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Cinders Magazine

Your one stop shop for fandom, feminism and pop culture

Book Review Corner: Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy

First published in Volume One: Issue

Like other Girls is an important book. And it’s an honest book. In short it’s a book that every Irish girl needs to read.

9781471406348It tells the story of bisexual teen Lauren, who finds herself up against a wall when she discovers she’s pregnant and definitely does not want to be. Not many novels so obviously beg to be read in one sitting but Like Other Girls does. Lauren does.

Continue reading “Book Review Corner: Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy”

16 things I wish to tell my 16 year old self

First published in issue one of Cinders magazine

I wrote this piece on my 26th birthday, thinking about all of the things I would tell my 16 year old self if I could.

I then performed the piece at the Cinders magazine official launch on December 16, 2016.

You can view my performance here, kindly filmed by McDonnellHouse Productions.

Continue reading “16 things I wish to tell my 16 year old self”

Book Review Corner: The Space Between by Meg Grehan

First published in Cinders volume issue three

Spoken word novels are a new trend in YA literature. We saw it with last year’s highly successful One by Sarah Crossan and Meg Grehan’s The Space Between uses the same format. And it uses it so very well. 33972290

Once you are a few pages into The Space Between it’s difficult to imagine the book being written in anything but verse – it’s the absolutely perfect format to tell Beth’s story.

The Space Between is a beautiful examination of how mental health disorders can pin someone inside their own mind and then how through small but significant battles they can work their way out and live with them.

Beth is not okay. She has made a decision to remain within her house for a year. She is falling in on herself and only going further down when she meets Mouse. Mouse is friendly and kind and fluffy and warm.

Continue reading “Book Review Corner: The Space Between by Meg Grehan”

Double, Double Write Some Trouble

First published in Cinders Volume One Issue two

TheDemonNotebook

Erika McGann is a young writer from Drogheda, now living in Dublin.  Erika has written four books in her Demon Notebook series and is just about to release the first book in her mystery series for children: Cass and the Bubble Street Gang. The Demon Notebook series explores the adventures of a group of school friends who soon discover their powers as witches. I was delighted to get the opportunity to chat to Erika about writing, fantasy, female friendships in books, and how the sound of a coffee shop makes it easier to write!

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

When I was really young, writing was all I wanted to do and my parents were very encouraging. They bought me a huge hardback notebook and they paid me 10p a day to write in it. I’m not sure about the ethics of that but it really really worked! It got me into the habit of writing every day. But I got out of the habit in my teens and I didn’t write again until I was about 28. That’s when I jumped into creating The Demon Notebook. So there was a huge gap when I should have been doing what most writers are doing which is working hard and perfecting their craft, but I went about it a different way!

Continue reading “Double, Double Write Some Trouble”

Recommended reads: Laini Taylor, Sarah J. Maas and Meg Grehan

First published in Volume One Issue Three

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer is pure magic. that’s no surprise because it’s written by Laini Taylor, who writes only beautiful things. Her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is a thing of pure beauty and her Dreamdark series are the badass fairytales that you wish your twelve year old self had. Strange the Dreamer is no different. She invents a completely new world for this series full of gods and lost cities and magic and dreams. I’m not going to tell you anything else but that Lazlo Strange is a librarian with a singular dream – to find the lost city of Weep. I guarantee if you read it you will.

Continue reading “Recommended reads: Laini Taylor, Sarah J. Maas and Meg Grehan”

Recommended Reads: Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo and Truman Capote

First published in issue one of Cinders magazine.

Goldenhand by Garth Nix

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Most of you will probably be too young to remember Sabriel and Lireal by Garth Nix but there are few more kickass, capable heroines around. Sabriel and Lireal are necromancers but instead of raising the dead, they send them back to die proper deaths. The pair return to their adventures after more than ten years in Goldenhand and are all well worth a read. You’ll be battling undead zombies in your head for the rest of the month!

Continue reading “Recommended Reads: Garth Nix, Leigh Bardugo and Truman Capote”

Favourite fictional feminists: part two

Jane Villeneuva

Jane is the protagonist of the CW’s fantastic Jane the Virgin, a single mother, who is incredibly devoted to her family. The series kicks off with her being ‘accidentally, artificially inseminated’ leading to her unexpected pregnancy. Jane is a wonderful character to watch, optimistic and brave but grounded – she never becomes annoying. Jane is of course supported by a host of strong, brilliant women from her headstrong mother Xiomara, to her level=headed, forthright grandmother Alba. Jane’s decision to remain a virgin at the beginning of the series is unconventional, but she consistently uses her agency to make the decision for herself. She never judges other characters for their sex lives and makes her own decisions about her own. Jane faces multiple obstacles in her life but remains the strong, kind, forthright character we all love.

Continue reading “Favourite fictional feminists: part two”

Favourite fictional feminists: part one

Leslie Knope

Leslie Knope is the world’s most optimistic government employee. She is also a staunch feminist, wants to be Gloria Allred when she grows up and is one of the most competent and hard working characters to ever grace our TV screens. Portrayed by the wonderful Amy Poehler in NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Leslie is a woman in a competitive field for women but she manages to never be competitive with the other women in her life. She excels at building them up and celebrating them, and is the creator of the wonderful, Galentine’s Day, which we take as inspiration for this issue! Leslie is  kind, hard working and extraordinarily passionate about where she lives and works. Leslie works tirelessly — and often thanklessly — to make Pawnee a better place and almost always does it with a smile on her face. Leslie is the opposite of what we are so often shown in a female character on television today. She is sincere and uncynical and does her best in every situation. I want to be her when I grow up.

Continue reading “Favourite fictional feminists: part one”

Book Review Corner: Fathers Come First By Rosita Sweetman

 

First published in Cinders Volume One: Issue Two

It’s been a long time since I read a book that felt so much like the memoir of a very old friend. But that’s how Rosita Sweetman’s voice come across on the pag

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es of Fathers Come First. First printed in 1974, Lilliput Press have re-released the classic Dublin coming of age novel and its easy to see why. The novel follows Liz, a young woman in 1970s Dublin, who is so brilliantly drawn by Sweetman that she leaps up off of the page. After just reading a few pages of the book, I felt like I knew Liz.

The novel tells the story of a young girl trying to figure out her place in the world, living in an Ireland that is on the cusp of change but apparently hadn’t changed enough for women.

Liz is constantly trying to figure out the kind of person she should be and the people she should surround herself with, something I think most girls can identify with.  Continue reading “Book Review Corner: Fathers Come First By Rosita Sweetman”

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