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.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

RTE Guide / Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition 2015 - No Entry Fee

RTE Guide / Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition 2015

Entries for the RTÉ Guide / Penguin Ireland short story Competition 2015 should be

original, unpublished and previously not broadcast short stories in English, of 2,000

words or less. Paper manuscripts must be typed and cannot be returned. Entrant’s

name and contact details (address, phone and/or email) should be on a separate

page. There is no fee for entering the competition but only one entry is allowed per

person. The deadline for this year’s competition is 6pm, Friday, June 19, 2015. Send

your entries to: RTÉ Guide / Penguin Ireland short story Competition 2015, PO Box

1480, RTÉ, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 or email to:, making sure to label

your mail ‘RTÉ Guide / Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition 2015’.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

It's a poetry thing ...

It’s a poetry thing …


As the wave curled over, sweeping us through the salty waters of poetry day… Well, I was going to continue on this vein, but to write a whole blog post poetically could be done but instead, to put a finer point on it, I was honoured to be invited to read for Poetry Day Ireland 2015 last Thursday 7th May. I did so with the very talented Kerri Fitzgerald.

After the typically Irish thing of a cuppa beforehand, we got underway to a receptive crowd who were kind enough to take time out of their day to join us. We danced through sonnet and verse to do what we were asked, to deliver some poetry for the enjoyment of others.   

This day is another example of how important our libraries are and should be supported. Check out yours, you’ll be surprised what it has to offer.


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Time Poor but love a good story ...


If you love to read but only have a few minutes spare, then Five Sentence Fiction is the solution, a complete story told in just five lines.

Thanks to Lillie McFerrin, this week’s prompt is: Memories.



The dark surrounds me. I tense as I hear the door open followed by footsteps closing in. I feel the cold knife pressed against my skin but it’s not used to sever my binds. I hear the sirens getting louder as they near, but they may not make it to me in time. So, I’ll take my memories, the one thing he could not take from me, and say goodbye.


Read the other contributors here:

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Five Sentence Fiction - Departure

Five Sentence Fiction time again folks thanks to Lillie McFerrin.

This week’s prompt is: Departure.

Hope you enjoy. Please leave a comment. I appreciate the feedback.


Mistaken Identity

Gerard answered his mobile when he saw it was his twin brother Dean ringing, maybe he’d have an explanation about his girlfriend, Amy, where she’d gone and the reason her spare key to his apartment was left on the table. He’d contacted her friends and relatives but they refused to tell him where she was or how to get in contact, they seemed furious with him but no one would explain the reason for her sudden departure.

“Hey Gerard, look I wanted to apologise for using your spare key while you were away, bro, it had been worth it though and I promise you, I changed sheets.”

“I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, Dean, I’m only in the door.”

 “Crap! Who walk in on us so if it wasn’t you?”


Check out the other contributors

Friday, 24 April 2015

Five Sentence Fiction - Changes

It’s time for five sentence fiction once again. Thanks to Lillie McFerrin . This week’s prompt is Changes:


The tide was out enough to give her a glimpse of the tangled seaweed beneath the crystal blue waters. The uneven ridges of the distant mountain range distracted her for a brief moment. She hesitated, hovering near the lapping waters, assessing how far in she’d have to go.

The moment had arrived and with no one around to stop her there’d be no changes to the plan. She was, at last, about to complete number three on her bucket list, a skinny dip in the Atlantic Ocean.


Check out the other contributors

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

When your pen weighs you down ...

With very good reason I put my writing on hold for a little while, I plan to share this with you later. I recently picked up my pen and found it to be heavier than it used to be. Blank, nothing, something had invaded my creativity and removed all my ideas. Or had it?

Last year I got involved in a very exiting venture, writing plays with amazing writers, Mary T Bradford, published author of ‘My Husband’s Sin’ and ‘A Baker’s Dozen’, shortlisted author and poet Mary Angland and short listed author and poet, Mary-Anne Barlett under the mentorship of playwright, writer and director of Callback Theatre, John Sheedy. This year we are collaborating to write one play to be staged later in the year. So, onward and upward as I dragged my former ‘bursting with ideas’ self to my playwright’s meeting wondering what to contribute. It got underway and we started brainstorming. It could have been the creative atmosphere, the location, Friar’s Gate Theatre, or an unknown entity because in an instant my pen started to feel lighter as ideas sparked. It felt amazing. I no longer felt weighed down.

The meeting was a huge success, we made great progression and I left with a wonderful buzz from taking part in an activity that I love.

While it started off as heavy it was well worth picking that pen back up.