Cork gets a new literary journal - The Four Faced Liar launches today

A literary journal will be launched in Cork this evening (Friday January 13), featuring 29 of the best emerging and established voices in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and visual art, writes JENNIFER HORGAN
Cork gets a new literary journal - The Four Faced Liar launches today

The Four Faced Liar is co-founded and edited by Stephen Brophy, Lucy Holme, Rosie Morris and Patrick Holloway.

“THE Four Faced Liar might have its roots firmly embedded in Cork city, but, like the Shandon Bells, it reverberates with stories, accents, and perspectives from both Ireland and further afield. This is very much a Cork journal with a global vision.”

So says Lucy Holmes, co-founder and editor of the new journal, titled The Four Faced Liar.

The title is the name given by Corkonians to the beloved Shandon bells. Fittingly, the journal’s cover is the iconic image of Shandon Bells by famed Cork printmaker and visual artist Shane O’Driscoll.

The four editors of The Four Faced Liar have considerable expertise between them, across fiction and poetry. Also, Lucy Holme, Stephen Brophy, Patrick Holloway and Rosie Morris have won awards and are vastly published. There is no doubt that aspiring and established writers will be in safe hands.

The Four Faced Liar.
The Four Faced Liar.

Speaking on Issue One, Lucy Holme said: “Our first issue features writers and artists spanning the globe, from Ireland to Greece; USA to England; and Scotland to Nigeria.

“This melting pot of cultures is part of our commitment to inclusiveness and diversity, with submissions read anonymously to encourage and nurture new talent from different communities.

“We pride ourselves on being a platform for new voices and providing a fun and truly accessible reading experience for a wide audience.

“We hope that the literary community will see this inaugural journal as a celebration of the very best in contemporary national and international prose, poetry, translation, and visual art.”

Submitting work, writers are asked to remove any identifying information so judges can read blind. This is reasonably common, but it’s a great sign that the publication is not political.

The Four Faced Liar is co-founded and edited by Stephen Brophy, Lucy Holme, Rosie Morris and Patrick Holloway
The Four Faced Liar is co-founded and edited by Stephen Brophy, Lucy Holme, Rosie Morris and Patrick Holloway

It is authentically devoted to finding and celebrating good work, not just echoing big names.

The second element, an even more striking one for strapped creatives, is that writers get paid for accepted submissions; €100 for a poem and €200 for fiction and non-fiction. This only ever happens in the very top journals.

The fact that it is a bi-annual journal also bodes well. The editors clearly plan to put a great deal of care into each edition.

Stephen Brophy explained that paying artists is hugely important to them.

“We are all at the start of our writing careers, so we are very aware of how much that means to artists. We made it possible through crowdfunding, but to be honest, I’m not sure any of us would have been interested in doing the journal if this wasn’t something we could offer.”

The four Cork-based writers want to magnify Leeside as a cultural capital through the collection while also showcasing exciting national and international creative talent.

Editor Stephen explained that he finds it frustrating when journals, in Canada or Australia for example, ask only for work from that country. They want to offer more variety and openness to both readers and writers. However, for this first issue they were happy to commission work for the initial launch.

“This is not something we’re likely to continue,” he said.

The commissioned work includes brand-new work from Dylan Thomas Prize-nominated Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, alongside work from novelist and poet Mary O’Donnell and best-selling author Jan Carson. The inaugural issue also includes an interview with critically acclaimed novelist Danny Denton ( All Along The Echo).

Brophy outlined how important Denton has been in the process of bringing this creative team together.

“I was lucky to do a mentorship programme with Danny through the Munster Literature Centre. It was wonderful but I found that I was always writing by myself in my bedroom and needed more of a community.

“I asked if I could be put in touch with his other mentees. That’s how I met Patrick and Rosie, who were also mentees. Lucy Holme joined the team, and we went from there.”

The team were delighted to receive approximately 1,200 submissions for their first issue.

They were also surprised by the quality of the work.

“The process of reading the submissions was great.

“We don’t check the names until all four editors have read and reacted to the piece.”

There has also been a wonderful response from readers.

“Our first print run has sold out online.

“We put ten copies on sale in the Cork Flower Studio on Douglas Street and they sold out in one day. There will be some copies at the launch itself.”

A second print is in the pipeline and information on this, and submissions for Issue Two, is available at

The launch of the journal takes place at 6.30pm tonight at the Firkin Crane.

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