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Guest Blogs

Meet our Bloggers

Writing.ie are delighted that some of Ireland's hottest new writing talent has joined us to bring you their thoughts and collective experience to help inspire your writing day. Subscribe by RSS feed to be kept up to date with new posts, or drop in regularly to find out what our guest bloggers have been up to. Scroll down to meet each of our Bloggers and visit their blogs.

A blog by Cathal Póirtéir.

Tá Cathal Póirtéir, craoltóir agus scríbhneoir, ina Eagarthóir Gaeilge againn. Bhíodh cláir litríochta ar RTE Raidió 1 agus RTE Raidió na Gaeltachta faoina chúram aige ar feadh i bhfad agus tá sé ina bhunathóir agus ina chathaoirleach ar Aontas na Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge faoi láthair. Chomh maith lena chuid scríbhneoireachta féin, bhí sé mar eagarthóir ar bhailiúchán gearrscéalta (Scéalta san Aeir) agus díolam filíochta (Éigse an Aeir), ar chnuasaigh béaloidis (Glórtha ón Ghorta; Famine Echoes) agus léachtanna staire (The Great Irish Famine; Gnéithe den Ghorta). D’fhoilsigh RTE cuid dá chuid clár ar dhlúthdhioscaí (Blasket Island Reflections; Traditional Tales of Wonder; The Appeals of the Midnight Court)

Writing.ie is delighted to welcome Cathal Póirtéir as our Eagarthóir Gaeilge. Cathal Póirtéir presented Comhluadar na Leabhar, the weekly book programme, broadcast on both RTE Raidió na Gaeltachta and RTE Radio 1 for the past few years, wrote the bestselling book The Great Irish Famine (Mercier Press,) and researched and edited two compendia of famine folklore: Famine Echoes (Gill and Macmillan) and Glórtha ón Ghorta (Coiscéim). Cathal has also produced a number of spoken word CDs published by RTE including Blasket Island Reflections.

His poetry collection Tonnchrith Intinne was nominated for an Irish Times Literary Award, and in 2012 Oireachtas na Gaeilge presented him with their Lifetime Achievement Award at their annual media awards. He has also won gold and silver awards at the annual PPI awards.

Cathal's Latest Post: 1916 agus an Fhéiniúlacht

Beidh an cúigiú Comhdháil agus fiche ar Litríocht agus Cultúr na Gaeilge ar siúl ó 7-8 Deireadh Fómhair 2016 in Áras na Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, agus is é ‘1916 agus an Fhéiniúlacht Náisiúnta’ téama na bliana seo. Is mar chuid de chlár comórtha...

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A blog by Hazel Gaynor.

Hazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME (for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award) and A MEMORY OF VIOLETS. Her third novel THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller and was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. Hazel's books have been translated into a number of foreign languages. In addition to her latest release, THE COTTINGLEY SECRET, Hazel will also release LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS (October 2017, co-written with Heather Webb). Hazel lives in Ireland with her husband and two children. She is represented by Michelle Brower of Aevitas Creative, New York. For more information, visit www.hazelgaynor.com

Hazel's Latest Post: On blank pages and being inspired.

Just over six years ago, I wrote my first blog post for writing.ie. My blog was called Carry on Writing. My post was called ‘A Beginning and an End.’ If you’re writing/hoping/dreaming/gnashing your teeth, you should read it. Back then, I was struggling. My days...

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A blog by Barry Houlihan.

Barry Houlihan is chief blogger at writing.ie's Centre Stage blog - he is a professional archivist and specialises in theatre and literary archives. He has catalogued the Project Arts Centre archive (1967-2003) at the National Library of Ireland, established an archive for the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and produced a research guide on the history of Smock Alley Theatre. Barry has worked as a researcher for ‘Cultureshock’ program on Newstalk FM radio and also recently acted as researcher for the RTE Radio 1 documentary series ‘From Stage to Street’. Barry is currently working for NUI Galway Archives where he is cataloguing the archives of Druid Theatre Company and the Galway Arts Festival.

