Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair - Winners Announced!

THE IRISH WRITERS’ CENTRE has announced its shortlist of 12 winners for this year’s Novel Fair. Now in its third year, the Novel Fair aims to introduce up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents.

Novel Fair 2014 Competition Winners!

The winners of the Novel Fair Competition 2014 have been announced! The twelve finalists, selected from more than 300 applicants, are as follows:
Colm by Evan Cody
Wolf by Simon Fay
Botox For Dancers by David Flitton
Out of Nowhere by Alan Gorevan
Stolen Sister by Geraldine Hogan
The Edge of Heaven by Rachael Kelly
Eggshells by Caitriona Lally
The Shadow of Darcy Anne by Blathnaid Nolan
Letters to Lucy by Nathan O'Donnell
Dawn in Temper by Lisa Parker
North to Midnight by Grey Phelan
The Silver Girl by Aine Tierney
The judging panel, whose identity was kept under wraps while the shortlisting process was taking place, can also now be revealed as Rachel Pierce, owner/editor owner of Verba Editing House; Anthony Glavin, editor and writer; and Sarah Davis-Goff, publisher and founder of Tramp Press. Since the October 16th deadline, the judges have read through every page of the 306 synopses and opening chapters received and have had the unenviable task of whittling it down to a winning twelve.
Judge Anthony Glavin described their final selection as “A rich cornucopia of hugely promising premises, plots, characters, insights and outcomes for a dozen novels across all genres, all underpinned by original, engaging, well-executed writing.  Not to be missed!” The work chosen includes literary fiction, children's fiction, historical fiction, SciFi, thriller and crime. One of the winners will travel home to Kilkenny all the way from New Zealand to take part. For another, it’s her first win after making the long list in two previous years, with a different novel submitted each time!
In addition to the twelve finalists, the following novels were all placed on the judges' longlist and have been Highly Commended:

Summer of Stan by Anthony Brophy
Railway Park by Erica Coughlan
Child of the Slums by Aisling Cronin
Rising by Brian Kirk
Essex Road by Guy Le Jeune
Jesus of the Lavatory by Donall Mac Lochlainn
Loyalties by Niall McCann
Happy-Cry with my Brilliant Life by Paul McCarrick
Tider by Sinead O'Hart
Statistical Anomalies in the Probability of Love by Tara Sparling

Novel Fair 2014 will take place on February 22nd in the Irish Writers’ Centre. Now in its third year, the event aims to introduce up-and-coming writers to top publishers and literary agents, giving novelists the opportunity to bypass the slush pile, pitch their ideas and place their synopsis and sample chapters directly into the hands of publishers and agents. It presents a unique opportunity to gain face time with some of the most influential people in Irish publishing, and could truly kick-start a literary career for this year’s winners.

Last year’s Fair was attended by representatives from Penguin Ireland, Hachette Ireland, Transworld Ireland, Picador, New Island, O’Brien Press, Lilliput Press, Liberties Press, Curtis Brown, The Book Bureau, Marianne Gunne O’Connor Literary Agency, Jonathan Williams Literary Agency and Lisa Richards Agency.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Liberties Upstairs Launch!

I'm really looking forward to this event tomorrow evening...it's been an age since I had a good literary night out!!!
Hope to see some of you there!!

The Liberties Upstairs launch takes place at 6pm on Wednesday 29 January 2014 with Liberties' authors Mary Kenny, Tom Clonan and Joe Joyce , who will be reading from their latest work on the launch night.

Join them on the night for wine, books and conversation at Liberties Upstairs! 

RSVP:+353(0)1405 5703 or libertiesupstairs@gmail.com

Liberties Upstairs @
Liberties Press

Monday, January 27, 2014

Word Count!

Today I reached 90,000+ words, which is double the word count of 45,000 from a month ago, the day after Stephen's Day. By any stretch of the imagination, I think that's good going!

It is only first draft, but the end is closer!!

I read a great quote earlier today HERE - it went something like this...

Q: What if I fail?

A: You will.

A better question might is, "after I fail, what then?

A: After you fail you will be one step closer to succeeding...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cover of The Doll's House

It's always interesting to look at covers. This new one of THE DOLL'S HOUSE coming out soon in large print with Clipper Books looks very different to the original but I really like the landscape and the colour tones.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Interested in writing crime fiction?

