- Adjudicating the Poetry Town Schools Competition for Strokestown – choosing a shortlist of poems for Poetry Ireland judges to select winners from in six categories. So difficult – there are such lovely poems written by local schoolchildren, they all deserve prizes!
- Taking part in Poetry in the Park event organised by Roscommon County Council – Poetry readings in the lovely surroundings of Lough Key Forest Park, for anyone to join in and listen or read.
- I’m now published in the latest edition of The Bangor Literary Journal (see below). You can download the PDF version here (for free) issue-16-the-bangor-literary-journal
- Humbled to get the priceless validation of the Arts Council of Ireland in the form of a Literature Bursary, which will hopefully lead to me producing a new poetry collection.
- Shortlisted for the Ninth Annual Bangor Poetry Competition. If you saw my post about being buried under an avalanche of rejections recently, and then suddenly having a shortlisting in the Ninth Annual Bangor Poetry Competition, thank you if you voted for me! I had a lovely time up in Bangor and got to read my poem to a live audience INDOORS (a first for 18 months, everything I’ve done (poetry-wise) since February 2020 has been on-line or outdoors!). The winner was an impressive offering from Carolann North, ‘Nesting’ (recited from memory!). The winning poems will be published in the forthcoming edition of Bangor Literary Journal.
- For Culture Night here in Ireland, this year (on Friday, September 17th), I read some passages from John McGahern’s ‘Amongst Women’ at the newly opened Barracks Museum in Cootehall, County Roscommon. You can watch/listen here.
- Alongside three other writers, I read some of my poems (and those of other poets) in Carrick on Shannon on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th September as part of the Poetry Town project. Great fun – and the rain held off (phew!) More info here.
- It rained on us in Lough Key Forest Park in County Roscommon, on Tuesday, August 17th, but wildlife expert Michael Bell led us on an interesting, if damp, guided walk. And there was poetry! I read the poem that won the Wood for the Trees Nature Poetry Competition last year.
- I am delighted with the news that I’ve been selected by Dedalus Press for their new mentorship programme for poets. I will be working with the distinguished Irish poet Joseph Woods on a project in which I plan to wrestle a new poetry collection into being.
- I am adjudicating this year’s New Roscommon Writing Award, which is for a 2,000 word short story or memoir. The competition is now closed and I have the task of deciding who gets the first prize of €500 for a writer with connections to County Roscommon in Ireland. All the entries are anonymous by the time I get them, so I’m judging solely on the writing, not my knowledge of the writer. And here is all about the process – and who I chose as the winner – Neil Tully.
- My poetry pamphlet ‘Under the Influence’ has been commended in Munster Literature Centre’s Fool for Poetry Competition. Spoiler alert: its about my mother’s influence, not the demon drink or whatever…
- Roscommon Arts Centre have a lovely new project on the go – they’ve asked six local writers to record a short story for broadcast, and I’m one of them. I read the short story which won the New Roscommon Writing Award in 2019: The Potential Pleasure of New Soft Furnishings, broadcast on February 2nd 2021. It’s here
- I am delighted to have had a short story, When the Tide Turns, placed in a competition run by the Dock Arts Centre and the Reading Room bookshop, of Carrick on Shannon, County Leitrim, Ireland. I read the story for a recording before Christmas and it is now live as part of a podcast from the Dock here (My story starts at 9.40 in)
- Every now and then, something wonderful happens that makes me glad to be who I am. Being asked rather than requesting publication is the biggest thrill of all. It happened with my Laureate’s Choice poetry book (Carol Ann Duffy asked to see some of my work after I’d won the Hennessy), and now it has happened with the Emergence Anthology. This beautiful book, ‘A Celebration of the Wisdom and Resilience of Ageing’, edited by Shane O’Hanlon and Paul Finucane, was published at the end of 2020. Doctors caring for the elderly were asked to contribute pieces of poetry and prose to an anthology that would celebrate old age, with profits from the venture being donated to age-related charities. Paul chose my poem ‘Fur Coat and No Knickers’ (yes, that one again), and so there I am, sandwiched between Sinead Gleeson and William Trevor. Even if I wasn’t in this lovely anthology, I would commend it to anyone who enjoys good writing, with the familiar alongside the new, an eclectic selection of words from writers including Shakespeare, President Michael D Higgins, Tolstoy, WB Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde and many, many more. It is a hefty 240 page hardback chocked full of words that are a heartfelt celebration of what it means to grow old, which hopefully all of us will get the chance to do. I am honoured to be included. Buy it here.
