‘Writing is the only time when the papery thinness of my skin feels like an asset; when curiosity climbs over shame to burn like a guiding beacon; when the right arrangement of words feels like the gentle closing of a door.’
Sheila Armstrong Essay 10th May 2023
A series of essays reflecting on craft, process, and the pains and pleasures of writing and publishing. Kevin Doherty begins the series, with more essays to follow in the coming months. Introduction by Series Editor, Olivia Fitzsimons.
The Stinging Fly Essay 29th March 2023
‘I don’t want to be looked at but I sing, amplified in a crowded hall. I don’t believe in admitting opinions but I agree to explain myself in essay format… This is the want and the shame of wanting.’
Contributors: Dizz Tate, Olivia Fitzsimons, Danielle McLaughlin, Jill Crawford, Neil Hegarty, Angelique Tran Van Sang, Anna Walsh, Mia Gallagher, Thomas Morris, Kevin Power, Niamh Campbell, Ian Maleney, John Patrick McHugh, Mary Morrissy, Tadhg Hoey, Susannah Dickey, Sean O'Reilly
The Stinging Fly Criticism Essay 6th January 2023
Contributors: Nicole Flattery, Niamh Mulvey, Najat Abed Alsamad, Gianluca Nativo, Louise Hegarty, Roisín O’Donnell, Lisa Owens, Oisín Fagan, Chetna Maroo, June Caldwell, with an introduction by Editor at Large, Thomas Morris
The Stinging Fly Essay Fiction 2nd January 2023
‘We are many selves, and often these selves have rival needs. Some kind of truce must be established, if the work is to get written.’
Kevin Power Essay 2nd November 2022
‘Waitressing is a career of invention. An old manager of mine once convinced a table that a nail that had fallen into a guest’s grilled fish from a loose shelf in the kitchen was, in fact, just part of a fish hook, leftover from the fisherman’s own line that morning.’
‘Rejection, back when I’d just started sending out stories, felt crushing. It sat upon me like a physical thing, squat and heavy.’
Danielle McLaughlin Essay 28th July 2022
'I got through it, not by talking, or thinking my way out, but by feeling. At one point over that painful weekend, my gut in knots, I realised: if I can feel this, I can get through anything.'
'I received detailed rejections last year from editors who had requested over ten pages of my work. I have rewritten a specific story for a journal on the editor’s advice and it was still not accepted. None of this means I am a failure, or a bad writer.'
'There were times when I loved a book and felt in my bones that I could publish it well, only to bring it to a meeting and find that my colleagues didn’t feel the same.'
‘Writers have an advantage in this process: vulnerable as we are to the judgment of the world, we are also instinctively aware of the strength of an inner place, from which our best work always comes.’
‘I am the person and writer I am because I failed at a previous incarnation of life. Like most actors, I accumulated countless rejections and humiliations, surpassing in number my accomplishments.’
A series of short essays reflecting on the experience of rejection. Contributors: Danielle McLaughlin, Jill Crawford, Neil Hegarty, Angelique Tran Van Sang, Anna Walsh, Mia Gallagher, with an introduction by Thomas Morris.
"It hurts to struggle, to reach for things that you might not yet be able to meet... When will I be enough? All I can do is keep writing, keep meeting my ideas and my words with an openness that I encourage in others and struggle to find in myself."
Olivia Fitzsimons Essay 4th May 2022
Sean O'Reilly on the reissue of Thomas Kinsella's ‘Butcher's Dozen’ to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday: “a timely reminder that the past has to be fought for and poetry is not beyond lending a hand.”
Sean O'Reilly Criticism Essay 25th January 2022
“I had come across the diary of a war criminal and been surprised to find it was also a love story. My idea in rewriting it and the title I chose – ‘First Love’ – was to invert this expectation.”
Philip Ó Ceallaigh Essay 9th December 2021
An essay concerning the experience of crying as a trans masculine person, and the ways in which our gender and character are scrutinised based on our most instinctive, unstoppable expressions.
James Hudson Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021
An essay about Ludwig the cat, and the writer who lives with him.
Camilla Grudova Essay Issue 42, Volume 2: Summer 2020
Cathy Sweeney Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021
Sandra Hoffmann Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021
Billy Ramsell Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021
John Patrick McHugh Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021
Maggie Armstrong Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021
“Out of everything I watched, only one show truly captured my imagination and that was the BBC police drama Line of Duty.”
Nicole Flattery Essay 6th March 2021
Satanic panic, screen violence and Irish doorways to Hell: Róisín Kiberd meets legendary game designer John Romero.
Roisin Kiberd Essay Issue 43, Volume 2: Winter 2020-21
The tragic death of a Chinese performer in Loughrea, County Galway, in 1936 inspires Clara Kumagai to examine concepts of belonging, sameness and home.
Clara Kumagai Essay Issue 43, Volume 2: Winter 2020-21
Louise Nealon invites us all to join her in raising a glass to the queen of Irish literature.
Louise Nealon Essay 15th December 2020
Kevin Barry celebrates the selected stories of a writer who continues to bamboozle and enthrall readers.
Kevin Barry Essay 14th October 2020
A lecture on the mysterious role of inspiration in the writer's work and life, first delivered at Bray Literary Festival in September 2020.
Paul Lynch Essay 30th September 2020
- Date Published