Doreen Duffy – Guest Editorial The Christmas Special

Profile Doreen Duffy Live Encounters Short Stories by Irish Writers December 2017

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The Christmas Special – Guest Editorial by Doreen Duffy, Creative Writer and Tutor

I was absolutely delighted when Mark Ulyseas invited me to act as guest editor on this edition of Live Encounters. The writers who have come together to form this edition have brought stories to these pages that bring characters to life and show how they respond within their world with no fear of recrimination or judgement.

Writing fiction allows us to put ourselves in another’s place and live their lives for a short while and experience all that entails. Live Encounters gives us the platform to stage these scenarios, to let the characters play out their lives for an audience. Without publication of our work, our characters would live a lonely life and die within the pages of our notebooks.

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” ― E.E. Cummings

When I write, what works for me best is to be inspired by an image or sometimes a line comes to mind and from there the story emerges. If I was to try to describe the theme in my writing it would have to be the human condition. In each story I have written, the theme emerges as I write. It comes from the heart of the characters, once I really feel I know them and that they come to the page with complete honesty, then the story tells itself.

I chose ‘Home’ as the theme for this edition.  Home can be a million different things to a million different people, it can be the country, or the town, or the house you live in or the heart of the person you want to be with. It’s more than bricks and mortar it is also a feeling of security, a place where we want to be.

This collection of short stories delves into the concept of the home as a concrete structure, a place of physical shelter alongside it being a representation, a sanctuary, an inner place of safety where trust and love must be paramount. Unfortunately for some, home is not a safe place and within its walls can be a place of fear and vulnerability to the extent that they are forced to leave even with the prospect of nowhere else to go. We are all born with that first breath of life; it’s only after that things change. As writers we try to stop being passers-by, put ourselves in that position for a moment, show how it feels.

Live Encounters, created by Mark Ulyseas, Publisher Editor, has become home to some of the best writing from around the world. With a sincerity and sense of freedom that is second to none, Live Encounters lets its readers lean all the way out so they can see in 360 degrees, holds them there until they have seen all they need and then pulls them back from the edge, inspired.

Doreen Duffy studied creative writing at Oxford University online, at University College Dublin & has a first class honours certificate in creative writing from National University of Ireland. She’s a member of Platform One Writers and Tutors on Creative Writing Ink.

Doreen has been published in, Live Encounters, Woman’s Way, Irish Times, Circle and Square Anthology, Winner of Carousel Aware Prize 2017, Ireland’s Own Anthology, South of the County, New Myths and Tales. She was broadcast on

Doreen was longlisted in the RTE Guide/Penguin Competition and longlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year 2017. She won the Jonathan Swift Award and was delighted to be awarded the Deirdre Purcell Cup by Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival. She was recently shortlisted for The Francis MacManus competition and was broadcast on RTE Radio; you can listen to her short story ‘Tattoo” by clicking on the link –

All stories are subject to copyright ©