Friday, September 20, 2013

Fish Short Story Prize Deadline Approaching!

Fish Short Story First Prize is €3,000, Second Prize is a Week's Residency at Anam Cara plus €300, and the Ten Best Stories are published in the annual anthology.

From Fish Publishing:

Claire Kilroy is the judge. We are honoured that she will select the best ten stories for publication in the 2014 Fish Anthology. She is the acclaimed author of 4 novels including All Summer, (recipient of the 2004 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and was short-listed for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award), Tenderwire (shortlisted for the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel Award), All Names Have Been Changed and The Devil I Know.
In 2002 she received an Arts Council Literature Award.
Closing Date: 30 November 2013.

Word limit is 5,000. There is no restriction on theme or style, and the prize is open to writers from all countries who are writing in English.

First Prize: €3,000, of which €1,000 is for travel to the launch of the Fish Anthology in July 2014 at the West Cork Literary Festival.

Second Prize: a week at Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat in West Cork, plus €300.

Third prize: €300.

Entry fee: €20 (€10 subsequent entries). Online Entry. Once you register and enter online, you can login and check your entry(ies) at any time. Results will be announced on 17 March on the Fish website, and sent out in the newsletter.

Enter Online

Stories must not have been published previously and must be eligible for publication in the 2014 Fish Anthology.

Stories cannot be altered or changed after they have been entered. Judging at all stages is anonymous. Names or addresses must not appear on the stories, but on a separate sheet if entering by post, or in the appropriate place if entering online.
Postal entries: €22 (€12 subsequent entries)
Address: Fish Publishing, Durrus, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Honorary patrons of the Fish Short Story Prize are Roddy Doyle, Dermot Healy and Colum McCann

Online Short Story Writing Course Announced

After the success of both the Online Flash Fiction and Memoir Writing Courses, Fish is proud to announce the launch of the Fish Short Story Writing Course. This tailored online program will not only develop your general writing skills but will explore in depth the potential of the short story genre.

The course offers both new and experienced writers an extensive range of creative ideas and activities to help develop their craft. Course tutor Mary-Jane Holmes will be on hand to offer advice on mastering technique and developing personal style. Each module concentrates on a key aspect of the form, such as shape and structure, narrative perspective and characterization and by the end of the program you will have completed a polished work of short fiction that will be submitted for the Fish Short Story Prize.
For further information please go to Short Story Writing Course
or email:

Student Testimonials from Fish Online Courses

Mary Jane’s astute commentaries, her helpful suggestions, her clear understanding of the technicalities of language and its use were placed in informal emails, which were friendly and supportive throughout. Avril Leigh

I enjoyed this course so much and I’m now in possession of a body of my own work complete with superb feedback on all aspects. If I hadn’t taken the course I probably wouldn’t have written much at all over this period. So... thanks! Lucho Payne

My good news is that the story Hummingbird, written as part of the Compression Module, has been shortlisted for NZs National Flash Fiction Day competition :)) pretty thrilling ... thank you so much for everything with this story ... and ALL the stories that have emerged during the past couple months. Leanne Radojkovich

Monday, September 9, 2013

Alumni Poet Susan Rich on New Anthology

From Susan Rich (Seattle, Washington, USA):

A while ago you asked me to send you more information about The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Crossing Borders published by the Poetry Foundation and McSweeny’s this past spring. Here is the book cover image and a recent review that was in the Chicago Tribune. The book seems to be selling well --- and there is also a free download at the Poetry Foundation if people want a pdf — here is the link

Also, my fourth book of poems Cloud Pharmacy comes out in early 2014 from White Pine Press. There are several poems about Ireland including “your” poem, “Faraway.” It’s dedicated to you and all the writers of Anam Cara.

Here is the review from the Chicago Tribune:

For the wanderlusty, it's difficult to believe that anyone would hesitate to pack her suitcase and zip off to, well, anywhere. But travel requires strategy and persistence. And for writers — or worse, for poets — international travel requires a relative fortune. Or good fortune.

In the spirit of easing dislocation, earlier this year, McSweeney's and the Poetry Foundation released "The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Writing Across Borders." Part travelogue, essay, verse, roundtable transcription and reference text, the volume is an introduction to the opportunities for international poetic work: fellowships, residencies, translations, festivals, English instruction jobs and volunteer postings.

The editors — Jared Hawkley, Susan Rich and Brian Turner — explained that the dearth of foreign literature being translated into English motivated them to create the book.
"We would like to jumpstart a discussion and encourage younger writers to find ways to go abroad and see the larger world and bring the news of that larger world back into the United States," said Ilya Kaminsky, series editor for the "Poets in the World" series, part of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute, via email. "We give various (metaphysical and practical) perspectives on the situation of a writer living abroad (outside of their native language), and also provide very detail-oriented, step-by-step guides for young writers to achieve the goal of living abroad."
At its strongest, the work probes identity — what it means to be other, in flux, cross-pollinating. In her essay on translation, Jane Hirshfield examines the initial skepticism and later acceptance of intercultural appropriation, by which "certain exotic trees have come to be treasured in their new countries." Although "(m)istrust of translation is part of the immune reaction by which every community attempts to preserve its particular heritage and flavor," Hirshfield asks, "what English speaker today would call iambic pentameter an imported meter, or think of the sonnet as an Italian form?"

Carolyn Forché explains how she learned to manipulate her identity. She and her husband, a journalist, roamed South Africa in order to document apartheid. "Officially, my husband would work at the Time bureau, and I would accompany him as wife and expectant mother," she writes with the wry confidence of a woman underestimated. Eventually Forché learned that her pregnancy eased the couple's passage through the country's roadblocks: "(A)s my womb swelled, I also grew invisible, no longer attracting police who would not wish to involve themselves with so pregnant a white woman."

Another writer struggles with the patronship that power earned her abroad. On her Fulbright year in South Africa, Susan Rich "carried with [her] a basket of ever-shifting questions." In her discussion of whether to hire servants, Rich wonders: "Was it better to hire someone to scrub my two rooms and help alleviate the high unemployment rate, or was it best not to participate in a corrupt vestige from the past regime?"

At its weakest, "The Strangest of Theatres" approaches the details of international living so broadly, readers may chuckle at the sweep: "Be aware that culture shock, exploring a new place, and being away from friends and family can make it more difficult to accomplish work at the pace you are used to" and "that volunteer work in developing countries can be psychologically and emotionally challenging."