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The Manuscript Publisher is pleased to unveil its exclusive collection of Greeting Cards for All Occasions that include Christmas, festive, seasonal, winter solstice, secular and humanist greetings that also depict a stunning array of nature and wildlife themes and motifs. We also offer blank greeting cards, for your own, personalised greetings.
Our cards come in A6 size (105mm by 148mm or 4.13 inches by 5.83 inches), portrait and landscape. They come in packs of six with envelopes included. Choose from the range of themes and motifs and personalise it with your choice of greeting (Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Winter Solstice Greetings). We will supply the finish product. Our cards cost just €3.99 plus P&P for a pack of six cards with envelopes.
Our specialist range includes Winter Solstice greeting cards, depicting our Heron and Winter Robin motifs and bear the inscription from the poem, Ode to a West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley: Oh Wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Our exclusive range of greeting card motifs can be further customised to your requirements using our Personalised Greeting Card order and delivery service (minimum order quantity - 25 cards). Choose from the themes and motifs that we provide or submit your own artwork. You can also choose between A5 and A6 card dimensions, portrait and landscape. Finally, select an appropriate greeting for your card then submit your order. We will revert to you with a tailored quotation within 48 hours.
For more information about, please visit our online bookshop (greeting cards section). We are ready to take your order now and deliver in plenty of time for the Christmas and festive season that is nearly upon us.
Posted 11 Sep 2015, 07:08
SiarScéal Festival 2015 programme of events has recently been announced and, as in previous years, the Hanna Greally Literary Awards features prominently. Entries, in the form or poetry and prose, are now being accepted for this year's awards, full details of which are available from the SiarScéal website. The closing dates for entries is Friday, 23 October. The overall winner will receive a cash prize of €200 with runners-up prizes also being awarded in categories that include national, international, schools, highly commended.
As an added incentive, all entries received will be considered for inclusion in the inaugural SiarScéal/Hanna Greally Literary Journal, to be launched at the 2016 festival, provisionally scheduled for April.
Last year's overall winner of the Hanna Greally Literary Awards was Rose Morris. Her prize was a publishing package from The Manuscript Publisher, to see her book published in print and e-book editions. The 2015 SiarScéal Festival, will kick off with the launch of Rose's book, The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox, an illustrated book of verse aimed at children but also carrying a very important message about the fate and well-being of our planet. The action takes the protagonists of this story on an adventure that crosses continents but ends up on the shores of Lough Erne, which, of course, was the venue for a recent G8 Summit of world leaders.
The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox by Rose Morris will be on sale from November, in print and e-book editions. Signed copies will be on sale at the launch, to take place at Roscommon County Library Headquarters, Abbey Street, Roscommon Town on the evening of Thursday, 5 November, commencing 6pm. Entertainment and refreshments will be provided.
The Festival continues the following day (Friday, 6 November), at the same venue, with a day-long programme commencing 10am. Opening addresses will be followed by the presentation of the Hanna Greally Literary Awards to the lucky winners. Musical interludes and recitals will accompany the events that also include two workshops. Author and poet, Mary Guckian will present a Writer's Recital and Workshop. This will be followed by a Writing for Publishing workshop presented by Oscar Duggan of The Manuscript Publisher on the theme of Writing and Publishing in the Information Age.
Full details about the Festival and the Hanna Greally Literary Awards are available from SiarScéal. A copy of the programme of events is also available to download and share.
- Friday, 23 October - closing dates for entries for the Hanna Greally Literary Awards 2015. See SiarScéal website for more information
- Thursday, 5 November - launch of the book, The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox by Rose Morris at Roscommon County Libraries HQ, Abbey Street, Roscommon Town. Evening commences 6pm
- Friday, 6 November - official launch of SiarScéal Festival 2015 including presentation of the Hanna Greally Literary Awards 2015, followed by writers workshops, music recitals, open mic.
SiarScéal Festival is sponsored by Roscommon County Council
Posted 8 Dec 2014, 14:08
By day, Seamus McCrudden is a popular local taxi-driver, based in Ballybofey in the Irish county of Donegal. Previously, he had dabbled in creative writing, submitting work to local newspapers, taking part in literary festivals and competitions, as any aspiring writer might do.
"I was always writing bits and pieces at night," he tells Connie Duffy of Donegal Now, "but they usually ended up in the bin. Then, about 15 years ago, I got involved in amateur drama, when local school teacher, Susan Doherty, decided to put on a few plays. I liked it and took part in a few shows, including a few for the nearby Butt Drama Circle in Ballybofey. That gave me the confidence to go on and go public with my writing."
