Saturday 23 December 2017

Employment Opportunity: James Joyce Centre, Dublin Looking for New Manager

The James Joyce Centre, Dublin
The James Joyce Centre in Dublin has advertised a position for a new Cultural Centre Manager, on a 2-year, fixed-term contract (subject to review). It is a full-time role (38 hours per week) that involves reporting to a board of directors.

The overall purpose of the job is described as follows:
The James Joyce Cultural Centre Manager will be responsible for all aspects of the daily operational running of the Centre, its exhibitions and its activities in Dublin and in other locations as required, and for devising and delivering on the Centre's flagship Bloomsday Festival project.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the works of James Joyce and of the significance of his position in Dublin’s historic literary tradition. Previous experience of working in an administrative/management role and of event and venue management in a public-focused environment is also sought, along with experience of preparing and managing budgets, excellent interpersonal, communication and customer service skills and flexibility in working hours over evenings, weekends and public holidays, as required.

The gross salary for this full-time position is €34,000 per annum.

Applications, including a CV, outlining how you meet the requirements of this position should be posted to The Secretary, James Joyce Cultural Centre, 35 North Great George’s St, Dublin 1, the envelope to be marked Confidential Job Application. Applications may also be emailed to: Shortlisting may apply.

The closing date for all applications is 5pm Monday, 15 January 2018. Full details are available from the centre's website.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Book Launch: Bluesy Ballymoe by William Tiernan

Book Launch: Bluesy Ballymoe by William Tiernan
– Saturday, 9 December, Fr Flanagan Community Centre, Ballymoe, Co. Galway –

Poetry that fears not to go wherever the heart leads it is what the reader can expect in the forthcoming, second volume by William Tiernan, soon to be released.

Bluesy Ballymoe: Pulse and Hearts above Zero by William Tiernan
Bluesy Ballymoe: Pulse and Hearts above Zero has just been published and will be on general sale from Saturday, 9 December, when the book will be formally launched at a special reception in the Galway village from which the book takes its title.

William Tiernan is a poet and author who resides in rural Galway, close to the Roscommon border. His writings reflect his personal experiences and convictions, as well as strong ties to the community in which he lives and his identification with the place where he grew up.

His first collection of poems, Greetings from Guilka, Ballymoe: Poems from the Head and the Heart (also on sale and available to buy online) was published in 2016. Previously, he was National Winner in the poetry category at the Hanna Greally International Literary Awards in 2014, organised as part of the annual SiarScéal Festival in Co. Roscommon.
Greetings from Guilka, Ballymoe: Poems from the Heart and the Head by William Tiernan

As a poet, he says, he is always a loner but, in his heart and soul, he strives to be a real people's person and not a fair-weather friend, not least to those who suffer the torments of this world.
"No matter how strong faith is, fear and doubt will test it to its core, weaken it if they can and, in some cases, sadly, destroy."

He goes on to say that "love can be a cold stone nesting in a warm fire with its flame reaching out to heal, but cannot reach a dying wound."

Tiernan's poetry burns with insight; a true example of the fire inside the head that drives a person to create. Influences ranging from Bob Dylan to Patrick Kavanagh will be discerned but the voice is all his own. It is a distinct voice that reaches out to people, addresses itself to themes that are universal, reflections that are often sadly true but, able and willing to rise to the challenges that they present.
"Never let the sun go down on your hatred or your anger; it will eat you away. Depression is an illness of the mind and body, a cancer of the soul. Let's support one another and defeat it."

Bluesy Ballymoe: Pulse and Heart above Zero by William Tiernan is published by The Manuscript Publisher and is available to buy online (RRP €12.95 plus P&P). It will also be on sale at the book's launch, to take place on Saturday, 9 December at Fr Flanagan Community Centre, Ballymoe, Co. Galway, following 8pm Mass.

Thursday 30 November 2017

350th Anniversary of the Birth of Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Jonathan Swift by Charles Jervas detail
Charles Jervas,
public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Jonathan Swift, essayist, poet, political pamphleteer, remembered primarily as a satirist (the terms 'Swiftian' has even entered the English language, reflecting a certain outlook that is caustic, sardonic but possessed of unfathomable truth and insight) was born on this day in 1667.

Born in Dublin, Swift lived Ireland, on and off, for the greater portion of his life. His early childhood was divided between England and Ireland and he spent some of his adult years in England too, where he moved among London-based literary circles that included Alexander Pope, John Gay, John Arbuthnot.

He was politically active during this time, first as a Whig, later as a Tory. His outspokenness and forthright manner probably weighed against him in the long run however. When he sought a church appointment in England, in reward for his services, the best position his friends could secure for him was that of Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. It seems that Queen Anne, had taken a particular dislike to Swift and made it clear that he would not have received even that position if she could have prevented it. Among other things, she regarded his work, A Tale of a Tub, to be blasphemous. With the return of the Whigs to power in 1715, Swift left England and returned to Ireland, it is said "in disappointment, a virtual exile [and] to live like a rat in a hole" (source: Wikipedia).

Whatever about his personal disappointment, his literary output betrays little evidence of despondency. In his pamphleteering, he turned his attention to Irish causes with Proposal for Universal Use of Irish Manufacture (1720), Drapier's Letters (1724) and A Modest Proposal (1729), earning him the reputation of an Irish patriot and also, the attention of the authorities, who made unsuccessful attempts to silence him. At one point, a reward was offered by the government to anyone disclosing the identity of the author of Drapier's Letters. Though it was hardly a secret, still, no one turned him in and by the end, the Government had been forced to call upon no less a person than Isaac Newton to counter some of the accusations and points of contention contained within Drapier's Letters.

First edition of Gulliver's Travels
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
It was also during these years that Swift wrote his masterpiece, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver, first a surgeon, and then a captain of several ships, or Gulliver's Travels as it is better known and remembered to this day. First published in 1726, it was an immediate success. Within a year of publication, it had been re-printed twice and translated into French, German, Dutch.

The enduring appeal of Swift's fictional travelogue is due to many things, not least being the humorous, prodding style that he evokes and provokes. Swift himself said that he wrote Gulliver's Travels "to vex the world rather than divert it". Despite frequent bowdlerisation and adaptation, typically oriented towards younger readerships and modern audiences, it retains an essential universality of outlook that has outlived many of the political, religious, philosophical quarrels of the time, which the author is intent on poking fun at.

