Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bailieborough Poetry Festival 2015

The LitLab writing group are at large again :) This time hosting the fantastic Baileborough Poetry Festival. There will be readings, workshops, open mic session, and a book launch. Kate Dempsey (aka Emerging Writer & Poetry Diva) will be giving a poetry workshop. Doire Press is publishing Kate's collection 'The Space Between' later this year... Here's the line-up for the weekend... 

Friday 9th October: (Murtagh’s Lounge, Main St.)

18.30 Official launch of “Behind the Lines” Anthology by LitLab. Introduced by Myles Dungan and Julia Rice O’Dea.
19.45 A Wilde Night by Patrick Walsh.
20.00 Poetry reading by Michael Farry and Paddy Halligan.
21.00 Open mic.
Saturday 10th October:
10.00 Poetry workshop* – Kate Dempsey. (Bailieborough Library)
14.00 Competition prize giving – Michael Farry & Honor Duff (Bailieborough Library)
14.00 – 17.00 Special poetry-themed afternoon tea in Bailie Hotel on Main Street.
16.00 Literary walking tour of Bailieborough with John Ed Sheanon – (starts at Bailieborough Library)
19.00 Open Mic. Featuring writing/ arts groups. – (Murtagh’s Lounge)
20.00 Poems and stories by Patsy McDermott – (Murtagh’s Lounge)
21.00 Poetry reading by Tony Curtis.
(* Poetry Workshop is limited to 12 participants. The fee is €15 for 3 hours duration, this includes special treats and brews from local kitchens. You can book your place online through the PayPal link below.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Kildare Readers Festival is back! Brought to you by Kildare County Library and Arts Service, their ethos is to 'connect readers with authors and artists, working to bring the very best from the world of literature ... through the provision of exciting, innovative and accessible events.' And all events are FREE :)

Book early for Tomi Reichental. At the age of nine, he was rounded up by the Gestapo and deported to Bergen Belsen concentration camp. Tomi will talk about his experiences with Kildare County Historian- James Durney on October 15th... an important conversation to listen in on. This years schedule is packed with amazing writers, Dermot Bolger, Nuala O' Connor, Mary O' Donnell, Louise O' Neill, Pat Mc Cabe ... too many to list, but you can find out more on the website HERE

Friday, September 25, 2015

the cat sat on the mat

The Long Gaze Back was launched this week by Anne Enright, her speech was brilliant, hilarious and on the ball. Luckily, Roisin Ingle recorded it for posterity. Have a listen and 'the cat sat on the mat' will never be the same again :) It is over on Sinead Gleeson's Blog

“It’s a double burden for women, not only do you have to suffer the discrimination,
you have to put in all the fucking work to fix it”.

The anthology is available from New Island and all good book shops.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Literary Salon

I'll be in Maynooth Library for a Culture Day Event this Friday, September 18th at 10:30 am - for a literary salon! - its a free event and everyone is welcome  :) 
Here are the details - 
Join us for a literary salon that asks the question: What fictional character would you invite for dinner, and why?
'Join special guest, author Niamh Boyce for an entertaining and informal conversation on the topic above. Tell us about your chosen character, and if you are happy to, read a short passage from the novel your character comes from. Heather Bourke will facilitate, and will give us some background on the history of literary salons.'
Places are FREE, just email or phone 01 6285530 to book your place. Kildare County Library Service
Refreshments will be served...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Author Interview - Miss Emily by Nuala O'Connor

Thanks to Nuala O'Connor for dropping over to talk about her latest novel, Miss Emily, which imagines a year in the life of Emily Dickinson & is a fantastic read - a literary page turner!

Welcome Nuala, this is a few questions in one! Emily Dickinson had a fierce attachment to home, as a place of refuge, and a place to write. She was on our syllabus in school (1980's) and much was made of her hermit like existence, her rejection of society - as if this were odd, almost laughable, behaviour - as if dedicating your life to poetry was only heroic if you were male. For me, she was heroic, and (till now) her home represented a necessary fortress, somewhere that functioned to protect the time, space and silence she needed to write. I had visualised it as quite a sterile place, so I was surprised and delighted with the warmth and complexity of the household you depict in Miss Emily. The descriptions of the daily routines, the baking, Ada touching the eggs with her tongue... are so alive - I really felt like I was there. Did you enjoy recreating this household? Was it a challenge? Did the book Ada consults The Frugal Housewife really exist? And, I know you visited Emily’s home, so I'm very curious to know, how did that feel? Did you sense her there?