That confidence which he gained has resulted in his first full-length novel, Donegal Gymnasts. It has been described as "an exploration of love and loyalty", according to Books Ireland magazine and, "a heart-warming piece of fiction that will entertain, thrill and take the reader of a journey from one end of the world to the other", by others. It is a tale that stays rooted, even as it peels back the layers and in doing so, manages to reveal the complexities associated with lives that are intermingled with love, loss, tragedy and triumph.
Donegal Gymnasts tells the story of twin brothers of Chinese and Irish descent, growing up in Ireland of the 1960s and ’70s, discovering a natural talent that sets them apart from their peers and how they deal the pressure that ensues. It is a story that entertains on many levels, offering an interesting take on Irish society and recent history in the process. It reads best however, as a work of fiction, by an author who delights in keeping his readers guessing, right to the very end.
Donegal Gymnasts by Seamus McCrudden is published by The Manuscript Publisher. It is available to buy in all good bookshops as well as online. RRP €9.99.
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From the pen of Susan R. Murphy, comes a collection of short stories, comprising thrills, chills, tales of the macabre that reflect influences ranging from American Gothic horror, ancient Greek mythology, UFO abductions, Halloween scares and campfire tales.
The characters who feature in these tales are beings cursed by fate. Life and death holds no distinction for them. Escape, or eternal rest eludes them. They wander the world, crossing continents and even galaxies, in search of sport, prey and sometimes sanctuary. For the immortals, there can be no respite and no final resting place: they are prisoners of this world, a world that they cannot leave. Some become hunters, others find themselves among the hunted. They alone have the strength to witness, to endure and to casually inflict tragic and inhuman suffering.
The Immortals is Susan's first published book, although she has been writing for many years. The series of short stories presented in this volume, she sat down to write one day in 1993. However, as the title of the volume suggests, they have a quality that transcends time. She has taken ideas from her life and the different places that she has lived, also influenced by stories related to her by family, friends and relatives.
Susan was born in Columbus, Ohio. The only memory of that place, she says, is "the cold, the snow, red licorice and white castle hamburgers." With her father serving in the US Navy, her family moved around a lot, until the age of twelve, when they eventually settled in San Diego. She continues to reside in California, in a desert community but many of the places that she lived in during her formative years are recalled in The Immortals.
The Haunted Railroad Tracks derives from her time in Charlestown, South Carolina while The House on Fairwood Avenue (an old Victorian style home with the glass doorknobs) refers to an early childhood home in Ohio. Other stories, such as The Butcher of Moore Mansion, are based on actual events, including murder mysteries and haunted house horrors that she heard about when she was growing up. She also has an enduring fascination with mythology, particularly that of the ancients, as reflected in Euryale the Gorgon and The Lost Princess of Atlantis.
Susan's stories testify to an abiding interest in horror, the supernatural and 'things that go bump in the night'. As she recalls, "The first movie I saw was called Straight-Jacket," memorable for scenes of heads rolling down the staircase. "From then on, I was hooked on anything horror." As a child, she played with her Barbie and Ken dolls, as most kids of that age would "but I played Vampires with mine."
Susan’s purpose in writing this volume, she says, "is to reach out to those who are interested in not quite normal everyday routine things. To scare the daylights out of the reader and probably give you all nightmares, or to just get you thinking that there may be something else out there not quite human."
In that, she has most certainly succeeded.
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SiarScéal Festival 2014 will take place in Roscommon Town, on Saturday, 25 October, with an exciting programme of events lined up. The main venue is Roscommon County Library, Abbey Street, Roscommon Town but full details of times and venues are available from the SiarScéal website. A brochure containing the Programme of Events is also available to download.
A further date has been added for Friday, 28 November, when the Trinity Arts Centre in nearby Castlerea will host a Water Music exhibition: a study of the River Suck through mixed media and haiku with artist, Anne Rigney and poet, Gwen Bond.
A centre-piece of the SiarScéal Festival, now in its eight year, is the Hanna Greally Literary Awards. This takes place annually in conjunction with the festival, honouring the life of Athlone-born writer best remembered for her memoir, Bird Nest Soup, a moving personal account of life inside Ireland’s psychiatric hospitals in the 1940s and 1950s.
