Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Francis MacManus Short Story Competition 2015!

This year marks the 28th anniversary of the RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition, which over the years has proved to be the launching pad for many renowned Irish writers.
Submissions are now being accepted for this year's Francis MacManus Short Story Competition 2015.  You can download an entry form here or send a stamped addressed envelope to:

RTÉ Radio 1 Short Story Competition
RTÉ Radio Centre
Dublin 4

About The Annual Short Story Series:
Since its establishment in 1986 the competition has been the launching pad, as well as a great source of support and inspiration, for several new and emerging writers. Previous winners include Claire Keegan, Ciarán Folan, Ivy Bannister, Nuala Ní Chonchúir and Martin Malone. The competition was founded in memory of Francis Mac Manus: the Kilkenny-born novelist, short story writer, biographer and former Head of Talks and Features at Radió Éireann.
The 2014 short-listed entries can be heard on the RTÉ Player at www.rte.ie/radio1/francis-macmanus-short-story/

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Unleash your Dark Side!!!

ADVANCED CRIME FICTION WRITING - One Day Course Saturday 9th May at the Irish Writers Centre.

Available for booking from this week, but there are ONLY 3 places left! So if you are interested, get booking! 

This course is aimed at writers who have completed an introductory creative writing course and/or are currently writing a crime fiction novel. It will focus on plot development, hot seating your principle characters, incorporating tension and a fast pace into your story, one with page turning quality, and how best to create effective dialogue. There will be a series of workshop exercises, along with a talk from a crime scene professional.

For more details click HERE

Saturday, March 21, 2015


I'm working on a short story today. It's a flash fiction piece for an anthology, and it feels like forever since I've worked within this format, but thankfully it felt strangely new, challenging, and refreshingly good...

It's called LAYLA btw...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

LAST KISS in Large Print...

So here is the LARGE PRINT cover of LAST KISS from WF Howes.... interesting....


With the smaller paperback of LAST KISS gradually reaching the shops, I wanted to say a sincere THANK YOU to everyone who reviewed LAST KISS so highly, and especially those who have had their reviews quoted on the back and inside of the novel. It does the writing heart so much good!!! 

Apologies for the pic, but this was the only way I could get them all on one image!!

S J Watson and Paula Hawkins in conversation with Sinead Crowley - Mountains to the Sea Festival

How well do we know our family, our closest friends? How well do we really know ourselves? S.J. Watson’s new novel, Second Life, explores identity, lies and secrets in a nail-biting new psychological thriller. Watson’s debut novel, Before I Go To Sleep, became a phenomenal international success. It has now sold over 4 million copies around the world and has been made into a hit Hollywood film starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.

Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train has become a publishing sensation before it has even hit the shops with early reviewers anointing it as “the new Gone Girl”. The central conceit is brilliant. Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. Each time it waits at the same signal, overlooking a row of houses. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but now everything’s changed.

Sinéad Crowley is Arts & Media correspondent with RTÉ News. Her debut thriller Can Anybody Help Me was published in 2014.

Venue: Pavilion Theatre / Time: 6.30pm / €10/€8 Concession / 20th March 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015

Let's talk about Irish Crime Fiction!!!

Hi All,

I'll be doing a Twitter online chat with 3 other Irish Crime Writers this evening as part of the Killer Reads Festival. Myself, William Ryan, Sheena Lambert​ and Ava McCarthy. 

It would be great to have some of you chip in if you can. Time and hashtag etc below...

Time: 5.30pm-6pm Friday 13th March
Theme: Irish Crime Fiction
Host: @KillerReads
Hashtag@ #KillerFest15

Thursday, March 12, 2015


When I was asked by Frank to launch his novel THE NIGHT GAME, I didn't get that feeling of dread you sometimes get when someone asks you to read something and you worry that you may not like it.  I had no such concerns on this occasion as I was familiar with Frank's poetry and other extended works, and I had no doubts about the literary merits of the prose being top class.

I was intrigued however, about it being a psychological crime thriller, this supposedly being my area, so to speak.

Lots of words come to mind to describe THE NIGHT GAME - Dark, dangerous, suspenseful and raw, to name but a few. The story certainly pulls you from a potentially safe mindset, and can make you feel very uncomfortable, asking lots of questions of the reader.
They say the sign of a great crime thriller is a sense of dread on every page, and THE NIGHT GAME delivers this and then some. The dread of what is going to happen next is paralleled within the tempo, rhythm, and utterly gripping language, and you get the sense that you are on a road to something very dark and dangerous indeed.

Another element of creating a successful crime thriller, or so I'm told, is the wonderful use of masks. People are not always who or what they seem. Sometimes they gain your trust only to slap you in the face with it, unsettling you, the reader. In THE NIGHT GAME, there are plenty of masks, and you are kept wondering until the very end if all the masks have been revealed, or, if there is going to be yet another turn to this story, and you will not be disappointed there.