I loved the whole business of recreating the Dickinson world in Emily’s house, The Homestead, and her brother Austin’s house, The Evergreens, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Emily’s letters have some domestic detail and I read widely around the subject, including The Frugal Housewife, which is a book Emily’s father gifted to his wife before their marriage. You can read it online, but I also bought a facsimile copy to get a real feel for how the Dickinson's and Ada would have consumed it.

The two houses are now the Emily Dickinson Museum and, when I had a first draft written, I went to Amherst and walked the rooms of both. As well as the town itself, and various libraries there and in Cambridge, to see Emily’s belongings: desk, white dress, lock of hair, jewellery, delft etc. The research was totally absorbing – I loved every minute of it, whether from books or on the spot.

I was very moved to be in Emily’s house – you get a real sense of her, particularly in her bedroom which is a gorgeously sparse, bright space.

I think this is a brave book. To fictionalise the year in the life of such a famous poet, someone so well known, and loved. The success with which you've conveyed Emily’s voice, that in itself is a huge accomplishment. Did it feel like a risk to tackle such a famous writer? Has anything surprised you about the response to Miss Emily?

It certainly felt audacious to tackle Emily and her world – she’s an American icon. But I did it with love and good intentions; she’s been a companion poet to me for a long time and I stayed as faithful to her life and personality as fiction allows. I was respectful.

I expected a backlash; Dickinson scholars are notoriously protective of Emily, which I understand; I feel that way myself. One Dickinson scholar refused to blurb the book because of ‘inaccuracies’ (which were very minor and, in fact, had nothing to do with Emily).

Last month I read at the Emily Dickinson International Society annual meeting in Amherst as part of my US book tour. People were incredibly warm about the book; only one person asked a snarky question at the Q&A. And I understood their POV, anyway.

No book escapes criticism and personal reaction from readers. There was a bit of a hoo-hah on Facebook about the UK cover (the headless woman trope) and the person who started it didn’t seem to realise they were friends with me. I joined the conversation! I’m as irritated by headless women on book covers as the next person, but I just loved the cover when Sandstone showed it to me.

What’s next for you, Nuala?
I hope to rest and breathe a bit soon, when the Miss Emily PR train slows down, though I find it hard to say no to gigs, for a variety of reasons.

I have the first draft of another Victorian novel written - this one set between London, Hong Kong, Australia and Ballinasloe in County Galway (where I live). I have to go back to it soon and knock it into good enough shape for my agent. In the meantime, I hope to write some short stories set firmly in the 21st century.

Miss Emily can be purchased on Amazon Uk  & Amazon USA 
and all good book shops.

About the author - 
Nuala O'Connor is a fiction writer and poet. Writing as Nuala Ní Chonchúir she has published two novels, four collections of short fiction, a chapbook of flash fiction and three full poetry collections - one in an anthology.  Nuala holds a BA in Irish from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Translation Studies (Irish/English) from Dublin City University. She has worked as an arts administrator in theatre and in a writers' centre; as a translator, as a bookseller and also in a university library.  She teaches occasional creative writing courses. For the last four years she has been fiction mentor to third year students on the BA in Writing at NUI Galway. She lives in County Galway with her husband and three children.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Long Gaze Back

The Long Gaze Back, edited by Sinéad Gleeson, is an anthology of thirty short stories by Irish women writers, and its available for pre-order. I'm thrilled skinny to be amongst this group of writers in an anthology as superb as this. Here's what the publishers have to say ...

'Taken together, the collected works of these writers reveal an enrapturing, unnerving, and piercingly beautiful mosaic of a lively literary landscape. Spanning four centuries, The Long Gaze Back features 8 rare stories from deceased luminaries and forerunners, and 22 new unpublished stories by some of the most talented Irish women writers working today. The anthology presents an inclusive and celebratory portrait of the high calibre of contemporary literature in Ireland.

These stories run the gamut from heartbreaking to humorous, but each leaves a lasting impression. They chart the passions, obligations, trials and tribulations of a variety of vividly-drawn characters with unflinching honesty and relentless compassion. These are stories to savour.'