The overall winner of this years award will have their book published, in print and e-book editions, courtesy of The Manuscript Publisher, the publishing solutions and author services provider who are sponsoring the prize. Entries for the Awards, which should consist of no more than 1000 words for prose submissions or 100 lines for poetry, must be received before Friday, 17 October. Up to three entries per person will be accepted. Full details, including competition rules of entry are available from the SiarScéal website.
Another highlight of this years festival will be the launch of the book, The Battle for Coman's Wood by Mario Corrigan. This is a work of historical fiction inspired by students from Castleplunkett National School and Abbey National School, both in Roscommon. Signed copies of the book will be on sale at the festival launch. It will also be available to buy online, in print and e-book editions from October.
Writers workshops, open mic, an evening concert recital featuring Lilibulero are among the other events being organised.
SiarScéal celebrates the history and the people of Roscommon. The festival extends a warm welcome to anyone with links to Roscommon or even just an affinity for its unique culture and heritage. However it is also open to the general public and promises fun, entertainment, relaxation for all ages and interests.
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As the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I is marked across the globe, the publication of a new book dealing with homelessness and addiction, reminds us of the constant battles being fought on a daily basis, including on an individual and personal level. The resolution of such conflicts can often be the result of a surprising turn of events.
The Day the Poppy Met the Shamrock by Dezi Jay M is a frank, moving and personal account, reflecting on the problem of homelessness in Ireland today, told from the perspective of someone who has experienced it first hand. The author charts his own journey from homelessness to resettlement: not just a question of physical abode but also the deeper, more searching question of finding a home within oneself.
Dezi Jay M. grew up in Coolock, Dublin. Early experiences of abuse and addiction affected his life, resulting in several periods of homelessness, including following the break-up of his marriage in 2008. The author believes that the vast majority of people in Ireland today are "only a few months, or even a few weeks wages away from being homeless."
When I think about the homeless in Smithfield Square, I often wonder what they might have said to their parents and teachers, when they asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up. They probably said, ‘I want to work at computers, or be a plumber, or a rock star.' They certainly never said, ‘I want to be homeless.’
In The Day the Poppy Met the Shamrock, the author vividly recalls his own personal watershed, which occurred on a November day at a Word War I Armistice Day commemoration in the Irish Peace Park in Messines, near Ypres in Belgium.
"It was a very cold day, though far from the conditions in the trenches during the fighting. With God's grace, I held the Irish flag above my head in the cold for one and a half hours, with the poppy on my heart while a Belgian bishop celebrated Mass. Yes, someone was looking after me; my heart was going in the right direction, releasing a long-held bitterness from my soul."
For the author, being able to relate his own troubles to the legacy his country’s turbulent history, gave him an insight that helped to put his experiences in perspective. Since that day, Dezi has embarked on a career in the performing arts, while also achieving a certificate in addiction studies. In December 2010, he was invited to meet President of Ireland, Mrs Mary McAleese, from whom he received a commendation for overcoming homelessness.
I gratefully accepted this honour; yet I know from my thirty years of sobriety, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that such feats as surviving my alcoholism, mental illness, and homelessness, can only be achieved with the support of countless wonderful people, one’s own hard work, and through the grace of God.
The Day the Poppy Met the Shamrock is available to buy online, in print and e-book editions. It is also available in certain bookshops, including Footprints, with branches in Talbot Street, Dublin 1 and George’s Street, Dun Laoghaire. RRP €7.99 plus P&P.
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The Potless Generation is a collection of poems by James Linnane, published by The Manuscript Publisher and on sale now in print and e-book editions. In the author’s own words, it is "a book about where my country and our world is at right now, put where we are by the unscrupulous, ruthless and greedy."
Linnane’s poetry visits many places, exploring emotions and themes that will strike a chord with "anyone with a spirit generous enough to weep for the world," according to fellow poet, Kieran Furey. "There is plenty of life experience to be distilled from between the lines."
Further praise for The Potless Generation:
This is a collection of poems that touches on everything, from the passing of time to the political mess we find ourselves in and often with a savage twist or sting in the tail. There is some lovely humour and then performance pieces like Head for the Door and The Starkness of Silence have a standard that should keep them around for a long time. If I had to pick a poem though on a once through, Cold Days Are Coming hits the spot and it's worth getting your hands on a copy just for that. - The Tara Poetry Blog
James Linnane was born in Co. Galway, in 1962, but now lives in Co. Meath, with his wife and two daughters. People who know him have described him as everything from "a kind of mad-but-wise existentialist bog philosopher" to "a man with an above-average-sized brain and an extraordinarily big heart" - often in the same sentence.
