• making a short film

    So, some good news. A script I wrote for a weird short film is being made. Darklight Festival is Ireland’s annual festival for filmmakers, animators and artists whose work explores the convergence of art, film and technology. It’s taking place in Dublin from October 8 -10. For its tenth anniversary it is organising an anthology film that will consist of 8-10 short films themed around one location: Hotel Darklight. The producers Marie Caffrey, Alan Keane and Declan Lynch are doing a super job of putting together a challenging genre project on minuscule funding. It’s mostly fuelled by passion, enthusiasm, and hard graft. The shoot is taking place next week, and…

  • finding direction

    I’m off to Dublin today for the Give Me Direction screenwriting conference. On Saturday the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild is having its AGM, and I’ll be attending that as well. It’s Thursday, so here is my weekly pico-prose: In the Tube, crushed, Lin watches the Bronté Waterfall on the vid-strip, hears splash and spray via her earbuds, and inside, space clears. Brevity is the soul of those pressed for time.

  • children's book conference

    The children and young adult fiction markets are awash in speculative fiction writers, which is wonderful. Adults often read this fiction, sometimes because they come to it via their children, and often because young adult fiction is damn good. Irish fans should therefore be interested in the Children’s Books Ireland conference, which takes place from 16-17 May in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. The theme this year is Challenge and Change in Children’s Books, and there is a big range of Irish and international writers at this year’s event. On the home front, Ireland is well represented by the talents of Celine Kiernan (The Poison Throne), Andrew Whitson and…

  • get some direction, quick

    Before I inflict my weekly tiny piece of prose upon the web I’ll mention a couple of items that might be of interest to some of my readers. First off while perusing the films appearing in the forthcoming Spanish and Latin American Film Season at the IFI in Dublin I noticed that on Monday May 11th it’s showing a Mexican science fiction film called Sleep Dealer. We don’t often get opportunities to see sf films from other countries in Ireland, and it looks like it will be at least entertaining. Also, I’ve posted an entry over on the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild’s Blog about a new screenwriting conference, called…

  • vote for your favourite Irish book

    Irish readers should be interested to know that voting is now open in the Irish Book Awards. Select your favourite book in each of the ten categories, and you’re added to a draw where three winners will receive €250 of National Book Tokens. That’s a prize I would love to win! Voting closes on May 1st 2009. Not that I’m trying to influence your vote or anything, but I’ll note that Dublin-based writer, Michael Scott, is nominated in the Dublin Airport Authority Irish Children’s Book of the Year – Senior Category, for his young adult urban fantasy novel, The Magician. It’s part of an on-going series called The Secrets of…

  • something for the weekend

    Another Thursday, another piece of micro-fiction in under 140 characters: The rooms of this great house are as familiar as the chambers of my dead heart. I walk in echoes, stir dust, and pine for the key’s rattle. Last week was busy, but very enjoyable. The question and answer session on “Writing Horror” last Thursday with Kim Newman, for the benefit of IPSG members, went well. I provided Kim with enough prompts to keep the discussion of the history and development of horror cinema going for well over an hour (not that Kim needed much encouragement), and the members’ queries kept us there for another hour. The audience was fuelled…

  • "walk on air against your better judgement"

    Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet, author and playwright Seamus Heaney has been awarded the £40,000 David Cohen Prize for Literature. Every two years the David Cohen Prize is bestowed upon a writer, novelist, short-story writer, poet, essayist or dramatist in recognition of an entire body of work, written in the English language. Previous winners include Derek Mahon, Harold Pinter, Doris Lessing, and V.S. Naipaul. By strange coincidence I happened to read Heaney’s new poem called “In the Attic” a couple of days ago. It was published in The New Yorker last month. Because Heaney has enjoyed a long and successful career as a poet, and many of us studied him in…

  • a busy March weekend

    At the end the month I’ll be attending P-Con (27-29 March) in Dublin, with a variety of excellent writers. I’m looking forward to catching up with friends and spending time discussing speculative fiction in all its guises. On the evening before the convention, Thursday the 26th of March, Kim Newman (who is also attending P-Con), will be speaking to members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild about Writing Horror. The format will be a question and answer session conducted by me, with questions open to the floor at the end of the meeting. Kim will explore the tradition of horror in relation to filmmaking, and will discuss the advantages…

  • Public Lending Remuneration Introduced in Irish Libraries

    I highlighted this story on the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild‘s blog today. I’m re-posting it here to ensure there is a wide dissemination of this information. Finally, Ireland has established a Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) Scheme in its Libraries. The crucial piece of information is that writers (in the EU only) must register with An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library Council) if they wish to receive remuneration for their novels/texts being loaned in libraries in Ireland. Here’s the skinny: The Galway Library blog reported yesterday that Mr. Michael Kitt T.D. — Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government — recently signed Regulations which provide…

  • Dublin Film Festival picks

    The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival announced its programme for this year’s festival, and tickets are now on sale via their web site and box office. Here are my suggestions for those of you interested in fantastic themes: On Valentine’s Day, you can see I Sell The Dead: in which grave robbers recount stories from their trade. It co-stars Dominic Monaghan and Larry Fessenden, with a performance by cult horror favourite Ron Perlman. Irish writer/director Glenn McQuaid will be at the screening. This would be my perfect date movie. There’s a Gala event going on at Dundrum on February 15: a screening of the animated feature film, Coraline 3D, which…