for writers and readers….

What inspires us – Seamus Heaney QUOTES FOR WRITERS

‘Inspiration…it’s a large ancient word. It means something that tempts you, that suggests you could go ahead – a little flicker of energy. It doesn’t need to be dramatic, just … Continue reading

January 27, 2019 · 2 Comments

How to write sound – putting an accent on the page

The way we use language differs depending on whether we are speaking it or writing it and that difference has to come across on the page. But what about how … Continue reading

September 8, 2015 · 8 Comments

Happy Halloween – an Irish festival

Halloween dates back at least two thousand years to the Celtic festival of Samhain marking the start of winter, a cold, dark and dangerous time.  It began at sunset on … Continue reading

October 31, 2014 · 8 Comments

Free International short story competition

The RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition is now open for entries. Winning stories will be published in the RTE Guide. (For those who don’t know, RTE is Ireland’s television … Continue reading

June 26, 2014 · 2 Comments

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Beannachtai La Fheile Phadraig I chose this particular photograph because it has the feel of an Irish day and I love the rain coloured mountains in the background. Two gifts … Continue reading

March 17, 2014 · 6 Comments

If you want to write a dystopia start with this map…

This fictional map shows what the British Isles might look like in 2100 if sea levels rise and are 100 meters higher than they were in 2000. The artist/cartographer Jay … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · 16 Comments

My Writing Process – Blog Tour

First of all, a big thank you to Laura Wilkinson for suggesting that I take part in this tour. Laura writes two very different types of fiction – erotic romance … Continue reading

January 27, 2014 · 3 Comments

Writers need talent and a thick skin – Donal Ryan calls himself a model for stubbornness

Donal Ryan emailed to thank me for my post yesterday about the 47 rejections he endured before his first novel The Spinning Heart was finally accepted by The Lilliput Press. … Continue reading

October 16, 2013 · 3 Comments

Quotes for writers (and people who like quotes) Seamus Heaney

I can’t think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world – Seamus Heaney … Continue reading

September 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

Ever wondered where you might bury a body? Crime Writing Course in Dublin might help you make up your mind

The Irish Centre in Parnell Square, Dublin are running a week long crime writing course starting on July 29th with author Arlene Hunt. Organisers say this is a writing-heavy, intensive … Continue reading

July 13, 2013 · Leave a comment

DO YOU KNOW what connects infants and poets?

Infans comes from the Latin for unspeaking. The infant is the one who can’t speak and Seamus Heaney argues that all good poems are gathered in silence. Here he is … Continue reading

March 11, 2013 · 4 Comments

DID YOU KNOW the Irish have a word for it…

DAY DAPPLE is an old Irish term for the time of day when a person can no longer be distinguished from a bush. Source QI 1227 Facts also used in … Continue reading

March 10, 2013 · 6 Comments

Watch an Irish Winter Solstice

Tomorrow Friday 21st December 2012 at  8.45am (GMT) you can watch the dawn sunshine of the shortest day of the year light up the interior of an ancient temple  on … Continue reading

December 20, 2012 · 2 Comments

The book I really want to read: London Irish Fictions

Tony Murray has just brought out the first book-length study of the literature of the Irish in London. In LONDON IRISH FICTIONS he looks at over 30 Irish novels, short … Continue reading

November 18, 2012 · 5 Comments