14 Jun 2015

One Minute Films Wanted

Galway City of Film in partnership with Galway Film Fleadh (Festival) and Galway Film Centre, have organised the return of The One Minute Film Festival.

Film makers and enthusiasts are invited to submit a One-Minute HD Film based on any subject or any story including documentary, live action, art-house and animation.

30 of the best One Minute Films will be selected by a panel of judges and screened at a special public event on July 12th at Galway Film Fleadh 2015. The overall winning film will receive a 'Judges Award' from Galway Film Fleadh.

Entry is freeFilms can be submitted electronically through a private online link. 

Deadline: Midnight (GMT) Tuesday June 30th 2015

Contact Mary Deely at: education@galwayfilmcentre.ie for more info.

Best of luck if you're entering!

6 Jun 2015

BBC Television Submission Opportunities

"I don't care who you are. When you sit down to write the first page of your screenplay, in your head, you're also writing your Oscar acceptance speech," Nora Ephron.

Now that I’m fast approaching the Fade Out finish line of my script, Tough Love, not only is my Oscar acceptance speech pitch perfect, so too is the one for the BAFTAs and the IFTAs. The only thing I haven’t figured out yet is what to wear.

We can but dream. But dreams do happen. They happen to lots of people all the time. The only certainty is nothing will happen to Tough Love unless I submit the script. Not even rejection. But where to start? My agent is one option; BBC Television another. Aim high, that's my motto. But apart from anything else, the BBC has a system in place for considering and rejecting unsolicited, original scripts and Tough Love isn't suitable for the US. Besides, I figure rejection from the BBC has to count for something. At a minimum, it allows me to fantasise about shrugging it off in a post-award ceremony interview wearing something fabulous.

That said, I have to wait until a call for Drama submissions goes out in the Autumn. Exact dates will be announced on the Opportunities page of the BBC’s Writers Room website, as well as in the Writers Room newsletter, along with the @bbcwritersroom Twitter feed.

Meantime, here's a personal favourite Ephron quote to leave you with:

"For years, I wrote scripts that didn't get made."

2 Jun 2015

Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2015

The 2015 Wasafiri New Writing Prize is now accepting submissions in three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Life WritingThe prize for each category is  £300 and publication in WasafiriMagazine.

The competition is open to anyone worldwide who has not published a complete book in their chosen category. Entries for Fiction and Life Writing should be no longer than 3000 words, and Poetry submissions should comprise of no more than five poems.

Deadline - 5pm GMT on Friday 24 July 2015

Email your entry along with the form and proof or notice of payment to: wasafiriprize@open.ac.uk

Alternatively, you can snail-mail the Entry Form, along with your submission and cheque or PayPal receipt, to: The Wasafiri New Writing Prize, Wasafiri, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, London, NW1 8NP, UK.


£6 - one category
£10 - two categories
£15 - three categories

25 May 2015

Writing TV Treatments for Television - Online Workshop

Having received terrific feedback from students who have completed my online TV Treatments Workshop, I've been encouraged to give the page an overhaul. Ta dah! Click HERE if you fancy taking a look. Naturally, if you've any questions or want to know more, feel free to zap an email off to: carenkennedywrites [at] gmail [dot] com. And, yes, I'm showing my age with the image. But then so are you by recognising it. 

Shore Scripts Screenwriting Competition - Open to 31 August 2015

Shore Scripts Screenwriting competition has been open for submissions since the beginning of March but there's a late deadline of 31 August 2015. 

Needless to say, that's the one I'm aiming for. Not that I hold out much hope of getting anywhere. Still, there's nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. 

Besides, winning isn't everything in this competition given the potential exposure. Numerous Production Companies and Agents are attached to read top entries and 21 industry Judges "at the top of their game" will select the winning entries. 

Click HERE more information and best of luck if you're entering. 


PS. Oh, and by the way, the articles on the website are well worth studying. Click HERE to hop straight over.

18 May 2015

Irish Film Board - Development Funding

Money. Money. Money. It's always the same - there's never enough of the stuff. But thanks to Euroscript, I've discovered development funding is available for up to €16,000 for Irish writers and writing teams, and up to €100,000 for international teams developing projects with Irish talent. Full guidelines are available here.  

