Local Art Blog Fair

If, like me, you’re thinking ‘December????’ closely followed by ‘Christmas?!?! Wha??’ then you’ll probably be considering turning to Google soon to find some unique gift ideas for the lovely people in your life. I’ve had an idea…

How about getting some of your gifts from NI, lovingly crafted by NI artists this year? There are loads of craft fairs this time of year but I don’t know of any that cater in locally crafted books and music. Maybe we should start one. Maybe this is a good place to start.

On this post I’m going to throw out a few links to local artists who have produced something Christmas-present-worthy recently. That way you get to give a wonderful gift AND feel virtuous about contributing to the NI art scene. You could get someone a CD or book or if you’re buying someone a Kindle this Christmas maybe it would be nice to stick on a few local ebooks? Hooray!

Here are my suggestions. If you’re an artist/writer/musician from N. Ireland you’d like me to put a link on this post please email me the details (shirleyannemcmillan@gmail.com) and I’ll do what I can.

front cover only



There is, of course, Widow’s Row, by me, available in paperback and for Kindle and other ebook readers. So far, teenagers and adults both seem to enjoy it. It’s not for younger readers though- I’d say age 14 and up.

The Unseen Chronicles of Amelia Black (for Kindle) by AGR Moore has enjoyed local success this year. It is for younger readers and beautifully illustrated and I’m going to be putting a copy on my daughter’s Kindle.

Gerry McCullough is a prolific writer who has all sorts of stories on the go. Check out her Amazon shop and take your pick from her popular thrillers and short stories. I’m going to get one for my mum.

Malachi O’Doherty has a new book, Iscariot, out on Kindle, which I’ve just bought. So far it seems great and fans of Ikon might enjoy it.


Padraig O’Tuama‘s book of poetry ‘Readings From the Book of Exile‘ has been hugely popular this year. If you know Pádraig, you’ll know why. Beautiful words on love, sex, death, God… it only lacks an audio version- you know what to do Pádraig!


Paddy Brown‘s Ulster Cycle comics are brilliant. Great for comic fans and people interested in local history. Good for American relatives or friends who have an interest maybe? Contact Paddy through his website. [edit: Paddy has just commented that there’s a comics fayre next Sunday- 9th December in Belfast and you can buy his comics there]


I have just recently listened to Rachel Austin‘s new album, Age of Reason. It’s truly wonderful and would suit anyone who likes acoustic music with a punky edge (I thought of Amanda Palmer a lot). You can get it on CD or MP3 here, and again, why not stick it on the MP3 player you’ve bought for someone? Here’s what it sounds like:

I used some of Jonny McEwen’s music earlier this year in some short meditations that I led in school. It’s lovely. See what you think.

OK so that’s just a taster and I’ll hopefully be adding more as time goes on. There are loads of ways to support local art this Christmas- g’wan! 😉


      1. There are some up in Common Grounds at the moment! Otherwise keep checking my Facebook page… any on sale will be advertised there! Thanks!!

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