I was delighted to hear about an interesting new website that has Irish short stories as its central focus. Short Story Ireland brings together news, reviews and opportunities relating to the short story in Ireland. It is the brain child of Máire T. Robinson who’s new chapbook Your Mixtape Unravels my Heart has just been published by Dóire Press and lecturer and writer Andrew McEneff.
I caught up with Máire T. Robinson to ask her about the new venture. Máire is the features and news editor and Andrew McEneff will edit reviews. I asked her how they came to work together and develop the idea for Short Story Ireland.
“We met a few years back when we were both working in the Irish Writers’ Centre. As we’re both short story writers, our conversations would invariably turn to what new collections were out, interesting reviews we’d read, events that were coming up, or magazines and journals that had upcoming submission opportunities. We got to thinking that it would be great to have a dedicated online source for all of these things. Something like that didn’t seem to exist, so we decided to create it ourselves. “
What is the aim of this new website? “It’s to provide a central online hub for the short story in Ireland, “ says Máire. There’s some great online resources for writing and writers in Ireland, but we wanted to centralise the relevant information, make it accessible, and build an online community. We hope it will be a useful source for short story writers, readers, and publishers. We’ve had a great response so far. It’s very early days but we hope it will grow and develop over time.”
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the short story but I asked Máire why she felt the short story was so important that it needed its own website. She hearkens back to our literary reputation but wants to highlight how the form is being brought forward. “Traditionally, Ireland has produced many great short story writers and developed an international reputation as a result. But the short story is not some national relic. It’s more vibrant now than ever. There’s a lot going on here in terms of writing, publishing and reading – new open mic nights popping up, new print and online journals being launched, new collections being published. It’s ever evolving and Short Story Ireland is an attempt to reflect this and let people know what’s happening.”
There are many useful resources and contact points for short story writers on the site as well as ways to discover new material and writers. Máire told me what is on offer. “We’ll be reviewing books, interviewing writers, flagging submission opportunities, and highlighting interesting events. We also have a number of ongoing features that we’ll be writing each month. In “One I Love” we invite short story writers to discuss the one short story that has a special meaning for them. In “Focus On…” we highlight various journals and magazines, finding out the type of submissions they’re looking for so writers can make informed decisions on which ones are best for them to submit to. In “From the Vaults” we explore the lesser known short story collections that may have fallen under people’s radars. “
If you’re a burgeoning or established short story writer you’ll find lots of inspiration and interest on the new site. Visit Short story Ireland on www.shortstoryireland.com.