Delighted to be runner-up in the Winter Words Short Story Competition run by The Dock Arts Centre and the Reading Room, Carrick-on-Shannon. I will be recording my 2,000 word short story, When the Tide Turns, and when it is available, I will post the link here.
- A little book of inspiration humour and hope: Havin’ A Laugh, the Book is available now. My little story about keeping alpacas, ‘Spitting Image’, appears in this new book. There are lots of poems, stories, jokes and memoir in this bright, colourful publication which is great to dip into for some uplifting words and images. All proceeds from sales go to the Irish mental health charity ‘Havin’ a Laugh’, which provides life-enhancing activity vouchers to people who are in therapy for mental health-related reasons. Find out more – and buy it – here
- I have a poem in the Irish Literary journal Southword 39
- There’s a new poem of mine in ‘Autumn Leaves’ a broadsheet of new writing from scribes with Roscommon connections, published for the first time this month. Download it here: Autumn-Leaves-pdf
- I’m not given to political diatribes and tend to keep my opinions to myself – yet here I am, included in a poetry anthology ‘Chaos’ which ‘records and reacts to the crises we have lived through over the past five years, a period of polarisation when light and darkness have seemed in constant contention’. My poem ‘Evensong’ was first published by UK-based Patrician Press back in 2017, in an anthology ‘Refugees and Peacekeepers’. Now it gets another airing in the publisher’s new anthology, edited by Anna Johnson. My poem is from the POV of an (imaginary) refugee seeing unexpected beauty in a sunset murmuration of starlings.The saddest thing is, I wrote the poem nearly five years ago – and yet it could have been written yesterday. Not because I still write like that, but because of the subject matter.
- I was shortlisted for this year’s Bridport’s Flash Fiction Competition.
- I was one of 15 poets reading for Ballina Arts Centre’s 2020 Culture Night event, September 18th. You can see/hear me at 32mins 45 seconds in 🙂 Here’s the link: Culture Night at Ballina Arts Centre
- You can hear me reading my Roscommon Poets’ Prize poem, ‘Walking the Back Road’, on the Strokestown Poetry Festival You Tube channel here
- Joint winner of the Nature Poetry Competition organised by Roscommon County Council for the ‘The Wood for the Trees’ nature writing and biodiversity festival (now postponed until 2021)
- Poem acccepted for publication in Southward Magazine, the prestigious literary journal of Munster Literature Centre, Ireland (Issue 39, September 2020)
- Placed second in the Frome Festival Short Story Competition. Read the story here
- Delighted to have won the Roscommon Poets’ Prize judged by Jane Clarke for Strokestown International Poetry Festival. You can read my poem, ‘Walking the Back Road, After’, here at the Strokestown Poetry Festival website
- Invited to do a live poetry reading for The Holding Cell on-line on May 1st. I read some of my poetry (including some new work), although the internet connection kept wavering, so the recording quality is rubbish (sorry!). Some of it recorded, but not all, so it ended up rather garbled. An edited version is on YouTube – here
- Poem published in Boyne Berries, the Covid Issue, launched on Poetry Day Ireland. Download a PDF of the whole magazine here for free. Its well worth a look – lots of really good work included!
