Hello. Thank you for visiting my site.
I’m Shell, a Dubliner, a francophile with an anglo edge, mostly introvert, sometimes extrovert, an avid reader, writer, wanderer and wonderer.
I love water and swimming especially in the sea, even in winter. I enjoy beaches and oceans but am not so keen on boats. I collect seashells and like the feel of sand between my toes.I play tennis and walk and bike and hike.
I love the intelligence and lumbering grace of elephants and the wisdom of Winnie-the Pooh. I love the quiet beauty of A.A. Milne’s writing and Beatrix Potter and her menagerie. Tove Jansson’s Moomin books are a favourite too. I’ll read anything except crime. I’ve never been a fan of the dark side, I prefer the light.
I write about my life, my travels and experiences, about trying to find magic in the mundane, ordinary in the extraordinary, sanity in the madness, peace in the chaos, and the answer to why I feel the constant need to be on the move, as if routine is some kind of shackle that needs to be shaken off.
There have been some hard, dark times over the years and these are my stories of finding silver linings in the darkness, of locating the light, of putting back the sparkle that was lost along the way.
I’ve been writing all my life in one form or another but only found the courage to send it out into the world, filled with trepidation, in 2016 and as pieces began to get published, I sent out more.
I’ve written short stories, flash fiction, travel and opinion pieces and these have been published in The Irish Times in print, in The Gloss Magazine, The Irish Examiner, Woman’s Way magazine, The Sunday Independent, The Telegraph, and online on Writing.ie, Silverbirchpress.wordpress.com and KanturkArts.ie.
The big news in 2018 – I was shortlisted in the Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition, the Iceland Writers Retreat and I had a piece in a BOOK – Teachers Who Write, An Anthology. I won a bursary to the John Hewitt Summer School, a scholarship to Aurora Writing Retreat and a Greywood Arts Residency.
In February 2019, I was shortlisted for a French language bursary in the Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris. In March, I placed third in Kanturk Arts Festival Flash Fiction competition with my first ever piece of flash fiction. In April, I won Birr Writers Residency and I was accepted for a place on the UL Winter School with Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, Kit de Waal, Donal Ryan and Jo Unwin. Also in April I was selected as one of ten writers to read my first page to an audience and two agents at Cork World Book Festival and I was one of sixty writers selected for Date with An Agent in May 2019 for my memoir. I completed a twelve-week creative non-fiction food memoir writing course with writer-in-residence at Dun Laoghaire LexIcon library and had a piece in an exhibition ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ in June 2019. I won a bursary to the Stinging Fly Summer School in July for a week in the Irish Writers Centre. In August I won a bursary to the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth for a weekend festival in September and I had a short story shortlisted in the Kilmore Quay Literary Write by the Sea festival. In December, after being a finalist last year I won a full bursary to the Iceland Writers Retreat taking place in April 2020.
One of the first pieces I had published was a story for Arnott’s Department store in Dublin to celebrate their 175th birthday. The piece was recorded and it formed part of a video exhibition run by the Little Museum of Dublin and was on display in the store in the spring and summer of 2018.
I sent the story of my 2012 serious health scare to Pharmanord and won a year’s supply of CQ10, a vitamin I’ve taken since falling ill. They interviewed me for their magazine and kindly gave me the photos on this page.
I prefer reading, writing and being outside to spending time on social media but I make an effort with Twitter because that’s where all the writing information is. Facebook and Instagram not so much.
I am working on a memoir. I have a picture book written for my favourite four people in the world – my nieces and nephews.
I’m a teacher by profession but a writer at heart.