Jonathan Swift died, as his epitaph says, "on the 19th Day of the Month of October, A.D. 1745, in the 78th Year of his Age." His later years were marred with illness that affected him mentally as well as physically. "I shall be like that tree," he is said to have remarked of his own demise, "I shall die at the top."

In his will, he left the bulk of his estate towards the founding of a hospital for the mentally ill in Dublin, which opened in 1757 and exists to this day, not far from St. Patrick's Cathedral, after which it is named.

Monday 30 October 2017

We Will Remember Them: the Poets of World War I

Readings from WWI Poets at Ballina Arts Centre this November

Mayo-based poets, Mike Byrne and Anni Wilton-Jones will be reading from a selection of First World War poetry at Ballina Arts Centre on Monday, 13th November, from 8pm.

The event, entitled We Will Remember Them, will feature, in particular, poems written by Irish men and women, such as Katherine Tynan, who lived in Claremorris, and Tom Kettle.

There is no admission charge and everyone is welcome.

Friday 27 October 2017

The Ghost in My House by Susan R. Murphy

A Short Story for Halloween

"Welcome to your new home, Donald. I died in this house and cannot leave, and so shall it be with you and your family."

The Ghost in My House by Susan R. Murphy
A treat (not a trick!) awaits horror fans all this weekend and right through Halloween. The Ghost in My House is a short story by Susan R. Murphy that has just been published in Kindle edition and is on sale now on Amazon.

Starting today (Friday, 27 October) and for the next five days, readers can download it for free as part of a special Kindle promotion. The offer ends at the stroke of midnight on 31 October – the Eve of All Hallows – when, as tradition tells us, ghosts and ghouls return to their unearthly domain.

As the title would suggest, The Ghost in My House is a ghost story on a haunted house theme. Donny, together with his mom and dad and his sister, Tiffany, move into a new home – a small house in Lincoln Acres, part of National City in San Diego. At first, it seems like everything that they could ask for but quickly, they realise that they are not alone. A gruesome murder took place in the house many years before, and the victim is still crying out for revenge.

The Immortals by Susan R. Murphy
While it may sound like familiar territory for horror fans and aficionados nevertheless, it is Susan's distinctive storytelling style that will keep you glued, right to the end. Her previous book, The Immortals (published in 2014) is a collection of short stories that have been described as "very, very scary"! Her writing reflects themes and preoccupations with horror, sci-fi, romance, legends and re-interpretations of tales from ancient Greek mythology.

The Ghost in My House by Susan R. Murphy is published by The Manuscript Publisher. It is available to buy online, in Kindle edition through Amazon.

Thursday 26 October 2017

A Journey Through the Heart of Haunted Ireland

The Rising of Haunted Ireland by GhostÉire.
On Sale Now in print and e-book editions
An e-book edition of The Rising of Haunted Ireland by Anthony Kerrigan, Sinead Houlihan, Jenifer Kerrigan has just been published, in time for the Halloween season now virtually upon us. It is available to buy through all the major online distributors – see below.

The book takes the reader on a journey through Irish haunted locations on and off the beaten track, providing a comprehensive overview of the world of paranormal investigations, offering something to the skeptic as well as the believer and those who simply wish to form their own conclusions. Since the initial publication, this time last year, of the print edition, the book has proven very popular with the reading public, selling well at bookshops and venues across Ireland and further afield.

The authors are members of GhostÉire, a team of paranormal investigators based in the south-west of Ireland, who describe their goal as being "to find spiritual and scientific reasons for the paranormal, the supernatural and similarly unexplained phenomena." Their pursuit of this objective has taken them to locations all over Ireland, investigating possible hauntings and supernatural occurrences, accumulating volumes of recorded and independently verifiable source material in the process. Theirs is a world of whispering lighthouses, misty islands, mind-bending gaols, vanished forts and public houses where the spirits flow a little too unaccountably. Tales of sailors, smugglers, pirate queens, Irish rebels, Vikings and spies crop up along the way.

The bulk of the presentation comprises precise, detailed, often graphic descriptions of paranormal investigations, typically undertaken during the dark and eery hours in some of very remote and inhospitable places. It should be noted that the book does come with a parental advisory warning (not suitable for anyone under 16 years) containing as it does, some strong language and possibly disturbing themes.

The Rising of Haunted Ireland by Anthony Kerrigan, Sinead Houlihan, Jenifer Kerrigan, already available in print editions (hardback and paperback), is on sale now as an e-book edition through global distributors such as Amazon, Smashwords, Apple (iTunes), Barnes & Noble, Kobo, amongst others.

Further information about the book (print and e-book editions), where and how to buy can be obtained from the websites of GhostÉire and The Manuscript Publisher.

Wednesday 4 October 2017

SiarScéal Festival 2017: Exciting News for Authors in October

A last call for entries for the Hanna Greally International Literary Awards 2017 has just gone out. The awards, which form part of the annual SiarScéal Festival, will be presented at this year's event, which takes place over Friday and Saturday, 20-21 October. Roscommon County Library in Roscommon Town is the venue.

All entries must be received by 5pm on Tuesday, 10 October. Entries may consist of poetry or prose and can be posted or submitted online. The theme for this year's competition is Beneath Western Skies. Full details of how to enter, rules of entry, etc. are available from the website of SiarScéal – see Competitions page.

Authors and writers have every incentive to get their entries in. The Overall Prize winner will take away a publishing package valued at €2000, sponsored by The Manuscript Publisher. What this will mean is that the winner will have his or her book published professionally, in print and e-book editions, marketed, promoted and formally launched at a future SiarScéal Festival.

There is also a cash prize of €700 for winner of First Prize. The Ger Hanily Memorial Cup will be awarded to a local entry that best conveys 'sense of place' while trophy prizes will be awarded for Highly Commended entries in poetry and prose categories (local, national, international).

Mary Melvin Geoghegan will adjudicate at this years Awards. She will also be reading from her own work. Mary is the author of no less than four anthologies of poetry and has also edited several volumes of children's poetry and verse. Her most recent collection, Say it like a Paragraph, was published in 2012 by Bradshaw Books.

