Winner of the 1981 Sophie Kerr Prize
Ellen Beardsley invested her Sophie Kerr Award in travel and finding her way in literary and academic pursuits. She claims that the greatest benefit of the prize was the freedom it provided, and that it continues to influence the way she thinks and writes.
She was a tutor at University College Cork for several years, while writing her “research only” MA dissertation on Joseph Addison, the 18th-century “Architect of Opinion”. During the same period, she reviewed books regularly for The Irish Times, The Cork [Irish] Examiner, the TLS and other publications. She also conducted writing courses in the area and lectured part-time at the Cork and Waterford Institutes of Technology.
From 2000 until 2010, she served as a telecommuting writer for the now defunct academic publisher H. W. Wilson. Telecommuting on full salary, she claims, was brilliant while her daughter was growing up, and it also gave her the liberty to continue working with horses.
Ellen is a registered and highly respected instructor and examiner with the Irish Pony Club. For ten years, she was the yard manager and PA of Robert Splaine, the Chef d’Equipe of the Irish Show Jumping Team. She continues to ride up to eight horses a day and competes whenever the opportunity arises.
The plan at the moment is to bring together ALL the life skills together by securing a lectureship in equine studies at a third-level Cork institution, while also finishing a novel and writing a much-needed guide for aspiring professional grooms.
Ellen has been bashed up on numerous occasions, and her daughter (who has also been bashed up), has been instructed to sell her dear mammy as scrap metal upon her demise.
Ellen Beardsley had a small bit of a hiccough a couple years ago and briefly thought about returning to the States for good. She got sense, though, when it dawned on her how badly the US treats the elderly. She’d much rather grow old and poor in Ireland, now that the Sophie Kerr proceeds are well and truly spent.