I'm really happy to be in ROPES this year and the journal is a lovely production. Proceeds from ROPES are donated to Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. It was launched by Julian Gough. Julian Gough's novel Jude: Level 1 was shortlisted for the 2008 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. In April 2007, Julian won the biggest prize in the world for a single short story, the BBC National Short Story Award, for "The Orphan and the Mob". He studied Philosophy and English at N.U.I.G. and while a student there formed a band called Toasted Heretic.
Julian spoke about the need for writers to challenge society and break the mould. He thought it is a very exciting time to be a young writer now as we emerge from the chaos left by the Celtic Tiger and try to understand the recent past.
There are some well known names included in the journal inlcuding Rita Ann Higgins, Nuala Ni Choncuir, Martin Dyar and Kevin Higgins. Martin Dyar has won the Strokestown Poetry Prize, the Raftery Award and the Patrick Kavanagh Award, wow! Ceara Conway and Ken Bruen read on the night alongside Dyar, Rita Ann Higgins and Kevin Higgins.
Congratulations to the students of the MA in Literature and Publishing and to Dr. Daniel Carey and Dr. Julia Carlson of the English Department, N.U.I. Galway.