Also headlining at this year’s festival is Eileen Battersby, journalist, art critic, literary correspondent. She will be reading from her debut novel, Teethmarks on My Tongue, published just last year to a great reception, both in Ireland and internationally.

An open mike session will wind down the evening's entertainment. The formal part of the festival concludes at 5pm. Full details, including programme of events, are available from SiarScéal website – see Festival page.

Rose Morris, author
Rose Morris reads from her winning entry at the 2014 SiarScéal Hanna Greally International Literary Awards. As Overall Winner, her prize was to see her book published professionally, resulting in The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox (see below), a whimsical adventure story with a cautionary ecological message, told in the form of children's illustrated verse.

The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox by Rose Morris
The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox by Rose Morris

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Dublin: Two Poems, One City

On the occasion of the 110th anniversary of the birth of poet and playwright, Louis MacNeice (1907-1963) we are re-posting the following, which originally appeared on Dublin Made Me website in 2012.

Dublin and Dublin Made Me: Two Poems - MacDonagh and MacNeice:

We were contacted recently by Niall MacDonagh, son of Donagh MacDonagh, who had this to say about Dublin Made Me, the title of the poem which also serves as the name of this website:
I just need to record that it upsets me that, of all the poetry, plays, stories my father left behind, THAT piece of verse is what is remembered. The thing is that it is not about Dublin at all but a put down of the rest of the country. Read it and you will see what I am saying.

Now, if you want a very fine poem about Dublin (by a non Dubliner) see this:


Grey brick upon brick,
Declamatory bronze
On sombre pedestals -
O'Connell, Grattan, Moore -
And the brewery tugs and the swans
On the balustraded stream
And the bare bones of a fanlight
Over a hungry door
And the air soft on the cheek
And porter running from the taps
With a head of yellow cream
And Nelson on his pillar
Watching his world collapse.
This never was my town,
I was not born or bred
Nor schooled here and she will not
Have me alive or dead
But yet she holds my mind
With her seedy elegance,
With her gentle veils of rain
And all her ghosts that walk
And all that hide behind
Her Georgian facades -
The catcalls and the pain,
The glamour of her squalor,
The bravado of her talk.
The lights jig in the river
With a concertina movement
And the sun comes up in the morning
Like barley-sugar on the water
And the mist on the Wicklow hills
Is close, as close
As the peasantry were to the landlord,
As the Irish to the Anglo-Irish,
As the killer is close one moment
To the man he kills,
Or as the moment itself
Is close to the next moment.
She is not an Irish town
And she is not English,
Historic with guns and vermin
And the cold renown
Of a fragment of Church latin,
Of an oratorical phrase.
But oh the days are soft,
Soft enough to forget
The lesson better learnt,
The bullet on the wet
Streets, the crooked deal,
The steel behind the laugh,
The Four Courts burnt.
Fort of the Dane,
Garrison of the Saxon,
Augustan capital
Of a Gaelic nation,
Appropriating all
The alien brought,
You give me time for thought
And by a juggler's trick
You poise the toppling hour -
O greyness run to flower,
Grey stone, grey water,
And brick upon grey brick.
– Louis MacNeice

A good point and well-taken. Grateful we are too, to be reminded of Louis MacNeice's sombre yet elegant paean to the city. Irish people of a certain generation will possibly recall being taught both MacNeice's and MacDonagh's poems as part of English curriculum.

Donagh MacDonaghDonagh MacDonagh (1912-1968) was an Irish writer, judge, presenter, broadcaster, and playwright. According to Wikipedia:
He wrote poetic dramas and ballad operas. He published three volumes of poetry: Veterans and Other Poems (1943), The Hungry Grass (1947) and A Warning to Conquerors (1969). He also edited the Oxford Book of Irish Verse (1958) with Lennox Robinson. A play, Happy As Larry, was translated into a number of languages. He had three other plays produced: God's Gentry (a ballad opera about the tinkers), Lady Spinder (about Deirdre of the Sorrows and the Three sons of Ussna and by far his best writing) and Step in the Hollow a piece of situation comedy nonsense. He also wrote short stories. He published Twenty Poems with Niall Sheridan; staged first Irish production of Murder in the Cathedral with Liam Redmond, later his brother-in-law. Furthermost he was a popular broadcaster on Radio Éireann.

His books are no longer in print but we understand that a project is underway to publish all of his writings, in e-book form, or at least those that can be found: it appears that he was a very prolific writer. Websites that contains links to his poems and plays can be found here and here. The National Library of Ireland also holds some of his personal letters and papers, in addition to those of his father, Thomas MacDonagh, also a poet and playwright, who was among the leaders of the 1916 Rising subsequently executed for his role, his name appearing as one of the signatories to the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

Louis MacNeice was born in Belfast in 1907, to parents originally from the west of Ireland. It is recorded that when he was six, his mother was admitted to a Dublin nursing home suffering from severe depression and he did not see her again. Inauspicious beginnings you might say, to his relationship with a city that would inspire him to write those lines.

His first trip to Dublin appears to have been in 1934, when he met with William Butler Yeats. The poem, Dublin was written in 1939 and first appeared in a collection entitled The Last Ditch, which was published in 1940. The strength and endurance of the lines which he penned, are nowhere better exemplified than in this recital, given by a true Dubliner, albeit recorded on the streets of Galway, a city to be found amongst -
The raw and hungry hills of the West
The lean road flung over profitless bog
Where only a snipe could nest
Where the sea takes its tithe of every boat.
Bawneen and currach have no allegiance of mine

One can only wonder how words like "This never was my town ...and she will not have me alive or dead" must resonate in the heart of a homeless exile.

Reference Material:

Friday 1 September 2017

Cork International Short Story Festival: 13 – 16 September

Indulge in your love for fiction – particularly the short story form – in Cork this September.

Cork International Short Story Festival 2017 is a four-day festival (13 – 16 September) during which authors and readers share their passion for words through readings and workshops. The complete program is available from the festival website.

"It's shaping up to be another dynamic year," according to the organisers, with readers including June Caldwell, David Means, Nuala O’Connor, Billy O’Callaghan and many more. "It is a great opportunity to hear established favourites and discover new voices in fiction."

