Chop Wood, Carry Water

‘Rejection, back when I’d just started sending out stories, felt crushing. It sat upon me like a physical thing, squat and heavy.’

Essay 28th July 2022

On Rejection

'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.'

Essay

Always Rather Risk

'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.'

Essay

An Industry of Rejection

'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.'

Essay

Do Better

‘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.’

Essay

Unfailing

‘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.’

Essay

Notes on rejection

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.

Essay

Notes on resilience

"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."

Essay 4th May 2022

Butcher’s Dozen

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.”

Criticism Essay 25th January 2022

My Life as a Plagiarist

“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.”

Essay 9th December 2021

Boys, Crying

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.

Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021

Swimming

Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021

Conversations With Jóhann

Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021

Name Your Character

Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021

Trouble

Essay Issue 44/Volume 2: Summer 2021

Essential Viewing

“Out of everything I watched, only one show truly captured my imagination and that was the BBC police drama Line of Duty.”

Essay 6th March 2021

A Hell Taxonomy

Satanic panic, screen violence and Irish doorways to Hell: Róisín Kiberd meets legendary game designer John Romero.

Essay Issue 43, Volume 2: Winter 2020-21

A Boat To Bilbao

An essay about Ludwig the cat, and the writer who lives with him.

Essay Issue 42, Volume 2: Summer 2020

Memorials

The tragic death of a Chinese performer in Loughrea, County Galway, in 1936 inspires Clara Kumagai to examine concepts of belonging, sameness and home.

Essay Issue 43, Volume 2: Winter 2020-21

Edna O’Brien’s 90th Birthday Banquet

Louise Nealon invites us all to join her in raising a glass to the queen of Irish literature.

Essay 15th December 2020

Julio Cortázar’s happy chaos

Kevin Barry celebrates the selected stories of a writer who continues to bamboozle and enthrall readers.

Essay 14th October 2020

The Dream That Wakes You Up

A lecture on the mysterious role of inspiration in the writer's work and life, first delivered at Bray Literary Festival in September 2020.

Essay 30th September 2020

Didn’t You Have To Be There?

How a ‘blockbuster sci-fi contagion plot’ has caused one teacher to question the meaning and value of the traditional writing workshop.

Essay 26th June 2020

Bad Influences

Essay Issue 42/Volume 2: Summer 2020

Forms of Inadequacy

Essay Issue 42/Volume 2: Summer 2020

Practice, Process, Product

A lecture on the facets of writing and being a writer, first delivered at Bray Literary Festival in September 2019.

Essay Issue 41, Volume 2: Winter 2019-20

Celestial Realm

Phil is eighty-five. She has been dying for forty years.

Essay Issue 41, Volume 2: Winter 2019-20

What’s in a Name?

Essay Issue 41/Volume 2: Winter 2019-20

Essay

Authors

  • Angelique Tran Van Sang (1)
  • Anna Walsh (1)
  • Billy Ramsell (1)
  • Camilla Grudova (1)
  • Cathy Sweeney (1)
  • Clara Kumagai (1)
  • Danielle McLaughlin (1)
  • James Hudson (1)
  • Jeff Young (1)
  • Jill Crawford (1)
  • John Patrick McHugh (1)
  • Kevin Barry (1)
  • Lisa McInerney (1)
  • Louise Nealon (1)
  • Maggie Armstrong (1)
  • Mia Gallagher (2)
  • Molly Hennigan (1)
  • Neil Hegarty (1)
  • Nicole Flattery (1)
  • Olivia Fitzsimons (1)
  • Paul Lynch (1)
  • Philip Ó Ceallaigh (1)
  • Rehan Ali (1)
  • Roisin Kiberd (1)
  • Sandra Hoffmann (1)
  • Sean O'Reilly (2)
  • The Stinging Fly (1)
  • Tim MacGabhann (1)
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