- Shortlisted for the Roscommon Poets’ Prize of Strokestown Poetry Festival (judged by Jane Clarke). Sadly, the Festival (April 30th to May 4th) has now been postponed because of Ireland’s attempts to contain the effects of the COVID-19 virus…
- Nominated for a Forward Prize for my poem ‘Origami Instructions for the Recently Bereaved’ by the editors of Poetry Bus Magazine (thanks, guys!). The poem first appeared in Poetry Bus 8 in October 2019, and was inspired not by my own grief this time, but that of someone I know. Fingers crossed I get on the Forward Prize shortlist, which is published in May.
- Awarded a bursary by Roscommon County Council to attend the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.
- I read the title poem from ‘Soft Touch’ (not an easy poem to read aloud!) at the open mic part of The Word in Sligo Library, after an entertaining evening of insights and readings from Siobhán Mannion and Mary Costello, hosted by Gerard Beirne. The whole evening was videoed (I’m at about 54 mins). See it here.
- I was reading old and new poems at the Poetry by the Weir event in Sligo on February 21st, hosted by Gerard Beirne. I was there with visiting American/Canadian poet George Ellenbogen, at the Osta Cafe, Sligo.
And I got to sign a couple of copies of ‘Soft Touch’, which was lovely!
- Finally bought my domain name – I’m now louisegcolewriter.com 🙂
- First meeting with Nessa O’Mahony under the Words Ireland Mentorship scheme
- Shortlisted for the Allingham Festival’s Flash Fiction Competition with a 700 word short, short story.
- Chosen (alongside 20 other writers) for mentorship through the Words Ireland scheme. There were 300 hundred entries, so I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity. Thank you Roscommon Arts Centre for selecting me! I will be working with the lovely writer and tutor Nessa O’Mahony.
- Awarded joint first prize for prose in the annual SiarSceal Festival/Hanna Greally Literary Awards. I read the winning story at the ceremony, and later some poems at the open mic in Roscommon Library.
- Here I am, not auditioning for the choir, but reading a poem I’m normally able for reciting mostly from memory. Except this day, I wasn’t. Poetry Reading in King House Boyle with the Hermit Collective and the Scottish Poets’ Republic trio: Neil Young, Magi Gibson and Hugh McMillan
- Publication of a poem in Poetry Bus 8 (catty comments opportunity disabled.)
- Guest poetry reader at the Over the Edge event for Culture Night in Kenny’s Bookshop and Gallery, Galway
Launched an exhibition of Words and Images from local writers and artists in Charlestown Arts Centre, County Mayo. Two poems on display.
A new author interview: The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews (scroll down the page!)
- Selected for Masterclass with former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins at the John Hewitt International Summer School, Armagh
- Short story published in From the Well anthology (An Ultimate Resolution and other Stories), Cork Libraries, selected by Billy O’Callaghan
- Winner of New Roscommon Writing Award 2019 with a 2,000 word short story: ‘The Potential Pleasure of New Soft Furnishings’ published in the Roscommon Herald, extracts read on Charlie McGettigan’s radio show on Shannonside FM
- Publication of a poem in Ogham Stone 2019
- Publication in the Laureate’s Choice Anthology published by the Poetry Business, Smith/Doostop. Buy it here. A snip at £10, featuring 20 poets chosen by Carol Ann Duffy. Includes eight poems by Louise G Cole 🙂
- Ran a workshop for Poetry Day Ireland on May 2nd in Charlestown, County Mayo. Details here: To mark Poetry Day Ireland
- Poetry reading as part of Strokestown Poetry Festival. 3pm, Sunday May 5th, Strokestown Park House. Full programme here
- Helped to launch Strokestown Poetry Festival‘s latest anthology (in which I have a new poem) in Poetry Ireland, Dublin 1. Buy the book here.
