• Writing

    Clarion West Write-a-thon 2012

    In 2006 I attended the residential writing workshop called Clarion West, and can attest to it being a force for good as well as instrumental in my progression as a writer. This year’s workshop is now taking place in Seattle, and many of the CW alumni and teachers are setting writing goals for this period, and asking for sponsorship. We call this fund-raising drive the Clarion West Write-a-thon. All money from the fund-raiser goes to Clarion West – a non-profit educational organisation – so they can continue their excellent work. My goal during this period is to write ten short stories. I’m already writing story one. If you have the…

  • advocacy

    Through a Girl’s Eyes

    I’ve mentioned before that I sponsor a girl in India through the fantastic aid agency Plan Ireland, which is part of an international child sponsorship organisation. I’ve always been impressed that it pays so much attention to the experience of girls in developing countries, as can be seen by its Because I am a Girl campaign. Earlier this year Plan Ireland asked me to contribute to their Because I am a Girl Blog. As you’ll see from the promotional banner Plan Ireland has been staging a photography exhibition – focusing on the lives of girls in developing countries – around the country and it’s now coming to Galway. It’s called…

  • advocacy

    because I’m a girl

    I mentioned last year that Martin and I joined Plan Ireland, and we’re now sponsoring a girl in India. In December we received our first note from her. Both the letter and its translation were hand-written. It was lovely to hear from her in a way that makes the connection immediate and real. I returned her note with my own hand-written letter. I could have sent it via email, but in this case I felt it was important to take the effort for her to see my writing – not as neat as hers! Plan Ireland acts as the intermediary, so I included a note saying how much I appreciate…

  • advocacy

    making a difference

    I’d like you to take a look at this TED talk by Sheryl WuDunn on the subject of “Our century’s greatest injustice”, which is about gender inequity: http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf 50-100 million missing women in the current world population. That’s gendercide. Ms. WuDunn has written a book with her husband Nicholas D. Kristof called Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, which addresses the same issue as this talk. Although, I was rather saddened to see that there is a chapter in the book entitled “Is Islam Misogynistic?” Based on my research the dogmas of most religions in the world are anti-female. When I was 16-years-old it became evident…