Last night, a story I had entered into the Over the Edge New Irish Writer of the Year award received a highly commendation. Of course, I am happy and I thought it would be interesting to see how long it took me to write it and what was involved as this story was quite the mover and shaker.
It started out with the title “Can’t rewind” and actually was born with that title in January 2015 after a Christmas holiday to my aunty’s house and an object I saw in it inspired me to create a new world with the object( a CCTV camera) in it.
That story is now called “Pokey out wire”, the main characters kept their names but changed their type. The setting stayed the same but the events totally changed. The ending totally changed whereas the start was more or less the same. A few months ago on advice from my lovely fiction writing group, I changed the narrator from third to first person. Simon, my husband helped me with the title. He is a god of making titles. If you need a title, ask him!
This story in various formats was rejected 6 times over the 2 and a half years.
But, now I think it is done. On to the next one, where to start? Somewhere interesting or someone horrid is always there to inspire me! It is all about finding the time now.
Last night the Over the Edge New Irish Writer 2016 fiction award winner was announced and sadly it was not me but I really didn’t expect it when I saw that Chris Connolly had been shortlisted as he seems to have won every award going in the last year!
He won the RTE Francis McManus award this year too with a deeply affecting short story called The Speed of Light and How It Cannot Help Us. It is beautifully read here on the RTE Francis McManus award page. Have a listen, it will grab you and it finishes it a very chilling way that I still think about.
Doire Press are reading Chris’ stories as part of the prize and I am sure Chris’ collection will be published by a company very soon!
I will be posting a second post shortly about my own entry and the work, hours and tears and re-edits it has taken to get one of my stories to this stage! Am tired thinking about it!
Gosh, I kind of find these posts odd and ego-ridden and cringey to read so here goes….
One of my stories has been shortlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year award 2016, got the news this morning via an excited husband holding a mobile screen in my face! It was a lovely way to be woken up and then a coffee and then a coffee and pretzel chocolate thing in Costa with my lovely M-boy.
I have been working on this story for over two years and the first draft of the story has morphed into an entirely different one. Even the title has changed! I have been writing for quite some time and only feel that this story and others I have written recently have started to show me as a person, writer etc and how I think other people might think about the world. I am proud of this story because of those things. It is me and what I like to read and it just makes me feel all delighted to see that someone else might think it is okay too.
I would love to be at the fiction slam in Galway in October but we are booked to go away to Munich and Salzburg to see my most loved cousin, Trina and her lovely, Australian husband.
Life is good. Back to the work.
Was this odd, ego-ridden and cringey? Comments below, please. Send good thoughts. x
My haul from Kenny’s Bookshop is rather long and all second-hand/pre-loved. I never understand how anyone can bear to give away books but in this case, I win!
I got all of these short story collections for 29 euro!
L-R John McGahern, Gerard Donovan, William Trevor, Bernard Mac Claverty, Edna O Brown, Doris Lessing, Maeve Brennan&Sean O Faoilean. They were all personally picked and recommended by the owner and uber-book reader, Des Kenny. Great guy, great shop and simply book heaven.
A fab time was had in Galway city for Culture night 2016. I was reading a story of mine which had been longlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition and Simon was judging the Poetry Open Mic. Elizabeth Reap was there reading from her debut novel, Red Dirt and Karl Parkinson was reading from his new novel, The Blocks. They are both excellent readers of their work. Karl’s book is hilarious, great stories in there and well-told by Mr. Parkinson.
The next day, we went back to Kenny’s Bookstore to spend my winnings(I came third in the Open Mic Fiction) and Des, the owner took me around the massive bookshop and showed me his top pickings. I will post on these later.
Thanks, Galway, Fun was had, for sure!
A picture of us here that was taken by Dean Kelly, the gallery and event organiser there in Kenny’s. Apparently it will adorn the walls along with Roald Dahl, Edna O’ Brien and thousands more who have visited this very cool bookstore!
Heading to one of the best cities in Ireland on Friday-Galway, of course. This Friday is Culture Night all over Ireland and Galway are celebrating it with one event-The Over the Edge open mic for fiction and poetry readings in Kenny’s Bookshop from 4 p.m.
Simon is reading from his poetry collection there as well as Karl Parkinson and Elizabeth Reapy so it should be a great evening.
I have had a story long-listed and will be reading some of it too at the fiction open mic so it is all fun and games if you want to hear me read.
See you there, maybe.
I had to chuckle when I was reading an excerpt from an Eimear McBride interview. She was speaking about her new novel, the Lesser Bohemians and how she dealt with writing sex scenes.
“Writing about sex is very difficult,” says the prize-winning author. “I did not set out to write lots of sex scenes – they kept recurring and I realised they were intrinsic to the story of the relationship.
“And yet, I wanted it to be the opposite of pornography – even literary sex can be pornography. In this novel, it was the characters’ way to speak to each other about what they could not verbalise.”
I was left wondering about what “literary sex” was, how it might differ from non-literary sex and lastly, why anyone might go about writing about this particular type of sex. Any thoughts?
Would the characters in the novel who were having literary sex have to be extremely literary? What about if one character was from a crime novel and happened to be attracted to a literary character?
Maybe, the setting has to be literary? Satin sheets or is that very porno?
I am full of questions and strange images. Literary sex is the new black, Or something.
I am re-reading this amazing book. I started ages ago and forgot and then saw this brand-new 30th anniversary edition in the library so it was sure sign!
Natalie is well-known for her books on writing, she writes so gently, spiritually about writing and the process.She really does free up your negative thoughts about the writer that you are.
I am adding her list of topics to write about to the resource section. She recommends that you fill a notebook every month with writing, any writing to flex your muscles of writing! Then, write daily, set a clock for 5 minutes and write about anything, or her list or start to develop your own list. We have heard this advice over and over so now take heed!