The unweekly herding: room for improvement

I’ve been laying low recently, working feverishly on a book project as part of an amazing mentorship bursary with this year’s Frank O’Connor Fellow Marie-Helene Bertino (my current state of mind: OhGodOhGodOhGod). But I can’t resist the occasional herding of writing news, so here are a few bits and pieces that might be of interest to some of you.


East Cork writing residency

greywood-arts-writers-residencyA new arts centre in the east Cork village of Killeagh has announced details of their very first Winter Writing Residency Award. Greywoods Arts, a recently renovated Georgian house in the middle of Killeagh village, is offering writers the chance to win a weeklong residency between January and April 2018.  Writers of short stories, plays and poetry are invited to submit unpublished works, with one author from each category being awarded self-catering accommodation and a private workspace to call their own overlooking the Dissour River. At the end of each residency, Greywood Arts will host an intimate fireside reading in their library for the writers to share their work.

The closing date for entries is October 15, and there is a €10 submission fee. Successful applicants will be contacted by November 1.

If you crave somewhere to work with no distractions, this would be ideal. And if you’re a nature lover, the house is pretty much adjoining the rather lovely Glenbower Wood:


Fiction/non-fiction award

The prestigious Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers’ Award 2018  is accepting manuscript submissions until December 13.  An award of £10,000 will be presented to a first-time prose writer whose work demonstrates outstanding literary talent and who would benefit from financial support to complete their book.

Submissions should be 20-30,000 words of either a fiction (including childrens’ or YA) or non-fiction work in progress, accompanied by a brief synopsis and biog. Entrants must be resident in the British Commonwealth or Ireland.

The judging panel consists of novelists Anne Enright, Jenny Uglow and Pete Hobbs, and it appears to be that rare thing, a free-to-enter competition. Thanks to Brenda Donoghue for the heads up.


Lucy Cavendish novel competition

Local man forced to wear flip flops for life due to unputdownable book

The Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2018 is currently open for novel opener submissions from women over 21, and resident in the UK or Ireland. The requirements are the first 40-50 pages of a novel plus a 5-10 page synopsis. There’s no restriction on genre, though the blurb on the website says the judges will be seeking writers who ‘combine literary merit with unputdownability’. If you think that sums you up, the entry fee is £12. The competition closes February 9, 2018, so there’s plenty of time to make that WIP less, eh,  putdownable (OhGodOhGodOhGod).

The shortlisted authors will be invited to attend a prize dinner where they can schmooze with industry figures. And all will receive a one-to-one consultation with literary agent Marilia Savvides from heavyweight agency Peters, Fraser + Dunlop. Sounds terrifying, but what an opportunity for a budding writer.


Novel Fair time

…speaking of novel competitions, a quick reminder that the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair deadline is coming up very soon.  Entrants are asked to submit up to 10,000 words of a novel, along with a 300-word synopsis. The entry fee is stiff at €50 (€40 if you’re a member of the IWC), but the prize is terrific – a shortlist of 12 writers get the chance to pitch their work directly to agents and publishers in a Dragon’s Den/speed-dating event. I made the longlist for the competition two years ago with a different WIP from the one I’m concentrating on now (OhGodOhGodOhGod etc) and it was such a boost. The closing date is October 20.



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