If it ain't here, it ain't News...

The Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair

26th July 2011

The inaugural Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair for first-time novelists will take place on March 10th 2012.  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. A judging panel of experienced industry professionals will be asked to select a shortlist of successful entries, presented to them anonymously. There is no limitation on style, genre, or target market, the only requirement being that the writer has not published a novel before.

Publishers and agents will be invited to come along on the day to the Irish Writers’ Centre and meet these writers in person. Each writer in attendance will have a stand at the Fair with copies of the synopsis of their novel, the finished novel itself and biographical material.

Representatives from Penguin Ireland, Transworld, O’ Brien Press, Lilliput Press, Hachette Books, Liberties Press, Little Island and Arlen House will be present on the day. Literary agents such as Marianne Gunn O’ Connor, Yvonne Kinsella, Emma Walsh, Ger Nichol and Paul Feldstein will also be present.

This is an incredible opportunity for first-time novelists.

  Deadline for submissions: November 11th 2011

For more information or queries e-mail: novelfair@writerscentre.ie

The competition entry fee is €35 and can be paid via the website, cheque, postal order or by paying in person with cash, credit or laser card in the Irish Writers' Centre.

Accepting Submissions for new 'hacking scandal' influenced collection

23rd July 2011

The Empire is falling. The rats are leaving the sinking ship. Some of the ones from surrounding ships are leaving. As Benjamin Cook said earlier this week on Twitter, “At this rate there’ll be no one left in the Met by the end of the week.” (Or something to that effect anyway.)

Here at Minus 9 Squared, we like our writing to say something. Yes, we like it to be abstract and witty and arty and different and ground breaking, earth shattering and side splittingly funny too.

While we are not currently accepting submissions for a magazine, we have been rather tickled by all the goings-on in Britain (and indirectly, Ireland) regarding the Murdoch dynasty and News International.

We have watched the news feeds with baited breath. We have witnessed the fall of another Sunday paper; we have witnessed the resignations of a number of very powerful people; we have witnessed the teeny-tiny furrowing of David Cameron’s brow and the sweat creeping slowly down it as the noose tightens around the idea that his government and his own judgement is being called further and further into question.

And we’ve witnessed Wendi Deng absolutely deck a comedian who tried to pull the foam pie trick on the wily 80 year old tycoon. Stand by your man and all that.

So, in honour, actually, let’s not say “in honour” because let’s face it, there’s absolutely nothing honourable about the situation the news media has found itself in. This ongoing cataclysm of events has brought the organisation into disrepute and the question of integrity and honesty is now being questioned in every institute.

The fact is, some of us still know how to do it properly. Some of us still have some elements of common decency such to the extent that the tapping of a murdered teenager’s phone is something that we find abhorrent and would challenge anyone who might suggest that we “must think otherwise because we’re part of the media and they’re all the same”.

We are not all the same.

So, as a way of marking this remarkable event, Minus 9 Squared is putting together a text anthology of poems and short fiction all based around the collective themes of corruption, manipulation, lies and power. Pretty much any theme that is inherent in the Murdoch story.

We would stress that we would be delighted to receive some crime fiction as the editor is currently engrossed in it.

The best stories and poems will be fashioned into an online novel collection, complete on small pages and everything and will be available from the usual source Issuu.

This is the first spur-of-the-moment publication we have decided upon and we hope that it will be the first of many.

Submissions to the usual address: minus9squared@gmail.com

Deadline: Friday, August 5th.

Minus 9 Squared teams up with Die A Few Times

4th July 2011

What does this mean, we hear you say? It means loads of wonderful things.

It means that Minus 9 Squared is now in cahoots with another, equally brilliant project run by the ultra talented Ciara Burke, who has had work published in M9S in previous issues.

It means that the good people at Minus 9 Squared can have a wee rest in the off season while those at DaFT are working and vice versa.

But most of all, it means that all of our contributors now have the opportunity to submit work to not one but two magazines in the hope of having your work showcased online with us. We're growing and expanding all the time and this is another step in that expansion.

A few things about Die A Few Times, which will from now on be affectionately referred to as DaFT.

It is text only so if any artists or photographers had hoped to make a splash on both of our pages, I'm sorry but the editor insists on text only.

Other than that, the rules are few and far between.

For anyone wishing to take a peep at the DaFT page and see what exactly it's all about, the address is:  http://dieafewtimes.weebly.com/index.html

Sky Arts and Ideas Tap team up to offer bursaries

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31st May 2011

For those interested in grabbing every possible opportunity by the figurative (or perhaps non-figurative, we won’t pretend to know what you’re into…) short and curlies, we’ve come across a fantastic one currently taking up the homepage space of IdeasTap’s website.

Sky Arts is offering no less than five £30,000 bursaries for people with creative initiative and drive. Tired of waiting for that Arts Council grant? We know we are, so we’re going in for it. If you’ve got an idea, you should too.

Whether you’re into theatre, film, dance, visual arts, music, performance art or literature, Sky Arts is on hand to give you the chance to do so. It’ll give you the money and also a mentor from Sky to help develop networks, skills and knowledge in the arts and commercial sector.

The Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund is open to individual artists working in the aforementioned areas. To apply you must be an IdeasTap member, which we urge everyone to join anyway because it’s an excellent website. Our editor attended a BBC Writer’s Room seminar by getting chosen on one of these briefs.

You must be based in either the UK or Ireland and be between the age of 18 and 30 on 19 September 2011.

The Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund is part of the Sky Arts Ignition Series, which seeks to collaborate with six arts organisations over the next three years in the creation of brand new works, and further expanding Sky’s support of the arts in the UK and Ireland.

For more information, visit  www.ideastap.com