Linnane's themes are frequently dark: aging, nostalgia, regret, the brutish incompetence and indifference of some of those who rule us politically and financially. Ageing is presented as winter drawing in and night coming on. But humour often breaks through, like sunshine through the clouds. - Kieran Furey
Angry, discordant notes are indeed present in The Potless Generation but it will be evident to the reader that these are borne of a "love of his country ... his belief in dignity, truth, justice, democracy and the hardship experienced by the common man ... so well expressed in this book," as Máire Morrissey-Cummins observes in the Foreword to this volume. There is also much by way of genuine warmth and even an optimism. Hardships are endured and struggles are waged so that the obstacles standing in the way of progress can be overcome. Linnane believes passionately that the outcome of all this will be a better world for all, both this and future generations. Growing old, even death itself can be seen as part of this renewal:
Harvest fruit is falling fast, ripe and ready for eating.It seems each year it's old mistakes that I have been repeating.Put away your summer thoughts, unwrap the garments of colder days,When winter comes, our time is done and everything decays.- from Cold Days are Coming, published in The Potless Generation by James Linnane
James Linnane has lead something of a roving life, with an interesting and varied career that has included bar work, construction and engineering, security and retail. He has always been a writer at heart however and has carried that with him wherever life has taken him. His first book, Never Take an Irishman Seriously Unless He's Armed, is a collection of poems and short stories that was published in New York, in 1988 but now out of print.
The Life and Times of a 'Gotcha' was published in 2011 and has been re-issued, in print and e-book format, to coincide with the publication of The Potless Generation. Described as a 'novel', it reads a lot like a thinly fictionalised memoir of his experiences, while working as a security guard in various parts of Dublin, during the 1980s and '90s.
How much is true and how much actually happened? You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Amid the boredom of a mind-numbing job, sometimes emerged a madness and events which you really could not invent; you just had to be there. - James Linnane, author of The Life and Times of a 'Gotcha'
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e-book library throughout April and May, starting this weekend with the SiarScéal Anthology, Roscommon in Reflection, published in 2012 by Roscommon County Library Services.
To avail of this offer, simply log on to Amazon, between now and Monday (April 14). If you do not already own a Kindle device, these can be purchased from Amazon or you can download one of the free Kindle apps, to your phone, iPad, tablet, computer or laptop.
The SiarScéal Anthology is a collection of poetry and prose, celebrating the culture, heritage and scenic beauty of the county of Roscommon, in the heart of Ireland. It represents the cream of the first five years of the Hanna Greally Literary Awards.
Entries are now being accepted for the 2014 Hanna Greally Awards. Submissions can be on any theme and can be in poetry or prose. The Ger Hanily Memorial Cup, which forms part of the awards, will be awarded to the best entry received on the theme of Coman's Wood. The overall winner will have their book published, in print and e-book format, courtesy of The Manuscript Publisher.
Closing date for entries is October 10th and the presentation of the awards will form part of the annual SiarScéal Festival, to take place on 25 October in Roscommon Town. The full programme of events is available from the SiarScéal website.
Make a note in your diary for further Kindle promotions in April and May:
17-21 April - A Woeful Tale by Derrick Cranpole. Life in a fishing community, on the south coast of Ireland, is recorded in this collection of poetry and illustrations. Cranpole discovered poetry during his time at sea, which took him from the Arctic to the Southern Ocean and from the Americas to the Red Sea. Remembering bits of verse helped pass the long watches of the night.
"Over the years I have known a lobster fisherman from the South-East, a man fond of a bit of ironic, sometimes blunt poetry or ditties, particularly when he was infuriated by official policies on fishing." - Tom MacSweeney, Marine Times.
24-28 April - The Magic through the Glass Door by Samantha Ann Robinson. Molly is a bubbly happy five-year-old but there is something very different about her: she creates magic wherever she goes and whatever she touches turns into a new adventure. This is the first instalment in The Stories of Molly's Never Ending Adventures series. Expect more from this talented author of children's fiction.
"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, although written for a child it can keep you totally focused on the story. You feel you are in this adventure and speaking as an adult, I was captivated by this story and did not want to put it down. This book is also for parents and grandparents and the size of the print is easy reading. I would highly recommend this book also because as an adult, it brings the magic back to you that you had as a child." - Mick (on Amazon)
1-5 May - Where Did They Get You? a memoir by Bridget P. McDonnell. Growing up in Ireland in the 1950s, a career in nursing that spanned five decades, globetrotting adventures that takes in eight countries.