Barry's Latest Post: The Storytelling Bus: A Thatched Cottage on Wheels

Mattie Lennon reveals the latest way visitors can connect with Irish storytelling…. The traditional setting for Irish storytelling was the thatched cottage, and Dublin is now unique in having a Rambling House on wheels. That’s right a “cottage bus.” A double-decker bus was transformed, over...

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A blog by Louise Phillips.

LOUISE PHILLIPS is the author of four bestselling psychological crime thrillers. Her debut novel RED RIBBONS, and her subsequent novels, THE DOLL’S HOUSE, LAST KISS and THE GAME CHANGER, were each nominated for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year. She won the award in 2013. Louise’s work has formed part of many literary anthologies, and she has won both the Jonathan Swift Award and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform, along with being shortlisted for the Molly Keane Memorial Award, Bridport UK, and many others. In 2015, she was awarded a writing residency at Cill Rialaig Artist retreat in Kerry and she was also a judge on the Irish panel for the EU Literary Award. Her current novel, THE GAME CHANGER, is available nationwide. In 2016, she was longlisted for the prestigious CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and her first novel, RED RIBBONS was published in the US. She was also awarded an Arts Bursary for Literature from the Arts Council of Ireland. In August, THE DOLL'S HOUSE, is due for publication in the US with Polis Books. Louise Phillips is the crime writing mastermind behind writing.ie's Crime Scene blog.

Louise's Latest Post: Killer Line Up for 2018 Harrogate Crime Festival!

The full line-up of the world’s biggest celebration of the crime genre has been unveiled at an exclusive London launch party. Lee Child, Programming Chair of the 2018 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, flew in from New York to host the party with arts...

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A blog by Down The Rabbit Hole.

Down The Rabbit Hole is a blog all about writing for children. It's run by Olivia Hope and Niamh Garvey. :

Olivia Hope is a children’s writer from Killarney, Co. Kerry.
She was once a hammer thrower, Sometimes a teacher of all subjects; from English to ice-cream making, And has worked in a variety scenarios, from nurseries (plants and children, although not at the same time, unless you count the daffodil incident) to nursing homes. She is unreasonably fond of cheese, French Fancies and is prone to cartwheels. She writes for all ages, and her picturebook “Be Wild” will be published by Bloomsbury in Spring 2018. Follow her on Twitter @OliviaMHope or her blog oliviahopeandtheimaginationstation.wordpress.com

Niamh Garvey loves everything to do with children’s books; from reading them, to writing them, and even to smelling them. Except for really boring books… she doesn’t even smell those. She writes stories for children and young adults, plus poetry for adults. She wrote the storyboard for the childrens storybook app “A Raindrop’s Tale” published by Gramercy Consultants on iTunes. She is working towards her dream of getting a novel published. Niamh is a full-time mum and a part-time nurse, living in Cork. She thinks stories are the best way to discover the world, and possibly the only place children should be encouraged to get lost in. Follow Niamh on twitter @msniamhgarvey or on her blog niamhgarvey.com

's Latest Post: A little news on a new Little Miss character.

Olivia Hope interviews writer and illustrator of the Mr Men and Little Miss series, Adam Hargreaves. It is often the innocuous or the unexpected that can spark story idea. Who knew that when a young Adam Hargreaves asked his father what a tickle looked like...

A blog by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin.

Writing.ie has been developed and is run by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin who founded The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and is Ireland's leading literary scout. Vanessa is represented by Simon Trewin at WME and writes crime as Sam Blake. LITTLE BONES will be published by Bonnier's Twenty7 imprint in May 2016. Vanessa is the Chair of Irish PEN and the Irish and Eurozone Adviser to the international organisation The Alliance of Independent Authors.

's Latest Post: Scripts 2018 Programme is LIVE!