- Poem published in Roscommon Herald as part of Strokestown Poetry Festival feature
- Award from Roscommon County Council to attend the Tyrone Guthrie Centre
I’m probably not going to get sick of this image 🙂
February 2019: Launch of ‘Soft Touch’ by Louise G Cole – a poetry pamphlet containing 20 poems selected by UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy in her ‘Laureate’s Choice’ series 2019. Published by Smith/Doorstop, February 2019. Buy it here: Soft Touch
Poetry Ireland, Dublin, January 17th 2019, 7pm – an evening of readings in celebrating the poetry pamphlet. Featuring readings from Soft Touch (Smith Doorstop) by Louise G. Cole, genuine human values (The Lifeboat) by Susannah Dickey, Little Deaths (Smithereens) by Seanín Hughes, Sexy Fruit (Broken Sleep Books) by Alice Kinsella, The Architecture of Red Caviar Sandwiches (If a Leaf Falls Press) by Michael Naghten Shanks, and I Don’t Love You (Eyewear) by Christian Wethered.
Books Upstairs, 17 D’Olier Street, Dublin 2, Sunday January 27th 2019, 3pm. Reading by the three amigos – Louise G Cole, Gerry Boland and Jessamine O Connor. Roscommon’s best head for the Big Smoke for the afternoon to bring you stories, poems and the craic.
- Christmas poem included in Bangor Literary Journal (download the whole mag for free here )
- Poem and short story included in New Roscommon Writing Anthology
- Read poem at the launch of Crannóg No 49, Galway
- Read poem at the launch of Stony Thursday Anthology, Limerick
- Read poem at The Word event, Sligo Library
- Read poem at The Word event, Sligo Library
- Accepted for Flash Fiction in the Orchard with Armagh Writers
- Awarded bursary by Roscommon County Council to attend writing retreat at Tyrone Guthrie Centre
- Performed with the Hermit Collective at Charlestown Arts Centre
- Poetry collection ‘Beyond the Green Bridge’ launched by Jane Clarke at Boyle Arts Festival
- Performed at Coole Park, Galway, in ‘This Water Has Passion’ spoken word event
- Selected by Carol Ann Duffy for Laureate’s Choice Pamphlet series, publication due in February 2019
- Runner-up in New Roscommon Writing Prize 2018
- Poem chosen for Stony Thursday Book, to be published by Limerick Arts Office
- Poem published in Skylight 47, issue 10, and short story published in ROPES 2018
- Poem chosen by Eavan Boland published in Poetry Ireland Review
- Poem published in Strokestown International Poetry Festival Anthology 2018
- Launched collection ‘Beyond the Green Bridge’ at Strokestown International Poetry Festival
- Read at The Word, Sligo Library open mic event
- Winner of 2018 Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry
- Invited to contribute to forthcoming anthology of work by Roscommon writers
- Residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre
- Shortlisted in New Roscommon Writing Award 2017 and poem published in Skylight 47 Literary Magazine
- Poems published in the Irish Times (Hennessy New Irish Writing)
- Arts Council of Ireland Travel and Training Award for Poetry Masterclass in Welsh Writers’ Centre
- Selected for Autumn Poetry Masterclass with Gillian Clarke and Maura Dooley at Tŷ Newydd, Wales
- Chosen for Creative Frame Network Mentoring Scheme
- Shortlisted in Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition
- Published in Roscommon County Council’s ‘An Image, a Poem’ Exhibition and Pamphlet
- Appointed to committee as Press Officer for Strokestown International Poetry Festival
- Articles published in the Roscommon Herald, and on Henpicked website
- Performed poetry with Hermit Collective at Boyle Arts Festival & Secret Village Festival, Ballaghaderreen
- Performed poetry at Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin, and at two Listowel Writers’ Festival events
- Placed third in Oliver Goldsmith Festival Poetry Competition
- Winner of Strokestown Poetry Festival’s Roscommon Poets’ Prize
