My guest editing stint for John Lavin’s excellent lit mag The Lonely Crowd is keeping me busy. It’s a short window for submissions.
Submission call details here.
I’m thrilled to announce that my debut short story collection The Beautiful Rooms will be published by The Lonely Press in Spring 2017.
My thanks to editor, John Lavin, and his partner, Michou Burckett St Laurent, for their support and enthusiasm. They shared this voice recording of one of my stories ‘Made You Look’ on social media the other day and we were all delighted with the response. Thanks to everybody who liked and shared!
The image below accompanied an essay I recently wrote about ‘Made You Look’. It’s the artist J. K. Matthews’ representation of ‘Gemma’ the teenage protagonist of the story.
Happy to have some fiction of mine published in Welsh literary magazine, The Lonely Crowd. My thanks to editor, John Lavin, for including my work in such a great line-up:
The first print issue of the The Lonely Crowd will be published this April and is now available to pre-order from the online store. Edited by Wales Arts Review’s Fiction Editor, John Lavin, it features new short fiction & poetry from Alison Moore, Medbh McGuckian, Stevie Davies, Anna Metcalfe, Tom Vowler, Valerie Sirr, Jo Mazelis, Gary Raymond, Nigel Jarrett, Caitlin Thomson, Dan Coxon, Armel Dagorn, Carole Burns, Jamie Guiney, Bethany W Pope, Liam Cagney, Gregory Norminton, Kathy Miles, Steph Power, Rachel J Fenton, Rosalind Hudis, Patrick Holloway, Frederick Pollack & Clodagh O’Brien. There is also photography from Jo Mazelis & artwork from Constantinos Andronis.
It was great to meet John Lavin of Wales Arts Review at the Cork International Short Story Festival in September. John included one of my stories ‘Pete’ in a special issue celebrating the short story.
During the festival in Cork he chaired an engaging panel discussion with Rachel Tresize and Kristiina Ehin at the Triskel Arts Centre and after the festival he interviewed some of the writers who took part: Colin Barrett, Paul McVeigh, Matt Rader, Órfhlaith Foyle, Nuala Ni Chonchuir, and myself. Read the interviews in the current issue here
John relates his own experience of the festival with characteristic enthusiasm for the short story here
I attended the 13th International Short Story Conference at the University of Vienna last week and was thrilled to hear that a story I entered into the conference short story competition received honourable mention along with Adnan Mahmutovic, Bosnian-Swedish writer; winner Lisa Smithies. I enjoyed Lisa’s talk on closure in the short story. The judges were: Bharati Mukherjee and Clark Blaise. Bharati Mukherjee gave an impressive reading at the Literaturhaus event.
The prize money will be a welcome injection of funds into my bank account after an expensive week…
Vienna was stunning, exciting and exhausting (due to being glutened on the first night!). I wouldn’t have missed it for anything and the conference was a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow writers from Ireland and all over the world. I read my work, introduced others, heard some stimulating readings and learned from the panel discussions on myriad aspects of the short story form.
Above, my reading at the Irish embassy in Vienna, along with Nuala Ni Chonchuir, Alan McMonagle, Billy O’Callaghan, Evelyn Conlon and Madeleine D’Arcy. Thanks to Ann Luttrell, Maurice A. Lee and Ambassador James Brennan.
I was heartened by Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer prize winner who praised my story after I read at the embassy, saying it was ‘full of yearning’. (Interestingly Adnan Mahmutovic’s work is described as ‘stories about longing and survival’). Further encouragement came from fellow Irish participants Billy O’Callaghan and Alan McMonagle sitting on either side of me after I read, from other established writers in attendance, from non-writers too, and I am grateful for their generosity. As most writers know, positive feedback from readers and listeners is invaluable.
Above, chatting with Michael Mirolla with whom I shared a reading and Q&A. The generous and diligent Sandra Jensen was our introducer and did a fine job, researching our work and taking time to read a story of mine beforehand.
Here’s some pics of the city itself:
The Giant Ferris Wheel…tracing the steps of Harry Lime in the flim, The Third Man
The Rathaus building at the end of my street
Vienna parliament building
Couldn’t have a Vienna post without Mozart…
Superman ‘begging’ on a U Bahn
Loved these old trams which ran like clockwork as did the U Bahn underground system. Got pretty hot down there – 35 degrees one day.
Doing the tourist bit at Schloss Schonbrunn, the opulent residential palace and gardens
I feel very lucky to have been invited to attend and again big thanks to Maurice A. Lee conference director, Sylvia Petter writer and co-director, and Ann Luttrell organiser of the Irish contingent.
The Poetry Bus Magazine is going from strength to strength thanks to the dedication of its editors Peadar and Collette O’Donoghue who have once again produced a wonderful issue (PB5) packed with new work from established and emerging poets and artists – there’s some stunning art work in this issue. And it comes with a CD of readings from selected contributors along with a track from Roger Gregg’s Serpent In The Bee-Loud Glade.
