Open Mic for the Gruft


The last Open Mic at Cafe Korb in Vienna was a great success.  Proceeds from donations at the door went to The Gruft for their winter charity drive: Winter Packet. Almost €260 was raised. Some of the evening highlights:

  • Award winning Y.A. novelist, Keith Gray was MC for the evening.
  • Patrick O’Gorman donated three signed copies of his novel, “The Drowning of Innocence” for the charity cause.  The copies were snapped up by some savvy readers.
  • There was a lovely mix of performances, including short stories, novel excerpts, stand-up comedy, and a song.

The charming evening was a collaborative event by friends at Write Now, and Creative Cafe, which I administer.

Thank you to everyone who attended for their performances, fine company and generosity.

The above photos are a small selection from the October 2017 Open Mic



Writing at the 2017 Purkersdorf Christmas Market


Purkersdorf in Lower Austria

For the 2nd year running I’ll be writing at the Purkersdorf Christmas Market. Sitting in the little pop-up gallery near all the christmas stalls, I’ll be composing personal Christmas stories  for locals and visitors alike.

People might give me a few story hints–a name or two, something personal, and leave the rest to inspiration and serendipity. The personal Christmas stories are, of course, a unique Christmas gift, and all proceeds go to charity (UNICEF this year).

Although no artist, I have made it a tradition to make a woodcut to accompany the story. This year’s woodcut: Reindeer and the Moon.

The event is for one afternoon only.  I hope I get the chance to write a personal Christmas story for you there!

The details:

When: Saturday 16th December  2017 from 13:00 to 16:30.

Where: Purkersdorf, Hauptplatz 11. Pop-up Gallery Pavlospavros

Getting there by train: only 15 minutes from Westbahnhof

Cost: Donations only. Proceeds to charity (UNICEF)






Open Mic for Charity


Many people (and prairie dogs) believe wearing a hat significantly improves their singing 🙂

Along with good friends at Write Now, and with guest host and award winning YA novelist, Keith Gray, I’ll be hosting another Open Mic at Cafe Korb this December.

Proceeds to The Gruft for their winter charity action: sleeping bags and warm food for the homeless. More details about the Guft.

The Open Mic charity event is a great opportunity for creative people to meet up, to perform on stage (if they wish) or simply enjoy the performances, and to contribute to a wonderful and greatly needed cause.

When: Friday 8th December, 7.00pm to 9.30pm

Where: Cafe Korb in Vienna’s 1st District

Cost: Donation to the Gruft*

Full details and to book here

Hope to see you there

* venue hire will be deducted from proceeds




Vienna Creative writing Workshop


The November 4-week creative writing workshop began on Friday at The Vienna Workshop Gallery. I was delighted to meet creative people from such diverse nations , this time as far afield as New Zealand and Eritrea to European neighbours such as Italy, the UK and Bulgaria. And of course, gallery owner, Valeria MacKnight was there flying the Brazilian flag.


Paul and Valeria at The Vienna Workshop Gallery

Over the course of the evening participants got to know one another and share their writing in the gallery setting, with a wonderful exhibition by Brazilian artist As Marias von Leca Araujo. The exhibition runs until the 20th of November. I highly recommend you check it out!


Why creative writing is sunshine for the imagination II



Why is creative writing sunshine for the imagination? This is the question I asked myself the other morning on the way to coach a 5-week short story workshop. The writers in the workshop are in the middle of writing their short stories, and as expected, have confronted many exciting and sometimes frustrating challenges along the way. Although group spirits are high and their writing is exceptionally good, I wanted everyone to step back for a moment and think about the bigger picture—what is the personal significance of writing a short story? Is creative writing really sunshine for the imagination?

Here’s what I suggested to the group. See if you agree:

Through writing stories we open doorways into our imaginations. We shine a light with our inquisitive minds and our hearts, writing all that we discover down on the page. In our search for our perfect story, we uncover the meaning in our own lives. This search is rarely, if ever, straight forward; much is hidden. There are riddles, enigmas; one has to be patient and trust oneself. But each time we write our story to its very end, we discover a little more about ourselves.

Writing a story is a journey of self-awareness. It’s not just an inner journey: Through writing our stories we gradually change our lives.

In a couple of weeks I will have the pleasure of listening to the group’s final stories. I will ask them if they agree with the above and share the news with you!

October Open Mic


Time to take to the stage…again!

An entertaining “open mic” evening is coming up this October in Vienna. Along with friends at Write Now, I’ll be hosting the evening. We’re all looking forward to the performances. It’s a unique opportunity for people to take the stage before a friendly and creative audience.

If you’d like to read out a poem, a short story, a novel excerpt, to sing a song, or just sit back and enjoy the performances, then you’re warmly welcome.

When: Monday 23rd October 2017, 7.00pm

Where: Cafe Korb, 1010 Vienna

Price: A small contribution (between 5-10 Euro) will be welcome to cover the venue hire.

You’ll find all the details on Meet Up here 

I look forward to meeting you on the night!




SCBWI in Vienna


Right to left: Elary Wakefield, Keith McGowan, Devon Brown, Paul Malone: SCBWI Austria members

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) recently met in Vienna at Cafe Prückel. It was a lovely and inspiring evening. One of the talented members summed up the evening nicely here:

September SCBWI in Vienna

Thank you Elary!