24 Feb 2015

2015 Oscar-Nominated Screenplays

So you want to write a screenplay, huh?  And sure why wouldn't you?  But where to start?  Read them. Read as many as you can get your mitts on.  Or at least that's the theory I'm currently road-testing without spending a bean given so many are freely available online.

Only this week, studios made available some of the 2015 Oscar-nominated screenplays, some of which are listed below if you want to clickety-click and get stuck in.

Best Adapted Screenplay Nominees  

Best Original Screenplay Nominees

23 Jan 2015

Linen Press Competition - Runner Up

Phew! A load has been lifted. The opening chapter of my novel Tough Love snagged joint runner-up position in the recent Linen Press Beginnings Competition for its ‘multiple layers, depth, political backdrop, and vibrant, rich Irish dialogue’. Hearty congratulations are due to Kate Farrell for her wonderful winning entry Or The Cat Gets It and fellow runner-up Jay Merrill for Reality Show.

And the prize? A pep-in-my-step Linen Press critique by Judge Rebecca Brown. Here it is below if you’re interested. Otherwise, it's back to work for me and I'll see you on the other side.

* * *
I love the opening in which a mum, with her child in a buggy, sets off at a run down a hill, pretending to be a pilot while above them a plane comes out of the sky preparing to land at Dublin airport.

‘Brace for impact!’ I order, heaving the buggy forwards in to a running trot.

‘Faster mammy!’ Sarah’s brown eyes laugh back at me. ‘Faster!’

Barrelling down the hill, Sarah’s squeals get louder and louder, the wind catching the hood of her purple anorak, releasing a mop of curly hair darker than her eyes and so different from my own.

There’s so much here - the setting of Dublin, the nice parallel between the real plane and the push chair plane, and the hint of concern about a child who does not look like her mother - a theme that is developed in the next paragraphs when they almost collide with a woman who says:

‘She’s not yours, is she?’

And the response:

‘She’s mine,’ I toss back. ‘All mine. Not that it’s any of your beeswax.’

And so the stage is set and we wonder. Ciara delivers Sarah to her parents while she goes to work. Dialogue drives this narrative, and it’s brash and energetic and real, the Irish brogue adding warmth and colour:

Throwing open the door, Dad reaches down and swings her into his arms. ‘Sarah Moloney is it yourself?’ He kisses first one flushed cheek, then the other. ‘Jayney mackers you’re freezing.’

The domestic narrative is layered against a strong political backdrop, giving it depth and context. Ciara’s father is reading about the Sands hunger strike while Ciara’s mother’s heart strings are tugged by photos of tragic starving children in faraway continents, seeing starving brown-eyed-brown-skinned Sarah’s everywhere. And there’s more politics with Ciara’s volatile, troubled son, Finn, who is off to protest yet again:

I pick up the megaphone and place it on the table. ‘What is it this week? Liberate Palestine? Ban the bomb? Free Nelson Mandela? Animal and vegetable rights?’

Dominant in this first chapter is the theme of maternal anxiety. We’re left with Ciara’s recounting of her interview about Finn with the psychiatrist, her maternal angst and guilt, and her absent partner’s heaping the blame on to her:

‘You’re far too soft on him Ciara. What Finn needs is a kick up the arse out onto a football pitch five times a week.’ Tilting his head back, Gerry exhaled a steady stream of white smoke into the damp air. 'This is all your fault anyway. None of this would be happening if it weren’t for you. None of it. Next time Finn’s in trouble, I’m coming down on him like a tonne of bricks. No more discussion and no more pompous gobshite quacks costing an arm and a leg.’

What will Finn do next and how will Ciara cope?

Indeed. Of greater concern is how Caren's going to cope. I’ve still got another 50K or so words to cobble together before Tough Love can start doing the rejection rounds of the publishing houses and it’s slow going I can tell you. Still, there’s nothing like a bit of praise for ramping up the typing speeds.

Cheers Linen Press!

