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Cinders Magazine

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feminism

Ballerina, Baker, Etsy Shop Maker?

First published in Cinders Issue Five

Thinking about school and examinations, editor Méabh McDonnell looks back on her own years of exams, prospective careers and the ever present intimidation of internet geniuses. She has one piece of advice: don’t panic.

Let me tell you a story. When I was six years old, I thought that a ballerina would be a nice career to have when I grew up. I’m not sure if it was the pretty costumes or the interesting shoes – it definitely wasn’t any burgeoning dance ability – because I had none. But whatever it was, I remember looking into ‘ballerina’ as a prospective career i.e. looking it up in my Childcraft encyclopedia.

That was when I discovered that most professional ballerinas begin their training at three years old. That’s when I had the thought: ‘Three?! But I’m already six! I’ve missed my window!’ And thus my ‘promising’ ballet career came to an end.

Continue reading “Ballerina, Baker, Etsy Shop Maker?”

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”

Feminism Forwards – An interview with Rosita Sweetman

First published in Cinders issue three

We had the pleasure of speaking with author, writer and feminist Rosita Sweetman. Author of Father’s Come First – which we reviewed in issue two of Cinders – Rosita gave us her impression of feminism today, how it has changed since Ireland of the 70s.

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What with the strides that the feminist movement has taken in recent years for privileged women of the developed world, it can be easy to forget how much more change is needed – but also how recently in Ireland that women’s power was os much less and so reliant on the men in their lives. But that is the world that Rosita Sweetman’s Father’s Come First is set in. Rosita wrote the small but powerful novel when she was living in East Africa and thinking of home.

Continue reading “Feminism Forwards – An interview with Rosita Sweetman”

Teenage Dreams – An Interview with Claire Hennessy

First published in Cinders Issue Three

Claire Hennessy has been a published writer since she was twelve. Since the release of her first book Dear Diary, she has been at the forefront of Irish teen literature. Now as a children’s book editor and author she has even more feathers in her very large cap! Meabh McDonnell had a chat with Claire about her last book Nothing Tastes as Good and her upcoming release, Like Other Girls.

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Continue reading “Teenage Dreams – An Interview with Claire Hennessy”

Hermione herself

First published in Cinders magazine issue four

When I was ten years old I reluctantly began to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I say reluctant because when I was seven I had the unfortunate experience of hearing the second last chapter of the book, completely out of context. It gave me a very warped perspective on the stories including thinking they were about businessmen, played nothing but magical baseball and there was no mention of the superhero that is Hermione Granger.

Because if I’d known about her, I would have eaten those books up. Instead I maintained my stubborn attitude to all things JK Rowling for three years. It wasn’t until I received the first book for my 10th birthday that I finally decided to read them. And then something very special happened, a few chapters into the book, I met Hermione.

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Continue reading “Hermione herself”

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”

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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