One thing we can all agree on is that we deserve some good news to brighten up these bleak January days. Luckily, we in the Irish book community are never short of good news thanks to the commitment and dedication of each of its members. So, allow Dublin Book Festival to attempt to cheer up the collective mood by highlighting just ten examples of recent good bookish news!
1.The wonderful Marian Keyes has begun a series of free Instagram writing advice sessions, all about how to kick your writing self into gear. Turn up for the advice, stay for the community spirit. You can watch episode one of the series here, episode two here, and you can keep up with the next ones by following Marian on Instagram (@marian_keyes) and Twitter (@MarianKeyes).
2. Award-winning children’s writer Sarah Webb is a tireless advocate for children’s literature in Ireland, evidenced most recently by the return of her #CreativeBursts campaign in association with Museum of Literature Ireland on social media: every day at 1pm, they post a new creative writing prompt for children aged 8/9+, and every Wednesday they post a new creative writing workshop video. What better way to nurture creativity in the youth of today and shape the books of the future?
3. Looking for a home for your book of creative non-fiction? Look no further than the brilliant Banshee Press, who have just announced their exciting submission call for full-length books of creative non-fiction. Find out more information here.
4. This piece on writing.ie celebrating four years of Turas Press, an independent press founded by Liz McSkeane in 2017, filled us with joy. Have a read and celebrate the wonders of indie publishing.
5. We were thrilled to see the appointment of Janet Smyth as Family and Children’s Programmer for the International Literature Festival Dublin – time and energy dedicated to literature related events for children will always count as good news!
6. Libraries around the country are doing trojan work to ensure that we can still access books in a safe manner. We were heartened to see Dublin City Libraries’ book delivery service for cocooners, which has delivered 800 book parcels to the elderly since May, recognised in the Sunday Times.
7. Speaking of Dublin City Libraries, we were delighted to welcome the return of their podcast series, City of Books, with host Martina Devlin this past week. Martina was in conversation with the inimitable Anne Enright and you can listen back here.
8. Great news for all of you bookish fiends with a new year’s resolution to write more: the Cúirt New Writing Prize is open until Feb 1st, with two prizes up for grabs – one for poetry, and one for short fiction. Submit your entries here.
9. Those looking for a fictional escape during these trying times have a fantastic new release on their hands: the thrilling The Dark Room (Corvus Atlantic) by Sam Blake is out now and is already an Eason bestseller.
10. And finally, after taking the world by storm with Conversations with Friends and Normal People, Sally Rooney is back: her new book, Beautiful World, Where Are You (Faber & Faber), scheduled for release in September of this year, should give us all something to look forward to.