21 Aug 2014

Taking a Break / Best Writing Tips Ever

As I don't post here that often, it seems a bit daft to be 'announcing' I'm taking a break from 'blogging' after being on vacation these past months. 

But I am. To write a book. How unusual is that, hey? It seems like everyone is writing a book these days.  However, as I've quit the day job, put the Diva Daughter into care, and the Lover on ice, I'd better deliver. So it's fingers out, heads down, and go-fast typing until Christmas , which is when the Prodigal Son returns from Oz and I'm back to sweating over a hot stove cooking fatted coddles wearing a nose-clip. 

Naturally, I've been doing a lot of research by way of preparation for the steep curve. On the way I found these 10 writing tips listed below from crime author PD James. They are, by the far, the most sensible tips I've ever read.  Or, as my favourite short story writer of the day, Nuala Ní Chonchúirdescribed them: "Unpretentious and straight forward".  

And before you ask, no, I'm afraid I'm not going to talk about the opus-in-progress as per PD James tip number nine.  Suffice to say it's a chaotic comedy of coincidence set in Dublin of the early 1980s. 

As the Diva Daughter would say ... Toodles!

PD James's Ten Tips for Writers

1. You must be born to write
You can't teach someone to know how to use words effectively and beautifully. You can help people who can write to write more effectively and you can probably teach people a lot of little tips for writing a novel, but I don't think somebody who cannot write and does not care for words can ever be made into a writer. It just is not possible.

Nobody could make me into a musician. Somebody might be able to teach me how to play the piano reasonably well after a lot of effort, but they can't make a musician out of me and you cannot make a writer, I do feel that very profoundly.

2. Write about what you know
You absolutely should write about what you know. There are all sorts of small things that you should store up and use, nothing is lost to a writer. You have to learn to stand outside of yourself. All experience, whether it is painful or whether it is happy is somehow stored up and sooner or later it's used.

I love situations where people are thrown together in unwelcome proximity. where all kinds of reprehensible emotions can bubble up. I think you must write what you feel you want to write because then the book is genuine and that comes through.

I believe that someone who can write, who has a feeling for words and knows how to use them will find a publisher. Because after all, publishers do still need to find new writers. We all get old and we die and that's that and there have to be successors.

3. Find your own routine
I think all we writers are different. It's interesting, isn't it, how different we are?

Some people have to have the room, the pen and others do everything on a computer. I write by hand and I can write more or less anywhere as long as I've got a comfortable chair, a table, an unlimited amount of biros to write with and lined paper to write on. And then the next day when my PA comes, which she does at 10 o'clock, then I've got quite a lot to dictate to her and she puts it on to the computer, prints it out and I do the first revision.

In a sense, therefore, I revise as I go. It's important to get up early - before London really wakes and the telephone calls begin and the emails pile up. This is the best time for me, the time of quiet in the morning,

4. Be aware that the business is changing
Goodness gracious, how the world of publishing has changed! It is much easier now to produce a manuscript with all the modern technology. It is probably a greater advantage now, more than ever before, to have an agent between you and the publisher.

Everything has changed and it's really quite astonishing, because people can self-publish now. I would once have thought that that was rather a self-defeating way of doing it but actually publishers do look at what is self-published and there are examples of people picking up very lucrative deals.

5. Read, write and don’t daydream!
To write well, I advise people to read widely. See how people who are successful and good get their results, but don't copy them. And then you've got to write! We learn to write by writing, not by just facing an empty page and dreaming of the wonderful success we are going to have. I don't think it matters much what you use as practice, it might be a short story, it might be the beginning of a novel, or it might just be something for the local magazine, but you must write and try and improve your writing all the time. Don't think about it or talk about it, get the words down.

6. Enjoy your own company
It is undoubtedly a lonely career, but I suspect that people who find it terribly lonely are not writers. I think if you are a writer you realise how valuable the time is when you are absolutely alone with your characters in complete peace. I think it is a necessary loneliness for most writers - they wouldn't want to be always in the middle of everything having a wonderful life. I've never felt lonely as a writer, not really, but I know people do.

