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Dublin Writers’ Conference Packs A Punch!

Margaret MurphyDublin city is buzzing on Saturday, 27 June as I walk along O’Connell Street towards 19 Parnell Square and the beautiful Georgian building that is home to the Irish Writers Centre. It is nestled between the Dublin Writers Museum and the aptly named, Michelin star awarded, Chapter One, in the soon to be developed Parnell Cultural Quarter. I am attending the second day of Dublin’s first Writers Conference so I’m keen to see what it has to offer. Running from Friday, 26 June to Sunday, 28 June it promised sessions on writing craft and digital marketing for writers.

Along the way I hook up with a back-packed lady from Idaho who asks for directions. It’s already 9.55am yet we are both compelled to stop and take a couple of photos as we battle our way through the throngs of colourful and good-humoured parade participants who congregate for the noon start from the Garden of Remembrance to celebrate the outcome of the marriage referendum.

Once we reach our destination, she enters Jessica Morell’s session on The Sizzle: Tension & Suspense in Fiction while I attend Margaret Murphy’s, Dialogue in fiction: more than an exchange of words.Water bottles are at the ready and a little good-bantered humour is bandied about as some of the attendees reminisce about the previous night’s social evening. But once Murphy begins the session, the only noise to be heard is the scribbles of pens across notebooks as writers take notes to ensure they don’t forget any of the writing gems she imparts to her captive audience. With nine critically acclaimed psychological thrillers to her name and over thirty years teaching, she is perfectly positioned to deliver an interesting and informative workshop.

LOB writers conference

You can read the full report on by clicking here where I share some tips gleaned from Laurence O’Bryan’s digital workshop on his writing journey covering Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more …

And snippets from the inspirational after dinner speaker at the Gresham Hotel, Paul O’Brien, introduced as:

The Only Self Published Author ever endorsed by Rolling Stone magazine, “…. a one of a kind literary offering . . .” – Kenny Herzog,

Paul tells an enraptured audience about his writing career, sharing a journey which has led him from Wexford to LA to work on a TV show currently being developed from his Blood Red Turns Dollar Green novels set in the world of wrestling.

O’Brien is definitely a rising star to watch – all that hard work, dedication and self-belief are paying dividends – as news just in that WWE legend Jim Ross announces to the wresting world that Paul O’Brien is onboard to help him write his autobiography.

The Writers Conference may be in its infancy but judging by the applause and chatter at the end of the night it’s guaranteed to become an annual diary event to arm new and established writers with tips, tricks and inspiration for the year ahead.

 Dublin is the UNESCO City of Literature:

The city of Swift, Joyce, Beckett, Yeats, Wilde, Synge & Shaw
as well as the modern masters: Edna O’Brien, Roddy Doyle, Colum McCann and a dozen others.

Crime Pays: Writing Crime Fiction

Crime Pays: Writing Crime Fiction
presented by WritersWebTV

“A forensic examination of the essential elements of writing crime,” is what Vanessa O’Loughlin promises to deliver to crime fiction fans of everything from psychological thrillers to detective fiction.

But whatever your genre, the key secrets, tips and techniques unveiled by a panel of writers at the top of their game – Ken Bruen, Declan Hughes, Jane Casey and Niamh O’Connor – will furnish you with the tools to pace your plot and keep your reader hooked.


Questions will be answered:

  • Should you plot and plan in detail, and know the ending before you start, or can you write crime organically?
  • How many characters should there be and how do you reveal backstory without losing the forward movement of the plot?
  • What is foreshadowing and why does it play such a vital part in this genre?
  • Research is crucial, but how much should you include in your story?

And best of all, you can watch it live for FREE, from anywhere in the world – but only on Wednesday, 30 October, from 10.00am – 4.00pm.

All you need to do is enrol now on or, if you want to download the workshop and watch it later, you have the option to pay to keep the course.

