The Stinging Fly
The Stinging Fly is a literary magazine published in Ireland featuring short stories and poetry. It was founded in 1998 by Declan Meade and Aoife Kavanagh. Kavanagh left after two issues, leaving Meade as sole editor. Eabhan Ní Shúileabháin became poetry editor in September 2001. The magazine publishes three issues a year. In 2005, The Stinging Fly moved into publishing with the establishment of The Stinging Fly Press.
The Stinging Fly Magazine
The stated founding objective was to provide a forum for the very best new Irish and international writing. Most of the contributors are new or emerging writers, and usually have some connection to Ireland. Equal emphasis is given to short stories and poetry, with occasional other material such as novel extracts, song lyrics, and author interviews. Each issue also presents the black & white artwork of a particular illustrator or artist.
After 18 published issues, Meade took a break in 2004 and, as he says on the official website, “toyed with the idea of giving it all up.” The magazine reappeared as Issue 1 of Volume 2 in summer 2005, in a new 75x245mm format with graphic design by Fergal Condon. The new volume also introduced a “featured poet” section of four or five pages which allows a relatively new poet to present a more representative sample of his work. The first featured poet was Phillip Crymble.
The Stinging Fly Press
The Stinging Fly Press was established in 2005, and the first title, Watermark by Derry-born author Sean O'Reilly, was published in May that year. In July 2006, the imprint brought out a special fiction issue of the magazine in book form: These Are Our Lives featuring 22 short stories by Irish and international writers.
In March 2007, There Are Little Kingdoms, the debut story collection from Kevin Barry, was published. Reviews of these books appeared in Ireland’s national newspapers The Irish Times, The Examiner, and The Sunday Business Post.
The press aims to concentrate on a small number of titles.
Stinging Fly Cafe
Until 2011, The Stinging Fly website hosted a discussion forum called The Stinging Fly Cafe, where poets and writers would publish their work and exchange comments and reviews. With the 2011 redesign of the website the forum was removed.
- The Stinging Fly website
- The Stinging Fly Press
- Laura Hird's site: The New Review, review of issue 3 vol 2, 2006
- New Hope International Review, review of issues 5, 6 and 7, vol 2
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