The journal is beautifully produced on high quality paper and the quality of the work is impressive too. I’m proud to have one of my first poems published here along with so many talented poets. Names familiar to me include Niamh Boyce, Melissa Diem, Alan McMonagle, John Saunders, Oran Ryan, Stephanie Conn, Nuala Ni Chonchuir, Kate Dempsey, Ann Fallon, Liz Gallagher, Afric McGlinchey, Michael J Whelan, Karl Parkinson, Micheal Gallagher, Knute Skinner, Liz Quirke, Richard W. Halperin, Noel King, Brian Kirk, John MacKenna, Alan Jude Moore, William Wall.
Check out the brand new site of The Poetry Bus who are now publishing grimoires (a ‘grimoire’ is a book of magic) of poetry, art work and photography. The first grimoire published by the The Poetry Bus is Fiona Bolger‘s, The Geometry of Love between the Elements and is another example of high production values and quality content.
Fiona’s book is available here and from The Winding Stair Bookshop in Dublin. You’ll find Peadar O’Donoghue‘s collection of poetry Jewel (published by Salmon Poetry) there too as well as PB5.
Get your ticket on the bus by submitting for the next issue!
My story ‘Pete’ is included this special issue of Wales Arts Review celebrating the short story. Thanks to John Lavin, editor, for inviting me to contribute a story along with a piece on a recent favourite of mine by Czech writer Ivan Klima.
There are interviews here with Rachel Trezise and Will Self.
Read fiction from Shena Mackay, Katy Darby, Nigel Jarrett, Chrissie Gittins, Gary Raymond, John Lavin and Nuala Ní Chonchúir.
In Favourite Short Stories authors Patricia Duncker, Matthew Francis, Alison Moore,Stevie Davies, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Nigel Jarrett, Kate North, Tyler Keevil, Jim Morphy, Jimena Gibert and Chris Cornwell all talk about a work of short fiction that means something to them. Senior Editor, Gary Raymond, reflects upon Saul Bellow’s ‘The Bellarosa Connection’, Adam Somerset discusses Somerset Maugham’s unduly neglected, ‘The Alien Corn’, and Georgia Carys Williams writes about the influence of Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper. Elsewhere, acclaimed novelist and short story writer Cynan Jones contemplates his on-off love affair with the short story and takes a look at a selection of his favourite pieces. And in recognition of this week’s announcement that William Trevor has been awarded The Charleston Trust/ University of Chichester inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in Short Story Writing, John Lavin contributes this issue’s long form essay, an in depth look at what is perhaps the essential Trevor story: ‘The Ballroom of Romance.’
Dylan Moore, looks at Bernardo ‘Atxaga’s prize-winning, genre-defying ‘short story collection’ Obabakoak.’ In ‘New Short Story Collections’, acclaimed novelist and short story writer Jon Gower looks at the new books fromMary-Ann Constantine, Adam Marek, Eduardo Halfon and Hassan Blasim. Carl Griffin’s examines the connections between poetry and short fiction, in Stephen Dobyns: Finding the Short Story in the Poetry of a Novelist and Richard Gwyn’s dreamlike, short-story-like prose poem ‘The Days.’
Lots of great reading for any short story aficionados out there!
I’m facilitating a creative writing workshop at People’s College, Parnell Square, starting on Wednesday October 9th at 6.15pm. Course description here. Gallery of rogues from a previous year pictured above!
Contact details for People’s College: 31, Parnell Square, Dublin 1. Tel: 8735879, email: email@example.com
I’m also giving a creative writing class at Crumlin College of Further Education beginning Monday, September 30th for ten weeks. Registration takes place on the night, rather than online, and a few people are already signed up by phone or by dropping in to the college. If you’re a beginner or if you’ve already done some writing, you’re welcome to come along. Class begins at 6.45pm and ends at 8.15pm.
Contact details for Crumlin College: Crumlin College, Crumlin Road, Dublin 12 Tel: 01 454 0662
I look forward to seeing some new faces as well the familiar ones. Some of my students’ successes can be found here. Just hover on ‘mentoring’ tab. Several students have won City Of Dublin VEC Creative Writing Awards, run annually for CDVEC colleges across Dublin. And students from both Crumlin College and People’s College have gone on to win prestigious writing awards outside of the colleges. Some have set up blogs you might like to follow:
Delighted to have my poem ‘The Creases in John McCormack’s Shoes’ included in the latest issue of The Lampeter Review, the journal of the Lampeter Creative Writing Centre of The University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. I’m very happy to feature alongside the wonderful poets and writers listed below. Thanks to the editorial board which includes Dic Edwards, John Lavin and Ros Hudis and special thanks to Ros Hudis, editor of Issue 7 for including my work.