"This book will strike a chord with many people as it explores so many life experiences and issues, including motherhood, emigration, growing up in Ireland, betrayal, love and loss. It is a story that documents McDonnell's varied nursing career and all of the places it took her. It also deals with coming to terms with whatever life throws at you. The independence, courage and strength of character that Bridget displayed throughout her life is truly inspirational." - World of Irish Nursing magazine.
The Manuscript Publisher has teamed up with the organisers of the annual SiarScéal Festival, which takes place in Roscommon, to offer one budding writer the opportunity to have their work published professionally and for free, in print and e-book editions.From the SiarScéal website:
SiarScéal Festival 2014 will take place on Saturday, 25 October in Roscommon Town. The festival, which celebrates the culture and heritage of the county of Roscommon, is now in its eight year.
The full programme of events, which have just been announced, includes morning and evening activities, appealing to all ages and a wide range of interests, literary and cultural tastes. The main venue for the festival will be Roscommon County Library, Abbey Street, Roscommon Town.
Proceedings will commence with an official opening, presided over by County Librarian and festival patron, Richie Farrell, with the Mayor of Roscommon as invited guest.
This will be followed by the launch of the book, The Battle for Coman's Wood by Mario Corrigan, a work of historical fiction inspired by the students from Castleplunkett National School and Abbey National School, Roscommon.
The afternoon will see announcement of the Hanna Greally Literary Awards for 2014, entries for which are now being accepted. The closing date is Friday, 10 October. Entries may consist of poetry, prose, short stories (maximum 60 lines or 300 words) on any subject or theme. The annual Ger Hanily Memorial Cup, which forms part of the awards ceremony, will be awarded to the best entry on the theme of Coman's Wood.
The incentive for entrants to this years Hanna Greally Literary Awards, includes cash prizes, trophies and certificates. The overall winner will come away with a €1,000 publishing services package from The Manuscript Publisher, the Irish-based publishing solutions provider. The prize is designed for self-publishing authors and independent publishers. It will result in the winning entrant having his or her book published, in print and e-book format, with full editorial, design, ISBN registration, sales and marketing support.
In the afternoon, Galway-based writer, Fred Johnston will host a writers workshop. Fred's most recent collection of poetry is entitled, Alligator Days. He has also written novels, short stories and plays and in 2004, was writer in residence to the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco.
The festival will conclude with an evening classical concert with recitals, to take place in St. Coman's Church of Ireland, Roscommon Town.
From the pen of Joy C. Agwu comes a timely work of fiction, dealing with the problems that arise when traditional societies and patriarchies are confronted with demands for modernisation. I Live by the Gun is Joy’s third published work and first full-length novel. Set in modern-day Nigeria, it tells the story of a family torn apart by conflicting ideas and loyalties, as they pertain to social and family relations.
When Edward, a successful, caring family man is gunned down one day by violent criminals, he leaves behind a widow with two young children. They continue to enjoy the support of Edward’s wider family circle after his death. Turmoil enters their ranks however, when Robert, Edward’s older brother, announces his intention to move into the family home of his late brother, citing local traditions. Robert’s own family, from whom he is estranged, oppose his bid. His father also strongly warns against this course, "Lest tragedy and pestilence befall you." He advises Robert that, "Any tradition that does not add value to our lives has to be thrown away."
In I Live by the Gun, Joy C. Agwu continues her preoccupation with themes of family, faith, community and the ties that bind, which are much in evidence in her previous work. With I Live by the Gun however, she takes these themes a step further however, championing the cause of individual autonomy, which is invariably threatened when society perceives it to be a threat to its own values and traditions.
This thoughtful and considered account can be read as an affirmation of human rights, as they pertain to women and children in particular, weighed down by the expectations of 'culture and traditions'. Such claims, when invoked in an anachronistic sort way, often serve as a pretext to impose conditions of servitude upon people.
I Live by the Gun by Joy C. Agwu is published by The Manuscript Publisher, in print and e-book editions, which are available to buy online as well as in all good bookshops. RRP €10.99 plus P&P for the print edition. The e-book editions are currently available at a special introductory price of US$2.99 (subject to local taxes and currency exchange rates).
Further information is available from the website of The Manuscript Publisher and from the author’s official website.
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