Niamh Boyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Maeve Brennan, Mary Costello, June Caldwell, Lucy Caldwell, Evelyn Conlon, Anne Devlin, Maria Edgeworth, Anne Enright, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Norah Hoult, Mary Lavin, Eimear McBride, Molly McCloskey, Bernie McGill, Lisa McInerney, Belinda McKeon, Siobhán Mannion, Lia Mills, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Kate O’Brien, Roisín O’Donnell, E.M. Reapy, Charlotte Riddell, Eimear Ryan, Anakana Schofield, Somerville & Ross, Susan Stairs.

About the Editor
Sinéad Gleeson is a broadcaster and critic who presents The Book Show on RTE Radio 1. She writes about arts and culture, and reviews books for The Irish Times. In 2012, she edited the short story anthology, Silver Threads of Hope, and is the editor of The Long Gaze Back: an Anthology of Irish Women Writers to be published by New Island in Autumn 2015.

Keep up to date with related events at The Long Gaze Back facebook page

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

North West Words Writing Weekend 2015

North West Words Writing Festival runs in Co Donegal every July. I was thrilled to be invited along to give a workshop as my family is from Donegal (plus its one of the most beautiful places in Ireland.)

My fiction workshop, 'Zooming In' will be held in Carn Lodge, Ramelton at 10am on Sunday July 26th. This should be a good opportunity to get professional feedback on your fiction - whether you're working on a novel or a short story collection. Its a pretty accessible fee - only 30 euro for ms evaluation & the workshop. By the way - please don't think your work has to be perfect -  the point of the workshop is to help and give feedback :)

So, there's just one week left to submitt - as I plan to reading extracts from Monday 6th - Monday 13th of July. I'm really looking forward to reading submissions. You can find out more about booking and submitting HERE

North West Words was established in 2010 and hosts the best of literary and musical talent in its monthly events in Café Blend, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. NWW also organises writing competitions for adults and young writers as well as a Writing Weekend in July. North West Words is a non-profit organisation and is run by a team of writers and enthusiasts.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Poetry Bus Interview

The Poetry Bus is print magazine of international contemporary poetry with full colour illustrations, reviews, articles, graphic stories, flash fiction and very short stories. Each issue comes with an audio CD of poets reading plus two music tracks and its edited by Collette and Peadar O'Donoghue. I was interested in finding out what they, as editors are looking for... 

What are you looking for as editors? What are you definitely not looking for?
Can we start by answering the second question first?  It has a slightly more concrete answer! There is nothing that we are not looking for. Peadar is the president of PAH (poets against haiku) yet PB$ had 13 Haiku in it, because they were interesting, they were good, they had something to say and said it well. So we can never say never. If we don’t like rhyming poems, long poems, form poems, young love poems, then prove us wrong, send us things we cannot deny. 

Which kind of brings us to the first question, we are looking for everything and anything. Anything that hits us, moves us, changes us. We are looking for poems that have something to say, and say it well, poems of the heart as much as the head, visceral poems of anger, of  hurt,  of love, of  joy, of  hate. We dream of a piece that we start reading as one person and are so affected by the words that we are no longer the same person by the end because now you have something new in your head, in your heart, a poem/story/flash fiction that you will never forget. We are hoping to add opinion pieces (about poetry) in future issues and we want those to speak up and speak out!

 What do you enjoy most about driving the Poetry Bus?
Physically, we love addressing the envelopes and stamping them with our logos, we get a buzz from all the exotic and not so exotic addresses, but the smile is soon wiped from our faces by the post office bill!  Spiritually, Peadar loves finding a great poem by an unpublished poet, we both do, and I love the excitement of  finding an amazing image that fits. Which brings us on to the next question!

How important is the visual aspect of the magazine ?
The visual aspect, the visual appeal, is on equal footing with the words, it is an integral component and a very important part of the DNA of the mag. We are looking (well Collette looks, finds, then we discuss) for strong images, visual poems if you like. The front cover image is vital and we try to use striking images that reflect the contents and style of the issue, an image that would compel browsers to pick up the magazine.

What are the most common mistakes writers make when submitting to magazines?  
I used to get tired of editors banging on about buying a copy of their mag before submitting, but now as a co-editor I see exactly what they mean. If you get a copy of a mag not only will you see if your poetry suits and if the mag is the kind of mag you’d be happy for your work to appear in, you will also be reading other peoples poetry and supporting the often precarious finances of the publisher. Which is a round-about way of saying that a mistake writers make is not doing their homework on where and why they’d like to be published. Some editors can be very pedantic about correspondence and correct forms address, manners, etiquette, and multifarious little personal gripes, for us, all we want is your work, your best work. We are not school teachers or the grammar police.

