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Cinders Magazine

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Queen takes Crown – Interview with Diana Mirza

First published in Cinders issue four

Sixteen year old Diana Mirza recently won the World Schools Under-17 Chess Championship.She is Ireland’s first ever world chess champion and has filled Cinders in on openings, tactics, non stop practice, and how it’s never too late to get into chess.

When did you start playing chess? 

I started playing when I was five years old, my Dad runs chess classes after school so I used to be around it all of the time. I began playing in competitions when I was nine when I started to improve. As I got better, the more I liked doing it. I suppose it’s like anything, when you discover you’re good at it then you’ll want to stay doing it.

Continue reading “Queen takes Crown – Interview with Diana Mirza”

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.

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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.

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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.

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Why Gilmore Girls is a modern adaptation of Little Women

First published in Cinders magazine issue two.

Little Women is the first ‘grown up’ movie I can ever remember watching and it truly stuck with me. More than 15 years later and it can still make me cry. But that first viewing was like opening a door to a world I never knew existed.

I couldn’t remember ever watching a story that had so many female characters, all of whom had distinct personalities that complemented one another and challenged one another. It is a story filled with women who know what they want in life, who have passion and tempers and fights, mostly with each other.

Continue reading “Why Gilmore Girls is a modern adaptation of Little Women”

Drawn that Way – Our favourite comic heroines

First published in issue one of Cinders Magazine

We in Cinders love a good comic. Here are some of the best comic books and graphic novels with kick-ass, difficult, fabulous, brave female characters. 

Ms Marvel

The petite Ms Marvel may look small – but don’t say that to her face – she might just ‘embiggen’ herself to settle a score with you! Marvel’s newest female superhero, Kamala Khan is also its first Muslim superhero which was why she made headlines when the first issues hit the shelves last year. That isn’t why she’s stuck around though. The tough, super-human-obsessed fangirl is both badass and endearing with fantastic storylines. Her defence of New Jersey is a great contrast to most superhero’s dedication to New York and gives Ms Marvel her own territory. With a varied cast of friends and family Ms Marvel is a fully realised world that gives a unique perspective on the superhero lifestyle. She has all of the problems of a teenage girl in a conservative household who also has to get out and save the world a few times a week. The artwork in each issue is unique and beautifully realised, particularly the work of Adrian Alphona, who uses a great watercolour style to bring Kamala’s world to life. Every issue is written by G. (Gwendolyn) Willow Wilson whose conversational style and excitement is palpable on every page and carries the story forward.

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Worlds Collide: When Rainbow met Leigh

This article was first published in issue one of Cinders magazine.

Two fantastic YA worlds collided when authors Rainbow Rowell and Leigh Bardugo came together for a fantastic author event in Dublin in October. Méabh McDonnell was delighted to be in the audience for the event, where she was able to bring us the low down on everything that the two authors had to say about writing, diversity and how to write the perfect kiss.

Rainbow Rowell and Leigh Bardugo are two of the biggest names in YA literature right now. If you haven’t heard of them, you need to race out to your nearest library and demand everything they’ve ever written. You won’t be sorry.

I was lucky enough to attend their recent World’s Collide event in Dublin and literally fangirl all over both of them!

The event was originally born out of NY Times bestselling author, Leigh Bardugo’s launch tour for her new novel Crooked Kingdom, the hotly anticipated sequel to Six of Crows, where she – as Dave O’Callaghan, chief children’s buyer for Easons, Dublin put it – wanted to bring a friend.

And what a friend she brought – Rainbow Rowell, author of the heart-soaring (and heart breaking) Eleanor and Park and the wonderful Fangirl to name but a few of her fantastic novels. The two friends came together in a tour that went from London to Dublin, to Edinburgh to Manchester to read, meet and discuss each of their weird and wonderful approaches to writing, the story behind Rainbow’s name, how to write the best love scenes and overcoming writers block. The evening began with the two ladies swanning onto the stage,  explaining how they met, and how Leigh wasn’t expecting to like Rainbow as much as she did.

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Fire up those friendships

First published as ‘Happy Galentines Day Ladies’ in issue two of Cinders Magazine.

Cinders editor, Méabh McDonnell, explains her take on ‘Galentine’s day’ and the importance of celebrating female friendships and being seen as a woman in today’s society. 

“February 14th, Valentines day is about romance, but February 13th, Galentine’s Day, is about celebrating lady friends.” Those were the words of the great Leslie Knope, America’s most optimistic government worker and protagonist of the late, great, Parks and Recreation. I think that Galentine’s Day is a day to take note of the positive female relationships in your life and let those women know just how much they mean to you.

I truly believe that Galentine’s Day is something that we need.

We need a day to celebrate the other women in our lives, whether they are our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our best friends, our cousins or our nieces; because we all have some positive female relationships in our lives and it feels so good to celebrate those.

How many of us have said, or thought, the words ‘I don’t really get along with other girls.’ or ‘I’m not really a girls-girl’ or the queen-bee of them all: ‘I’m not like other girls’. I’m willing to bet most of us have. I know I have. And it begs only one response: ‘What’s wrong with “other girls”?’

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Woohoo! Issue three out today!

Welcome To Cinders Issue Three! We hope you enjoy our issue inspired by that addiction of all Ravenclaws at heart – learning and reading. We also delve into Beauty and the Beast, the best studying tips, the psychological explanation of schizophrenia and much, much more!

You’ll be queuing up for new books all month long!

Click here to download the third issue of Cinders Magazine: Bookworms for free!

Or you can read it here online thanks to issuu.com: //e.issuu.com/embed.html#27012103/47379876

Happy reading!

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