Thursday 13 April 2017

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Something to put in your diaries ...

The Limerick Writers' Centre Presents
Lunch Time Poetry @ The Hunt Museum
July 7th / 14th / 21st / 28th  2016
1.00pm to 2.00pm
In association with the Hunt Museum 8 poets (2 per week) will give a reading in the Captain's Room four Thursdays in July from 1.00pm to 2.00pm, readings will be preceded by a piece of music performed by local musicians.
Thursday 7th July.........Kathryn Guille and Edward O’Dwyer
Thursday 14th July.......Sheila Fitzpatrick O’Donnell and Donal O’Flynn
Thursday 21st July.......Marie O’Halloran and Ron Carey
Thursday 28th July.......Noelene Nash and Tom O’Connor
Admission is free. Patrons are advised to be in their seats five minutes before readings begin.
The poets taking part:

Kathryn Guille is an American writer and choreographer living in Limerick City, Ireland.  Kathryn is the 2016 winner of the The Cuirt International New Writing Award in Poetry.  She has read her poems at many festivals, including Cuirt, Earshot, and Turnstyle.  Her screenplay, Enemy of the Freak State, won the David Dortort Prize for Screenwriting, and her play, Venla and Henry won the Alice Stark Award for Playwriting, and was published, in excerpt, in Promethean. Kathryn holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and and MFA in Creative Writing from The City College of New York.
Edward O'Dwyer is a native of Limerick City, where he lives and writes.  He has been published in many journals throughout the world, including The Forward Book of Poetry 2015. He was selected in 2010 for Poetry Ireland's Introductions Series and has been shortlisted for a Hennessy Award, the Desmond O'Grady Prize, and the North West Words Prize, among others. He has also been nominated for Pushcart, Forward, and Best of the Web prizes. Edward O' Dwyer's debut collection, The Rain on Cruise's Street, appeared in 2014 from Salmon Poetry.
Sheila Fitzpatrick O’Donnell is a native of Limerick City, now living in Shanagolden, Co. Limerick. She comes from a long line of poets/storytellers; her mother, known as Polly The Poet, encouraged her to pick up the pen. Her works has been published in many anthologies in Ireland and abroad. Sheila won the All Ireland Limericks Competition in 2009 and 2011 and the Cuisle Competition in 2013. She was shortlisted for the Desmond O’Grady Poetry Competition in 2013. She was part of Sextet, an anthology of six emerging poets in 2010. Her first collection, A Bouquet Of Trilogies, was also published in 2010 and her second collection will be published in 2016. In 2014 Bridget Wallace and Sheila took their Armchair project to the streets for Limerick City of Culture. Sheila is current travelling Ireland with her Reading At Random project and hosts a rambling house in her cottage in Shanagolden. She is also a member of the Moyross Drama group
Donal O’Flynn is from Charleville, Co. Cork and has been working in the Philippines for the past five years.  He has three books of poetry published Lost Grace, The Tailor and Ansty Poems and Random Inspirational Words  all from Revival Press. His poems vary widely in style; ranging from strict structure to free verse. He is a regular attendee at the ‘On the Nail’ Literary Gathering and Whitehouse Pub Poetry Sessions when resident in Ireland.  
Marie O’Halloran lives in Co. Cork, Ireland. Two of her poems were commended in 2013 Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition. She was the featured poet at an event in Fermoy with former Fulbright Professor of Poetry & American Culture Bradley R. Strahan. Her poetry has been published in The Blue Max Review 2013and 2014 and Rebel Poetry’s fathers and what must be said. She was part of the programme of readers at the 2013 Fermoy International Poetry Festival and globally in 2014 in conjunction with Mad Swirl poets in Dallas, Texas. Her stories have been commended and appear in various publications. She was the Poetry Slam judge at Kanturk Arts Festival, 2016. Two of her plays have been commercially staged at Friar’s Gate Theatre in Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. She is currently editing her first crime novel and working on a sequel. She has had the Anam Cara experience and is a professional member of the Irish Writers’ Centre.
Ron Carey was born in Limerick and lives in Dublin. He is a prize winning poet and a finalist in many national and international poetry competitions. In 2015 his first book of poetry, DISTANCE, was published by Revival Press and nominated (shortlisted) for the Forward Prize Best First Collection, UK and Ireland. He was Highly Commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Awards and received a MA in Creative Writing from the University of South Wales.
Noelene Nash lives outside Limerick City. She has studied journalism but prefers creative writing. Her work has been published in, Anthology For A River, Corners Of Our Minds,  the Irish Independent and Stanzas Chap Books.She co-wrote and performed, 'Blackguarded: Our Vagina Dialogues', which debuted to packed houses at the Belltable, Limerick city and Friars Gate Theatre Kilmallock. “Poetry should be full of energy,” she says, “If I make you sad I will also make you smile.” She is currently working on a project called 'The Walking Poet' which gives her permission to 'loiter with intent' on the city's streets as she notes passing voices.
Tom O'Connor is a native of Mallow, Co. Cork. He is a former Civil Servant. For thirty five years he has been involved in drama and theatre as an actor and director completing his training at the London Centre For Contemporary Theatre Studies. In his forties he got bitten by the writing bug and has just signed a publishing contract for a collection of his poems. He is also actively involved as a public speaker with Toastmasters. Recently he completed screenwriting course with Eleanor McSherry at The Limerick Writers’ Centre.

Tuesday 15 March 2016

So, what are you?