Crime Writing with Louise Phillips

Wednesday 5th February; 6.30pm–8.30pm
Duration: 8 weeks; Cost: €220/€200 members

This course will cover many elements of successful crime writing – creating tension, pace, memorable characters, effective dialogue, a plot with twists and turns, and an utterly gripping page turning story.

Over the course of the eight weeks, we will use content, weekly workshop exercises, and editorial critique to assist you in sharpening your narrative voice. Research is a huge component of crime writing - how much, how little, and where do you find the answers you're looking for?

Alongside the examination of the area of research, during the course, we will have visits from professionals who will take you step-by-step through crime scene evaluation and the gathering of forensic evidence. Whether you have written a crime a novel and want to improve it, or you have started one, and want the impetus to finish it, or even if you are simply at the idea stage, this course will get you closer to the finish line.

BOOKING LINK - or call 01-8721302

Student Testimonials:
 “I have taken several courses at the IWC and although I must say all of them have been enjoyable and inspiring, Crime Writing with Louise Phillips has been so far the best. She is a great help not only from the point of view of what the genre is about but also about the specific texts she asks her students to do, which she checks with a magnifier glass. Her corrections are always worthy because as a teacher she is devoted, critical and encouraging.” - Bruce Swansey

“I would strongly recommend the crime writing course at the I.W.C. by Louise Phillips. I took the course last Autumn and found it both inspirational and informative. It gave me a vivid insight into the world of crime writing. Everything was covered, from writing styles and techniques to forensics. It made me want to get going and write my crime novel.” - Jennifer Farrell.

“I found the crime writing course with Louise Phillips to be so effective.  Each week was themed and well structured. It helped me with pace and tension in my novel, and how to develop a cracking good plot.  The real life detective element as part of the course was also a ‘wow’ factor for me - learning about true investigations, how a crime scene is worked and preserved, and ultimately how to catch the murderer, and.from someone who has done it in real life. An excellently delivered course by an award winning author gets the five stars from me, and is highly recommended to all aspiring crime writers.” - Patricia Gibneyhttps://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif

"Louise Phillips crime writing course in the Irish Writer’s Centre was brilliant. It covered so much:  Narrator’s Voice and Point of View;  Rhythm and Shape of Dialogue;  Getting to Grips with Character; Pacing; Plotting; Story Arc, Crime Scene Evaluation (including a star turns by real life detectives), writing the Dreaded Synopsis, Pitching, promoting ourselves with Facebook and Twitter and finally networking with Dublin’s crime writing fraternity. A roller coaster ride and I enjoyed every minute of it!" Anita Morris

Born in Dublin, Louise Phillip’s work has been published as part of many anthologies including County Lines from New Island and various literary journals. In 2009 she won the Jonathan Swift Award and in 2011 she was a winner in the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform. She has also been short-listed for the Molly Keane Memorial Award, Bridport UK, and long-listed twice for the RTÉ Guide/Penguin Short Story Competition. In 2012 she was awarded an Arts Bursary for Literature from South Dublin County Council Arts Division.Louise Phillips is the bestselling author of psychological crime thrillers, Red Ribbons and The Doll's House, recent winner of the 2013 Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards.. She is currently working on her third novel.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I reached 70,000 words today. It feels like a milestone.

I thought starting out that this new novel wouldn't be as long as the others (110,000 words). I had hoped I learned that sometimes, less is often more, from the wonderfully talented Arlene Hunt. But the darn things keeps on growing extra limbs.

Maybe when I reach the end, I'll be glad of my ignorance of it's final word count. Always best not to panic - Keep writing calmly and effectively. That will have to do me for now!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Abandoned Apartment in Paris!

Madame de Florian was a French socialite and actress who fled to the south of France during World War II. She kept her apartment in Paris on the Right Bank near the Opéra Garnier, though, in case she wanted to return. However, she never went back to it after the war. Since 1942, the apartment has been sitting untouched, until recently when an auctioneer entered her apartment. What he found was a time capsule, full of treasures....This is an incredible story, to view more images and read full article, click  HERE

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Trusting the process!

I've had a few good days with the writing of Novel 3, and thankfully I have reached my daily targets. Today wasn't such a great day, and I don't really know why, but nonetheless, I pushed myself to write as you so often have to. Yes, I know, I should be saying how wonderful it all is, and of course it does have it's wonders, but there are sticky points too!

