stories, Poetry, Spoken Word, Memoir, Songwriting/Composition, Play/Script writing).  We are particularly interested in writers who can work creatively to engage the local community and who have experience of socially engaged practice...

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Story Starter Wordspark 15

Posted by ERMurray on 12 April 2019.

Writing using five senses allow you to draw the reader into your story, to make it live for them. Look at these images and stretch your writing muscles – use them to create a new story or write 500 words describing a moment…    

Poula Poetry Call for Submissions

Posted by ERMurray on 10 April 2019.

Submissons deadline: 30th April 2019 Poula Poetry is a Blessington-based group of local poets who have been meeting since 2017 to share our love of poetry with each other and with the wider community. We presented some of our poems last year in events in Blessington Library and also on our well-received “Poetry Bus” Tour of West Wicklow which brought participants to various locations where we all enjoyed music and poetry in settings such as...

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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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