Wherever you are, and whatever your lifestyle, you’ll be able to tune in and out throughout the day:

10:00 – 11.30  Ken Bruen

11.30 – 11.45  Break/Online Audience – a chance for viewers to interact via Twitter @WritersWebTV

11.45 – 01:00  Jane Casey

01:00 – 01:30  Break/Online Audience – a chance for viewers to interact via Twitter @WritersWebTV

01:30 – 02:30  Declan Hughes

02:30 – 02:45  Break/Online Audience – a chance for viewers to interact via Twitter @WritersWebTV

02:45 – 04:00  Niamh O’Connor

This one-day workshop will be streamed live from a multi-camera broadcast studio in Dublin. Bestselling authors interact with an in-studio audience of aspiring writers, who present their work for critique. Online viewers can communicate with those in the studio using Twitter, Facebook or email. They can ask a question, take part in a workshop exercise, comment online and benefit from on-screen feedback from the authors in-studio.

Led by experienced workshop facilitator, Vanessa O’Loughlin, founder of, the panel will consider the key elements of fiction writing and furnish viewers with tips, advice and actionable insights to help them improve their writing and get it on the path to publication.

I’ll be there – as part of the studio audience – hope you’ll join me!

TwitterXmasSingle Part III

Well, it looks like ‘Winter Song’ by TwitterXmasSingle is a hit!

It was officially launched via Twitter on Sunday, 4 December and managed to reach #1 in the iTunes Charts later that same day.  Not bad, considering the only marketing was done by the 140+ Twitter characters and their family and their friends and YOU . . .

On 9 December, with 1,380 sales of ‘Winter Song’ we jumped into the Irish Charts at #8.  A great achievement, but we want to do better!

IRMA Top 50 Singles

We even got a mention in Hot Press – now, how cool is that?

‘Twitter Xmas Single Tops iTunes Chart’
Irish Charity song created entirely on Twitter takes the top
spot, and is a strong contender to be festive No. 1 . . .
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 05 Dec 2011

If we can manage to accomplish all we have, in such a very short time, surely we can now climb to the top of the Irish Charts.

Your turn to get involved in #TwitterXmasSingle – please buy the single and help us get the word out there with your Facebook friends, your Twitter friends, your family, friends, colleagues and contacts all over the world – let’s get ‘Winter Song’ to the very top and at the same time help the Neo-Natal Clinic in Holles Street.

Bord na Mona Fuels are running a poll on their Facebook page asking what your favourite Christmas song is – get voting – VOTE ‘Winter Song’ . . .

Take a look at our short video showing the making of ‘Winter Song’ to get a real feel for the goodwill, emotion and cheer that is #TwitterXmasSingle:

You can check out more Blogs and video’s from the Twitter people that are #TwitterXmasSingle :

The Tweet Heard Around The World – #twitterxmassingle

We thank you for your support and, with the tiny babies at the Neo-Natal Clinic, Holles Street, we look forward to celebrating our #1 victory with you – one, very small step, to help the future of Ireland . . .

TwitterXmasSingle I

WHAT an absolutely WONDERFUL DAY!

It was so great to be part of such a vibrant, uplifting group of Twitter people at The Westin Hotel in Dublin, on Sunday, 27 November – all with one goal – to record ‘Winter Song’ for charity.

TwitterXmasSingle Poster © Shane Murphy

Arriving to register at 1.00pm, we slapped a label with our Twitter name onto our festive red or green attire, plonked a Santa hat on our heads and entered a truly, magnificent room in The Westin Hotel.

A welcome cuppa was on hand, and although most people only knew each other through Twitter, everyone was keen to introduce themselves to squeals of joy as they were ‘physically’ recognised.

With over 140 characters singing their hearts out, in aid of the neo-natal unit at The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, it could only have been fun!

Twitter Cake © Emily Coco

We practiced hard and were rewarded with a break, and another welcome cuppa, along with a slice of one of the fabulous Twitter cakes on display.

For those of us with a sweet tooth, we arrived back to our vocals in even better form than before.

Hard to believe that a random Tweet from Brenda Drumm on Saturday, 19th November, to record a Christmas charity single, came to fruition on Sunday, 27th November!

Keep tuned to #twitterxmassingle, where on Sunday, 4th December at 2.00pm you will be able to HEAR our wonderfully Irish, wonderfully charitable version of  ‘Winter Song’.

Flying Hats at TwitterXmasSingle © Shane Murphy

Your Christmas shopping list is sorted – you can pick up copies of ‘Winter Song’ for family and friends, while at the same time supporting a worthy cause – surely, you’d agree, the best Christmas present of all.

Follow #TwitterXmasSingle on Twitter to see ‘Winter Song’
unfold in all its glory . . .

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