7. Choose a good setting
Something always sparks off a novel, of course. With me, it's always the setting. I think I have a strong response to what I think of as the 'spirit of a place'. I remember I was looking for an idea in East Anglia and standing on a very lonely stretch of beach. I shut my eyes and listened to the sound of the waves breaking over the pebble shore. Then I opened them and turned from looking at the dangerous and cold North Sea to look up and there, overshadowing this lonely stretch of beach was the great, empty, huge white outline of Sizewell nuclear power station. In that moment I knew I had a novel. It was called Devices and Desires.

8. Never go anywhere without a notebook 
Never go anywhere without a notebook because you can see a face that will be exactly the right face for one of your characters, you can see place and think of the perfect words to describe it. I do that when I'm writing, I think it's a sensible thing for writers to do.

I've written little bits of my next novel, things that have occurred to me. I've got the setting already. I've got the title, I've got most of the plot and I shall start some serious writing of it next month, I think.

9. Never talk about a book before it is finished
I never talk about a book before it is finished and I never show it to anybody until it is finished and I don't show it to anybody even then, except for my publisher and my agent. Then there is this awful time until they phone.

I'm usually pretty confident by the time I've sent it in but I have those moments when I think, 'well I sent it to them on Friday, by Saturday night they should be ringing up to say how wonderful it is!'

I'm always aware that people might have preferences and think that one book is better than another.

10. Know when to stop
I am lucky to have written as many books as I have, really, and it has been a joy. With old age, it becomes very difficult. It takes longer for the inspiration to come, but the thing about being a writer is that you need to write.

What I am working on now will be another detective story, it does seem important to write one more. I think it is very important to know when to stop.

Some writers, particularly of detective fiction, have published books that they should not have published. I don't think my publisher would let me do that and I don't think my children would like me to. I hope I would know myself whether a book was worth publishing. I think while I am alive, I shall write. There will be a time to stop writing but that will probably be when I come to a stop, too.

PS.  Aren't these wonderful?

30 Jul 2014

Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award

Write short stories? Have a publication track record in creative writing?  Excellent.  Read on so.

The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award is now open for entries.  Not only is this the world's richest competition for a single short story, it's also one of the most prestigious.  Get this … one lucky winner receives a whopping £30,000 and five shortlisted writers each receive £1,000.

But here’s the rub. This competition is for original, unpublished stories up to 6,000 words.  While it's open to writers of any nationality, entrants must have a previous record of publication in creative writing in the UK and Ireland.  The closing date is Friday 26 September 2014.

For more information hop over to The Sunday Times website by clicking here.

Best of luck!

18 Jun 2014

Ghost Wanted

Is this the best job advertisement ever or what? Or maybe it’s not just a job. Maybe it’s the kick-start of a fabulous next book for the talented Katy O’Dowd (www.katyodowd.com) who drew my attention to it earlier on Facebook.


Someone to play the part of ghost - or spirit or apparition - soul or personality of a person who has died and has somehow gotten stuck between this plane of existence and the next.

Most researchers believe that these spirits do not know they are dead. Very often they have died under traumatic, unusual or highly emotional circumstances. 

Ghosts can be perceived by the living in a number of ways: through sight (apparitions), sound (voices), smell (fragrances and odours), touch - and sometimes they can just be sensed.


Applicant must not be of a nervous disposition or be afraid of the dark or of the paranormal.

For more information click HERE. 

16 Jun 2014

The Road to Hell

There’s a behavioural trait many writers share. Some refer to it as displacement activity; others avoidance. Either way, it amounts to the same thing. Writers will do anything and everything to put off the actual moment of writing – plump cushions, deadhead ivy plants, clean the fish tank, pluck eyebrows to arched follicle twin perfections, swig gin, etc.

I’m prone to this myself. It’s been so long since I last updated this blog, I’d almost forgotten I had one. However, I do remember deciding on a few rules when I first started though, chief among them being to post little and often.

Without fail, I’d plonk my bottom down at least twice a week, pull over the keyboard and flex the ten digits into a starting position. I’d allow myself to spend a moment mentally sifting through the grey matter before selecting a suitable topic. I’d then type circa five hundred words give or take. No exceptions.

