I worked as an editor, sub-editor and writer for many years on magazines and newspapers in London, the Netherlands and my native Cork, Ireland. God, I hated it. There was also a pocket of time where I trained as a director in a London off-West End theatre. That was as fantastic as it was bonkers.
Writing fiction is something I’ve done since I was a kid – the earliest story I kept for posterity was about a sad labrador. But I’ve only started writing in a focused way in the past few years, thanks to a fantastic writing group (seriously, find one, join it, is my writing advice. But try to hunt out one that is nurturing and positive rather than toxic and damaging – it may take a few goes or you may be lucky and find your tribe easily).
I have won the Molly Keane Award 2018 and the From the Well Short Story Competition 2017, run by Cork County Library and Arts Services, was the runner-up in the UCC/Carried in Waves Short Story Competition in 2015 (the story is available to listen to on Soundcloud here), shortlisted for the Colm Toíbín International Short Story Award 2016 and Highly Commended for it in 2017, and longlisted for the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition 2015.
My work has been published in The Ogham Stone, Spelk, National Flash Fiction Day flash flood, The Wellington Street Review, Fictive Dream, The Drabble, Jellyfish Review, Dodging the Rain, The Nottingham Review, Halo Literary Magazine (sadly no more), Spontaneity, The Incubator and the Sunday People newspaper.
A novel or two is also in progress, the opening chapters of one blagging its way on to the longlist for the Greenbean/Irish Novel Fair 2016, held by the Irish Writers Centre. In 2017, I was awarded a bursary by the Munster Literature Centre to be mentored by the American writer Marie-Helene Bertino, who was in Cork as the recipient of the Frank O’Connor Fellowship. It was an amazing experience to have thoughtful guidance through another novel project, which is still at an early first draft stage.
This blog is a sharing of the information I stumble across as part of a steep learning curve, the occasional book review when something makes an impression and the odd cheeky plug for any little personal victories. Apologies in advance for those.
Thanks for reading,