Tickets are now available for purchase online. Two workshops are also planned: a fiction masterclass with Claire Keegan as well as a writing workshop with this year's Frank O’Connor Fellow, Marie-Helene Bertino. For more information, please contact Jennifer at The Munster Literature Centre –

Cork International Short Story Festival 2017

Tuesday 22 August 2017

A Cornish Fisherman’s Irish Diary - follow up to a bestselling memoir

A Cornish Fisherman's Irish Diaries by Trevor Simpson
A Cornish Fisherman's Irish Diary by Trevor Simpson.
Volume II in the Cornish Fisherman's Diaries series.
On this day 50 years ago, just after 7pm, a Cornish fishing trawler pulled into the harbour of Dunmore East, the famous fishing village on the south-east coast of Ireland. It carried a crew of two, who had just completed a marathon journey across the Irish Sea. Their adventure would be recounted many years later, in all of its heart-stopping detail, in the concluding chapter of a memoir entitled Diary of a Cornish Fisherman: Newquay, 1962-1967. At the time however, author, Trevor Simpson and his crewmate, Martin, would have felt only relief:
I had been staring into a white wall of fog for many hours. I steered my boat, the 35ft M.F.V. Reaper, by her compass. The fog was doing my head in and I fought the pressing urge to sleep. Knowing that I should have made landfall quite a while back proved to me that I was lost, lost in unfamiliar waters. I desperately needed to find a safe harbour before dark …

What awaited the author upon disembarking; what he made of this strange new world called Ireland (and what Ireland made of him) is the subject of a memoir that is as warm and engaging as the first. The years that followed would prove challenging, perplexing, refreshing and ultimately rewarding. The fact that he found himself in a place that he was pleased to call home for the next fifty years (and beyond) probably speaks for itself. There is more to the story than that, however.

Diary of a Cornish Fisherman: Newquay, 1962-1967 by Trevor Simpson was an instant success upon publication in 2014. Among the glowing reviews, there was a virtual consensus among readers that a sequel would be in order:
Excellent, only wish he had followed it up with how he got on in Ireland. – Peter McGuinness
I would love to know if there is a follow up book about Trevor's time in Ireland, I bet that would be just as interesting! – Simon Neve
That call has been answered and readers now have the chance to judge whether it was worth the wait. Volume II takes up the narrative exactly where the first left off.

A Cornish Fisherman's Irish Diary by Trevor Simpson is published by The Manuscript Publisher and is on sale from today. Both volumes in the Cornish Fisherman's Diaries series are available to buy online and all good bookshops. They each retail at €14.99 plus P&P where applicable.

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Jesus Loves Your History: Forgiveness Meetings by A. s.C. – a beginning that begins with the self

Jesus Loves Your History by A. s.C.
Jesus Loves Your History: Forgiveness Meetings is the debut novella of the author who goes by the name, A sC. In the following, she describes how the book came about:
"Over the past challenging four years, my life has changed and settled me in more ways than one, which is where, I believe, Jesus Loves Your History has stemmed from. When I first started putting thoughts together in a coherent work one would call a book, I wasn’t sure if anyone would understand it and I lacked the self-confidence to share it. I finally asked my family if I could read various pages and sections to them and their encouragement helped me evolve and take chances I was never willing to take before.
"Within that same year, it was suggested to me that I take a writing course with Ferdia MacAnna, author of the Last of the High Kings (a major Hollywood Blockbuster). Because of Ferdia, friend and mentor, and my course mates, I was able to find my voice in order to articulate this relevant tale; another fear faced.
"When the book was in its final stages and attempts were being made to find an agent/publisher, the title of 'The Personal Steps: Forgiveness Meetings' just didn’t seem to be catching the attention of…well… anyone. The fear of rejection was rearing its ugly head and it wasn’t until my husband, Ricardo and his two beautiful girls got involved that we were able to give my art its final name.
"The journey of creating this first novella in the Jesus Loves Your History series is one I would call a blessing of the lowest lows and highest highs. All of my beautifully imperfect characters exist to tell the tale of a journey toward a more understanding, peace-filled and unified world: a journey of forgiveness, uncomfortable changes and letting go because there is no better beginning than one that begins with the self.
"This, my friends, is how Jesus Loves Your History: Forgiveness Meetings came to be."

The Kindle edition of Jesus Loves Your History: Forgiveness Meetings by AsC will be available from 7 September but you can pre-order it right now. The author is aiming to meet a target of 3,000+ pre-orders between now and the release date:
"I welcome you to be a part of my dream to make it on the AMAZON eBOOK BEST SELLERS LIST and as a thank you for Pre-Ordering an eBook copy of Jesus Loves Your History on Amazon, I will send you a small token of my appreciation..."

To receive your free gift, pre-order a copy of the Kindle edition on Amazon and email the author with the following information:
  1. Your Amazon pre-order confirmation code
  2. Your mailing/shipping address
  3. Your name & preferred e-mail address

Gifts will vary and are available to the first 300 people to pre-order at any of the following:

Further information – including articles, promotions, compeitions – is available from the author's official website.

Monday 7 August 2017

Hanna Greally International Literary Awards 2017 – part of SiarScéal Festival

Hanna Greally International Literary Awards 2017
- Entries now being accepted. Closing Date: 10th October -

SiarScéal Festival 2017 – invitation
The Hanna Greally International Literary Awards happen in conjunction with SiarScéal Festival, held in Roscommon every year since its inception in 2007. This year's 10th anniversary festival takes place over two days: Friday and Saturday, 20-21 October at Roscommon County Library in Roscommon Town, from 10am to 4.30pm on each day. The full programme of events has been announced and is posted online (also available to download in handy brochure format).

Winners in this year's Hanna Greally International Literary Awards will be announced and prizes presented as part of the formal proceedings that follow the Official Launch. There will be much anticipation and excitement surrounding the announcement of the Overall Winner, who will take away the prize of seeing his or her book published professionally and formally launched at the following year's SiarScéal Festival (dates to be announced). The estimated value of this prize, which is sponsored by The Manuscript Publisher, is put at €2000. Full details of what the winning author will receive are outlined here.