Following some light editing, I’d click publish and ooh-la-la-voilà – one scintillating blog post would shoot off into the void delivering regular insights into the teeming mind of Caren Kennedy.

Quite. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Which reminds me. The second rule was to dodge clichés like, well, umm, the plague. But feck it. Needs must. If I break off now and start cruising the information superhighway or ferretting in dictionaries in pursuit of an alternative, it could be months before I come back again. Years even. Just think what a loss to the world of English literature that would be.

There. I've clocked up 264 – no – 266 words and am tempted to stop. But I won’t. I can’t. Because if I do stop I’ll have to face the fact that I’m indulging in displacement activity right now by writing this. Today is D-day for starting my new novel, Tough Love.

The door to my office is locked. The windows are shut. The plotline is pinned down. I’m a veritable Reeling in the Years expert on 1980s Ireland. I've given myself a stiff talking to and my home is as clean as it’s ever going to be. There are simply no more excuses I can use to avoid knuckling down and getting stuck in.

On the other hand, woman cannot live on words alone, and although I might be prepared to starve for my art, my ten-year-old daughter isn't. I've just remembered there’s an Arts Council grant application form on my desk that needs filling in and submitting by mid-July. Without the grant, I can’t devote myself exclusively to writing the book, and four weeks hard sweaty labour isn't nearly enough time to do the form justice I reckon.

So, upon mature reflection, I think I’ll get cracking on doing that instead of this and resist doing anything else until I reach the end. Now that would be novel. Goodbye.

6 Dec 2012

Toxic Love & The Single Life

I wrote the following essay a few years ago which I'm posting now in order to remind self that by remaining both married and single, I'm having my cake and munching it - so why complain? I hope you like it. 

Would you look at the time? It’s two hours to the divorce hearing. Yes, I know I should be getting ready instead of sitting here dithering, but give me a moment would you? My feet are freezing and I need to think. The fact is I’m not sure I want a divorce. On the other hand, I definitely need to end the marriage. So, why the cold feet? Well, here’s the thing: As long as I’m married to one disaster, I can’t marry another. Ever.

After all relationship break-ups are no different to childbirth. Women who have more than one child do so because they forgot about the excruciating agony of labour. They also forgot about the sleepless nights, mangled nipples, and years spent struggling to regain control over their bladders and finances rendered incontinent in the process. After the birth of my son, I swore blind I’d never have another. A year later, I swore never again to relationships when I left his father. But what did I go and do? You guessed it. Married another, had my daughter, and swore some more.

Not that I’d be without either of them now of course. The children I mean. And their fathers come to think of it. For without one, I wouldn’t have the other. But being a single parent twice over is a pattern that doesn’t bear repeating. And therein lies the problem.

Except it isn’t. I’m 40. The age at which fertility is not so much in decline but braced for extinction. My egg supply is currently disappearing faster than the Fabergé variety sell at auction and full-blown menopause is but a barren hot-flush away. Divorce or no divorce, nothing short of steroids will see me pregnant again. Problem solved.

Except it isn’t. Being 40 isn’t going to stop me barking up the wrong man again. Quite the opposite in fact. I’m 40! It’s a seller’s market out there for single, straight men! If I couldn’t snare a winner before now, what hope do I have for the future? Particularly given the wibbly-wobbly-thighs, silver streaks, and two children each with a different surname. Could I be any less appealing?

Eh, no. Apparently not. I’ve met someone. And while the optimist in me is tempted to believe he could be the right one this time, I wouldn’t bet on it. The fact is I have the worst possible taste in men.

At 22, I fell in love with an alcoholic and had his baby. At first I thought he was exciting and charming. And then I didn’t. By the time our son was born I wanted him dead. Not only did he hog my gas supply during labour, he winked at me. Repeatedly. The winking stopped when I missed a grab for the mask and latched onto the family jewels instead. In fairness he took the pain. But not as a man I’m afraid. More as a choirboy scaling high-do octaves. By the end even I agreed he deserved a drink. As ever ‘just the one’ morphed into a three day bender and it was his brother who drove me home.