Any more Grimoires in the pipeline?
We are just about (well soon!) to publish ‘This Is What Happened’ by Melissa Diem which started out as a chapbook but rather excitingly has turned into a first collection with DVD (Melissa makes great short films about her poems). This will be followed by a chapbook by S
éamas Carraher called DUB(H)LIN(N) 20 Poems of the City. We’ve shelved the Grimoire name for now as it was chosen for and really suited Fiona Bolger’s book, The Geometry of  Love Between the Elements, if another chapbook comes along that fits the Grimoire mould, we might resurrect it. 

Anything exciting coming up?
We had a very successful and enjoyable PB showcase reading at the Cork Spring Poetry Festival put on by our sponsors The Munster Literature Centre, a more friendly and open festival you will not find. We can’t recommend it highly enough. We had the time of our lives, and we’d love to be asked back.

Peadar is doing a solo reading from his next Salmon collection. The Death of Poetry’ in September at The Gladstone Sessions run by Peter O’Neill. There was mad talk of getting a real bus and hitting the road, but short of winning the lottery or finding a lunatic sponsor that will remain a dream for now. PB6 is the next issue which will probably be out late this winter, look out for a submission call… soon. Take a look at PB$ and see what we like and if your stuff might suit, buy one for all your friends and family, they’ll love you for it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Interview with Caitriona Lally

'A fairytale of contemporary Dublin, both edgy and eloquent.
A remarkable debut.' —Declan Kiberd.

Caitriona Lally's excellent debut novel Eggshells is published by Liberties Press. The book is about Vivian, a woman who doesn't fit in, and never has.  'She believes that she is a changeling, left by fairies on Earth, replacing her parents’ healthy human child. Now, as an adult, she’s trying to get back to the 'other world', where she feels she can finally belong. The thing is, Vivian is having some difficulties going back, so she’s forced to go about her Earth life in the meantime.' 

Here, I ask Catriona about setting, voice and writing advice.....

Vivian travels through Dublin, listing place names and tracing the shape of her route till it almost feels like city is woven into the pages of this novel. Was where you wrote, as well as where you lived, an important element in writing Eggshells?
The places I did the actual writing weren't as important as where I went to research the book. I walked my legs off around the city, writing down details of graffiti and unusual street signs and encounters with eccentric people in a notebook, but I saw the note-taking and the novel-writing as separate activities. When I finally came to write Eggshells, I had several scrawled notebooks and hundreds of paper-scraps, so the main work was putting some sort of shape on the notes. I'm not so organised as to have actually created a structure before I started the novel, so there was a lot of sifting through notes and scratching out. Having said that, I wrote a lot of Eggshells in the National Library on Kildare Street, and I spent so much time staring around me when I was supposed to be writing that I ended up setting part of a chapter in there.

Do you think it will be a factor in future work?
Where the character is located is hugely important to me – voice and setting would be the two main things I need in my head before I start. Once I can hear the character and see where he or she is situated, it all falls into place from that. That makes the rest of it sound easy, and it's not – it's just that I'm more character-driven than plot-driven, so maybe the setting is more important if I don't have a very structured plot to fall back on.
The novel I'm currently working on is set in Hamburg, but this happened totally by chance. After I finished Eggshells, I had the the characters of the second novel in my head, but no location. I felt I was all Dublined out, but I didn't know where to set the next book. Then I went to stay with a friend in Hamburg, and I was drawn to an old part of the city, so I decided to set the current book there. Again, I'm working from notebooks of stuff I saw and heard in Hamburg, but I'm doing the actual writing in Dublin.

Vivian Lawlor places huge importance on names. How did you come by hers?
You're right – names are massively important to Vivian, but I wrote the entire novel without a name for Vivian or even a title. When I started Eggshells, I had another untitled document open on my laptop, so this one was called “Untitled 2” and that's how it remained until just before submission. I didn't have a name for Vivian in the first couple of drafts; I was using the first person, and also Vivian isn't hugely sociable, so her name doesn't come up in conversation a lot. I gave her the same name as her older sister, and maybe that partly explains Vivian's obsession with names; she isn't unique within her family.
The main characters in the book I'm working on now still aren't named – they're “G” and “R” and I may not even stick with those initials.

