New opportunities for Northern Ireland creatives

Belfast’s Poetry Jukebox is open for a second round of submissions. The Jukebox, installed outside the Crescent Arts Centre on University Street, currently contains recordings of twenty works from poets across Ireland, allowing visitors and passers-by immediate access to poetry in an unconventional environment.

Curated by Maria McManus and Deirdre Cartmill, the second edition of curated content will mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of Northern Ireland’s Good Friday Agreement. an historic peace agreement.

Submissions are open til 31st January from poets around the world. For full submissions guidelines, see here. Poems previously published elsewhere are accepted, provided the author can assign the rights to Jukebox, and It is aspired to pay a small stipend for each poem accepted, dependent on funding.

The Bangor Literary Journal is launching in March, and recently put a call out for submissions. Founded by Bangor-based artist and poet Amy Rafferty, the journal is open to poetry, flash fiction, photography and artwork, and will publish on a bimonthly basis.

The journal will launch on Saturday 3rd March, from 5-7pm at Blackberry Path Art Studios in Bangor. A Forty Words Competition to tie in with the launch is also open to poetry and prose entries, with a deadline of 15th February. The winning pieces of poetry and prose shall be featured in the first issue of The Bangor Literary Journal, alongside a small feature about the winning writers. The winners shall have the opportunity to read their winning pieces and be presented with their framed certificates at the launch event.

Submissions are also open for the annual Bangor Poetry Competition. Different than most other poetry competitions, with an artistic, visual element, if you are shortlisted then you will be asked to hand-write your poem, sign it, illustrate it/ embellish it and frame it. Your original piece will then be displayed as part of Aspects Literary Festival (August- dates to be confirmed) at The Blackberry Path Art Studios, and the poems shall be voted on by the public over a period of three weeks. The deadline for submissions is 5th May.

Deep Down is a new inclusive collective of artists and art lovers, interested in challenges stigmas surrounding mental health. Formed by 12NOW author Paula Matthews, it invites creatives in the Country Down region to come together and “get on with the important work of creating resilience together”. It welcomes all art forms and artists from all ways of life.

Paula has identified the Down region as having “a high concentration of creatives who provide opportunities for people to promote their wellbeing through engaging with the arts”. Deep Down aimed to give these practitioners the recognition they deserve. “Sometimes our artists can become isolated, especially the freelance ones, when in fact we should come together and celebrate! Deep Down wants to celebrate them all, from musicians in nursing care settings, to songwriters for children, visual artists, community festivals, Diversional Therapists and more! They all work to give us better mental heath and we believe that is something to get excited about.”

If you want to be involved, or to hear more, please get in touch via email at

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *