Championing children’s writing

With it being so close to Christmas, and this being geared very much towards the kids, it’s rather lovely that The Launchpad – Northern Ireland’s new literary journal for children’s fiction – has just published its inaugural edition. I’m very happy to have a short story for younger readers featured in the journal, which you can read here, and it’s spurred me on to revisit my writing for children as well as for adults.roundabout-57858_1280

There’s a great mix of poetry, stories and interviews in the journal, with plenty to charm children of varying ages, so I’m looking forward to having a good read of it over the holidays. With so many writers scattered around Northern Ireland, it’s great to see publications like The Launchpad and The Incubator Journal (for adult fiction/poetry etc.) springing up to showcase the talent that’s here. Incidentally, The Incubator is currently accepting submissions throughout December, so if you’re an Irish author (living here or elsewhere), then why not submit?!

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That would be me blinking in my pic with Donal Ryan..

I’m still working away on bits and pieces of writing and last week, enjoyed hearing from Donal Ryan in Belfast. (My interview with him will appear in the next Incubator journal in March). He’s won a LOT of awards for his novels and now also has won an award for his collection of short stories and yet – and yet…


He told a packed-out hall that he still doubts his abilities as a writer and has real crises of confidence on a daily basis. This does seem to be a trait shared by so many writers and while we should stop knocking ourselves, it is rather hard sometimes to claim the title of writer, when there always seems to be someone else who’s that little bit more accomplished. Then again, they’ll be comparing themselves to the next writer up the line and so on, so perhaps it’s time to give ourselves a break!

Anyway, I’m getting involved in an exciting new project for International Women’s Day next March with some local women writers in NI, so there’ll be plenty of opportunity with that to champion all types of writers and to encourage us all in our craft… 🙂


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