A great start to this week with the news that one of my short stories has been longlisted in the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition. I have been invited to a day of workshops and talks in Dublin in September where I hope to meet some of the people whose names have become familiar to me as I research editors and agents for my novel.
The last writing workshop I attended was back in 2002 with Éilís Ní Dhuibhne in the Irish Writers' Centre in Dublin. I got so much out of that ten-week course and always hoped to attend other writing courses at some stage. Three children and the fact that I then emigrated to rural France made that rather difficult.
At the beginning of the year, I decided I would attend some conferences or writing courses no matter how complicated the childcare/work arrangements were. In April I won the Writing West Midlands Short Fiction competition and travelled to Birmingham to read and collect my prize. I mingled with other emerging writers, sipped wine with the team at Writing West Midlands, and discussed writing and other things with author Tiffany Murray. A couple of hours in the company of like-minded people was a real pleasure.
But I still had my eye on workshops or 'events' where I could listen to editors, agents, publishers and fellow writers discussing the book industry. And so I began to plan a trip to the upcoming Cork Literary Festival http://www.corkshortstory.net/ (18th to 22nd September) and hope to attend some interesting events.
And now, another opportunity to visit Dublin arises and I begin a new flight search. How to make it to Dublin and drive kids to after-school activities simultaneously? I'm sure it'll all sort itself out. Looking forward to the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland day. May even be in with a chance of winning...
Hopefully the millions will start rolling in soon to pay for this expensive habit.