A friend asked recently, ‘What are you, a poet, a playwright, a novelist, a film script creator? The answer is simple:


I am a writer…


I ask my computer if it is ready to consume the words I’m about to write - daily, if life allows. I can feel its anticipation and sometimes I can’t type fast enough for my brain. Then other times sit there for ages with the cursor blinking, teasing, inviting but performance anxiety gets to me and nothing pops into my head. I revert on occasion to simpler tools and choose to use pen and paper. I can even sometimes feel the journey the words take from my brain, along my arms and out through my fingers.

It’s enriched me, initiating a wonder about creativity. I look at things different to how I used to. My awareness level peaks as I absorb things that surround me. They were always around me I just didn’t appreciate them. Now, I don’t just read a poem once; I read it again and again. I don’t just look through book; I immerse myself in it. I don’t just watch a play; I admire the work that has gone into producing the work I am enjoying. I don’t just go see a movie; I appreciate how it is constructed. I think about what the person may have thought when they wrote the verses, chapters or scripts. How they sat down and put everything together.

It also awakened the critic in me. I find I edit everything, people speaking, reporters on television, D.J.’s on the radio, magazines, and newspaper articles. Friends, although this is a tricky one and I tend to keep it zipped for fear of losing said friendship. It’s funny because I also edit myself. I find that I have to stop and spell the simplest of words that rolled off my tongue before.

When I began writing a few years ago I had all the time in the world although I didn’t realise it then but now it feels like I had. In the meantime life happened and my writing time became more focused, on a deadline, snatched between other daily tasks. I actually had to create a time management schedule to ensure I gave myself adequate time to write. The restricted moments gives me more focus. If I only have an hour then it has to get done within that time frame. No arguments, anyway it’s no fun quarrelling with yourself!

Most of all I love the journey writing takes me on. By sharing it I can bring others along too. I don’t need a vehicle to transport my readers, I don’t need to tax and insure my computer or paper. It’s a free ride on an adventure because I am a writer.

So, over to you: Have you limited time to write? If so, how do you focus your time? Do you reach your goals, targets? Or do you wish you could do more.  

Please comment and share. Thanks for reading.


Thursday 10 March 2016

Doing Cartwheels

Poetry Slam judge at Kanturk Arts Festival:

I am delighted to share with you that I have been invited to judge at this year's Poetry Slam  Competition at Kanturk Arts Festival.

Poets are invited to read their own work for a chance to win a prize in that category. Another category invites people to perform work written by others.
I have the honour of listening to the participants and deciding on a winner. I haven't said it will be easy but it will be fun.
Find out more about Kanturk Arts Festival here:

Thursday 5 November 2015

Some five sentence fiction and competition link…

Some five sentence fiction and competition link…

Different Shades

Sometimes they are yellow, sometimes just blue. I used to love putting on makeup to look my best, now it’s worn for another reason. Last night some came up deep purple. So many factors influence the colours. My body shows different shades of pain, just depends on how hard he hits.


This story came out of a prompt, one word: Purple. I expanded this story into a 2,000 word piece that ended up being listed in the Penguin Ireland/RTE Guide Short Story Competition 2013.

Competitions are worth entering, gets your work out there. Regarding entry fees: check the prize and see if the entry fee is worth it. Also, check if there is a long list/short list. Then make your decision on which ones are worth your work.

While we are on the subject of writing competitions check out

Nicola has done a fantastic job of compiling a list of:

Seven writing competitions you should enter in 2016

Why not sign up for her newsletter.

Let me know your opinions of competitions and if you have any links to share, please do.

Friday 4 September 2015

All you need is a bit of patience and something free, yes free, to read …

It is no easy task submitting, waiting, waiting, submitting and some more waiting. Then, like buses, things come along together. This summer my patience paid off.

In July I was fortunate enough to receive a bursary to attend the John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh. This event brought with it a feast of readings, entertainment and friendship. I got to shake hands with Paul Muldoon, discuss the notion of fiction combined with non-fiction with Hannah Lowe and receive invaluable advice from crime writer Anthony Quinn, author of ‘Border Angels’ and ‘The Disappeared’.

Later in July I received news that one of my short stories had been accepted into Belfast’s The Incubator Journal along with an array of multi-talented literary folk. Issue six includes an interview with Kelly Creighton, author of ‘The Bones of It’. You have to put it on your ‘must read’ list and a review of Paul McVeigh’s ‘The Good Son’ which is on my ‘must read’ list. In fact I’ve included a link here if you wish to read Issue 6 of The Incubator Journal free gratis! Yes really a freebie.

If you want a printed copy you’ll have to shell out a little.

I have also been honoured to be invited to Belfast on 20th September to read my short story at the launch of Issue 6 of The Incubator Journal.

In August I received a nice email, another of my short stories had been long listed in the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition 2015.

Now, some of you may remember in 2013, I along with five other writing colleagues, were long and short listed in the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story competition. We collaborated and published a collection of those award winning stories. Here’s the link if you wish to hold the printed version in your grasp.

I continue to edit a play I have written with the multi-talented Mary Bradford, Mary Angland and Mary-Anne Bartlett under the mentorship of John Sheehy of CallBack Theatre. This play is for staging in November 2015. I am also editing my crime novel.

All of this is done while life is happening and firing things at me. Because of these ‘life missiles’ (which I will share further in time) I have, many times, felt like throwing in the towel. But, I have managed to chase thoughts of that nature from my mind. It was worth the wait this summer when I got those nice emails.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and in case you missed it above here is the link to The Incubator Journal. Please enjoy and share so others can enjoy.