JOIN SPELLBOUND: 30 DAYS OF SAMHAIN WRITING CHALLENGE FOR OCTOBER 2021

As we look forward to crisp days of Autumn, the 30-Day Writing Challenge returns with all the inspiration you need to spark your imagination and write every day in October – plus a few extras tricks and treats!

October is when we take stock of the year before the onset of winter. It is also the time of Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival marking Summer’s End – a time of celebration and remembrance, when spirits cross from the Otherworld into the human realm for a single day.

In Christian times, it became All Hallow’s Eve, then Halloween, and many of our modern customs still have their roots in the old ways.

For this challenge, we are taking inspiration from all things natural and supernatural – witches and woodland, fairy folk and fantastic creatures, moonlight, magic and things that go bump in the night… 

Join me for the month of October to explore the myths, legends, superstitions and folklore of Samhain and Halloween!

In addition to writing prompts, we’ll have a few surprise activities to help us flex our creative muscles in new directions.

If you haven’t taken part before, the 30-Day Challenge is the perfect remedy for an uncertain world, with bite-sized daily exercises, inspiration, opportunity to explore, and a supportive and encouraging community of writers in the private Facebook group.

Whether you’re looking for focus, connection or a creative kick-start, the challenge offers a reprieve from the everyday anxieties – plus all the tools you’ll need to build a daily writing habit.

As before, I’m offering an email only version of the challenge for those who want to avoid social media and the internet right now, and have also introduced a tiered pricing system.

All the information is on the website – just click the button below for details – and if you have any questions, please drop
me a line.

For those of you using this time to send your work out, there are still plenty of opportunities available in the September Poetry Competitions, Submissions & Opportunities list!

I completely understand that this might not be the right timing for you to take part in a challenge and that’s OK.

Nurture your creative self in any way you can – DO WHAT YOU LOVE – play, read, make art, make something with your hands, knit, sew, mend, grow seeds, bring something new into the world this Autumn.

Image by Mike Kenneally for Unsplash (edited)

TIMEY RYMEY: A FREE ONLINE WRITING CHALLENGE FOR POETRY DAY IRELAND 2020

‘Time is a storm in which we are all lost.’ – William Carlos Williams

‘…it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.’ – The Doctor

‘There Will Be Time’ is the theme for Poetry Day Ireland 2020 and to celebrate you’re invited to become Time Lords for the day and explore the phenomenon of Time in all its glory in this FREE online writing challenge!

We are living in the eye of a global storm right now but through poetry we can write the words to change the weather, unravel the wibbly-wobbly bits or find our way home.

The rules of the challenge are simple. 

  • Read the Time-themed prompts and poems.

  • Listen to the Time-themed tunes.

  • Write for 15 minutes.

  • Share your poem in the Facebook group.

  • Read and respond to other posted work.

Most of all, be creative and enjoy yourself!

how do i join the writing challenge?

Here’s what to do:

  • Sign up for the FREE challenge on Eventbrite by clicking the button below.

  • Join the Timey Rhymey Challenge Facebook group on 29 April.

  • Get ready to enjoy a day of Timey Rhymey poetry writing fun!

What are you waiting for? Click here to sign up:

The group opens on the 29 April, with a welcome, introductions and time-related stuff to get you in the mood for writing.

The challenge proper kicks off on Thursday 30 April for Poetry Day Ireland 2020, with poet Angela T. Carr sharing new prompts and inspiration throughout the day.

This event is hosted in conjunction with Poetry Ireland as part of their Bright Ideas programme for Poetry Ireland Day 2020.

what’s next?

Please share the challenge on social media with the hashtags #PoetryIrelandDay #ThereWillBeTime #TimeyRhymey.

Don’t forget to tag me @adreamingskin and @poetryireland (Twitter & Instagram).

Submitting to Poetry Journals & Competitions: A Beginner’s Guide

Chatting to writers during the recent #JanuaryWriteOff 30 Day Challenge, it became clear many people find the process of submitting to poetry journals and competitions quite daunting. From formatting to bios to fees, there can be a lot of hoops to jump through and I thought it might be useful to walk you through the process.

What Goes into a Submission?

When you’re preparing work to send out into the world, you will need to put together a package of information comprising some, or all, of the following:

  • Your work, presented in accordance with the competition or journal’s Submission Guidelines;
  • A short writer’s bio;
  • A cover letter and/or a completed application form;
  • An author’s photo;
  • Competition or Submission fees (if applicable).

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail. Continue reading

The Revival Tour: Poet Bloggers 2018

The Revival Tour Poet Bloggers 2018

When I started this blog back in 2014, I posted fairly regularly about poetry, and writing in general, but gradually life took over and the posts slowly whittled down to the monthly competitions and submissions list.

