Tuesday 23 January 2018

For idlers, writers, readers and book lovers

Madeleine Keane

Madeleine Keane

As my darling granny used to tell me, the devil makes work for idle hands. Well here's a new way to keep those fingers free from Satan's grip. A new online publication, idler.ie, aims to direct great short-form creative writing directly to you via your smartphone or tablet.

Barbara Clinton, who worked for many years as a copy editor with newspapers and magazines is Idler's owner and editor. Committed to short-form writing, particularly the short story, Clinton wants to offer Irish readers access to some of the wealth of great writing being created by authors living and working here. But, hey, if a bibliophile in Beijing happens on a great short story by a Bonn-based writer on idler.ie that is just fine too. Idler.ie is now inviting submissions to consider for publication, including short stories, poetry and essays. Please send submissions of between 200 and 2,000 words as an attachment to submissions@idler.ie.

Idler cannot pay for submissions but is happy to provide a link to any published author's website or blogsite. Please provide your full name and a contact email address and/or phone number.

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And lovers of the word should take note that there's a superb literary festival taking place next week. Mountains to Sea is Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council's annual celebration of reading and writing. In a vibrant and varied programme, lots of showcase conversations stand out: Paul Muldoon talks to Mick Heaney, Pauline Bewick chats with Niall MacMonagle, and there's also Sophie Hannah and Declan Hughes, as well as Donal Ryan and Nuala O'Connor. Nell Zink and Sinead Gleeson will also shoot the (bookish) breeze.

There are a number of writing workshops and poetry masterclasses and an energetic Family and Schools programme which features children's writers such as Eoin Colfer, Louise O'Neill, Sarah Crossan and Cathy Cassidy amongst others.

Now in its 8th year, M2S 2016 kicks off on Wednesday and on Thursday acclaimed film maker and author Neil Jordan will be in conversation with novelist Dermot Bolger; it closes on Sunday 13 on a suitably stylish note -an evening with Sir Michael Parkinson. For more info and bookings visit www.mountainstosea.ie

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