Irish Writers’ Centre Announces winners of Novel Fair 2014

The Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair will take place at the Irish Writers’ Centre, Parnell Sq.

THE IRISH WRITERS’ CENTRE has announced its shortlist of 12 winners for this year’s Novel Fair, which will take place on February 22nd at the Irish Writers’ Centre. 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.

Kept under wraps during the selection process, the judging panel can now 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!”

This year’s winners are Evan Cody, Simon Fay, Alan Gorevan, Geraldine Hogan, Rachael Kelly, Caitriona Lally, Bláthnaid Nolan, David O’Brien, Nathan O’Donnell, Lisa Parker, Grey Phelan and Áine Tierney. 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!

The Novel Fair 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. Attendees of last year’s Fair included 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.

Launched in 2011, the Novel Fair has seen an ever-growing number of novels originally submitted to the competition hit the shelves of retailers. Last year, alone, saw previous Novel Fair winners enter in publication: Niamh Boyce (The Herbalist), Janet E. Cameron (Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World), Ian Flitcroft (The Reluctant Cannibals), Kevin Curran (Beatsploitation) and A.W. Timmons (Here In No Place). Daniel Seery’s A Model Partner is due to hit bookshelves in March.

Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair competition winners:

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

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

From Page to Screen / From Screen to Page: WritersWebTV Launches in Dublin, Today

WritersWebTV: A fresh, vibrant, Irish start- up that’s thinking outside the box.

LAUNCHING their website today, WritersWebTV is about to turn the creative writing industry on its head and offer a fresh challenge to those already working in the industry and, in a broader sense, those working in the arts in Ireland.

Established by Live Training Ltd., WritersWebTV is a new Irish start- up originating in Dublin, having developed what can only be described as a world- first innovation in online education and resources for writers. WritersWebTV will be live- streaming interactive creative writing workshops from a multi- camera broadcast studio in Dublin, from Saturday 28th September. The inaugural workshop will be Writing for Children and Young Adults.

With workshops led by Vanessa O’Loughlin (founder of writing.ie), an in- studio panel will consider key elements of fiction writing and furnish viewers with tips, advice and actionable insights to help them improve their writing and get it on the path to publication.

Vanessa O’Loughlin: WritersWebTV workshop facilitator and founder of writing.ie.

Mrs O’Loughlin will lead the workshops in front of a limited in- studio audience of aspiring writers, as well as online viewers who can ask questions, participate in workshop exercises and comment online through Twitter, Facebook and email, with aspiring writers receiving on- screen feedback from in- studio writers and tutors.

Viewers can watch full, one- day workshops free of charge on WritersWebTV, when viewed live; to watch or revisit the course at a later date, viewers will be charged for a video workshop / tutorial / course, which viewers can keep and re-watch indefinitely.

Personally, I predict that the model that WritersWebTV have developed may very well set the precedent for existing MA Creative Writing programs, which already offer off- campus online programs for international students, though without the level of slick, sophisticated, broadcast quality offered by WritersWebTV.

I also believe that Moodle courses will soon be considered outmoded and obsolete if writers’ centres, universities, publishing houses and self- employed creative writing tutors follow the WritersWebTV model, which they may very well do in the years ahead.

If WritersWebTV achieves only one thing, though, it may be that it puts paid to the excuses that aspiring writers often contrive for their lack of creative output: “I have young children and they take up all my time. I can never make workshops in town.” / “I don’t have the time to write.” / “I can’t find a workshop that works for me”. Yep, I’ve heard ’em all, too.

So is WritersWebTV another gimmick from the creative writing / publishing / arts industries, or is it the model that will define the future of the creative writing / publishing / arts industries?

Would you, as an aspiring writer, use WritersWebTV?

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