It’s been on my mind for a while that I could be writing more here and when I saw the call-out on Twitter at the end of last year for poetry bloggers to post weekly for a year, I jumped on board (I’m sneaking this post in under the wire for Week 2)!

The Revival Tour Poet Bloggers 2018 comprises almost 100 poetry bloggers across the world, covering everything from writing, reading and reviewing poetry to interviews to writing successes and failures – anything and everything to do with writing poetry. A big thank you to Donna Vorreyer and Kelli Russell Agodon for getting the tour off the ground!

For my part, I’ll be drawing from my 10+ years of writing and submitting poetry, two years as a poetry editor, an enormous To Be Read book pile and other creative interests, including art and design. I also have a particular interest in social media and how writers present themselves online.

If you have questions about any of the above or there are other areas of poetry that you’d like to see articles about, please leave a comment below. I’d love to know what aspects of poetry you’re interested in!

In the meantime, check out the full list of The Revival Tour bloggers and discover a new favourite read.

 

Poetry Ireland Introductions 2014 Redux: Angela T. Carr

The Poetry Ireland Introductions Series – a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines – is open for submissions until 31 Jan.

Introductions mentors new writing talent in Ireland, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

As an alumni of last year’s series, 2014 was pretty busy for me on the writing front, and I’ve been asking my fellow emerging poets to share their experience of taking part in the Introductions series. I thought I’d round up today with my own feedback: what it was like to take part in Poetry Ireland Introductions, how I benefited and where I am now with my writing.

Continue reading

Poetry Ireland Introductions 2014 Redux: Stephen Heffernan / Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin

The Poetry Ireland Introductions Series – a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines – is open for submissions until 31 Jan.

Introductions mentors new writing talent in Ireland, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

As an alumni of last year’s series, 2014 was pretty busy for me on the writing front, and I thought it would be fun to catch up with my fellow emerging writers to see what they’ve been up to.

To encourage those of you who might be thinking of applying this year, I asked them to share what it was like to take part in Poetry Ireland Introductions, how they benefited and where they are now with their writing.

Stephen Heffernan / Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin

[Note: Stephen is an Irish language poet]

“There can be little doubt that taking part in the Poetry Ireland Introductions series was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life so far. To be perfectly honest, I submitted my portfolio of work as a means of testing the waters rather than having any great ambition fulfilled and the positive response was a surprise to say the least! As someone who never did much in the line of creative writing classes or the like, and who had only ever shown my work to a small circle of friends, before submitting poems, it was an exciting experience to exchange criticism and praise with the other selected poets on the work they brought to the workshop.

Since taking part in the programme, myself and Breda Wall Ryan have dabbled a bit in the translation of one of my poem sequences, with a view to publishing both versions in the Poetry Ireland Review but, apart from that, I’ve been going through something of a dry patch. [Stephen is currently a visiting student at the University of Potsdam, Germany, as part of his degree studies in History & German Literature – A.] I admit to being somewhat envious to see many of my fellow poets announce the publication of their first collection, as I’m still considerably distant from the particular milestone, but suppose I have youth on my side, if nothing else.”

To his own great surprise some people have decided that Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin should be called a poet: his words have graced the pages of Comhar, The Stinging Fly and Cabhsair/Causeway and in 2014, he was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series. Although he is presently in exile in the former East Germany, he is usually to be found somewhere in the shadows of the Knockmealdowns.

Poetry Ireland Introductions 2014 Redux: Erin Fornoff

Erin Fornoff - Spoken Word Poet. Photo by Arek Wnuk

The Poetry Ireland Introductions Series – a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines – is open for submissions until 31 Jan.

Introductions mentors new writing talent in Ireland, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

As an alumni of last year’s series, 2014 was pretty busy for me on the writing front, and I thought it would be fun to catch up with my fellow emerging writers to see what they’ve been up to.

To encourage those of you who might be thinking of applying this year, I asked them to share what it was like to take part in Poetry Ireland Introductions, how they benefited and where they are now with their writing.

Erin Fornoff

Poetry Ireland Introductions was a big confidence booster for me. Focusing so much on spoken word, I sometimes get a bit insecure about “traditional” poetry and it really helped me feel as though I fit in there a bit more. It’s entry into a community. It’s amazing what a community feel it creates, even with such a short time together. The workshop and support, and promotion thereafter, was a great thing. There is a camraderie among the writers which is quite lovely–like a football team of poets there to root for one another. And Poetry Ireland has been immensely supportive.