After that, every time he left the house I would imagine him falling under a bus. Then I would imagine the police arriving to break the news. Death was instant, they’d say. Then I would imagine the funeral, and what I’d wear, and what hymns I’d choose, and how dignified I’d be accepting sympathy.

But he didn’t die. Rather, he guzzled the rent money, we got evicted, and I made good my escape, pushing the baby, dragging the suitcases. We’d have taken a cab but he’d emptied my purse while I was packing.

Cut to a few years later and I’d recovered sufficiently from the alcoholic to shave my legs, get out and get sociable again. But what did I go and do? You guessed it. Jumped straight back into toxic love again. This time with a married man - no divorce pending. What can I say? I understood him; his wife didn’t. Or so I deluded myself into believing at the time. How stupid can one woman be?

Plenty stupid. Two short planks of wood stupid. Inevitably the affair sizzled and fried rebounding me into a blur of meaningless flings until one day I woke up and decided I needed a husband. And a baby. In that short order.

Crash. Bang. Wallop. No sooner had I decided this then I bumped into the divorce-in-waiting – an Egyptian diving instructor I met while vacationing on the Red Sea. Talk about mistakes. This was a clangour. What on earth was I thinking? But then again I wasn’t thinking. I was too busy being seduced by melting brown eyes and pectorals to die for.

I can see it all so clearly now. But of course back then I could see nothing of the sort. All I could see was the man of my dreams – Omar Sharif meets Yul Brynner – standing on my hotel balcony, legs akimbo, hands on hips. “Wait for me in Cairo,” he growled in a spine-tingling foreign accent, tossing aside the folds of his white robe and jumping over the railing back from whence he came.

I was impressed. Bowled over. Knocked out. As much by the commanding Romeo romance routine as by the whiff of danger wafting through the jasmine scented night air. Egypt has forbidding rules governing horizontal activities between unmarrieds. Had the patrolling god-squad caught us canoodling, they’d have bounced him black and blue up and down a police cell.

He wasn’t caught. And he did follow me to Cairo. But whereas I sped across the desert reclining on board a tourist bus under army escort, he puttered far behind on a scooter which collapsed on arrival.

Most people leave their holiday romances at the airport. I imported mine six months later and married him. Friends and family gave the marriage two minutes but in fact it lasted three years.

It wasn’t the clash of cultures that ended our marriage, or the language barrier, or even the five miscarriages it took to produce our daughter. It wasn’t even the relocation to Egypt coinciding with my son erupting into his teens. Although none of this helped. The marriage ended because of an argument over dental floss and school fees.

Up until then the Egyptian had shown only an average interest in oral hygiene. The sudden obsession with flossing, coupled with refusals to pay my son’s school fees, begged only one question: Who’s been eating my porridge?

Ho, hum. What goes around comes round. She understood him apparently. I didn’t. Not that I gave a toss about the affair. That side of our marriage had ended long since. Around about the same time he called his mother to check if it was okay to feed our daughter solids. She was two months old at the time and gagging for the hard stuff. What was I supposed to do? After that I resumed reading in bed. Up until then I told myself I didn’t mind switching the lamp off because it bothered him. But I did mind. It drove me crazy lying there night after night with fingers itching to tear open a book to know I was not alone.

It was my son’s education that mattered. Not least because I was the one paying for it. Not the Egyptian. Where else could my son go if not to the international school?

“Back to his grandparents in Ireland,” he ordered. “You and the baby stay here.”

Yeah, right. Like that was ever going to happen. Fuck you we’re out of here, was my first thought. Fuck me, was my second. Getting my daughter out of Egypt would be impossible if he objected. Yes, I really was that naive. As I type, I cringe. And there’s no excuse for it. I blubbered like a toddler when I watching Sally Field limping towards the American Embassy gripping her daughter’s hand in the film Not Without My Daughter. But like every other woman who has found herself in that situation, I didn’t believe it could happen to me.

