Wild words and where to find them

The National Writing Day, an annual event, scheduled for 24 June this year, launches its campaign today. Undeterred by the lockdown, First Story has adapted some of its resources for primary and secondary school students to use as part of the initiative.  The resources are free and might be of use to any of you supporting your children’s education while schools are shut down.

And here’s something for the grown ups! If life in lockdown lacks literary edge (but then, if that’s the case, dear Reader, clearly, you haven’t been reading The Blue Nib; shame on you!) what about The Wild Atlantic Words Short Story competition?

The 2020 Wild Atlantic Words literary festival short story competition will be judged by award-winning writer, Lisa McInerney.

Award-winning writer, Lisa McInerney

Founded in 2016, the Wild Atlantic Words literary festival takes place every October in Castlebar. The short story competition is sponsored by Bridge St bar, with a first prize of €500, and second prize, €250. A reading and prize-giving ceremony is scheduled to take place on October 10th in the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar. The closing date for entries is Friday, July 31 at 5pm. Entry forms, along with a full list of competition rules and regulations, are available on the festival’s website.

Last year’s inaugural short story competition attracted more than 150 entries from across Ireland and from Irish people all over the world, as far afield as Columbia. The first prize went to Eamon McGuinness from Dublin, for his submission, ‘Everyone Here Has A Story’. The 2019 competition judges were Thomas Morris and Wendy Erskine.

This year’s judge, Lisa McInerney, has had her work featured in Winter Papers, The Stinging Fly, Granta, The Guardian, Le Monde, The Irish Times, BBC Radio 4 and various anthologies. Her story ‘Navigation’ was longlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. Her debut novel The Glorious Heresies won the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize. Her second novel, The Blood Miracles, won the 2018 RSL Encore Award.

Covid-19 restrictions permitting, this year’s literary festival will run from October 9th – 11th. The festival aims to celebrate the literary heritage of our rugged coastline over a weekend of readings, recitals, debates and reflection, while also acknowledging our new and emerging writers. Previous guests have included former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, plus a host of acclaimed national and international authors, including Sally Rooney, Mike McCormack, Donal Ryan, Billy Keane, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter, Dominic Price, Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell, Pat McCabe, Mary Kennedy, Eileen Dunne, Anne Chambers and many, many more.

Well, I’m up for the challenge; are you?

Do you have something to say? Submit to The Write Life.

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