A thrilling programme, full of theatrical gems, has been announced for this year’s SCRIPTS Ireland’s Playwriting Festival taking place in Birr in June. Our picturesque Offaly town will play host to an ensemble of playwrights, actors, producers, directors for four fun filled days from Thursday...

A blog by EKTobin.

Emma Tobin is 19 and from Newbridge, Co Kildare, Ireland where she lives with her parents, one brother, four cats, and some fish. Emma is in her first year at UCD where she is studying English, Philosophy and History. Emma writes prose, poetry and fiction. Emma has completed two novels and is working on her third which is a YA contemporary novel with the title 'Paperweight Soldiers'. Emma blogs at abcofbeingateenager.blogspot.ie and is a regular contributor to the arts show Artyfacts on KFM Radio in Kildare. Emma has had a number of columns published in The Irish Times. In May 2013 her article 'Blinking Out' was included in a new HeadSpace magazine for young people focusing on positive mental health. Emma's poetry has won a number of national awards including the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland annual poetry competition in the senior post primary category in both 2014 and 2015. Emma was the recipient of the Conor Bowman Youth Award at the Hopkins Poetry Summer School in 2014. Emma was the joint poetry winner for June 2015 of the Hennessy New Irish Writing and had two of her poems published as part of that in The Irish Times. As a result she is not on the shortlist for the Hennessy Writer of the Year award in the emerging poetry category. You can find her on Facebook as Emma Tobin Writer and on Twitter as @EK_Tobin.

's Latest Post: An Tanaiste Simon Coveney TD meets with book ambassador Sarah

Sarah Fitzgerald aged 14 from Kinsale Community School who presented a government submission to An Tanaiste Simon Coveney TD and Senator Tim Lombard around her award winning literacy research promoting children to read books. One of her ten key recommendations includes an Irish book trust...

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A blog by Kate Dempsey.

KATE DEMPSEY runs writing.ie's Poetic License blog and is our poetry guru. She is a writer and a blogger living in Maynooth. She writes fiction and non-fiction as well as poetry and is widely published in Ireland and abroad, in magazines, anthologies and on the radio. She fits this around her family and a full time job, writing on the sofa, on the train and in that little coffeeshop on the corner.

Poetry can be a solitary activity and she appreciates the support she received from the online community, particularly when starting out. She is excited about continuing the dialogue with her blog here.

Kate's Latest Post: Bridport Prizes

This is one of the most prestigious writing contests in the British literary calendar. Do you have a really good poem or short story? Or a few? I mean, really REALLY good? poem – no more than 42 lines short story – no more than 5,000...

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A blog by Alison Wells.

Alison Wells runs the Random Acts of Optimism blog and lives in Bray, Co. Wicklow with her husband and four children. Her short fiction been published in many magazines and online and print anthologies and she has been featured on Sunday Miscellany. Shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, Bridport and Fish Prize's she has just completed a themed short story collection Random Acts of Optimism and a literary novel The Book of Remembered Possibilities. To read Alison's full blog, visit Head Above Water. Find out in her Random Acts of Optimism how she manages to juggle writing, children and life.

Alison's Latest Post: The Daily Mail Penguin Random House First Novel Competition 2018

Competition deadline: 1st June 2018 The Daily Mail and Penguin Random House have launched the third year of their nationwide competition to search for a new writing talent. The winner will receive a £20,000 advance and publishing contract with PRH imprint Century and the services...

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A blog by Catherine Ryan Howard.

Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer and blogger from Cork. She self-published her first book, a travel memoir called Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida, in March 2010. Her first novel - women’s commercial fiction with a side serving of satire - has a big “FOR SALE” sign on it and the second is making the arduous journey from her brain to her Mac. In her previous life she worked as an administrator in the Netherlands, a campsite courier in France and a front desk agent in Walt Disney World. She wants to be a NASA astronaut when she grows up. (She’s 28).