- Selected for Poetry Masterclass, UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy & Welsh National Poet Gillian Clarke
- Poems displayed at the Dock, Carrick on Shannon, for Poetry Day Ireland
- Publication of poem in ‘Refugees and Peacekeepers’ Anthology, Patrician Press
- Publication of short story in ‘Cat Tales’ Anthology, and flash fiction in ‘2016 Exeter Story Prize Collection’
- Publication of poem in Crannóg Literary Magazine, and short story in ‘Centenary in Reflection’ anthology
- Shortlisted to final five in Iron Mountain Literature Festival’s John McGahern Award
- Facilitated four-week ‘Keeping a Journal’ writing course for Charlestown Arts Centre
- Placed second in the Exeter Flash Fiction Competition
- Shortlisted in Exeter Short Story Competition and longlisted in the Henshaw Short Story Competition
- Publication and a special mention from judge Billy O’Callaghan in ‘Bunker and Other Short Stories’
- Placed sixth in Patrician Press Poetry Prize
- Shortlisted in Exeter Short Story Competition and short story published in ROPES 2016
- Placed third in Strokestown Poetry Festival’s Roscommon Poets’ Prize
- Shortlisted in Fish Flash Fiction Competition
- Facilitated Poetry Workshop for Poetry Day Ireland and poems displayed in Ballaghaderreen Library
- Winner of ‘I Am Dublin’ Flash Fiction Competition, read at Irish Writers’ Centre
- Short story in Roscommon Herald
- Winner of HE Bates Short Story Competition
- Overall winner of Hanna Greally Literary Award
- Honourable Mention and publication in 12th annual Momaya Short Story Review
- Short story in Mayo Advertiser and flash fiction in Writers Abroad Anthology ‘Kaleidoscope’
- Shortlisted in ie/Crosspens Short Story Competition
- Article in Roscommon Herald
- Long listed in Dermot Healy Poetry Competition
- Published in and edited ‘What Land and Country Is This?’ by Roscommon County Council
- Display at the Dock, Carrick on Shannon, Poetry Day Ireland, and poem published in Roscommon Herald
- Poems placed third and highly commended in Strokestown Poetry Festival’s Roscommon Poets’ Prize
- Shortlisted in The People’s College/Roberts’ Short Story Competition
- Article in Roscommon Herald
- Shortlisted for Hennessy New Irish Writing Literary Award
- Runner up (twice) New Roscommon Writing and published in Roscommon County Council booklet
- Short story published in Irish Independent (Hennessy New Irish Writing)
- Monthly performance poetry at the Word Corner Café at The Dock Arts Centre in Carrick on Shannon
- Performances with The Hermit Collective, a group of artists, writers and musicians who stage pop-up shows in the west of Ireland
Since 1974, publication in the following newspapers and periodicals (some of which I edited): Ludlow Advertiser; The Aerostat (Editor); Coventry Jobhunter (Editor); Stourbridge and Halesowen News (Editor); Shropshire Star; Polygon; The Aston Sun; Worcester Evening News; Berrow’s Journal; Wolverhampton Balloon Club Newsletter (Editor); Sky High Balloons Newsletter (Editor); Birmingham Post; Evening Mail; The Guardian; Woman’s Own; She; Annabel; Woman’s Realm; Bella; Weekly News; News of the World; Dudley Chronicle; Sunday Mercury; Kidderminster Shuttle; Express and Star; The People’s Friend; UK Press Gazette; Campaign; Marketing; Dudley Trader; Kidderminster Times; Country Quest; Education Bulletin (Editor); Council Chat (Editor); The Real Times (Editor); In Touch (Editor); Health Connections (Editor); The Villager (Editor); Rock of Ages Newsletter (Editor); Orion Media Services Newsletter (Editor); The Greenway Emporium Newsletter (Editor); Positive Life; Roscommon Herald; Irish Independent; Una Bhan Newsletter (Editor); Roscommon People; Roscommon Champion; Leitrim Observer; Western People; North West Express; Sligo Champion; Mayo Advertiser; Mayo News; Charlestown and District Development Association Newsletter (Editor).