This year writing was sacrificed on the altar of organising and performing. I helped found (together with a great poetic committee) Lingo, Ireland’s first ever spoken word festival, which sold out, featured over 100 performers including Paula Meehan, Mary Coughlan, and Polarbear, and received 45 media hits including features in the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Metro Herald, Journal.ie, RTE Arena, Newstalk, and RTE The Works. I finished an M.Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, focusing on a novel, and received Distinction. Other than that, I had a poem published in The Stinging Fly and a couple other places and performed at Edinburgh Fringe, Electric Picnic, Indiependence, Mountains to Sea, Culture Night, Bram Stoker Festival, NYF Dublin, and other events. In 2015, I’ll be reading at O’Bheal in Cork, Over the Edge in Galway, and opening for Hollie McNish‘s Irish tour in three cities in May. Then I’m taking a few months off to write my book!”

Our Nation’s Sons from Joe Caslin on Vimeo.

Erin recently collaborated with artist, Joe Caslin on the poetry film ‘Our Nation’s Son’.
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A native of the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, Erin Fornoff has performed poetry at Glastonbury, Electric Picnic and many other festivals and events. Called ‘deliciously exotic’ (Irish Independent), and ‘one of the top performance poets in Ireland’ (Electric Picnic), in 2013, she was featured poet at Farmleigh House’s ‘New Voices’, alongside Hollie McNish and Hozier. Her work is published in the Stinging Fly, Cyphers, New Planet Cabaret and Burning Bush II, among others. She won First Prize for Poetry in The Cellar Door, Third Prize in the Strokestown International Poetry Award, and won the 2013 StAnza Digital Slam. She is Artistic Director for Lingo, Ireland’s first spoken word festival. Follow Erin on Twitter @jarsofshine.
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Photo by Arek Wnuk.

Poetry Ireland Introductions 2014 Redux: Breda Wall Ryan

The Poetry Ireland Introductions Series – a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines – is open for submissions.

Introductions mentors new writing talent in Ireland, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

As an alumni of last year’s series, 2014 was pretty busy for me on the writing front, and I thought it would be fun to catch up with my fellow emerging writers to see what they’ve been up to.

To encourage those of you who might be thinking of applying this year, I asked them to share what it was like to take part in Poetry Ireland Introductions, how they benefited and where they are now with their writing.

Breda Wall Ryan

“For me, the confidence I gained from being selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions, from participating in Alan Jude Moore’s and Theo Dorgan’s workshops, and from the support of my Introductions colleagues, has given my poetry a new impetus and energy. The poem I submitted to Alan Jude Moore’s workshop has since won the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize 2015 [Breda will be reading her winning poem at the Cork Spring Poetry Festival, on 14 February – A].  I gained particular benefit from Theo’s workshop on reading in public. His guidance was invaluable when I read at anthology and journal launches, and when, as part of a bespoke marriage ceremony, I read my specially commissioned poem to an audience of 85 guests. Thanks, Theo!

Introductions made me realize that the process of making the poem is what being a poet is about; I love that process. However, once the poem is finished, it deserves to be sent into the world to find its readership or audience. Eleven of my poems were published in 2014 and I’ve had poems commended, shortlisted or placed in several competitions, including the Bridport Prize, the Gregory O’Donoghue, Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition, Fish and the Patrick Kavanagh Award. My purpose in entering contests has been to get exposure for my work. The exposure online, in print and especially in the P.I. Introductions video earned me endorsements from competition judges and established poets, all of which helped to get my work noticed by a publisher. The past few months have been taken up with putting together my first collection, In a Hare’s Eye with Doire Press, which will be published in March 2015.

 Poetry Ireland Introductions made me more adventurous with my poetry. Apart from writing the commissioned occasional poem, I’ve translated two poems by our Introductions colleague Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin from Irish to English. It was a really absorbing process, writing a version that preserved the rhythm, rhyme, tone and structure of the original. I’d like to do more translations, possibly from languages I don’t know; but I’d need a very comprehensive crib.

Through meeting my peers on Introductions, my mind has been opened to spoken word, film poems, the links between poetry and art, environmental poetry, abstract poetry and philosophical poetry, all of which I’m exploring by degrees. But the most important thing is to keep on writing. And rewriting. And rewriting again. Process is all!

Congratulations to all my colleagues in P.I. Introductions 2014 on their recent successes; on their work on behalf of poetry and on their excellent and unique poems.”

Breda Wall Ryan grew up in rural Co. Waterford and lives in Co. Wicklow. She has an M. Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. Her poetry has been widely published, in Skylight 47, Deep Water Literary Journal, Fish Anthology, The Pickled Body and The Rialto, and has won several prizes, including the UCD Anthology Poetry Competition, Poets Meet Painters, Dromineer Poetry Competition, Over the Edge New Writer of the Year, and most recently, the Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Competition 2015. Her debut poetry collection, In a Hare’s Eye, is due from Doire Press, in March 2015. You can find Breda on Facebook at Breda Wall Ryan – Writer.

The Poetry Ireland Introductions series is open for submissions until 31 Jan.