2019 Review

I didn’t publish quite as much in 2019 as in recent years, but there were some great moments along the way. The highlight was of course the publication of my short fiction chapbook It’s Not Me, It’s You at the Cork International Short Story Festival in September. This is my third book publication in the past four years following 2015’s children’s novel The Rising Son and 2017’s poetry collection After The Fall (Salmon Poetry).

My main aim in terms of publication for 2020 is to find a publisher for my full short story collection What Do You Actually Want?. I was lucky enough to be mentored in 2019 by Dermot Bolger as I worked on putting the collection together.

In terms of new writing in 2020, I’m determined to bring at least one of two novel projects to fruition before the end of the year. I also got back into poetry writing in 2019 and hope to continue to work towards my second poetry collection in 2020 by continuing to write plenty of new poems and adding to my poetry publication credits.

Over the year I read some excellent novels, stories and poetry. I could name loads but I’ll settle for three only, one from each genre: Anna Burns’ novel Milkman, Nicole Flattery’s short story collection Show Them A Good Time and Ciaran O’Rourke’s poetry collection The Buried Breath. There were plenty of other wonderful books that I read during the year but these three stood out for me in terms of the dynamic coming together of structure, language and ideas.

Here’s how my writing year went from a publication point of view:

I’m looking forward to taking on new challenges in 2020 and reading and writing new work. It’s always worth saying also, that whatever success we achieve in writing – however you define success – it is always accompanied by a far greater amount of rejection and failure. I like to think a committed writer sees these setbacks as part of the overall learning and improving process. Some weeks are better than others for sure…
Best wishes to all for a happy, peaceful and productive 2020!
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