Well it did and what happened next was dust. He went to work and I grabbed the children and headed straight for the airport, never once looking back at what I was leaving behind. I had all that I needed with me – the children, cash for flights, and my daughter’s Irish passport. I left the Egyptian everything. It wasn’t just the school fees I paid for. I paid for the house, furnishings, banana trees and a share in a diving business.

Still, there’s no point in getting my knickers in a twist about all that now. What price freedom? The marriage is over and there’s an end to it.

Except it isn’t. I still have to sign on the dotted divorce line, remember? Which brings me neatly back to where I wandered off the point: What’s to stop me repeating past mistakes? A one-way ticket to the looney bin that’s what. I need another husband like I need a hole in the head. Problem solved.

Except it isn’t. The other reason I started writing this was to figure out what to do about the date-in-waiting. But much like sliced bread, it’s obvious now that I’ve thought about it. I shall go out with him. Why not? I deserve a treat. Not that I’ve any plans to shave my legs just yet. And if I do that’s as far as it goes. Period. Occasional dating is the perfect solution to the married but single parenting life. It will give me something to look forward to outside of children and work and still leave me free to read in bed at night.

Right. That’s that settled then and times a wasting. I’ve children to care for and the single life to enjoy.


18 Sep 2012

Converted to Red Ribbons Crime

“The bad man is everywhere. Can you see him?” asks Louise Phillips, author of best-selling debut novel Red Ribbons, a psychological  crime thriller set in Ireland.

Photo:Abby Wynne 

Yes. Yes, I can. Growing up in Belfast during the 1970’s at the height of the Troubles, the bad men were everywhere. Our next door neighbour, a Diplock Court Judge, was a so-called ‘legitimate target’ for the bad men. He died taking three bullets in the head, two in the stomach.

Suffice to say bad people are everywhere and when there’s enough of them in the real world, why would I want to enter the one Phillips has created – a place without shadows where evil resides?

I don’t. I tend to avoid crime novels like the plague and yet from the moment I started reading Red Ribbons I couldn't put it down. Yes, it’s chilling and gripping, just like it says on the tin, but unlike other crime novels I’ve picked up and dumped, it doesn’t dwell on gory details in order to fill pages and in so doing repulse readers like me.

Instead, it’s intelligent and respects the readers ability to use their own imaginations in places without compromising on suspense that steadily heightens right up until the final word. Told from three points of view – the serial killer's, the criminal psychologist's, and the accused woman's – their individual stories are weaved seamlessly together into a whole that is utterly human, touching, believable and irresistible.

I like that. I like that a hell of a lot. And having finished it last night, along with a box of tissues, what I like even better is that Red Ribbons is the first in a series. Louise Phillips’ second novel, The Doll’s House, will be published in 2013.

Red Ribbons is available in Irish bookstores nationwide, and online in Ireland from Easons and internationally  on Amazon as both paperback and kindle editions.

For more, visit Louise Phillips at: http://www.louise-phillips.com/ 

17 Sep 2012

Story Pitching Competition for Juniors

How cool is this?

The Junior Galway Film Fleadh in association with Galway Film Centre and SpunOut (a leading national youth organisation) announce their fifth annual Story Pitching Competition open to young people between the ages of 10 – 18 years old.

If you are interested in competing, you are invited to write a short (500 words) idea for a story – it can be for a feature film, a short film, a documentary, a book or even a video game!

Advice from the experts – begin by drafting your idea then practice it in front of family and friends. Become comfortable relaying the story outline. Because, should your idea be one of the three shortlisted, you will be invited to present it in the Town Hall Theatre to an assembled audience and jury during the festival on Thursday 8th November.

The Prize – a drama or animation summer camp sponsored by Galway Film Centre which will include one year’s membership to the Centre (allowing entry to the RTÉ short script award) plus weekly newsletter.

Closing date – Wednesday 23rd October 2012

Entry form is available for download by clicking HERE

Post or email entries to:

Address: Junior Galway Film Fleadh Script Competition
36D Merchants Dock, 
Merchants Road, Galway, Ireland.

Email: junior@galwayfilmfleadh.com