The Edge of Strangeness

What makes a place familiar? What causes that feeling that you have left your home ground?  I can feel the change near the Ulster border more than on the political one, yet parts of Leitrim seem like home to me, and parts of Cavan do not. Rivers and loughs do not divide but rather unite – and therein lies a clue. The Erne basin holds me in the hollow of its hand. Wherever rain may fall is home to me, so long as that rain will eventually end up at Assaroe. Elsewhere it runs to stranger seas – to the Liffey or Limerick or Londonderry. That strangeness begins a bare seven miles to the North, on the Omagh road, somewhere between The Harp and Togherdoo, and if I travel up the Erne and round the corner of Cuilcagh, it is waiting for me somewhere on the road to Ballinamore. Continue reading “The Edge of Strangeness”

Smiles to Go Before I Weep

The sun always rises after a storm writes Rodney Edwards of the Impartial Reporter on the back cover of this anthology. Nobody knows this better than Mary McElroy. This brilliant book is a testament to that.

Yet, as the title suggests, the truth that Mary knows is more complex. Wishing for the sun will not make the storm go away sooner, and the thunder may come again long after the sky has cleared. Continue reading “Smiles to Go Before I Weep”

Submissions for March Issue

Dinnseanachas or placelore was one of the earliest forms of Irish vernacular writing. Every hill, river and road had its story. They still do. Corncrake is looking for such stories – the stories that make a particular place, which would otherwise seem ordinary and insignificant – special. Whole books can and have been written about a particular village or townland, but think of the places that are special to you that are even more specific than that: this crossroads, this bend in the river, this building, this clump of trees. Perhaps it is a place where you often visit in these difficult times, or somewhere you would like to  be, but cannot go.
Though the magazine covers Fermanagh and the adjoining area, the corncrake is a migratory bird. so we will accept submissions about other places.  However, it must be a real, physical place that can be found on a map. Tell us exactly where it is, add an image if appropriate, and then write about it in 800 words or less. It may be prose or poem – myth, legend, memoir, fiction, or simply a descriptive evocation of your unique place.
Deadline 28 February

Here at Last!

Following our launch at the Allingham Festival,  Loughshore Lines is now available for sale at A Novel Idea bookstore in Ballyshannon (€5) or the County Museum Enniskillen (£5).
To order direct by post, please email fermanaghwriters@aol.co.uk
or come to our upcoming events at Belturbet Old Railway Station on Saturday 4th December at 2.30 or Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen on Tuesday 7th December at 7.30.
Contributors to the collection include Colin Dardis, Kate Ennals, Monica Corish, Tom Sigafoos, John McIntyre, Pat Joe Kennedy, Moyra Donaldson, Trish Bennett, Teresa Kane, and Jenny Brien.