Sunday, March 29, 2009

How to Write, Document 1

Well, the first of the How to Write Documents is finished and available for free! If you click the title of this post, you'll be brought to the download page. I love it already!

The second set of interviews will go out in the near future. I must also remember to begin interviewing again, to ensure the continued survival of the project. Free information for writers! Woo!!

Wish me luck! The Campaign may suddenly get more interesting based on Channel 4's decision!! I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Well, I've finally found what I can blog about! Campaigning!! The Literary Den is at last becoming a place to support writing fully. I started off the Campaign by announcing our goals in a nice little .pdf file! To access this file, click here!

I had written up those goals a couple of weeks ago, just as our Battlefront page appeared. Today, I typed them up on a jazzy template, and added them to my new page for the purpose of sharing them with everyone. It's a pretty easy way of doing things!

Now I'm getting ready to go hunting for the advice several writers gave me a few months ago!! Wish me luck, ficticious reader!

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's been a while, etc...

Hello, valuable and non-existant readers!

I have been vanished for a good long while from this blog. I missed it a few minutes ago, and decided to give one massive update on it.... I've just checked my last post, and I discovered I used the term vanished then too.... righto!

Well, I completed NaNoWriMo. That was easy, and way back in November. I wrote a novel called Meet Sam, which I will get back to in a little while. I will tell you that it was super fun to write and came in at 50,074 words according to the NaNoWriMo drones. Following that, I was very lazy at writing, but managed to get Geneticide finished in January. Hurray for me! Since then, I've had Mocks (I did rather poorly in them), an oral Irish exam, and have had a huge number of writing related things happening. But let's do this properly - chronologically!

Meet Sam is a fantastic novel (for me) following a helplessly poor writer through one day of his otherwise dull life. He's single, and miserably so, and decides to invent a narrator for himself. Sam Richards is in fact a wee bit crazy. His narrator abuses him at every opportunity, but in the 24 hours that she exists, his life changes dramatically. The book is that story! As part of the deal for completing NaNoWriMo, I got to get a free proof copy of Meet Sam from a group of people called CreateSpace. They even covered the postage. That was nice of them. The book is a delightful addition to my collection, and has caught the attention of my mother's friends at work.

Geneticide finished with a much higher word count. I don't even know what it is, only that it's rather good. The story went exactly as planned, which I'm happy about. It took very long to write, but I think it'll do well if it ever goes anywhere.

In February, I turned 18. Normally, I don't celebrate my birthday with such excitedness, but this was the February midterm break too. This called for celebration. I threw a house party. It was a delightful gathering of my friends, during which there was a movie and a giant personality test. I'll expand on that now! The movie was in fact a home movie of sorts - Meet Sam, as done by my friends Karl, Andrew, CiarĂ¡n and Conor. They gave up a few afternoons to do it. Karl has since failed to upload it onto Youtube a dozen times, so I cannot share it with you. The personality test was the BBC one. It was rather fun, and had my friends bashing against each other in my kitchen. It was not built to hold 14 people in a tiny square.

Then came March, this month. I can tell you that things really changed this month. It's almost at an end too, so if there was nothing to report, there would be a problem. Now, I can't remember what happened first in all this, so I'll just ramble on about the various different things that have happened.

Let's start with dear old Patricia Scanlan! She did a book signing a couple of weeks ago to promote her new book Happily Ever After? at my shop. It was a great experience in itself to watch it and help out, btu then something really fun happened! She found out that I'm a writer, and told me to give her a call when my novel (Meet Sam) was editted, so that she could give it to her publishers! I was utterly gobsmacked!! Imagine me, a published author! With Transworld Ireland!!!

Then there's Battlefront. This is a Channel Four television show that encourages a whole set of campaigns from young people to help change the world. I submitted The Literary Den Campaign to them... and we're second in the voting stages. In a few days, voting stops and it goes to the "judges." If they pick my campaign, I may be on television!! That would be amazing!

The campaign is all about making reading and writing cool again. People seem to get bored with them ratehr easily these days. They abandon the thoughts of them for a TV show or a movie, or for mindless internet games. It's an awful shame, because they really are valuable skills for both work and life. Writing is a way of ridding oneself of the weird little ideas in their heads that can cause us troubles. I have not heard of any dangerous writers out there, so I must be right.

The campaign also sets out to start a mentoring system to help younger writers with their stuff. I'm one of the mentors, although we are without mentorees. I'm hoping to convince my good friend Sam to do it. He started writing a book way back in the summer and since stopped doing it. If I can spark his interest in writing again, and be his mentor to guide him along the way, then I'm doing something right. From there I'd like to see what the group can do. We may even be able to organise talks at schools! That would be sweet!

So, there's my campaign. Some of it, at least. If you wish to support us, you can vote at: Thanks a million in advance!!

Moving on now, I've subscribed to a magazine called The Stinging Fly. I've also submitted to them. By the end of the month, or in early April, I should hear from them to see how my submission of a short story and two poems went down. I imagine the story, called The Wounded Angel, stands a better chance than the poems, but who am I to judge? Fingers crossed anyway!

Now here's another big thing! The Literary Den Book of New Fiction 2009 is underway! We're putting the stories together as I type. Well, I mean people are writing them. If they're anywhere near as uncomfortable as I am right now, they might just be finishing them. This year, we're still supporting the Laura Crane Trust, but we have a few fresh faces! Brendan McLoughlan has joined our ranks from Howth, and Lisa Sills has returned to submit this year (she vanished just before it was announced last year, and arrived when the deadline passed). Jonathon Bell from Bermuda (living in Dublin) has submitted, and his wife, my good friend Liz, is due to submit too. It's a wonderful group of Irish writers joining the fray! I'm delighted with it.

The 08 Anthology is still on sale. I do hope you'll consider purchasing a copy. All the money goes to the charity. We're not greedy or anything. But we do like to bring it up a lot. For instance, today I had to tell a teacher in charge of my school's awards system about it for Charity and Public Service. If I win.... well I'll be well chuffed!! Purchase the book here:

I may also be up for Best All-Round Student, but that's still in doubt. A teacher, the one in charge of the school magazine, said she'd nominate me for it. I've been a "one man army" in the computer room trying to get the 09 issue under wraps. Then I'm done with that establishment for good. That'll be weird! But I can't wait. Fingers crossed for the awards!

So, I think that's it for now. I've been extremely boring I bet, but I don't mind all that much. I've just needed to get all that out at once. Hopefully I'll be back. Whatever happens, always remember that the pen is mightier than the sword - violence is not the way forward. Books are!