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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.

Doolin Writers’ Weekend – Feb 2 to 4

Posted by ERMurray on 1 February 2018.

It’s a great line-up for Doolin Writers’ Weekend once again this year, and it’s my first festival of the year and after the long winter, I’m ready for it! I’m looking forward to meeting friends old and new, attending some events and workshops, and roaming the cliffs writing poetry. Give me a shout on twitter @ERMurray if you’re around! Here’s the schedule…   Friday  2pm       Short Story Workshop with John MacKenna 2pm     ...

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#MGIECHAT is back – join us?

Posted by ERMurray on 25 January 2018.

If you love reading or writing middle grade books (books for a readership aged 8-12), and you’re also a twitter user, then our monthly twitter chat – #MGiechat has made a comeback… and with a makeover. This all started in 2015 when I realised that there were no Ireland-based chats on twitter about middle grade books, and decided that I should start one. It ran for two years but in 2017, I got overloaded (in a...

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New Year – New WIP? Writing a First Draft

Posted by ERMurray on 1 January 2018.

Happy 2018 to you all! At the start of a new year, people often feel energised and raring to go, so I’m starting the year with a few blog posts that will hopefully help to kickstart your writing, wherever you are on your writing journey. On the first day of the year, I’m starting right at the the beginning… because we all have to start somewhere. A first draft is exciting, but it can also...

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Cover Reveal: The Book of Revenge by ER Murray

Posted by ERMurray on 31 October 2017.

So here it is, the cover for The Book of Revenge, out February 2018. It’s the final installment of the Nine Lives Trilogy and out of all my books so far, it was the hardest to write. But the good news is – the manuscript is completed and next time I see it (or anyone sees it for that matter), it’ll be an actual physical book. I’m absolutely thrilled with this design by Sarah O’Flaherty...

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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