In addition to the Overall Prize, there is also a First Prize – a cash prize of €700 – with trophy prizes for Highly Commended entries in the various categories of poetry, prose/short stories. The Ger Hanily Memorial Cup will be awarded to the best local entry received.

Day One of the festival, is entirely devoted to the Student Awards presentation, including a Student of the Year Trophy. This event is sponsored by Allied Irish Bank. The following day, Saturday 21 October, will see the presentation of awards in the other categories, including Overall and First Prize winners.

Previous festivals have been lively gatherings, with readings, prize ceremonies, open mike sessions that are open to everyone – an opportunity to showcase one's literary talents to a public audience! This year's festival promises to continue in much the same vein. Mary Melvin Geoghegan, who is the adjudicator of this year's awards, will be the guest speaker. She herself is an award-winning poet. To date, four volumes of her poetry have been published, the most recent being, Say It Like a Paragraph (2012).

Entries are now being accepted for the 2017 Hanna Greally International Literary Awards. They may consist of poetry and/or prose compositions, previously unpublished, on the theme of Beneath Western Skies. The closing date for entries is 5pm on Tuesday, 10 October. Full details of how to enter (including how the facility to enter online), terms and conditions, rules of entry are available from SiarScéal.

Monday 31 July 2017

Francis Ledwidge (1887-1917): Ireland's War Poet

"He has left behind him verses of great beauty, simple rural lyrics that may be something of an anodyne for this stricken age. If ever an age needed beautiful little songs our age needs them." – Lord Dunsany from the Introduction to Last Songs by Francis Ledwidge

Frontispiece, The Complete Poems of Francis Ledwidge, 1919
By Francis Ledwidge
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
On this day in 1917, soldiers from the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (an Irish line infantry regiment of the British Army) were taking a break from road-laying preparations that were being undertaken near Boezinge, a village north of the city of Ypres in West Flanders, Belgium. It was part of a planned assault during the Battle of Passchendaele (also known as the Third Battle of Ypres). A shell exploded nearby killing six members of the regiment. One of them was Francis Ledwidge (b. 1887) from Slane, Co. Meath.

It might have been regarded as just another tragic statistic in a conflict that took the lives of millions (including 50,000 Irishmen). However, the legacy arising from the casualty of Ledwidge's death has endured down through the years. He was already a published poet in his own short lifetime. His death gained him the stature of Ireland's war poet, although he is also recalled as the 'poet of the blackbirds'.

Francis Ledwidge was born into circumstances that are generally described as poverty stricken. With his father dying prematurely (when Francis was only five) he was forced, like many before and after him, to find work at an early age – as a farm labourer, in road construction (poignant given the circumstances of his death), as a miner (where he was sacked for organising a strike), trade union activist and shop assistant.

Although his formal education ended when he was 13, it seems that he continued to educate himself, whenever and wherever he could – it is said that he could even be observed writing on gates or fence posts. From the age of 14, his poems began to be published in a local newspaper, the Drogheda Independent.

Eventually, his work came to the attention of Lord Dunsany, who resided in the same Co. Meath locality that Ledwidge wrote about with such passionate intensity.
"... like a mountain sheer out of marshes, that easy fluency of shapely lines which is now so noticeable in all that he writes; that and sudden glimpses of the fields that he seems at times to bring so near to one that one exclaims, "Why that is how Meath looks," or "It is just like that along the Boyne in April," quite taken by surprise by familiar things: for none of us knows, till the poets point them out, how many beautiful things are close about us." – Lord Dunsany, from the Introduction to Songs of the Field by Francis Ledwidge

Dunsany was considered, at the time, to be "one of the greatest living writers of the English-speaking world" according to Wikipedia. His patronage not only helped Ledwidge to get his first volume of poetry published (Songs of the Fields appeared in 1915, a copy reaching Ledwidge while his unit was marching through Serbia, following the Battle of Gallipoli); it also introduced him to literary circles that included W.B. Yeats and other prominent figures in the Irish Literary Revival.
Francis Ledwidge memorial
Memorial to Francis Ledwidge
on the sport where he died.
By David Edgar (Own work)
[CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL],
via Wikimedia Commons

Participation in World War I is one of those enigmas that surrounds Ledwidge. Like others among the war poets of that time, he was no doubt motivated by a keen sense of patriotism and nationalism. However, Ledwidge's attitude towards the war reflected the ambiguity that many of his countrymen felt: one that was as much as odds with the British Empire as it was with German ambitions. He initially opposed John Redmond's call for Irish Volunteers (Ledwidge was a founder member of the Slane branch) to enlist in Irish regiments and support the British war effort. His views were probably much closer to the minority group within the Irish Volunteers, who would go on to play a leading role in the Easter Rising of 1916. In the aftermath of the Rising, Ledwidge expressed views in support of the insurgents that led to his being court-marshalled.
Lament for Thomas MacDonagh
by Francis Ledwidge
He shall not hear the bittern cry
In the wild sky, where he is lain,
Nor voices of the sweeter birds,
Above the wailing of the rain.
Nor shall he know when loud March blows
Thro’ slanting snows her fanfare shrill,
Blowing to flame the golden cup
Of many an upset daffodil.
But when the Dark Cow leaves the moor,
And pastures poor with greedy weeds,
Perhaps he’ll hear her low at morn,
Lifting her horn in pleasant meads.

Subsequent to his death, two further volumes of poetry appeared. Songs of Peace was in preparation when Ledwidge died and after the war, Dunsany arranged for more of Ledwidge's work to be published in a third and final volume, Last Songs.

His reputation has grown in the years that have followed. His family homestead in Slane was acquired in 1978 and a Francis Ledwidge Museum was opened there in 1982.
Oh what a pleasant world 'twould be,
How easy we'd step thro' it,
If all the fools who meant no harm,
Could manage not to do it!
– Francis Ledwidge (1887-1917)


Tuesday 6 June 2017

Race, Politics and the Media – in conversation with Gary Younge

Another Day in the Death of America – Gary Younge
Gary Younge, a multiple award-winning author, broadcaster and editor-at-large for The Guardian, will be talking race, politics and the media with Joy Francis, executive director of Words of Colour Productions.
Date: Wednesday, 21 June
Time: 7pm
Venue: Waterstones Piccadilly, 203/206 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HD

Gary has written five books: Another Day in the Death of America, The Speech, Who Are We?, Stranger in a Strange Land and No Place Like Home. Born in Hertfordshire to Barbadian parents, Gary grew up in Stevenage, studied French and Russian at Heriot Watt University and Newspaper Journalism at City University. After nine years of reporting for The Guardian from all over Europe, Africa, the US and the Caribbean, Gary was appointed The Guardian's US correspondent in 2003, where he spent 12 years before returning to London, with his wife and two children, in 2015.

