In the heart of Tralee, County Kerry, down a small and quiet laneway, we stumbled upon an independent bookshop called Polymaths'. With its tall wooden bookcases, warm bright atmosphere, its extrememly knowledgable and interesting staff, Polymaths' is exactly what we were looking for. It was without a doubt, the perfect place for Labello Press to hold a reading for Tralee-born author Noel O'Regan, on Saturday 30th June.
We want to thank Polymaths' owner, James O'Carroll, for his gracious welcome and support. Thank you as well to Michael Brosnan who decided to stock "Gem Street" on our first visit to the shop. And to Padraig who was assisting at the event, thank you for making us feel at home.
Warm thanks to everyone who attended the event and for all of your good wishes and support.
Please enjoy the slideshow below which captures some of the highlights from last saturday afternoon.
Last Thursday evening, 28th June, in the United Arts Club, Dublin, we launched the first of what will be many anthologies in conjunction with our International Short Story Competition, "Gem Street, The First Collection: 2012".
The weather was mild and balmy, and we were thrilled to have 7 of the 11 authors featured in the anthology present, to celebrate this spectacular occasion with us. Guests began arriving before 6 p.m. and the menu of canapes created by chef Anthony O'Grady was not only superb but beautifully presented and included such delights as mini baked potatoes stuffed with cheddar and chive, curried shrimp bouche, and smoked salmon and dill wrap.
The crowd mingled and we had the opportunity to catch up with people we haven't seen in a while as well getting to know some new faces.
Long List finalists Brian Kirk and Dawn Lowe were in attendence and we greatly appreciate their support.
Best-selling author, ebullient and lovely Linda Kavanagh, a wonderful friend through it all offering advice and moral support, came along with her daughter Susan.
We thank actors Una Crawford, Sheila Flitton, Aisling Flitton and our guest judge Bryan Murray, who all took time out from their busy schedules in warm support of the launch and Labello Press.
After an eloquent introduction by teacher and author Brian McMenamy, Dublin author Steve Wade read from his poignant, timely and intense story of one woman's efforts to protect her children, "For the Children"...
...while Carol Brick-Stock gave the audience a glimpse into thoughts of infidelity in her cynical story, "The Woman in Her Head".
Tralee native Noel O'Regan's "As Grey Sky and Sea Blend" depicts a young man's obsession with and ultimate test by the sea...
...and Helen Kampfner travelled from the Basque Country to intrigue with her tale of tense family dynamics, "The Locust Years".
Hailing from Canada, Third Place prizewinner, P.W. Bridgman read from his slightly surreal and enormously entertaining story "Cake, Bang and Elm"...
While Londoner Zoe Gilbert enchanted us with her charming and stylish story of a foul-smelling and odd family tradition, the Second Place prizewinning, "The Trotternish Ox-men".
And last but not least to read was our First Place prizewinner Paul Burns who joined us from London to read from his dark and sinister story of a delusion shared, "Folie a' Deux".
Afterwards guests availed of more refreshments while the authors signed copies of "Gem Street".
What touched us most was not only the generous support of our new venture, but the warmth and caring present in the room. Everyone was in high spirits and relaxed in each others' company. The United Arts Club proved to be the perfect venue, steeped in literary history, elegant in its surroundings, and spacious enough to accomodate the 50 plus guests attending.
We missed the presence of the four authors unable to attend, Michael Madigan from Coloroda whose quirky and touching story about the Christmas Toy of the Year, "The GyPSy Line", enchanted us from our first reading of it, Evan Guilford-Blake from Georgia and his story of a man battling against his nature in "Animation", Somerset resident Christian Cook's humourous tale of a fleshy nought and crosses game, " OX" and Londoner Wynn Wheldon's quiet, gentle and magnificently appropriate end to the book, "Apples".
From the bottom of our hearts and with great appreciation, we thank everyone who came out on the night for their good wishes, wonderful company and genuine friendship. We could not have done it without you!
After the very successful launch of "Gem Street,The First Collection: 2012", we take great pleasure in announcing that our 2013 International Short Story Competition is now open for submissions.
Science Fiction is being added to the mix for the next anthology and we look forward to reading work from writers of this genre.
