Submissions Call for Spring Issue

The theme of this Spring’s Corncrake is Touching Grass: Real Life in a Virtual World. Increasingly we are seeing the rise of ‘content’ – words and images produced by programs, for markets defined by programs, to be summarised and digested by programs, and used as training data for yet more programs. The snake eats its tail, accepting the prejudices it is fed and accentuating them into meaninglessness.

Corncrake still does things the poor, slow, old-fashioned way. We are looking  up to about 800 words of any kind of writing – whether it be poetry, flash fiction, folktale, legend, memoir, philosophy or other non-fiction. Previews and reviews of recent and upcoming Arts events are also welcome, particularly those in Fermanagh and the surrounding area, as are images and links to relevant media.

Submissions to

Deadline: 26th March

What Happened to 2023?

It was a year of uncertainty, fraught and chaotic. Like many voluntary organisations Fermanagh Writers were caught out by the restructuring of financial institutions post-Covid, and for most of the year we found ourselves without a bank account. Theresa Kane’s one-day exhibition in Ballinamallard, Boxopera, which had originally been planned for late summer, eventually launched on the ninth of December.  The exhibition that we had planned in Enniskillen Library in September has had to be postponed while the building underwent renovation. FLive, which has featured in previous Autumn issues of Corncrake, was severely curtailed this year, and Fermanagh Writers had to organize a Fermanagh Heat of the All-Ireland Poetry Slam at three days notice. Thanks to all who made that possible, and especially to Ken Ramsey who brought it all together.  Having won that heat, I went on to compete in the Ulster semi-final and (without success) in the All-Ireland final, both of which were held in Londonderry.

So perhaps you will appreciate why there was no Autumn Corncrake last year, and my apologies for not letting you know sooner. Once the season had passed and our namesakes had flown to Africa, I thought it better to wait for their return in Spring before releasing the next issue.

Already there are some signs of hope. It is good to see that the Clinton Centre, long vacant is now once again a venue for Arts events. In addition to the Myriad workshops (see post below), some of our members will also be taking part in an oral storytelling course led by Liz Weir and Steven O’Hara. Reports on these and much more in the next issue. As always, both poetry and prose is welcome from both new and established writers.

The theme for the next issue: Touching Grass – how to live a real life in an increasingly virtual world.

Jenny Brien

9 January 2024

Myriad:  A collaborative poetry project

Myriad: All the Worlds Between: A collaborative poetry project bringing together poems from India, Ireland and in between.


Fermanagh Writers Participatory Workshops.

Some placer available for non-members. Please email asap if you are interested.

20  & 27 January and 3 & 10 February


Four x 4 hour workshops

Fermanagh House Broadmeadow Place Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh BT74 7HR

Tea/Coffee and Scones Provided.

Please bring any additional lunch or snacks.

Facilitator: Bronagh Diamond

Workshops will involve use providing a prompt such as a piece of writing, an object or image which will spark ideas, trigger memories, and hopefully inspire new pieces of work, We will use this to inspire music and create a soundscape which will be performed. Imagery and writing will be captured and translated into a projected backdrop for the final celebration events in 2025.

We will also have ongoing events and workshops to attend including Belfast Mela.

Corncrake and the Library

What memories do you have of your experiences at the library? Maybe you remember the first time you visited a library, or you may have another memorable library or reading experience to share. How do libraries make you feel? Which books are some of your favourites?

The next issue of Corncrake will be in conjunction with an exhibition on this theme to be held in Enniskillen Library during September.

We invite you to submit your writing to: by 1st September.

Each person may submit up to two pieces of writing. The writing may be in any writing form or genre (poetry, fiction, memoir etc), and must not be more than one A4 page, unless the writer agrees it with the editor. Depending on the font size you use, that is approximately 500 words or less. Writers can choose the font and font size they wish to use, providing it will fit on an A4 page. Each piece of writing will be enlarged and printed on an A3 page in poster.

Or, if you want to submit solely to Corncrake, please do so to, also by 1st September.

Fermanagh Writers continue to meet weekly in Blakes of the Hollow each Tuesday evening at 7.30.

March Issue Call for Submissions

We live in what the ancient Chinese used to call ‘interesting times’, and it’s not over yet (whatever ‘it’ might be).

Sometimes it feels like we are crawling from a car wreck, with no idea of how it happened or where we are now. All we know is that we cannot simply carry on doing what we used to do, or what we wanted, to do without further consideration.

This has happened before; it will happen again.

It is not a time for grand visions, yet every crisis is also an opportunity. In  all the bewildering noise, remember the definition of information – any difference that makes a difference.  It is a time to sort out what is truly important, and to start taking those steps will that will enable it to flourish. Not a return to the normality that once was, but a humble groping towards something possibly better.

So the theme of this Spring’s Corncrake is Small Beginnings. We are looking  up to about 800 words of any kind of writing – whether it be poetry, flash fiction, folktale, legend, memoir or other non-fiction. Previews and reviews of recent and upcoming Arts events are also welcome, particularly those in Fermanagh and the surrounding area, as are images and links to relevant media.

Submissions to

Deadline: March 15th

Thank You for your Patience

I fully intended to have the new issue out by Halloween, but last week I went down with a streaming cold that turned out to be COVID. I’m almost recovered now and catching up again.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the upcoming issue; it should be another good one. In particular, congratulations to Fermanagh Writer Robert Elliott, whose debut poetry book The Colebrooke Collection is being launched today in  Lisnaskea Library at 1.00 pm and in Enniskillen Library at 3.00 pm.

Submissions for October Issue

It’s been strange summer. Covid is still very much  with us, but people are starting to get together, again and diaries are filling up. Some are looking forward to the Autumn with anticipation, some with dread, and some, perhaps, with a measure of nostalgia for the enforced peace and quietness of the last two years.
Peace and quietness are good, of course, when they are actively chosen – but there is much more to peace than simply being left alone. What are ‘the things that make for peace’ – peace between rivals, strangers or friends; peace with the natural world, or simply peace with yourself?
That is the theme for the Autumn edition of Corncrake.
Think of an incident of compassion, a custom or ritual, a means of working or, a work of art.  Tell us of what it means to you in less than a thousand words. Write a poem or parable, a monologue or memoir, a piece of flash fiction or creative non-fiction – whatever you need to say what you mean. Images and links to video or music are also welcome.
Deadline 30 September