In 2017, he was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Prize – which "recognises superb examples of nonfiction on an American topic" – for Another Day in the Death of America by New York's Columbia University and the Aaronson Outstanding Achievement Award for Social Justice Journalism by the City University of New York. The book has also been shortlisted for The Orwell Prize 2017, for political writing.

As well as being interviewed, Gary will read from the heart-rending Another Day in the Death of America before taking part in an audience Q&A and a book signing.

Tickets costs £5 and are available online, in store or by telephone – 020 7851 2400. If you have any questions or queries please contact Waterstones Piccadilly. Attendees are advised that photography and/or filming will take place at this event.

Monday 5 June 2017

Summerfest – Literary Festivals in June 2017

The list goes on! Literary festivals taking place in June, for which dates are available at the time of posting, including some that are already in progress, are listed below. Follow links for festival details, programme of events, etc.

Kibworth Book Festival, Leicestershire: a rolling festival with events throughout June
Ilminister Literary Festival, Somerset: 31 May – 8 June.
Flamstead Book Festival – Books in the Belfry: 1 June
Charles Causley Festival, Launceston, Cornwall: 1-5 June
Stoke Newington Literary Festival: 2-4 June
Belfast Book Festival: 7-17 June
Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival: 8-10 June
Balham Literary Festival: 8-11 June
RS Thomas Literary Festival, Aberderon, North Wales: 9-11 June
Festival of Writing & Ideas, Borris House and Village, Carlow: 9-11 June
Crossing the Tees – Book Festival for the Tees Valley: 9-24 June
Howth Literary Arts Festival, North County Dublin: 9-11 June
Derby Book Festival: 9-17 June
Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe: 9-18 June
Manchester Children's Book Festival: 13 June – 15 July
Immrama – Festival of Travel Writing. Lismore, Co. Waterford: 14-18 June
Borders Book Festival, Harmony Garden, Melrose in Scottish Borders: 15-18 June
Dalkey Book Festival, South County Dublin: 15-18 June
Winchester Writers' Festival: 16-18 June
Broadstairs Dickens Festival – 80th year celebration: 17-23 June
Festival of Chichester: 17 June – 16 July
Hinterland – Festival of Literature and Art. Kells, Co. Meath: 22-25 June
Tiverton Literary Festival: 22-25 June
Sidmouth Literary Festival – sun, sea and books. East Devon: 23-25 June
Hebden Bridge Arts Festival – all the town's a stage: 23 June – 2 July
Proms at St Jude's Music and Literary Festival, Hampstead, London: 24 June – 2 July
Chalke Valley History Festival: 26 June to 2 July
Bradford Literature Festival: 30 June – 9 July

Follow and Culture Fox for news and most up-to-date information about festivals and events in the arts and literary field.

Apologies to anyone whom we may have missed on this occasion. Please be assured that it was not intentional – quite the contrary, in fact. If you are organising a literary festival or any arts/literary-related event, please get in touch with us – we want to hear from you!

Contact the Editor with your press releases, public announcements, etc or use the Event Notification Form that we provide for this purpose.

Friday 2 June 2017

Book Launch and Tour – The Key Signature & Other Stories by Noel King

The Key Signature & Other Stories by Noel King
The Key Signature & Other Stories is the title of the debut collection of stories from poet and actor, Noel King that will be launched on Monday, June 5 at Siamsa Tire Theatre & Arts Centre, Town Park, Tralee, Co. Kerry. Mary Kennelly will be the keynote speaker and the evening gets under way from 6pm.

The Key Signature & Other Stories comprises a collection of 19 stories, each of which, in various ways, concern"the trials of modern man in an Ireland of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century ... (from) ... host family father falling in love with the au pair to cross-dressing husband unleashing his grief and his vices after the funeral of his beloved wife"!

The launch will be followed by a reading tour at venues across Ireland. Dates which have been announced include:
  • Tuesday, June 6 @ 8pm – On the Nail, Chez le Fab, Arthur’s Quay Park, Limerick – hosted by Limerick Writers' Centre.
  • Wednesday, June 7th @ 7.30pm Seanchaí – Kerry Literary & Cultural Centre, Listowel, Co Kerry.
  • Thursday, June 8th @ 6.30pm – Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway City.
  • Friday, June 9 @ 7.30pm – The Elbow Lane Inn, Fermoy, Co. Cork.
  • Saturday, June 10 – 4 'pop-up' readings with Mae Leonard in Naas, Co. Kildare:
  1. McAuley Place @ 2pm
  2. Naas Library @ 2.30pm
  3. The Moat Club Cafe @ 3pm
  4. Swan's on The Green @ 4pm
  • Sunday, June 11 @ 6.30 – The Cafe @ Louis Mulcahy Pottery, Clogher, Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry.
  • Wednesday, June 14 @ 7.30pm – David Butler & Tanya Farrelly’s Staccato series @ Toner’s Pub, Baggott Street, Dublin.
  • Thursday, June 15th @ 8pm – SPOTLIGHT @ The Haven, Bachelor's Quay, Cork.
  • Friday, June 16th @ 2pm – Carnegie Arts Centre, Kenmare in association with Clann na Farraige writers group

The Key Signature & Other Stories by Noel King is published by Liberties Press and is available to buy online.

Thursday 1 June 2017

BEYOND WORDS: IBBY Ireland's Silent Books Exhibition Opens in Tralee Library, 2-19 June

Silent Books – Lampedusa (final destination)
Following the successful first leg of its Irish tour in South Dublin Libraries and Dún Laoghaire, an international exhibition of picture books is now coming to Tralee Library in County Kerry.

The Irish section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is proud to introduce Silent Books, a travelling exhibition of over 100 recent, exciting, wordless picture books from around the world, from Mexico to the US via Denmark, Iran and beyond.

