Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Frightful Flash Fiction Competition Winners

Here are the four winning stories in our Flash Fiction competition:

Younger Children's Section Winner

by Sinéad Bourke, Age 8, Co. Meath
It was Halloween Ciara, Conor and Niamh were trick or treating they went up to one of the houses and there was a sign on the window saying DO NOT COME IN OR ELSE!
So they ran home. Ciara opened the door but their parents weren’t home and there was a ghost behind Conor. Ciara screamed for help. Their neighbour came and said “What happened?”
“There’s a ghost behind Conor”
“Let me call for help”
But no one answered so she drove everywhere looking for help until she found a house that had lights on so she knocked on the door and someone answered.
It wasn’t a person, it was a witch, so the next door neighbour ran into her car, but the witch got her broom. The neighbour drove home but the witch was on her broom so she saw where she was going, so she followed the car home. She went down to the grass and ran into the house and got her phone and called Frankinstein to the house. They had a fight.
If the ghost, witch and Frankinstein won they got to stay. If Ciara, Conor, Niamh and the neighbour won the ghost, witch and Frankinstein would have to leave.
So they played rock paper scissors.
Ciara against the Ghost, Conor against the Witch and Niamh against Frankinstein and the neighbour keeping score.
So they played rock paper scissors. Ciara won, Conor won and Niamh lost. So they have to go!
“We won!” shouted Niamh.
The End.

Older Children's Section Winner

My Spooky Story
by Sophia Ní Fhloinn Ní Raghallaigh Rang a Sé, Gaelscoil Longfort
On the day of Halloween, a little boy decided to go and look for houses to trick or treat at. He came across a big black, old, shabby house falling to pieces. He asked a few of his friends would they go with him to the house. As they walked closer to the house they heard ‘BANG, BOOM, CLAP’. Even though he heard the noises he wasn’t afraid.
His friends Jack, Beth and Rose told him that a little girl once lived there with her parents, she was an only child, and she felt very lonely and sad. She was left in her house all by herself, day and night.
She was constantly frightened and one night as she walked down her stairs she fell through the staircase. Suddenly she heard three knocks at her door and it flung open. She wasn’t hurt just a little worried about the door opening.
She quietly walked outside the door to see if she could see anyone but no one was there, she walked back in quickly to go and get her flashlight. She returned back outside but still could not see anyone.
Her parents returned to find their daughter spooked, up sitting in the dark with the flashlight still on.

Teen Section Winner

The Dance of Doom
by Robyn Coughlan, Co. Longford
From the light of the street lamp, I could just about make out the shape of it dancing forward. The street was completely deserted and the only sound I could hear was the pitter-patter of it's straw-filled feet tapping lightly on the concrete.
6ft tall it was... and its eyes. Oh god its eyes. Red, burning slits, redder than the depths of hell.
I should have listened to my grandmother when she told me not to go into the cornfield. The field that held more evil than it did corn.
I was frozen in fear as it got closer. I didn't know how those straw-filled legs even kept it up.
It danced forward - the same dance it had been doing when I found it in the field. It was like it was waltzing, but without a partner. As it spun, and leaped in the most inhumane of ways, I found a tear escape from my eye and roll lightly down my face.
It was now only a couple of feet away from me and I could make out the evil grin that formed on it's cloth face.
I crouched on the ground, and closed my eyes - awaiting my fate. I could hear it as it got closer.
And then, it stopped.
Slowly, I opened my eyes and looked up. It was gone.
With a sigh, I blamed it on my over-active-imagination and stood up, beginning to walk away from the horror I had just endured.
There it was again. My heart dropped into my stomach when I turned back and saw what was there.
The scarecrow.
Only this time it was right beside me - bent down so that it's face was level with my own.
“Hello,” it hissed. “Would you care to dance?”

Adult Section Winner

I love your nails!
by Andy Jones, Co. Cavan
Imelda, who looked after the cosmetics, was a bit “tarty”, to be honest. The chemist’s son was always telling her that he “loved her nails, her hair, her frock”, when he was “helping” her in the stores. I was the messenger boy, so I could hear the stocktaking that went on sometimes.
One day she didn’t turn up for work. The boss’s son also failed to materialise, so when he appeared the next day but she did not, rumours went into overdrive. In those days, when a woman disappeared like that, there was usually a good reason. “She’ll be back slimmer” was the consensus.
No further thought was given to Imelda. Occasionally, someone would make a smart remark to the son, and he would go red, but that was it.
About a month after the bit of excitement, I was in the yard straining the noxious cough medicine the shop made, through layered muslin. The stuff had been simmering for weeks in a big cauldron on an old gas stove. It was a messy job.
I was almost finished squeezing the last few dollops out, when something caught my eye. I knew immediately that Imelda was NEVER coming back. A cluster of her favourite purply-red finger nails rested in my hand.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Pay online option

We have now introduced PayPal buttons on most of our Ardagh Fright Fest events. If you avail of this option please also contact us to let us know the details of the event paid for and who will be attending so we can ensure to keep your space.
We have tried to keep it simple and hope it will be a useful option for those of you who wish to pay with credit or debit cards as well as your PayPal account.
Please also let us know if you have any problems, or just how you find using the buttons as this is all new to us.
Thanks in advance,
Annette and Ann.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Frightful Flash Fiction Competition

Creative Ardagh are delighted to present a Frightful Flash Fiction Competition in association with this year's Ardagh Fright Fest.

