From Short Fiction

Winter Readings: ‘Blackbird’ by Jaki McCarrick

Jaki McCarrick reads ‘Blackbird’ from Issue Eleven of The Lonely Crowd. Jaki McCarrick is an award-winning writer of plays, poetry and fiction. Her play LEOPOLDVILLE won the 2010 Papatango Prize for New Writing, and her most recent play, THE NATURALISTS, premiered in New York to rave reviews: “Best Bet” International Theatre, Theatre is Easy; “Impeccable,…

Books of the Year 2020: Part Two

Contributors old and new to The Lonely Crowd choose the books that they have most enjoyed reading in 2020. Given the nature of the year, not all of these titles were published in 2020. Marc Hamer One of the books I have read this years that has stayed with me is Teaching a Stone to…

Books of the Year 2020: Part One

Contributors old and new to The Lonely Crowd choose the books that they have most enjoyed reading in 2020. Given the nature of the year, not all of these titles were published in 2020. Mary Morrissy History dominated my reading this year, perhaps because the present was so insupportable. Plague crept in, regardless, particularly in…

The Writing of ‘Tin’ / Nuala O’Connor

‘Tin’ is a commissioned story and, therefore, I approached and wrote it differently to the stories that occur to me in a natural way. Firstly, the story had to be designed to be read aloud. BBC Radio Ulster and 14-18 NOW – the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary – asked a…

Nuala O’Connor: Tin

Down the years there has always been an ease between Patricia and Malachy that’s hard for others to slip between. It’s as if they have an invisible rope that binds them and no one can get beyond it, not even me. Their attachment didn’t bother me overly much before, but I’m the woman of the house now and I won’t have Patricia sharing soft looks with my husband. Mrs Cahill from down the way – who has watched out for us since Mammy passed – told me I need to announce myself. So I rise now and step away from the table; I place Patricia’s old cushion onto the settle by the wall and I sit into Mammy’s chair by the fire.

Feeling Unentitled / Mary Morrissy

Mary Morrissy discusses ‘Repossession’, her new short story in Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd.   Getting the right title for a story is important and there’s usually an ‘aha’ moment when you find it, or it finds you. With ‘Repossession’ this moment never came, so as far as I’m concerned, it is still a…

Winter Readings: ‘A Millennial’s Christmas in Wales’ by Dan Tyte

Dan Tyte reads a Christmas short story as part of our Winter Readings series of podcasts. Millennial identical twins Gerard and Stephanie are back home for Christmas Day. Expect family politics with all the trimmings. The stand-alone story also acts as the first chapter of Tyte’s latest novel, The Offline Project (The Big Issue called…

Books of the Year 2019 / Part Four

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year. Jaki McCarrick My reading in 2019 was disparate and strange. At night I mostly read fiction, some novels I had already read or missed classics or works published a few years previously. During the day, I read books I’d been asked to review, much…

Books of the Year 2019 / Part Three

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year. Lisa Harding When I was gifted the much-hyped bestseller Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, I was sceptical. The grandiose claims that this a ‘once-in-a generation book’, that it is a ‘masterpiece’,’ astonishing’, ‘compelling’, an ‘instant classic’ made me weary and wary, and yes, prone…

Books of the Year 2019 / Part Two

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year. Jo Mazelis Around January of this year I began writing and researching a novel set in London in the 1970s. My research was varied, covering everything from music, history, politics and subculture. One of the key books, A Hero For High Times by Ian…

Books of the Year 2019 / Part One

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year.  Mary Morrissy Maybe because I’m far advanced into the writing of a novel, I’ve found myself reading a lot of non-fiction this year, and reluctant memoirists, in particular, it would seem. As a result, all of these writers seem to write slant about personal…

‘Grey Wizard’: The Seeds / Catherine Wilkinson

Catherine Wilkinson discusses the creative process behind her short story ‘Grey Wizard’, featured in Issue Eleven. The forensic analysis of a story is an exercise I relish, including the detection of which nuggets have snuck in from what aspects of a writer’s life or research: the ornamental eggs from Monique Roffey’s memoir (With the Kisses of His…