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Emerging Writer Member Profile

Grace C. Vaughan

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Member Bio:

Grace C. Vaughan is a mum, writer and all round blogger-woman from Co. Monaghan.

It’s such a magical thing, being born on Halloween night decidedly left-handed. ‘Life’s a witch, then you marry one,’ I keep telling my atheist husband. He says he doesn’t believe in witches. But I know he believes in me. Bless him. Grace C. Vaughan.

MA in Scriptwriting (Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art & Design), Dublin.

My first book Chewing Gum in God's Beard YA earned a meeting with Neil Jordan and was represented by The Book Bureau.

Radio play The Bird House won PPI Radio Award, Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.

The Trouble with Benny Bubble, 1st prize Drogheda Literary Arts Festival. Adjudicators: Gill & Macmillan, Jonathon Williams. Prize: Publishing deal.

The Bear Factory (Children’s feature animation) earned me an Honours Degree, MA in Scriptwriting DIADT and funding from the Irish Film Board. Travel & Mobility Award (Irish Arts Council) & Artists Bursary (Monaghan Arts Office).

Zelda the Left-Handed Witch (childrens picture book) selected for Date With an Agent, Dublin Writers Festival, 2014.

Writing sample

I don’t have a lot of fond memories of school – but there was one part of the day I did enjoy. Morning time, when we had to write “My News”. Even back then I loved writing, and any big new exciting word that I learned I would put it in “My News”. But sometimes I didn’t know how to spell that big new exciting word, so I’d ask the teacher to help me. Like I did on this particular day…

My News

by Grace McKenna, age 7.

Today is Monday.

Yesterday I went to mass and after my granny gave me 50p and I bought four bags of Farmer Brown pickled onion crisps and a fizzlestick. Then grand uncle Paddy from America came to my house with this nice woman who had nice brown skin, her name sounds like cherries, but it’s not cherries and she feels very cold because where she comes from is very hot and Ireland is not, which is why she shivered and mammy put her beside the fire. The woman is also very quiet because she can’t speak Irish or English but she is very nice and I wish my skin was like hers. I heard mammy and my aunty talking and they said ‘Cherries’ was grand uncle Paddy’s third wife. Poor grand uncle Paddy. One of his wives is in heaven looking down on him and the other one he d-i-v-…

I knew how to say the word ‘Divorced’ but I didn’t know how to spell it so I went up to ask the teacher.

‘Please miss, how do you spell ‘divorced’?


The teacher slapped me hard across the face and warned me not to be asking her how to spell such a word. My face stung and my ear rang as she grabbed my copybook to see what I’d been writing in “My News”. ‘Where did you learn that word?’ she snapped. I tried to tell her about my grand uncle Paddy but I couldn’t because I was crying, so she just corrected my copy and sent me back down to my desk.

My News (contd)

Poor grand uncle Paddy. One of his wives is in heaven looking down on him. and the other one he d- The End.

I learned a very important lesson that day in school – how to become a bigot. If ‘divorce’ was a bad word, then my grand uncle Paddy must be bad too, and that he was going to go to hell now. And that I would go to hell too unless I went to confession and say sorry for saying such a bad word. I said ‘sorry’ but it didn’t count – because I crossed my fingers and god didn’t see me do that. That’s his own fault for making confession boxes so dark.


Current project

My current work-in-progress 'Rust' is an adult fiction novel that deals with a serious mental illness known as Borderline Personality Disorder - or as I prefer to call it, Tin Man Syndrome. Like the character from the Wizard Of Oz, the illness can manifest itself as having chronic feelings of emptiness and where the world appears only in black and white.

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