Last night, the long-list for the 2014 Over The Edge New Writer of the Year was announced, at the monthly Over The Edge reading in Galway, and I'm delighted to have made the cut! The Over The Edge Open Reading is a monthly literary event, organised by Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar DuMars, showcasing established writers and poets, alongside new talent, with an open mic after. Having attended OTE and read, both as a featured writer and as part of the open mic, I've always been impressed by the capacity crowds, enthusiastic and receptive; Kevin and Susan's unwavering support of writers at all stages of their careers; and the generous opportunity for new writers to test their work in front of a live audience.
The Over The Edge New Writer of the Year competition is an annual event, open to both poets and writers of short fiction who have yet to publish a full collection and is an important stepping stone for emerging writers. This year's award is judged by Tipperary-based poet and writer, Eleanor Hooker, also a founding member and Programme Curator for the Dromineer Literary Festival, coming up in October. Eleanor's debut collection, The Shadow Owner’s Companion, was short-listed for the Strong/Shine Award for best first collection from 2012.
It's a strong long-list of contenders - lots of familiar names, all excellent writers and poets. At times like this, it's good to remind myself that being on the long-list means someone new has read my work and enjoyed it. That, after all, is what being a writer is all about.
The short-list will be announced at the next Over The Edge reading on 25th September, at the City Library in Galway. Fingers crossed 'til then...