Monday 21 October 2019

2019 Booker Prize

In a surprise move, Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been named the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize. The £50,000 award will be split between Atwood’s The Testaments, and Evaristo’s novel Girl, Woman, Other.

Evaristo becomes the first black woman to win the Booker since it was launched in 1969. Her book, told in the voices of 12 different characters, mostly black British women, is written in a blend of poetry and prose, a hybrid that Evaristo calls “fusion fiction”.

Atwood’s The Testaments is the sequel to her 1985 dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale. She previously won the Booker Prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin.

Anna Burns’s Milkman, an experimental novel about a woman during Northern Ireland’s civil conflict, has sold over 500,000 copies since winning the prize last year.

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Ennistymon One Book One Community

Clare County Library and Ennistymon Vocational School have joined forces to promote reading for pleasure among students. The school is running a project One Book One Community from 18th October to 22nd November whereby they are hoping that as many people as possible can read the book Wonder by R.L. Palacio.

One Book One Community initiatives have been sweeping across Ireland over the last couple of years. They are a celebrations of great books, of reading and of community spirit as libraries, schools, families and communities all work together to inspire children to read books. It is a great opportunity for everyone to work together and this October it comes to Ennistymon, County Clare.

R J Palacio’s Wonder was chosen as the book to be read. Wonder tells the incredibly inspiring and heart-warming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade.

Wonder was published in 2012 and has since being made into a film. It has had widespread critical acclaim. The New York Times wrote that Wonder is "Full of heart, full of truth, Wonder is a book about seeing the beauty that's all around us. I dare you not to fall in love with Auggie Pullman."

There will be a programme of events to complement the book. Events will take place in both Ennistymon Vocational School and in Ennistymon Library. There will also be copies of the book available to borrow from Ennistymon library.

The launch of Ennistymon One Book One Community is on Friday 18th October at 11.30am in Ennistymon Library. The event is free and all are welcome. This event is part funded by Creative Ireland.

Thursday 3 October 2019

Fighting Words comes to Clare

Clare County Library and Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board are co-hosting an evening get together for prospective volunteers in their latest collaborative initiative bringing Fighting Words creative writing workshops to Clare. The original Fighting Words creative writing centre was established in Dublin by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love ten years ago. The project has helped students of all ages to develop and explore their love of writing over the last decade and continues to extend its network and its appeal year on year.

Some of the workshops provided by Fighting Words include story-telling, creative writing workshops for secondary students, summer camps for kids and teens and workshops for adults. One of Fighting Words’ key objectives is to help participants discover and harness the power of their own imaginations and creative writing skills.

All tutoring is free. Fighting Words workshops are created and run by volunteer writing tutors, who are trained in child protection and Garda vetted. The volunteers include people from all walks of life including third level students from all disciplines, retired people, writers (both professional and aspiring), teachers, journalists, visual artists, musicians and filmmakers or anyone who is keen to be involved in creative work. You don't need to be a writer or a teacher to be a Fighting Words tutor. Anyone who enjoys working in a creative environment with individuals and groups is welcome to volunteer.

In general, workshops are divided into two parts. Group work and individual writing time and tasks are varied at each session. You may be involved in practical tasks regarding workshop set up, e.g. arranging seating and equipment to provide the most suitable space for participating groups or you will assist small groups of students as they work on their writing, providing help, advice and encouragement. Stories can be created through role play and improvisation, developing characters, setting and plot, adding dialogue and editing as they go, in a group setting to begin. Participants are then encouraged to work on their own, individual pieces of writing, helped and encouraged by Fighting Words volunteer tutors. Workshops run for two hours at a time once a month and may be one-off sessions for different groups or may be part of longer term projects. Volunteers will be required to be in attendance for two and a half hours. Long term projects may result in the publication of the finished work.

How to sign up and find out more?
On Tuesday 15th of October Clare County Library and Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board invite you to meet four tutors from Fighting Words, Dublin who will demonstrate the practicalities of how Fighting Words workshops run. The hour-long meeting will take place at the Further Education and Training Centre, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, Clonroad Campus, Ennis, beginning at 7pm. Recruitment will take place with a view to volunteers starting a training course when we access local interest in the work.

Volunteer applicants must be fluent English speakers, will be required to fill an application form and supply references. Garda vetting is necessary. For further information contact 065 6899083 or 065 6897645 or email or Following this meeting a local volunteer co-ordinator will be happy to contact interested adults to arrange workshops to suit all involved.