The voice of Vivian is original and convincing. How did that voice come to you? Was getting under her skin something you enjoyed, and how was it to leave her behind?
Ah thanks! I have no idea where that voice came from. I mean, there are parts of me in her, but she has a completely unfiltered approach to life which was very refreshing to write. Most of us reign in our thoughts, but Vivian says everything that comes into her head and acts on it. I really enjoyed writing her, and seeing the world through her eyes – but there was a sadness to it as well. Vivian is quite lonely and is desperately trying to connect with the world, and when she fails, I felt for her.
I also got used to looking at Dublin through her eyes, and even now, it's hard to stop myself noticing street signs or graffiti that Vivian would enjoy. I was happy to leave her behind, though, I felt I was done. Maybe because I was writing in the first person, it got fairly intense reinterpreting my own version of the city as Vivian's.

We know a lot about Vivian’s immediate inner life, and we can guess some of the things she doesn’t tell us by her encounters (which can be very funny), yet there is little information about her personal history. This worked really well; I enjoyed how much you decided to leave out. The balance between what we know and what we don’t, are perfectly judged. Did you decide from the beginning to leave these gaps, or did they evolve naturally from following her voice? How do you feel about writing advice that emphasises plot, hooks and so on? 
 It wasn't a conscious decision from the beginning to leave out the details of her personal history. I started with the voice, and the story grew from there. I had no idea what was going to happen next or what kind of an ending Vivian faced. As the story developed, I realised there was some unhappiness in her background, but I wanted her to refuse to acknowledge or deal with it, and just sort of muddle through in her own way. I found that more interesting to write than painstakingly going through every childhood trauma. I think it becomes clear from the few details she offers throughout the book what has happened in the past, but I didn't want it to become a therapy novel with lots of gut-spilling and weeping and heart to hearts - that's not Vivian's way.
I think writing tips that emphasise plot and hooks can be really useful for people who write more plot-driven books. I suppose you write what you like to read, and I'm drawn to character-driven books so I don't prioritise hooks and cliffhangers. When it comes to TV and movies, however, I'm a total plot junkie and a sucker for cliffhangers, and I have to stop myself binge-watching whole series back-to-back.
It was fascinating to meet with some of the other Novel Fair winners after reading their work, and to find out about their writing processes. Some were motivated first and foremost by plot and had mapped out the exact plot of their novel before they began. That's completely different to the way I write – I haven't a clue where my character is headed - but I don't think either approach is better.

Any advice for writers working on their first novel?
 Keep at it. I had very little confidence that I could write a novel, let alone one that was publishable, so it's important to persevere in spite of what the negative voice in your head is saying.
And don't wait for the right mood or the right weather or the right pencil; just write.
And know that some days your writing will be complete muck and you'll have to delete almost every word – that's when it feels like two steps forward, three steps back – but in general, as long as you keep pushing forward, you're doing grand.
The other thing I'd say is to read hugely. Don't just read books by white men writing in English; read beautifully written books by writers from different genders, ages, races, languages. There is a world of fiction in translation that is pure magic.

About the author:
Caitriona Lally studied English Literature in Trinity College Dublin.  She has had a colourful employment history, working as an abstract writer and a copywriter alongside working as a home help in New York and an English teacher in Japan. She has travelled extensively around Europe,  Asia,  the Middle East, and South America. Her essay about Grangegorman appeared in a recent issue of We Are Dublin.  Eggshells was selected as one of 12 finalists in the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair 2014

To Purchase - Liberties Press or Amazon

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Juniper in Mountmellick

This beautiful image arrived in my inbox - the work is that of Shona Shirley Macdonald, and her exhibition titled “Juniper” will run from 5th -29th May in The Library Gallery. Mountmellick. Co Laois.

Originally from Aberdeen, Shauna, is currently based in Co. Waterford, and works as an illustrator.Past projects include illustration for comics, poetry, short stories, murals, textile design and concept art. Her first solo show was in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady in August 2014. She is also a member of the Illustrators Guild of Ireland.

See for more details.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What News, Centurions?

Colm Scully's poetry collection "What News, Centurions?” will be launched on Monday May 4th at 7 pm in The Workman's Club, Wellington Quay, Dublin. It should be a fantastic night, guest readers will include - Erin Fornoff, Angela Carr, Fióna Bolger and Anne Tannam, Sue Cosgrave, Rab Urquhart. And, there will be music from Aidan Murphy.

