Smashing Times Centre for the Arts and Equality would like to invite submissions to the February 2024 edition of the Smashing Times Newsletter. ‘Irish Myths and Legends’ is our theme this month, owing to the traditional festival of Imbolc, also know as Saint Brigid’s Day (Lá Fhéile Bríde), which took place earlier this month on 1 February. Now a public holiday, Imbolc marks the beginning of spring, and for Christians, it is the feast day of Saint Brigid, Ireland’s patroness saint.
Imbolc, it is believed, was originally a pagan festival associated with the lambing season and the goddess Brigid, with historians suggesting that the saint and her feast day are Christianisations of these. The customs of St Brigid’s Day were not recorded in detail until the early modern era. In recent centuries, its traditions have included weaving Brigid’s crosses and hanging them over doors and windows to protect against fire, illness, and evil spirits. People also made a doll of Brigid (Brídeóg) which was paraded around the community by girls. Brigid was said to visit one’s home on St Brigid’s Eve. To receive her blessings, people would make a bed for Brigid, leave her food and drink, and set items of clothing outside for her to bless. Holy wells would be visited, a special meal would be had, and the day was traditionally associated with weather lore.
Linking in with Imbolc, we have placed the focus of this newsletter on ‘Irish Myths and Legends’. Irish mythology is grouped into four cycles: The Mythological Cycle, The Ulster Cycle, The Fianna Cycle, and the Kings’ Cycle. The Mythological Cycle comprises tales and poems about the god-like Túatha Dé Danann, who are based on Ireland’s pagan deities, and other mythical races like the Fomorians. Included in this cycle is the legend Oidheadh Chlainne Lir (Children of Lir). The Ulster Cycle consists of heroic legends about Ulaidh (Ulster), the most important of which is the epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, commonly known as The Táin, or less commonly as The Cattle Raid of Cooley. The Ulster Cycle also contains two of the most famous figures in Irish mythology: warrior hero and demigod Cú Chulainn, and the tragic Deirdre of the Sorrows. The Fianna Cycle focuses on the exploits of the mythical hero Fionn mac Cumhaill and his warrior band the Fianna. It features the creature the Salmon of Knowledge and the characters Oisín and Niamh, who journey to Tír na nÓg. Finally, The Kings’ Cycle is composed of legends about historical and semi-historical kings of Ireland, including Buile Shuibhne (The Madness of King Suibhne, who is also known as ‘Sweeney’) and tales about the origins of dynasties and peoples.
We welcome submissions that relate to the theme of ‘Irish Myths and Legends’ in whatever way. It could be a painting of, or inspired by, a particular myth, or scene from a myth. It could be a poem from the perspective of a mythological figure. Or it could be a short story set in the present day with significant parallels to a myth or mythological character. However you approach the theme, we’d love to see what you come up with.
Note: Irish mythology can be considered a part of Irish folklore (béaloideas), which also incorporates the folktales, balladry, music, and dance of Ireland. Submissions responding to elements of Irish folklore outside of the myths and legends are also welcome.
Artist submissions are welcome in any genre or form. A few notes:
- If submitting poetry, please send a maximum of two poems (of any length).
- If making a prose submission – a short story, non-fiction essay, novel extract, or article – please send no more than one piece, of no longer than 2,000 words.
- If submitting an excerpt from a play or screenplay, please send no more than one piece, of no more than 1,000 words.
- If sending a photograph, or an image of a painting, sculpture, or architectural work, please submit no more than two. Please ensure that the images are of a high quality, and provide the work’s label: material(s) used, dimensions, and year. Please include a few lines contextualising your piece and explaining how it relates to the theme. Lastly, please remember to state the title of the piece.
- In the case of videos, or video excerpts, of plays, please submit one piece only, of no longer than 20 minutes. Please ensure that the video is of a high audiovisual calibre.
- If submitting a song, a short film, a video artwork, a feature-film excerpt, or a dance piece, please send no more than two, and ensure neither runs over 20 minutes. Likewise, please make sure that they are of a high audiovisual calibre.
- If submitting in multiple artforms, please send no more than two artworks overall. (For example, one painting and one poem.)
- Submissions may have appeared elsewhere before, though new work is especially welcome. (If a submission has appeared elsewhere before, please state this and include the publication details.)
- Translated works are acceptable, once they are submitted alongside the original, and all relevant permissions are obtained beforehand.
- Themes are always flexible; any subjective response is considered valid.
- Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on Sunday, 18 February, 2024. Subject lines should read: ‘Artist Submission, February 2024’. Please include a max two-line biography to accompany your piece, making reference to your previous publications (if applicable); any social media/website links you would like to be included in case of publication; a headshot or photograph; whether you would like to be signed up to the newsletter (so that, if selected, you receive the edition in which your work appears); and how exactly you heard of this submission opportunity.
- Our preference for written pieces is that they be sent in a Word document.
- If we accept a written piece, the editor will contact you with at least one round of suggested edits, so please monitor your email closely.
- Furthermore, if your work is accepted, it will appear not only in the newsletter but on the Smashing Times website and possibly across our social media channels.
- Not all submissions will be accepted, unfortunately.
- The newsletter goes out on Thursday, 29 February, 2024.
- Publication is unpaid, regrettably, as we are a small charity with limited resources. The newsletter reaches around 1,200 people, however, including a range of major arts organisations, and many members of Ireland’s arts and human rights communities. Previous newsletter contributors include poet Jessica Traynor, Senator Lynn Ruane, 2023 Nobel Peace Prize-winner Narges Mohammadi, rapper-singer Saint Levant, visual artist Erika Diettes, and many more.
- Submissions are especially welcome from individuals who have been underrepresented historically, such as ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, members of the Traveller community, the LGBTQI+ community, and women. Please let us know when submitting if you belong to any of these or suchlike minorities.
News Item Submissions
News item submissions are welcome from any organisation or individual either working in the arts, or in human rights, equality, or similar areas. Some notes:
- News items should be 150 words or less. They do not need to have any relevance to the theme.
- We welcome any news item based on you or your organisation’s recent work, event, or activity in the areas of the arts, human rights, equality, or social justice.
- Please include a photo to go with your news item and ensure it is of reasonably high quality. If there is no relevant photo, please send on your organisation’s logo.
- Any links should be included as hyperlinks.
- Please double-check for spelling, grammar, accuracy, and clarity.
- We will endeavour to include as many submissions as possible – though this of course depends on the number we receive. (In the event of a surplus, we will hold onto any items which would still be relevant in the following month’s edition, with your permission.) We will prioritise submissions from Smashing Times members. Sign you or your organisation up here.
- The newsletter reaches around 1,200 people, including a range of major arts organisations, and many members of Ireland’s arts and human rights communities.
- Please submit in a word document to email@example.com by midnight on Sunday, 18 February, 2024. Subject lines should read: ‘News Item Submission, February 2024’.
- The newsletter goes out on Thursday, 29 February, 2024.
- Submissions are especially welcome from individuals who have been underrepresented historically, such as ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, members of the Traveller community, the LGBTQI+ community, and women. Please let us know when submitting if you belong to any of these or suchlike minorities. Likewise, we welcome submissions from organisations that advocate for any of these, or similar, causes.
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