Irish Short Stories

Winner of the Writing.ie Short Story of the Year Award 2018 at the An Post Book Awards!

We did it!!!!… Against what felt like impossible odds, my wee story ‘How to Build a Space Rocket’ and my brave little narrator Keshika have won the award for Short Story of the Year 2018. The announcement was made at the An Post Irish Book Awards on Tuesday 27th November. I got the shock of my life! It was such a strong shortlist, featuring talented best-selling authors. As far as I can remember, I think I said something like this:

‘I can’t believe this... I didn’t think I’d even be able to attend the awards because I’m due a baby NOW! Earlier in the week, when my editor RM Clarke had asked me if I had a few words I wanted her to read out in case I won, my reply was ‘ah sure, I don’t think we need to worry about that!’ The other stories were all so good. I could never have imagined this…

I’m even more thrilled because my story was published in a really important anthology called The Broken Spiral, which was published last year in aid of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. It’s an anthology about the power of words and the power of stories as a force for healing.

Thanks to my editor Remie Purtill-Clarke for nominating my story for this award, and to our publisher New Island. Also, thanks to my family for their love and support. I’d like to dedicate this award to my little daughter Mary, and to my new baby who is due to arrive very soon (but hopefully not just too soon!). Thank you so much.’



Writing.ie Short Story of the Year long list announced

6am, amidst the morning mayhem today, I received an email with some exciting news. One of my stories has made the long list for the Writing.ie Short Story of the Year. I’m in good company on the long list, alongside well-known and up-and-coming Irish writers. Here’s the long list of 12 selected writers…

New Voices in The Long Gaze Back

Here's an article I wrote for The Irish Times about my experience of being published in The Long Gaze Back, a ground-breaking, award-winning anthology of Irish women's writing... 

Dublin One City: One Book - April 2018

Back in 2015 one of my stories 'Infinite Landscapes' was selected for inclusion in a very special anthology... This year, The Long Gaze Back, an anthology of short stories by Irish women writers, has been chosen as the book choice for the Dublin One City: One Book festival. I couldn't be happier for all the fantastic women writers involved in this groundbreaking literary project, and for New Island Books. 

Throughout the month of April there will be readings and other events to celebrate The Long Gaze Back. The book has been selected as the choice for the Irish Times Book Club, and the Book on One for RTE radio. The event listings are now live on the Dublin One City: One Book website. Here are a few photos from the launch... 

Reading the Future

I'm delighted to have a short story extract in 'Reading the Future' a new anthology from Hodges & Figgis bookstore in Dublin, which is being published to celebrate their 250th anniversary. Featuring 250 Irish poets, novelists, short story writers and essayists, the book is edited by Alan Hayes and published by Arlen House. Details of the launch to follow in January 2018... 

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Interview with January Magazine

So she tells you that she’s a writer and you ask what she writes and she says “short stories” and you say: “Are you working on a novel?”

I was delighted to be interviewed by January Magazine for their July issue. We had a great chat about the merits and challenges of the short story form, and I tried to answer the question 'why write short stories instead of a novel?' Stories can be harder than novels; with a novel, you create a world and then sustain it for a few hundred pages, but with each new short story you have to build a new world from scratch. But stories can also be incredibly liberating... 

Podcast - Wild Quiet on RTÉ Arena - 31st May 2016

"As a writer, you're often playing a game of 'what if?'" 

I had a great chat with Séan Rocks about my debut collection Wild Quiet. We talked about the inspiration behind some of the stories, the dangers of drawing on real life, and how I used religious iconography to add to the strangeness of the title story. We also chatted about Derry, and Séan asked about some of the autobiographical elements in 'Ebenezer's Memories.'

How to publish a debut (in 17 steps)

"Blissfully unaware that you are writing a collection, tell each story in the way it demands to be told. The result will be less a homogeneous symphony and more a lovingly-compiled mix-tape."

On the eve of the publication of my debut, I wrote this piece for the Irish Times, in which I explored my writing journey. I've been writing for literally as long as I can remember, but I've always struggled with writing confidence. Here I detail just a few of the roller-coaster dips and dives on my path to publishing a debut... 

Listen to an extract from WILD QUIET

"It was as I sat swinging my legs that I first heard it: a low moan with the sadness of whale song, drawn out and muffled as if reaching me from across oceans, yet close enough to make the windowpanes shiver.."

May 16th has come around at last! Today is the official publication day of my first short story collection WILD QUIET. To celebrate, I've recorded an extract from the first short story in the collection - Ebenezer's Memories. Here, I chat a little bit about my family roots and about the origins of the story. Happy listening... 

I'm thrilled to have been asked to contribute to The Glass Shore, an anthology of stories by women from the North of Ireland

Last autumn, I took part in an event at the Belfast International Arts Festival in which the four Northern contributors to The Long Gaze Back read from and discussed their work. Joining editor Sinéad Gleeson in conversation were myself, Lucy Caldwell, Anne Devlin and Bernie McGill. One of the questions raised at the event was 'why hasn't there been an equivalent anthology of stories by women from the North of Ireland?' 

Not one to turn down a challenge, Sinéad has now announced the forthcoming publication of 'The Glass Shore.' The anthology will be published by New Island Books in autumn 2016, and features a beautiful cover by designer Martin Gleeson. The anthology will include work by: 

Linda Anderson, Margaret Barrington, Mary Beckett, Caroline Blackwood, Lucy Caldwell, Ethna Carbery, Jan Carson, Evelyn Conlon, Anne Devlin, Martina Devlin, Polly Devlin, Erminda Rentoul Esler, Sarah Grand, Rosemary Jenkinson, Sheila Llewelyn, Bernie McGill, Alice Milligan, Rosa Mulholland, Anne-Marie Neary, Mary O’Donnell, Roisín O’Donnell Tara West, Una Woods

I'm excited to see how the new anthology turns out. I have a sneaking feeling it might be quite different from The Long Gaze Back, but I'd better keep my predictions to myself for now!