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7 Reasons Why You Don't Want to Miss

As a self-described complete online magazine, has a vast collection of writing resources for writers across genres and around the globe, although its seat of operations is in Dublin, Ireland. Additionally, it offers an events calendar that is absolutely free for authors wishing to announce a literary event or book launch. That, combined with a Resources Page updated often and weekly make the site a useful bookmark for any writer looking for tips, inspiration, marketing outlets, or even the chance to "Tell your own story" to like-minded authors who access the site daily.

The site is established and run by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin, one of Ireland's leading literary scouts and former consultant and presenter for WritersWebTV, bringing free, live, online workshops to writers worldwide.

In case these details alone are not temptation enough to visit and bookmark the site, here are seven reasons why if you're a writer, you don't want to miss all that has to offer. is a website full of great blogs across several genres and topics related to the writing process and industry. is a website full of great blogs across several genres and topics related to the writing process and industry.

#1. Kate Dempsey's Poetic License blog

As one of many guest blogs published on the site, Kate Dempsey's Poetic License blog has much to offer writers interested in the art of poetry. It primarily focuses on competitions and publishing opportunities open to poets across a scope of topics and highlights interesting calls for poems both in the U.K. and around the world. For example, this call for submissions for poems about scientists' experience announces the opportunity for writers, who find themselves at that strange intersection of science and poetry, to submit their work to a paid anthology entitled Spectral Lines. Although the submission deadline has passed for this particular work, it highlights some of the fascinating opportunities for poets that the blog offers. If you're a poet, it's incredibly helpful to know who's looking for your poems and where to send them. If you're a poet in the Dublin area, or the U.K., this is an opportunity you certainly don't want to miss.

#2. Hazel Gaynor's Carry On Writing blog

As an acclaimed New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author of five novels, Hazel Gaynor's debut post, A Beginning and an End, is a great taste of the kind of honest approach she takes in the blog. Here's a quote from it:

I'm starting to think publishing deals don't really exist, that they're just myths, the stuff of legend; about as simple to track down as the Ark of the Covenant or the golden snitch.

Being an aspiring writer is no easy thing, as any aspiring writer will tell you. It's a lonely, frustrating occupation, riddled with potential for disappointment and despair but – and here's the thing – with the benefit of hindsight, I've come to the conclusion that the rejections and close-shaves have made me more determined than ever to succeed. Of course, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thrown the occasional strop on the way to reaching this conclusion, or curled up on the sofa in a deep 'rejected-author' malaise, unable to speak to anyone, let alone turn on the laptop or pick up a pen, but I'm pleased to have reached this conclusion all the same.

Hazel Gaynor

#3. Louise Phillips's Crime Scene blog

If you write crime or thriller novels, Louise Phillips's Crime Scene blog is for you. Ranging from her lists of Delicious Reads of Irish Crime Fiction books to calls for submissions for Crime novelists, this blog offers information about new books in the genre that have launched, writing conferences and courses, and tips for writers looking to sharpen their crime writing skills. She also offers writing tips and advice for the genre, which can be a great help for anyone looking to break into the industry with their own crime novel.

#4. Olivia Hope and Niamh Garvey's Flourish & Blogs about writing for children

Written and curated by Olivia Hope and Niamh Garvey, Down the Rabbit Hole by Flourish and Blogs offers fascinating explorations of the genre for anyone interested in writing and publishing children's books. As an example article, Uncomfortable Children's Books is an examination of the question of what topics are "safe" for children's literature. In it, Garvey writes:

This is a generation where mental health problems are beginning younger and younger in children. Childhood anxiety, depression and low self-esteem are on the increase. There is a tendency to panic, to think we must protect our children and teenagers from any hardship, to helicopter around them dropping cotton wool at their feet and shaded glasses on their eyes in case they see something unpleasant. They mustn't read that book, where people starve to death, where people die violently, where families are ripped apart, because it will make them sad. And yet, those same children and teenagers are allowed online alone, where more real-life danger lies than the in woods down the road at night.

Niamh Garvey

In addition to their thoughtful criticism, this writing due include within their blog children's book events, new releases, lists of must-reads, and more. As a parent and a writer, I found this blog to be an intriguing and thoughtful read, even though I don't plan to publish in the children's book genre.

#5. Tara Sparling's The Lighter Side blog offers satire and humor

In this blog about book humor, selling trends, marketing and character stereotype follies, Tara Sparling's writing lifts the spirits of her readers—often by stating the obvious on a not-so-obvious path to writing a bestseller. For example, in her post, Who Are You NOT Writing For This Year?, she takes a satirical approach to the all-important writer's audience and offers a handy list of all the people you are definitely NOT writing for in 2019. Included on this list are: The cool kid in your class you asked out when you were 15, your ex-spouse, your current spouse, your next spouse, and book reviewers, among others.

In another post, You Think 5-Star Reviews Are So Great? Think Again, she asks:

You're certain you want to award 5 stars to this? The highest accolade of them all? This is truly one of the best books you've ever read? It's better than the last 20 books you read and the 20 you read before that?

No it isn't. Stop 5-starring like it's the 1980s. Give it the solid and absolutely fine 3 it deserves.

Tara Sparling

#6. Derek Flynn's SongBook blog about writing from a musician's perspective

As an Irish writer and musician, Derek Flynn has much to say about the connections and inspiration he draws from music, including an ongoing series like this one with interviews of various authors asking about how music has shaped and inspired their writing.

Other articles approach literature and writing through music-related concepts, such as this piece titled Literary One Hit Wonders, which discusses famous authors known only by one book. He writes:

Of course, when we mention literary one hit wonders, most people will think of Harper Lee and To Kill A Mockingbird, possibly the most famous example (and we'll ignore the dubious release of Go Set A Watchman). But there are some other—probably equally as famous—examples. There is, of course, JD Salinger, author of Catcher in the Rye, who subsequently wrote only a handful of short stories and novellas—no more novels—and gave his last interview in 1980.

But while Lee and Salinger chose not to write any more novels, there are others who died before getting the chance to write more, leaving us wondering what might have been.

Derek Flynn

Flynn also writes of local publishing opportunities or jobs available in the industry, as well as competitions and anthologies seeking submissions.

#7. Resources for writers

Finally, and as mentioned earlier, the website's section for Resources for writers is packed with valuable information and links to sources writers can use throughout the drafting, editing, publishing and marketing phases of their writing journey.

The Resources tab of the site offers links to sources writers can use throughout the entire process of writing, from first draft to marketing the published work.
The Resources tab of the site offers links to sources writers can use throughout the entire process of writing, from first draft to marketing the published work.

In the Resources submenu, there are links to the following directories or sources, with additional submenus within each:

Final takeaway

While many of the literary events, book signings, and course offerings showcased in are for the Dublin, Ireland and Greater U.K. area, there are parts of the site and blogs that provide great sources for writers around the globe. The section I found most helpful as a writer is the Writing Competitions under the Magazine menu. It was chock full of calls for submission, competitions, anthology notices, and publishing opportunities for writers of all genres, and included important information such as deadlines, how to submit your manuscript, and links to the main website for each entity seeking writers or submissions. I'll be using it in the coming months to seek out publishing opportunities and I hope you'll be equally as excited about the excellent opportunities that are available.

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