Colm Scully is from Cork, he won the Cúirt New Writing Poetry Prize 2014, and was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductory Series 2014, and commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue Prize 2014.

"Humour and imagination are Colm Scully’s defining qualities. Not simply confessional, his poems often reflect modern life in snapshots that incorporate dramatis personae from wider mythical or historical contexts. This is a welcome new Irish voice – one that is observant, balanced, humane.”
– Afric McGlinchey

“A serious narrative artist as well as an authentic wearer of poetic masks, Colm Scully marshals his characters towards subtle feats of telling and singing, mining an original creative ore as he does so, and offering his readers a dream of Irish experience which, again and again, works deep enough to arrive at a vision of truth.”– Martin Dyar

Friday, April 24, 2015

On Purpose

Have you lost touch with the reason you began your novel? An interesting post from Jan Morrison could help - its about Purpose, and as ever with Jan, its wise and insightful. She says - 'I do think when we are attempting something with such a broad scope - like writing a novel or book length memoir or non-fiction - we need to constantly go back to our purpose.' 

Her words remind me that sometimes the work to be done is off the page, not on it. Jan's post is HERE.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Launch of Novel Fair 2016 - Any Questions?

The Irish Writers Centre are launching the 2016 Novel Fair tomorrow Thursday 16th of at 7.00pm in their centre in Dublin. It is a free event, but you need a ticket, which you can book by following this LINK

The launch will allow aspiring novelists to gain the inside track about how the Fair works. At the Fair twelve emerging writers will have the opportunity to bypass the slush pile and pitch directly to a selection of publishers and agents. The submissions period will open tomorrow, and remain open for six months. The Fair itself will be held in February 2016.

Here's what they have to say -
Former Novel Fair winner Niamh Boyce (The Herbalist) will share insights on this unique opportunity to connect with publishers and agents, and Dan Bolger, Commissioning Editor of New Island Books will reveal how the Fair benefits publishers through discovering new authors. A must for anyone who has ever dreamed of getting a novel published.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2015.

Do you have a batch of poems? The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award for a first unpublished collection of poems in English is open to poets, born in the island of Ireland, or of Irish nationality, or long term resident in Ireland. The award is now in its 45th year. Previous winners include Eileán Ni Chuilleanáin, Paul Durcan, Thomas McCarthy, Peter Sirr, Sinead Morrissey, Conor O’Callaghan, Celia de Freine and Joseph Woods. Deadline Friday 24th July 2015. The winner of this year’s award will receive €1,000.

Rules and entry form from the Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Inniskeen
Tel. 00353(0)429378560, Fax 00353(0)429378855

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Hennesssy Anthology 2005 - 2015

'These are the early – and, very often, the first – stories written by an exciting new wave of writers: an extraordinary, vibrant and dynamic explosion of talent that is changing the face of Irish fiction.'

A story of mine appeared in the New Irish Writing Page of the Tribune newspaper in 2009 and was shortlisted for the Hennessy Awards. Being nominated encouraged me to keep writing, (and I really needed the encouragement at that point.) It was my second story to be published, (my first was in Crannog) and it was called Steps Of Stairs. In 2011, I was nominated again, and won overall New Irish Writer of the Year. It has had a huge postive impact on my writing life.

The Hennesssy Anthology 2005 - 2015 was launched last week, it features a selection of twenty-five stories shortlisted for the Hennessy Awards over the past decade. The third in a series, the Hennessy anthologies are edited once a decade by Dermot Bolger and Ciaran Carty. I'm delighted to have my story included in it. The other contributers are Sara Baume, Alan Jude Moore, Jennifer Farrell, Thomas Martin, John Murphy, Michael O’Higgins, Nicola Jennings, Colm Keegan, Selina Guinness, Kevin Power, John O’Donnell, Oona Frawley, Eileen Casey, Kevin Doyle, Andrew Fox, Pat O’Connor, Maire T. Robinson, Monica Corish, Carmel McMahon, Brendan McLoughlin, Sean Kenny, Chris Connolly, Elizabeth Brennan, Sean Coffey.

‘(These) are often the first stories, or the newly struck note, of a voice that will go to new horizons. Just being shortlisted for the award gives a needle-shot of confidence and a sense of breadth early in a writer’s career.’
Colum McCann

The Hennessy Anthology 2005 - 2015 can be ordered HERE. An ARENA interview from April 2nd with myself and Dermot Bolger can be listened to HERE.