Catherine's Latest Post: NUJ Freelance Forum

On Monday 24th September I will speaking at the National Union of Journalists’ Freelance Forum in Dublin. To attend the entire day is €10 for members and €20 for non-members (using the discount code on this page), and there’s some great events scheduled. It’s a great opportunity for writers who...

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A blog by Derek Flynn.

Derek Flynn runs Writing.ie's SongBook blog, and is an Irish writer and musician. He has a Masters in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. He’s been published in a number of publications, including The Irish Times, and his fiction was featured in 'Surge', an anthology of new Irish writing published by O’ Brien Press with the aim of showcasing “the very best of the next generation of Irish authors”. Online he can be found at his writing/music blog – ‘Rant, with Occasional Music’ – and on Twitter as @derekf03

Derek's Latest Post: Music & Me: Lindsay J Sedgwick

“Music & Me” is a feature in which authors talk about their musical influences, their favourite musicians and their “musical guilty pleasures”. This week’s victim author is Lindsay J Sedgwick, author of two novels, and the recently-released guide to screenwriting, Write That Script. What are your earliest musical...

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A blog by The Bookseller.

Welcome to The Book Seller’s Blog where we invite independent book sellers to rant, rave and generally enthuse about books and authors and all things literary. Tell us about your day amongst the fresh pages of new releases, or the previously loved well thumbed pages of second hand books. What was the most bizarre request you’ve received from a customer? What is your most precious book? Reveal all here!

The Bookseller's Latest Post: A Bookshop and more…Sheelagh na Gig

Cloughjordan is a jewel of a town hidden away in the heart of Tipperary. And in the heart of Cloughjordan is the Sheelagh na Gig bookshop, run by editor Elizabeth O’Shea and glass artist Mollie Barrow. “We started it together in October 1996, but Mollie...

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A blog by Tara Sparling.

Tara Sparling writes fiction and satire. Her blog www.tarasparlingwrites.com looks at book humour, bestselling book trends, the realities of traditional and self-publishing, writing follies, book marketing, author success stories and spectacular failures. She also pokes a lot of fun at character and genre stereotypes. She can be found lurking @TaraSparling on Twitter.

Tara's Latest Post: Is EVERYONE Writing A Damn Book These Days?!

Writers have never been so connected. With the internet, we can now talk to fellow authors, all over the world. But what does that mean for our self-confidence, when it feels like everyone in the whole world is also writing a book - possibly even...

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A blog by NEWP.

Developed by writing.ie and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, the National Emerging Writer Programme is consists of three 40 minute videos: ‘Start Writing’, ‘Telling the Story’ and ‘Revising, Rewriting and Overcoming Obstacles’. Focusing on essential writing technique, it is packed full of tips.

National Emerging Writer Programme's Latest Post: Want to Join or Start a Writer’s Group?

Scroll down to find a writers group near you! One of the key elements that became obvious from our work on the National Emerging Writer Programme was just how useful writers groups can be. But from talking to writers, we know that they can be...

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A blog by ERMurray.

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

Elizabeth's Latest Post: Your Writing Residency Questions Answered!

And so, the first week of my writing residency at La Muse Retreat is over, and it’s a great time for reflection. You can read more about my adventures and reflections at la Muse on my E.R. Murray blog but here, I’d like to address...

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A blog by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin.

Writing.ie has been developed and is run by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin who founded The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and is Ireland's leading literary scout. Vanessa is represented by Simon Trewin at WME and writes crime as Sam Blake. LITTLE BONES will be published by Bonnier's Twenty7 imprint in May 2016. Vanessa is the Chair of Irish PEN and the Irish and Eurozone Adviser to the international organisation The Alliance of Independent Authors.

's Latest Post: Echoes: A Celebration of Maeve Binchy and Irish Writers

ECHOES will celebrate the work of Maeve Binchy and other renowned Irish writers this September. Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre is delighted to announce that Echoes, an inaugural event celebrating the work of Maeve Binchy and other renowned Irish writers, will take place in Dalkey on the 29th and...

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