Back in a while…


I haven’t been putting much recently, and it’s about to get worse : the next seven months or so I’ll be travelling around southern South America, and will probably not have the time or motivation to talk to myself here…

I’ll have a few bits and pieces published in absentia in the meantime, so check them out, especially if you’re into Irish literary mags. You’ll see me in The Stinging Fly, Revival, New Planet Cabaret, and The Poetry Bus…

A few Irish deadlines…



There’s a few things coming up – so time to dish off these reams of stories you’ve been sitting on!

- The Stinging Fly accepts postal submissions until the end of June (and, for a flash fiction showcase, by email only on Saturday June 22nd for pieces under 500 words) This issue will be edited by Nuala Ní Chonchúir.

- The RTÉ Guide / Penguin Ireland competition : accepts stories under 2000 words until July 5th. If it is like previous years, the winner gets published in RTÉ Guide and shortlisted writers are invited to a talk with publishers and authors in Dublin. (It seems to be one of these competition which the organisers try to keep secret from potential entrants – so thanks Kate Dempsey and her Emerging Writer blog for the info!)

- Crannóg will be open for submissions for the month of July (under 2000 words)

- The Sean O’Faolain Prize closes on July 31st.  €2000 for the winning story (under 3000 words), €15 entry fee

- New Binary Press is accepting submissions for an anthology until September 1st (under 3000 words)

Quote #4: George Orwell



Who said George Orwell couldn’t be hilarious? Here he is in Homage to Catalonia, telling us about the grenades he had to use :

Its chief disadvantage was that one pin was very stiff and the other very loose, so that you had the choice of leaving both pins in place and being unable to pull the stiff one out in a moment of emergency, or pulling out the stiff one beforehand and being in a constant stew lest the thing should explode in your pocket. But it was a handy little bomb to throw.

The constant stew! Oh, George, you crack me up…

Quotes #3: Louise Erdrich



Little writing trick from Louise Erdrich (from The Paris Review, The Art of Fiction 208) :

I started writing poems with inner rhymes but as they became more complex they turned into narrative. I started telling stories in the poems. But the ­poems I could write jumping up from my desk or lying on the bed. Anywhere. At last, I had this epiphany. I wanted to write prose, and I ­understood that my real problem with writing was not that I couldn’t do it mentally. I couldn’t do it physically. I could not sit still. Literally, could not sit still. So I had to solve that. I used some long scarves to tie myself into my chair. I tied myself in with a pack of cigarettes on one side and coffee on the other, and when I instinctively bolted upright after a few minutes, I’d say, Oh, shit. I’m tied down. I’ve got to keep writing.


(Bear writing coaches work as well. Typing tied to chair in Google Images yields surprisingly few pictures of writing-related bondage.)