From 2-19 June 2017, the collection will visit Tralee Library, where a host of events will bring it to life. The Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council will launch the exhibition in the library at 10am on Friday 2nd June. Other events include Nation Creation workshops run by author, Debbie Thomas, as featured on RTÉ's News2day. Regular activities will showcase the collection with special Silent Books story times and local schools will visit the exhibition throughout June.

Silent Books – wordless children's books
This exhibition came about in response to the arrival of refugees from Africa and the Middle East on the Italian island of Lampedusa. IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People) launched the project, Silent Books, from the world to Lampedusa and back, in 2012. The project involved creating the first library on Lampedusa, to be used by local and immigrant children.

The second part of the project created a collection of silent books (wordless picture books) that could be understood and enjoyed by children regardless of language. These books were collected from IBBY National Sections – over one hundred titles from over twenty countries. One set of books was deposited at the documentation and research archive in Rome (Palazzo della Esposizioni), another was delivered to the library in Lampedusa and a further set forms part of the travelling exhibition that is now touring Ireland.

Jane O’Hanlon, President of Ibby Ireland says:
"This amazing Silent Book project began in 2013, in order to establish the first library at Lampedusa for use by local and immigrant children. Since then, it has travelled widely, including to Mexico, Italy, Austria, Canada and others of the seventy member nations of IBBY International. Now, it is Ireland's turn and we are excited to be able to host it at venues around the country. The project is motivated by the idea that every child has a right to become a reader. By highlighting 'wordless' books as a seed collection, IBBY ensures that it is accessible to every child who visits it, no matter of what age, language or culture. IBBY Ireland, a volunteer organisation, is thrilled and excited to have this collection touring in Ireland."

Sara Keating, The Irish Times:
"How can a book speak when it has no words? Powerfully, through pictures alone. (…) The exhibition is designed to draw attention to the key role that silent books can play in crossing cultural boundaries and promoting literacy."
Silent Books exhibition

Further information about this exhibition is available from IBBY Ireland, the local branch of IBBY International, an international network of people from all over the world, who are committed to bringing books and children together.

Wednesday 17 May 2017

World Information Society Day 2017

Today marks World Information Society Day, an annual event celebrated on 17 May commemorating the founding of the International Telecommunication Union on this day in 1865.
The main objective of the day is to raise global awareness of societal changes brought about by the Internet and new technologies. It also aims to help reduce the Digital divide. – Cute Calendar
The theme for 2017 World Information Society Day is Big Data for Big Impact focussing on
the power of Big Data for development and aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context. The insight brought on by advanced analysis can strongly complement the evidence-based nature of decision-making that can be leveraged at national, regional and international levels to drive success towards attaining all 17 of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 – International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

Saturday 13 May 2017

SiarScéal Festival 2017 – including Hanna Greally International Literary Awards

SiarScéal logo
SiarScéal Festival 2017 will take place over Friday and Saturday, 20-21 October. The annual Hanna Greally International Literary Awards form a core part of this festival – winners will be announced and prizes presented over the two days.

Roscommon County Library in Roscommon Town is the venue. Friday's programme will host presentations for winners in the student categories. Remaining presentations will take place on the Saturday, from 10am to 4.30pm with a break for lunch. The presentations will be followed by readings and an open mike session.

Entries are now being accepted for the Hanna Greally International Literary Awards. They may consist of poetry or prose (or both – there is a maximum of three entries per person and an entry fee of €10) but must somehow reflect the theme of this year's competition – Beneath Western Skies. The closing date is Friday, 1 September. Full details, including competition rules and how to enter, are available from the SiarScéal website.

A publishing package from The Manuscript Publisher, valued at €2000 will be awarded to the Overall Winner, who will see their book published professionally in print and e-book editions, publicised, promoted and given a special launch at the following year's SiarScéal Festival.

There is also a First Prize, which consists of a cash prize of €700. Trophy prizes will be awarded to Highly Commended entries in the various categories (poetry, prose/short stories – national, international, schools). A Beneath Western Skies anthology will be compiled and published from entries received in the schools category.

Further details about the festival, including programme of events and the Hanna Greally International Literary Awards, are available from the SiarScéal website.

Saturday 6 May 2017

Dates for your Diary – Literary Festivals in May

Literary festivals continue across Ireland, Britain and further afield during May. Follow the links below for details, including times, dates, venues, programme of events.
Swindon Festival of Literature: 1-13 May
Cheltenham Poetry Festival: 4-15 May
Ullapool Book Festival: 5-7 May
Poetry-next-the-Sea – annual poetry festival that takes place in Wells-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk: 5-7 May
Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature: 6-13 May
Newcastle Poetry Festival: 9-13 May
Chipping Camden Literature Festival: 9-14 May
Guernsey Literary Festival: 10-14 May
Boswell Book Festival. Dumfries, Ayrshire – the world's only festival of biography and memoir: 12-14 May
Barnes Children's Literature FestivalLondon's largest dedicated children's literature festival: 13-14 May
Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest) – annual travelling festival that tours around historic Palestine: 13-18 May
St Ives Literature Festival: 13-20 May
Crimefest. Bristol. International crime fiction festival – where the pen is bloodier than the sword!: 18-21 May
Litfest – a food and drinks literary festival at Ballymaloe, Co. Cork: 19-21 May
Charleston Festivalwhere books, ideas & creativity bloom: 19-29 May
International Literature Festival DublinIreland's premier literary event, gathering the finest writers in the world to debate, provoke, delight and enthral: 20-29 May
Hay Festival – Wales: 25 May to 4 June
Bodmin Moor Poetry Festivalthe poetry of dance, the dance of poetry: 26-28 May
Greenwich Book Festival, London: 26-27 May
May Festival (University of Aberdeen): 26-28 May
Salisbury International Arts Festival: 26 May to 10 June
Listowel Writers' Week: 31 May to 4 June

If we have omitted anyone, please except our sincere apologies. Obviously it was just that – an error of omission and not a deliberate slight! One way to avoid this happening in future, is to contact us – let us know about your organisation, activities, events. E-mail us with the details (time, date, venue, programme of events) or submit using the online form that we provide for this purpose.

