An Arrow in Flight: Introducing Short Story Week and a giveaway!

Ireland has produced some of the world’s most celebrated short story writers – and continues to do so. Why are the Irish so good at the form, and why do they love it so much?

Ireland’s history with the short story form is well documented. James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Frank O’Connor, Sean O’Faolain, Maeve Brennan, William Trevor and Mary Lavin are just some of a long list of internationally recognised writers.

For Frank O’Connor, whose study of the short story – The Lonely Voice – is considered a seminal work, the Irish are successful as writers of the short story because the best short stories focus on ‘submerged groups’ – marginalised people who live at the fringes of society and have no effective voice.

His main theory is that this submerged population changes its character from writer to writer, from generation to generation. It may be Gogol’s officials; Turgenev’s serfs…

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John Hewitt Summer School 2017

wonderful report from a wonderful week

Jan Carson Writes

Another week, another book festival. Another twelve hour stopover in my own house. Another frantic scramble to find enough clean socks to make it through ’til Friday. Another futile attempt to coerce my plants back to life with a half-hearted weekly water. Another scenic run up the M1. Another attempt to pre-think exactly which short story collections I will want to refer to in my workshops which inevitably ends in brain muddle and the decision to just bring all the books in the world with me anyway. Inevitably I will cart all the books in the world about in Tesco bags for life, (bag for lives?), for the duration of the week, putting my shoulder out and never once referring to any of them, all the time quietly confident that if a question about Bridget Jones’ Diary or Faulkner or The Da Vinci Code were to come up, I’d be…

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Six Essential Things A Character Should Do To Survive A Horror Movie

Happy Halloween

The Fluff Is Raging

by Niall McArdle

The month of October is about settling in by the fire with a warm cuppa and having the Bejeezus scared out of you with horror movies. If you’re looking to binge-watch a few horror flicks, you should go over to Shocktoberfest or Horror Movie A Day for some ideas of what to watch.

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As you know, characters in horror films, especially slasher pics, tend to do incredibly dumb things like split up or go into the cellar or keep tripping over twigs in the forest, and are generally so unprepared for the killer that you’re sort of glad they get bumped off: it’s probably better for the gene pool.

But do you think you could do any better? If you were in a horror film, how would you survive? What on earth should you pack?


The lovely people at Man Crates have asked me to come up…

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Give Up Yer Aul Sins! Verbal Spew’s St. Patrick’s Day post for The Begorrathon. Be sure to enter her contest to win an Irish Care Package

The Verbal Spew Review

I had originally planned on sharing with you all an extensive Spew Guide to St. Paddy’s Day, but as I told Niall the other day, proceedings came to an abrupt halt following the “Knacker-Drinking on the Canal” segment. I had genuinely intended on completing it, but, well, I got kind of distracted.

So instead I will gift to you a charmingly precious recount of the Story of St. Patrick, as told by a schoolchild and recorded in a classroom in Dublin during the 1960s. These recordings were collected, remastered and animated by the Oscar-nominated Brown Bag Films, and would later become known as “Give Up Yer Aul Sins”. They would also prove that nobody tells a story quite like a Dub does.

Don’t forget that The Begorrathon, as part of Ireland Month, will be ongoing throughout March, and that The Great Irish Care Package will be up for…

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