Get your creative juices flowing and send us in your scariest, spookiest or most twisted tales.
All genres welcome: gothic, fantasy, mythology, sci-fi, reality etc. The only rule is that you stick to a maximum of 300 words.
Full list of spooktacular prizes will be updated soon.

Entry fees: Adults €5 or €10 for three entries
12-18: €4 or €8 for three entries
Under 12 €2 or €4 for three entries.
Maximum words: 300

Send entries by email to: creativeardagh@gmail.com or by post to Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre, Ardagh, Co. Longford to reach us not later than
5pm on Monday 24th October
Incude your name, address and contact details on a separate sheet.
Fees can be paid online here or by cheque/money order made out to Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Ruth Frances Long at Ardagh Fright Fest 2016

We are delighted to confirm that award winning YA fantasy author Ruth Frances Long will join us for Ardagh Fright Fest this year. Ruth will give a writing workshop for teens entitled 'Finding the Fantastic in your Fiction' on Friday 4th November at 3pm. The workshop discusses aspects of storytelling and folklore, how they integrate with modern fiction and looks at the magic interwoven in the stories all around us. It will explore how to use folklore, fairytale and supernatural elements in your fiction, from fantasy to contemporary and explore different ways of using myths and folktales to flesh out your writing and inject some magic.
We are very excited! More details here.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Ardagh Fright Fest 2016 coming soon!

We are really excited as plans come together for Ardagh Fright Fest 2016 which runs from 29th October to 5th November this year. We can't tell you too much just yet, but it promises to be spooktacular!
Family favourite, Ardagh School of Witchcraft and Wizardry returns for Year 6 on Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th and Monday 31st from 3pm to 5pm. We are also offering this event to groups during the week. We are delighted to be able to include several literary events on the programme including adult and teen writing workshops and Nightmare Club story readings for children. Of course our Spooky Art Camp returns and we are planning a very special Celtic New Year day on 1st November including a Samhain Walk up Brí Leith.  There's much more to come, so keep an eye out for full details very soon! It's frightfully exciting!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Ardagh Fright Fest 2015

Ardagh Fright Fest 2015 was a resounding success! Thank you to Fergus Kennedy, Longford arts Office for his vision and support. The photography exhibition had over 600 viewers (thanks go to Shelley Corcoran and the students from around the county for all their hard work). We got very creative during our Frightful Art workshop and Spooky Art Day and the sun shone brightly for our Samhain morning walk with Brendan Farrell. Lots of families enjoyed Ardagh School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and we even presented OWLs certs to some students returning for the fifth year. The highlights for many attendees though were the Gothic writing workshops with writers ER Murray and Joe Murphy and we want to say once more how grateful we were to have them attend.

Here's some feedback we received:
"Just so let you know that I thought the workshop (with E.R. Murray) was brilliant and I really enjoyed it. I got  “The Book of Learning” straight away yesterday"
"Just wanted to say thank-you for making this workshop (with Joe Murphy) possible. It was one of the most enjoyable and informative I’ve ever attended. Ann, thanks to you and Annette for hosting the workshop – I’d add ‘comfortable and ‘hospitable’’ to the above description."

We had so much going on for the first ever Ardagh Fright Fest, watch out for more in 2016. You will find full details here later in the year, but for now see what you missed:


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Book of Learning chosen for Citywide Reading Campaign for Children 2016

Fantastic news below just in from E.R. Murray who we are delighted to have here tomorrow morning from 10am giving a gothic writing workshop for 11 to 14 year olds. There's still time to book your place, but be quick!

Magical book found in Dublin – READ All About It!
Dublin City Council’s Library Service invites children to delve into the world of Ebony Smart, a 12 year old girl whose world has just changed forever - a new home in Dublin which is full of secrets, a magical book that unlocks the mystery to her past and a mysterious boy called Zach who befriends her – for the Citywide Reading Campaign for Children 2016.
The campaign is run by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Dublin City Council Public Libraries, in partnership with Mercier Press and runs from January to March 2016.
The Book of Learning by E.R. Murray is a story of mystery and adventure, which will appeal to both girls and boys of 9 years and older. There will be author visits to public libraries as well as city-centre based events to promote the campaign which encourages children to read for pleasure. The book features many well known Dublin landmarks such as Glasnevin Cemetery, The Botanic Gardens, The Natural History Museum, The National Library and St. Stephen's Green.
An t-Ardmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh said: “The Book of Learning is a book that will enchant and engage boys and girls from aged 9 upwards and I encourage children and their parents all across the city to read it and to visit their local Dublin City library to find out more about the fun events taking place. Is scéal draíochtach é a bheadh taitneamhach do éinne thar 9 mbliana d’aois”
“I’m delighted The Book of Learning has been chosen for this year’s Citywide Reading campaign, especially since Dublin is so central to the story.” says E.R. Murray. “I wanted to capture the city’s essence in an adventure story that was both magical and mysterious – so get ready for wildcats, enchanted books, underground lairs, and shark submarines! I can’t wait to meet lots of young readers at events in the New Year – after all, it’s the readers that bring stories to life and make writing so worthwhile.”
Details of the campaign will be available in early January at www.dublincityofliterature.ie The project is funded by Dublin City Council's Library Service and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.