It's a scary thing this writing lark, because you have to take a risk with it, write even when you're not sure what you're going to say, accept that you will rarely (if ever) get it right first time out, and that you will become frustrated with both yourself and the story as it unravels to the end.

I was given some good pieces of advice about writing the first draft of a novel, but two of them have stuck with me.

The first is 'to turn up'. By that I mean, to allocate time to write, and sit at your laptop, or notebook, and stay there even if you don't want to. If you've allocated 2-3 hours, you will eventually write something. A novel won't write itself, and even if it is only a couple of hundred words, you are further advancing the story.

The second piece of advice is to 'trust the process'. If you've written a novel before, you will know that you go through doubts, that you won't have the story line fully developed, that characters and words will come and go, and finally, when that lovely moment arrives and your words are ready to go off to be independent by getting printed in an actual book, you will know that you have written the best story you can, done the most with each of the characters, changed more words than you could ever comprehend, and learned stuff in the process.

So, I'm not going to beat myself up about a bad day. Fingers crossed it will be a lot better tomorrow, but either way, I'll turn up and I'll trust the process!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Latest Goodreads Review of RED RIBBONS


's review 
Jan 08, 14

The debut novel from Irish author Louise Phillips, Red Ribbons is a definite page turner, superbly written in a simple yet effective manner. From the start, the characters are subtly developed, making both their existence and circumstances more believable than others put to paper in the same genre.

The plot is centred around three narrators, each providing a unique insight to each angle of the story. Great characters are introduced, Kate Pearson, the criminal psychologist hired by police to hunt down the serial killer responsible for the body of a young schoolgirl, found buried in the Dublin Mountains, who discovers how hauntingly familiar her investigation becomes, the more she uncovers, and
Ellie Brady, a woman sent to an institution 14 years previous for murdering her own daughter Amy.
The narration from the serial killer cemented my love for this book, as I really enjoyed the characters tainted outlook, and reasons for being.

Red Ribbons is a gritty read, which I found impossible to put down, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fast and thrilling read

Friday, January 3, 2014

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Margaret Forster wrote in tribute to Daphne Du Maurier after she died in 1989, that "No other popular writer has so triumphantly defied classification...she satisfied all the questionable criteria of popular fiction, and yet satisfied too the exacting requirements of "real literature", something very few novelists ever do."

I must admit, I am later than most coming to this story of REBECCA, but it was no less a joy because of this. In fact, I can visualize my young teenage self reading it, and coming away with the same heartfelt delight. 

The novel tells the story of a young girl, (we are never told her name) who whilst working as a companion in Monte Carlo, meets the widow Max De Winters, who proposes marriage, and after a brief honeymoon on the continent, whisks her off to his isolated ancestral home, Manderley. We are introduced briefly to the character of Rebecca initially by way of a note in a book, but it is on arriving at Manderley, that the ominous late wife, Rebecca, is brought back to life through the stories and beliefs of others, not least of which is the dark and disturbing Mrs Danvers, Rebecca's maid and close companion.

Rebecca, an International best seller which has never gone out of print is a haunting tale that everyone should read, whether you are 15, or 115.  

It is a dark Gothic mystery that will have you captivated from beginning to end. A curl up in front of the fire book, one that kept me up to the early hours of the morning reading, and one which I looked forward to picking up each day, the way you only can, when you find a great book. I find myself disappointed now that it is over. 

So what had me hooked? Great storytelling for sure, an almost magical enthralling read, without a doubt. A good dash of darkness and spice and secrets, alongside the fragility of the human spirit,some good plot twists, even if one or two were a bit of a stretch, a layered story, opening the window for the reader into another time and place, the wonderful location of Manderley, the dark west wing and Mrs Danvers, and the ability of the author to brings this world to life and to do so with a firm, delicate, mesmerising hand.

I highly recommend it, but I will leave you with a quote from the opening page in a dream like description of Manderlay and the drive - "Nature has come into her own again and, little by little, in her stealthy, insidious way had encroached upon the drive with long, tenacious fingers. The woods, always a menace even in the past, had triumphed in the end. They crowded, dark and uncontrolled, to the borders of the drive. The beeches with white, naked limbs leant close to one another, their branches intermingled in a strange embrace..."
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