We are also delighted to let you know that there will be 14 prize winners incuded in this edition of "Gem Street".
Please visit the Submisisons page of this website for full details.
Today at Polymaths Bookstore in Tralee, County Kerry, author Noel O'Regan read his winning story "As Grey Sky and Sea Blend" to a packed and appreciative audience.
We'll be posting full details of this successful event in the coming days.
Here are a few photos capturing the moment.
The crowd begins to gather.
An admirer waits while Noel signs a copy of "Gem Street".
In the coming days we'll tell you all about our fabulous launch night at the United Arts Club in Dublin on 28th June. The room was packed, the wine was flowing and the support for our first anthology was phenomenal.
For now, here is a brief glimpse of the event. Much more to come.
Guests and authors mingle pre-readings.
Paul Burns reads from his winning story, Folie a' Deux.
"Gem Street, The First Collection: 2012" will be officially launched this week in Dublin. We're looking forward to finally meeting seven of the winning authors who are travelling for the event and our very special guests.
We are excited to welcome best-selling author Linda Kavanagh, our guest judge actor Bryan Murray and actresses Sheila and Aisling Flitton to the event. The evening will commence with a canapes/wine reception, moving on to readings by Steve Wade (Dublin), Carol Brick-Stock (France), Noel O'Regan (Kerry), Helen Kampfner (Spain), P.W. Bridgman (Canada), Zoe Gilbert (UK) and Paul Burns (UK).
And then on to Saturday and Polymaths Bookstore in Tralee, County Kerry and a reading/book signing by local author Noel O'Regan. The event begins at 2 pm and Polymaths is located in Courthouse Lane, Tralee. Phone (066) 7125035.
On 1st July, Labello's International Short Story Competition opens for entries. This year we have added Science Fiction to the mix so to authors writing in this genre, we look forward to reading your entries. You can find the submission guidelines on this website.
As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
Polymaths Bookshop, Courthouse Lane, Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland and Labello Press will host a reading by Noel O'Regan, author of "As Grey Sky and Sea Blend".
One of eleven remarkable works included in "Gem Street:The First Collection:2012", the story paints an atmospheric and life-altering portrait of a young man's draw to the sea.
A native of Tralee residing in London, Noel will be in the shop reading and signing copies of "Gem Street" on Saturday 30th June 2012 at 2 p.m.
We would be thrilled to see you there, so please stop by and say hello.
In keeping up with our quest to find interesting Independent Bookshops to call home, "Gem Street:The First Collection:2012" is now available in Woulfe's Bookshop, 7 Church Street, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland.
Open since April 2005, this classic and beautiful independent provides book-lovers with a bright, tranquil and friendly setting and we are honoured to have found a place among its well-stocked shelves.
We want to thank owner Brenda Woulfe for her encouragement and support of our efforts.
We are also happy to hear from other Independent bookshops who have an interest in stocking "Gem Street". Please contact us for the details.
If you haven't already heard the news, "Gem Street" has made the long journey from concept to glorious paperback and is now available for purchase. Information about our pre-launch special can be found on the "Gem Street" page of this site. We're already receiving very positive feedback about not only the content, but the design and layout of the book as well. We have to admit that we're proud of the outcome; it is quite a beautiful book containing intriguing stories that we never tire of reading.
The anthology is for sale in Polymaths Bookstore in Tralee, County Kerry, as well as through this website. Established since 1982, Polymaths is a traditional Independent and we are very excited to be part of their collection. Kerry author Noel O'Regan will be signing copies of the book instore and we'll be announcing that date shortly.
In the meantime, we're gearing up for "Gem Street's" official launch on 28th June in Dublin. Winning authors from Ireland, Canada, Spain, France, The UK and representing New Zealand will be in attendance along with our Guest Judge, actor Bryan Murray and best-selling Irish author, Linda Kavanagh. We are looking forward to a great evening of good food, inspiring readings by the authors and to catching up with everyone.
Thank you for all the support and good wishes.
After many months of hard work, long hours and little sleep, we are very excited to announce that "Gem Street" will soon be available for purchase. We'll be adding a new page containing ordering information shortly.
We want to thank the authors whose remarkable stories make up this very special book for their commitment and collaboration during an intense and focused time. And thank you to our friends and family for the ongoing support.