Monday 24 April 2017

Birth of a Nation: the literary men and women of 1916

On the 101st anniversary of Ireland's Easter Rising of 1916, the flowering of Irish literary talent in the late 19th and early 20th century (often referred to as the Irish Literary Revival) is considered for the influence that it exerted upon a generation of Irishmen and women who helped to forge the destiny of a nation.

Sunday 23 April 2017

World Book and Copyright Day 2017

23 April marks World Book and Copyright Day, an event which has been celebrated annually since it was designated by UNESCO in 1995.
It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those, who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity. – United Nations

The association with this date was first muted as far back as 1923, by booksellers in the Catalonia region of Spain, as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), who died on this date. It is also on this date that William Shakespeare (1564-1616) and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616) died, as well as marking the date of birth of numerous prominent authors, whose respective careers span many languages, countries, centuries. Although Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same date, they did not die on the same day. At the time, Spain used the Gregorian calendar and England used the Julian calendar; Cervantes actually died 10 days before Shakespeare did.

The association with the death (and possible birth – his exact date of birth is unknown but there is good reason to believe that he breathed his first and last on the same date) of William Shakespeare has led to the additional designation of 23 April as English Language Day at the UN: the result of a 2010 initiative to establish language days for each of the organisation's six official languages.

As previously noted, due to the potential for clashes with other celebrations and events surrounding this date (23 April is also the celebrated as the feast day of St. George, patron saint of England), in the United Kingdom, the main events surrounding World Book Day take place on the first Thursday in March.

Each year, UNESCO and the international organisations representing the three major sectors of the book industry – publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year. In 2017, Conakry, capital of Guinea, has been chosen, singled out "on account of the quality and diversity of its programme, in particular its focus on community involvement" as well as "for its well-structured budget and clear development goals with a strong emphasis on youth and literacy."

Further information, including activities and resources surrounding World Book and Copyright Day, is available from UNESCO.

Thursday 20 April 2017

Poetry Day Ireland – 27th April

27 April is Poetry Day Ireland. This year's theme is Poetry Connects and Poetry Ireland is inviting everyone to "join-in, link-up, and connect through the power of poetry. Find an event near you in our What's On guide or browse our brochure" both of which are available from Poetry Ireland website.
From Kerry to Derry, there will be more than 100 creative, inspiring and thought-provoking events taking place on Thursday 27 April. The many wonderful events that are planned are a testament to the dedication and commitment of our partners, and to poetry lovers and event promoters around the country, who do so much to keep Ireland’s poetry landscape vibrant all year round. Have a look at what's in store at or browse our brochure to find an event near you.Poetry Ireland

Tuesday 18 April 2017

Literary Festivals in April (Dates for your Diary)

Cambridge Literary Festival starts today and runs until 23 April.

Other literary festivals across Ireland and Britain in the coming weeks, for which details are available include:
Cúirt International Festival of Literature (Galway, Ireland): 23-30 April 2017
Stratford Upon Avon Literary Festival (Spring Festival): 23-30 April 2017
Scarborough Literature Festival: 26 April to 1 May 2017
Strokestown International Poetry Festival: 27th to 30th April 2017
Hexham Book Festival: 2017 Festival dates are 28 April to 7 May
Wrexham Carnival of Words: Saturday 29th April to Saturday 6th May 2017
Colonsay Book Festival: 29-30 April, 2017
Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival (West Kent): 30 April to 2 May 2017

For full details, follow the links to the festival websites. For information about other festivals running throughout the year – including events happening near you – visit the websites of Literary Festivals (covers Great Britain and Ireland) and Culture Fox (Irish events).

If you would like to see your festival, event or anything literary related featured here, send us an e-mail with all the relevant details (times, dates, venues, programme of events, etc). You can also notify us using the online form that we provide for this purpose.

Sunday 2 April 2017

Twin Tales by Ray J.F. Moore for International Children's Book Day 2017

International Children's Book Day 2017 poster
Today is International Children's Book Day, a celebration that has been observed since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday of 2 April. Its purpose is to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books.

The event is organised by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a not-for-profit network of people from all over the world, committed to bringing books and children together. Each year a different national section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. IBBY Russia is the sponsor for International Children's Book Day in 2017.

Among the very many events being held to mark the occasion, there is publication of two tales by a debut author, Ray J.F. Moore, vividly describing the world as it appears to those who are taking their first steps on the journey of discovery – where everything is a new adventure, a mystery waiting to be uncovered.

Ray J.F. Moore was born in Coventry, England to an Irish family that hails from Galway. He has worked as a stonemason while his travels and adventures have taken him to places as far-flung as Casablanca and Cuba. He has written over a dozen childhood tales, told in his friendly, inimitable free-verse style.

MacDaddy Spider by Ray Moore (illustrations by Michelle Hopkins)
He says that he "just started to write children's stories one boring Sunday morning", at the prompting of his friend, Michelle Hopkins, who asked him to write a story for her little girl, Amber. The same Michelle provides the illustrations that accompany these volumes. MacDaddy Spider and Twins 'n' Things are the first in what the author promises to be an "enthralling series, exulting in the joy of childhood experience."

MacDaddy Spider lives in a tree. He as eight very long black legs and a wee Tam o' Shanter on his head. "All day long, he clambers about, fixing his web inside and out." His work keeps him busy and provides for his needs but, "there was something he did have not but couldn’t remember, 'cos he forgot."
Twins 'n' Things by Ray Moore (illustrations by Michelle Hopkins)

Twins 'n' Things "can do very strange things: one can cause trouble; the other makes it double" in a story that charts the mayhem and mischief that abound when young minds unleash their natural inquisitiveness – to the torment of those who must look after them! A story to remind us that, while curiosity creates a world of possibilities and fuels our thirst for knowledge, we must use that knowledge to learn how keep ourselves safe.

Both books are published by The Manuscript Publisher and are on sale now (RRP €9.99 plus P&P), available to buy online from the publisher's website and other retail outlets. The Manuscript Publisher is an Irish-based provider of professional and affordable services for authors, writers, independent publishers, film producers.

International Children's Book Day is followed by an International Children’s Book Fair, another annual event that brings together organisations and professionals involved in all aspects of the children's books industry. This year it takes place in Bologna, Italy from 3-6 April.

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