This is high quality prose, but with an underlying darkness that is both suspenseful and at times surprising. Be prepared to be taken on a roller-coaster ride, one which isn't afraid to explore human depravity and human fragility in a very different way. If you do read THE NIGHT GAME, you certainly won't forget it.

Not for the fainthearted, but it will be in my books of 2015 for sure!


New York. Late winter. The city is shrouded in fog. Mary lives alone in her childhood home, a rambling brownstone on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. After a series of menacing phone calls, and fearing that she is being stalked, Mary contacts Sheila, one of her oldest friends. Sheila agrees to move in until the situation is resolved. The police investigate and initially focus on respondents to a dating site she has recently joined. Mary suspects her ex-husband David, with whom she is still obsessed. Fast-paced and dark The Night Game offers up psychological intrigue and emotional depth. Nothing in this surreal story, which culminates in the re-enactment of an old murder, is as it seems.

Frank Golden is a poet, novelist and visual artist. His previous novel, The Two Women of Aganatz, was published by the Wolfhound Press, Dublin. His last book of poems was In Daily Accord (Salmon Poetry). He has received two bursaries in literature from the Arts Council of Ireland and a number of other awards. He lives in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland. www.frankgolden7.com

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


The International Literature Festival Dublin is running Date With An Agent 2015 – Ireland’s largest ever talent-spotting event. We are looking for 75 top quality authors to pitch their work to 5 leading literary agents keen to sign new talent on 16th May 2015.
To be in with a chance to take part in the event, submit the first 1,500 words of your  book in hard copy with a 1,000 word synopsis, a 500 word author biography and the completed Application Form (available from the International Literature Festival Dublin website) and €10 entry fee (if using TicketSolve, include a copy of your ticket) – please ensure that ONLY your book title is on the pages of your submission as all applications will be judged anonymously.
Submissions to the event will be assessed by Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin and a team of consultants from The Inkwell Group.  Experienced literary scouts Inkwell have assisted award winning and bestselling authors to publication and will be reading every application, matching the selected authors to agents including:
  • Simon Trewin, Partner and Head of Literary at WME
  • Sallyanne Sweeney of Mulcahy Associates
  • Clare Wallace, Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film agency
  • Julia Churchill, AM Heath
  • Paul Feldstein, Feldstein Literary Agency
Please staple the synopsis and chapters together firmly, and the Application Form and author biography together separately from the chapters. The closing date for applications is midnight on 27th March, please ensure you allow sufficient time for delivery. Items postmarked up to 26th March will be accepted.
This year the full day of agent panel, editor panel (including Patricia Deevy of Penguin Random House and Paula Campbell of Poolbeg/Ward River Press), multi award winning author Mary Costello in conversation, and Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin’s getting published tips will be open to all writers, both to those who have successfully submitted to meet an agent, and to those may not be ready to do so,  at a cost of €50. Successful applicants will be scheduled to discuss their book with one of the agent panel and will be notified of the time of their meeting. The event will take place on 16th May.
Date With an Agent Rules, Terms & Conditions:
Please ensure:
  • Your submission is double-spaced
  • Printed in 12pt Times New Roman or Arial, single sided.
  • That your name does not appear on the submission
  • That your book title does appear on every page of your submission (in header or footer)
  • Your submission consists of the opening 1,500 words of your book and a 1,000 word synopsis.
Please staple your opening chapter and synopsis together, stapling your author biography (500 words) to the application form NOT to the chapters.
Please do not put your submission in a folder or bind it in anyway.
Please do NOT send your entire book. The writing sample will give The Inkwell Group team a very clear idea of the impact of your opening chapter on a reader, your writing style, voice and delivery. If successful, the agents will read your submission prior to meeting you and should they wish to see more, will ask for it.
  • The International Literature Festival Dublin Date With An Agent event is open to unagented writers of any nationality writing in English, 18 years old and over at the time of the closing date.
  • Submissions may be fiction (novel or short story collection) or non-fiction.
  • Submissions will only be accepted in the format specified. All submission fees are non-refundable.
  • The submission address is The Inkwell Group, The Old Post Office, Kilmacanogue, County Wicklow.
  • Multiple submissions are accepted. Writers may make as many submissions as they choose but the submission fee must be paid for each submission.
  • Books do not need to be completed but please indicate the full word count of the manuscript (what you actually have rather than what you hope to have!)
  • Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to International Literature Festival Dublin. Credit card payments are facilitated online via TicketSolve.
  • If your application is successful you will be notified by 17th April and required to book a ticket for workshop on 16th May at a cost of €50. This includes all refreshments, the morning agent panel session, a ‘getting published’ session with Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, multi award winning author Mary Costello in conversation and a panel discussion with several leading editors.
  • If you are unsuccessful in being selected, you are very welcome to attend the main part of the event, at a cost of €50.
  • Writers not submitting work for consideration are also welcome to attend the event at a cost of €50.
  • The International Literature Festival Dublin is not responsible for travel or accommodation for participants. If you are unable to attend for any reason, please notify International Literature Festival Dublin immediately so your place can be transferred. Bookings are non-refundable except in special circumstances.
  • The selector’s decision will be final and no correspondence may be entered into, however in addition to the shortlist of selected writers, there will be a reserve list compiled, if appropriate, in case of cancellation. Writers will be notified by 20th April if their application has been successful. Due to the logistics of selection International Literature Festival Dublin cannot notify unsuccessful candidates.
  • Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.
  • Submission is open to books that have been self-published, but not to books that have been previously published by a publishing house.
  • Please inform us immediately if you accept an offer of representation elsewhere prior to the event. Submission & booking fees will not be refunded
  • Entries are not returned; make sure you keep a copy. Unsuccessful entries will be destroyed.
  • Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted, nor substitutions made.  If entrants wish to correct errors they must submit a new entry, marked ‘Final Version’ on the title page, and enter again with payment of the entry fee.  No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into.
  • Please ensure that you use the correct postage.  If insufficient postage is used, International Literature Festival Dublin will not pay the additional postage required and the entry will be returned by An Post.
  • Enclose a stamped addressed postcard marked ‘DATE WITH AN AGENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT’ if you require acknowledgement of receipt of your entry.
  • It is not possible to confirm receipt of entries by phone or email correspondence.
  • Entries submitted posthumously will not be eligible.
  • Entries will not be eligible where the author is a member of the judging panel, anyone involved in the administration of the festival or a close family relative of any such person. Writers currently serving a term of imprisonment are ineligible for the event.
  • International Literature Festival Dublin reserves the right to alter the proposed programme without notice.
  • In entering your submission, you agree that your contact details will be added to the International Literature Festival Dublin and Inkwell Group e-mailing lists. Your details will not be shared with any third parties.
  • In entering your submission you are deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions
Good Luck!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Killer Synopsis!

