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Saturday, August 20, 2011

NEWSFLASH Long-list for 2011 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year

Philip Abbink, Galway, Ireland
John Austin Connolly, Dublin, Ireland
Lisa Allen, Galway, Ireland
Bernie Ashe, Galway, Ireland
Meleesha Bardolia, Melbourne, Australia
Gene Barry, Cork, Ireland
Marie Bashford-Synnott, Dublin, Ireland
Batsheva Battu, Galway, Ireland
Stephanie Brennan, Galway, Ireland
Paul Bradley, Galway, Ireland
Bern Butler, Galway, Ireland
Erin Buttner, Galway, Ireland
Stephen Byrne, Galway, Ireland
Marie Cadden, Galway, Ireland
June Caldwell, Dublin, Ireland
Kimberly Campanello, Dublin, Ireland
Angela T. Carr, Dublin, Ireland
Martin Casey, Mayo, Ireland
Jane Clarke, Wicklow, Ireland
Rachel Coventry, Galway, Ireland
Bernie Crawford, Galway, Ireland
Damian Cunniffe, Galway, Ireland
Madeleine D'Arcy, Cork, Ireland
Rory Duffy, Westmeath, Ireland
Hilary Fennell, Dublin, Ireland
Stephanie Flaherty-Klapp, Galway, Ireland
Philippa Gibbons, Galway, Ireland
Pauline Gillen, Galway, Ireland
Mary Healy, Kilkenny, Ireland
Dearbhaile Houston, Galway, Ireland
Derek Hynes, Galway, Ireland
Anne Irwin, Galway, Ireland
Sandra Jensen, Cork, Ireland
Des Kavanagh, Galway, Ireland
Jean Kavanagh, Clare, Ireland
Stephen Kennedy, Dublin, Ireland
Tom Lavelle, Galway, Ireland
Barbara Leahy, Cork, Ireland
Laurie Leech, Galway, Ireland
Marie MacSweeney, Louth, Ireland
Gemma Marren, Mayo, Ireland
Connie Masterson, Galway, Ireland
Antoinette McCarthy, Kilkenny, Ireland
Rosaleen McDonagh, Dublin, Ireland
Andrew McEneff, Dublin, Ireland
Danielle McLoughlin, Cork, Ireland
Paul McMahon, Sligo, Ireland
Anne McManus, Galway, Ireland
Sighle Meehan, Galway, Ireland
Lauren Norton, California, USA
Kerrie O’Brien, Dublin, Ireland
Brian O’Connell, Galway, Ireland
David O'Dwyer, Dublin, Ireland
Noel O’Regan, Kerry, Ireland
Michael O'Siochain, Cork, Ireland
Niall Ó’ Sioradáin, Dublin, Ireland
Kevin O'Shea, Galway, Ireland
James O'Toole, Galway, Ireland
Evelyn Parsons, Galway, Ireland
Laura Peters, London, UK
Fiona Place, Galway, Ireland
Bridget Rowland, Mayo, Ireland
Marybeth Rua-Larsen, Massachusetts, USA
Breda Wall Ryan, Wicklow, Ireland
Eimear Ryan, Tipperary, Ireland
Natalie Ryan, Dublin, Ireland
Rejini Samuel, Galway, Ireland
Seamus Scanlon, New York, USA
Maresa Sheehan, Carlow, Ireland
Alan Timmons, Wicklow, Ireland
Steve Wade, Dublin, Ireland
Alice Walsh, Dublin, Ireland
John Walsh, Galway, Ireland
Nicole Walsh, Sligo, Ireland
Heidi Wickam, Sligo, Ireland

The competition is kindly sponsored by Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, McGinn’s Bar, Niall Ó’Brolcháin, Senator Fidelma Healy Eames & Mike Cubbard.

The shortlist will be announced
at the August Over The Edge:Open Reading
in Galway City Library
this coming Thursday, August, 25th, 6.30-8pm.

The competition judge is Elaine Feeney.
Fiction Long-list – a few words about the process by Susan Millar DuMars
(N.B. 40 of the writers on the above long-list are long-listed for fiction, the other 35 for poetry.)
There were 197 stories entered. Only 40 could be long-listed. So more than three quarters of the stories had to lose out.

Stories were read by me and three other very experienced writers with no names attached. Any entries with which I was familiar I gave to the three volunteers for their verdict.

Each entrant was allowed one story on the long-list. That way the greatest number of people could benefit from being long-listed.

The Result
Many fine writers didn’t make it this time; including many with Masters Degrees, many who have read for Over the Edge, many for whom I’d have great professional respect. This was startling to realise, and my heart broke for those who didn’t get through. At the same time, it proves the fairness of the process.
In the end, here is what we looked for:
• Stories with a strong, unusual, likeable narrative voice.
• Simple stories; those with elaborate, gimmicky plot twists generally did not make it through.
• Stories with memorable images we could not get out of our heads.
• Stories that used their 3000 words well. That is, the piece didn’t read like a vignette, an exercise or an extract but a fleshed out story with clear beginning, middle, end.
• Stories that felt true. Not that they had to be true, of course. But the author must have taken the time to walk in her characters’ shoes.

It was a very tough job; the standard of entries was very high. My sincere congratulations to the forty authors who made it to the fiction long-list.