There are very few words in the English language that can scare a writer quite like the word SYNOPSIS!

You've spent months, maybe years, writing a fictional story and then someone asks you to explain it in 'x' amount of words, not another novel, but a sort of overview, which includes, genre, place, characters, premise, beginning, middle and end, along with all the significant reveals/dramas that happen whilst bringing the said story to a conclusion.

Easy, isn't a word that comes especially to mind!

So having delivered the manuscript of THE GAME CHANGER to my editor, when she asked me yesterday if I happened to have a synopsis, the answer was 'No', but, no problem, I said, I'll whip one up tomorrow!

I started at 6 a.m, It only took me 8 hours to put together 2,500 words, all of which, when I read them back proved to me that I definitively nuts, or at the very least, marginally insane to come up with plots like this.....

Will keep you posted!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

E U Prize for Literature - Irish Jury Announce 2015 Shortlist

There are very few things in life as pleasurable as reading great writing. One of the highlights of this year for me will certainly be my role as part of the Irish Judging Panel of the E U Prize for Literature. 

I recently reviewed an anthology of Irish contributors (more about that later) and below is a quote from my review. The words reflect well my feelings regarding the material I had the joy to read as part of this European Award.

"Good writing will seduce you. It will suck you into the world it creates, so that for the purest of moments in time, you dance within the life of another, aligned like a silent ghost beside them."

Congrats to Mary Costello, Donal Ryan and Deidre Sullivan.

For full Press Release - see below 

The following titles have been shortlisted for the EU Prize for Literature 2015, a Prize for emerging talents in the field of contemporary fiction (alphabetical order):

Mary CostelloAcademy Street (Cannongate Books, 2014)

Donal RyanThe Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland, 2012)

Deirdre SullivanPrimperfect (Little Island, 2014)

Ireland is one of twelve countries who will provide a national winner of the EU Prize for Literature in 2015. See: http://www.euprizeliterature.eu/

The aim of the European Prize for Literature is to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works.

The €5,000 prize is financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union whose objective is to achieve three main goals: to promote cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector; to encourage the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output; and to foster intercultural dialogue.

The twelve winners will be announced 14 April 2015 at the London Book Fair.

A ceremony will follow in Brussels on 23 June 2015.

The Irish Jury

STEPHEN BOYLAN is Books Category Manager for Eason's, the largest suppliers of books in Ireland. He also reviews books for RTE, the national state television and radio broadcaster.

CONOR KOSTICK Former Chairperson of the Irish Writers' Union and board member of the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency, Conor is the author of fourteen books of fiction and history, including the award-winning Epic

NESSA O'MAHONY has published four volumes of poetry, including a verse novel.

LOUISE PHILLIPS is bestselling author of the psychological crime thrillers, Red RibbonsThe Doll’s House and Last Kiss. All three novels were nominated for the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards. Her second novel, The Doll’s House, won the award in 2013. 

FERGAL TOBIN was publishing director of Ireland’s largest publishing house for more than twenty years and was president of the Federation of European Publishers from 2010 to 2012.

Monday, March 2, 2015


So here it is at long last!!  Even though it will go through a number of revisions/edits before publication...THE GAME CHANGER (aka Novel 4) now exists with a beginning, middle and end...

I will be spending the next week doing a final read through with edits and then life might get back to normal for a little while!!

See you on the other side....

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