What can winning a short story competition do for your writing? How do you get an agent? How do you keep going despite rejection? Do I need a writers group?
For anyone interested in the business of writing before you have a book deal come along and listen to Helen Meaney in discussion with a group of emerging writers who will read from their work and discuss how they got started, how they keep going and answer questions about their practice.
Helen Meany is a culture writer and arts consultant. She was Literature Advisor to the Arts Council from 2011 - 2018 and is theatre critic for Ireland with the Guardian Newspaper.
Louise Nealon studied English literature in Trinity College Dublin and later completed an MA in Creative Writing at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2017, she won the Seán O’Faolain International Short Story Competition and was awarded the Francis Ledwidge Creative Writing Award. She has been published in The Irish Times.
Cassia Gaden Gilmartin is a fiction writer and co-editor of Channel, a new environmentalist literary magazine. Her recent short stories have been published by Banshee, Transnational Queer Underground and Eunoia Review, and she is currently drafting a first novel.
Stephen Walsh started writing short stories in 2018. In 2019 three of his stories were shortlisted for The White Review Story Prize, The RTE Francis MacManus Story Competition, The V.S. Pritchett Short Story Award, and one was published in The Stinging Fly. He’s currently working on a first collection and a novel.
Olivia Fitzsimons is an Irish Writer Centre Novel Fair Winner for 2020. In 2019 she was an IWC/CIll Rialaig Professional Writers Residency Recipient and won third place in The Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition. Winner Fiction at The Friary New Writer, Bray Literary Festival Flash Fiction and Runner up Benedict Kiely Award in 2018. @livdurnin
Miss Pink is not a fairy. But join her as she takes melodious flight, especially with babies, toddlers and little ones as she sings, dances and merrily plays in her highly interactive and creative musical workshops.
With tunes, songs, nursery rhymes, lullabies and more, she sprinkles a little bit of musical magic wherever she goes… With the help of some enchanting friends, Miss Pink delights as she sings and she invites you and your little one to come along on a magical, musical journey and see what harmonious adventure awaits!
For babies and toddlers (0-4years)
Niall de Burca will be presenting bi-lingual and Irish storytelling sessions for schools.
Niall is a scéalaí with a unique ability to connect with audiences of all ages. Raised on the west coast; Niall travels worldwide holding workshops on traditional storytelling. He has performed in the European Parliament in Brussels, Áras an Uachtaráin and in Kronborg Castle where Shakespeare set Hamlet.
A featured traditional storyteller in theatre, on TV and at festivals on six continents; Niall has shared his tales in countries as diverse as Vietnam, Iran, Panama and Bangladesh. He has been the featured international storyteller at the US national festival and in 2019 returned to Tennessee for a residency in the Appalachian Mountains and has internationally performing in prisons, concert halls and libraries. Nor bhris focal maith fiacal riamh….A good word never broke a tooth.
During this talk Alvean Jones will discuss her own work with her theatre practice and experiences. Lead by Alvean and supported by interpreter Ray Greene, people will have an opportunity to experience the expressive possibilities of sign language and to participate by sharing their own short stories. Users of ISL are especially encouraged to attend but it is also open for general public access.
Alvean, who is from Dublin, is heavily involved with the Dublin Theatre of the Deaf, as an actor and director she has years of experience on stage and backstage, from 1994. Alvean has been very much involved in the Deaf Community, serving on a multitude of committees, and involved with adult and continuing education as a tutor. She teaches Drama, Irish History, and Communications to Deaf people in Dublin. Recently, Alvean was in a play by Ailis Ni Riain, called “I used to feel”, with Kate Romano, at the Dublin Fringe Festival in September 2018.
Join Melatu-Uche Okorie in conversation with Dr Ciara Kelly about her work and context. She will particularly focus on her work This Hostel Life which was adapted for Opera.
Melatu-Uche Okorie was born in Enugu, Nigeria and has been living in Ireland for twelve years. She has an MPhil in creative writing from Trinity College, Dublin. Her work has been published in Dublin: Ten Journeys One Destination, Alms on the Highway (New Writing from the Oscar Wilde Centre), LIT Journal, College Green Magazine. Her debut collection, This Hostel Life, was published in May, 2018. She is currently working on a novel.
Dr Ciara Kelly is a GP, an Award Winning Columnist with the Sunday Independent and Broadcaster with Newstalk presenting her own show Lunchtime Live. Ciara began her media career when she first started to write for the Sunday Independent in 2008 and her debut article won a Medical Journalism Award.
This workshop will help explore how true stories can inspire fiction, looking at how to use elements of truth to create setting, character, voice and narrative.
Niamh will present this workshop in both Arklow and Blessington Libraries.
Niamh Boyce will also be in conversation with Neil Hegarty about her new work, getting published and historical narratives.
Niamh Boyce won New Irish Writer of the Year in 2012. Her debut THE HERBALIST was a critically acclaimed bestseller, won Sunday Independent Debut of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and was nominated for an IMPAC. Her writing has been broadcast, adapted for stage and anthologised, most recently in ‘The Long Gaze Back,’ ‘The Hennessy Anthology’ and ‘Hallelujah for 50 Foot Women.’ Her novel, HER KIND is based on the Kilkenny Witchcraft Trial. Nominated for the EU Prize for literature, the judges called HER KIND ‘as searing a critique of our own times as is Arthur Millar’s The Crucible.’
Neil Hegarty grew up in Derry. His novels include The Jewel, described by the Irish Times as ‘a vital book for our time’; and Inch Levels, which was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Novel of the Year award in 2017.
Neil’s non-fiction titles include Frost: That Was the Life That Was, a biography of David Frost; and The Story of Ireland, which accompanies the BBC television history of Ireland. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the Dublin Review, Stinging Fly, Tangerine and elsewhere; and he is a regular literary reviewer for the Irish Times.
Writers join Sarah Moore Fitzgerald for her talk around how to start writing, keep going, how to make time for yourself and how to dig deep when you need to finish a project. Sarah will share her insight and advice from years of personal practice and her work with writers from the UL Creative Writing Winter School.
Sarah Moore Fitzgerald is a professor of pedagogy and an award-winning teacher at the University of Limerick with a particular interest in creativity. She has researched extensively on the writing process across a range of contexts and uses her training in psychology and pedagogy to shed light on how writers can nourish and develop their practice. Also an author, her first novel, Back to Blackbrick was published in 2013 and adapted for the stage at the Edinburgh Festival and at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End. Her second novel, The Apple Tart of Hope, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Prize and her latest, A Strange Kind of Brave, was shortlisted in the 2019 Irish Book Awards. Her fiction has been translated into over sixteen languages, and in 2016 she won the Irish Writers’ Centre’s Jack Harte Award. She lectures at UL and is Director of UL’s Creative Writing Winter School.
School workshops with Colm Keegan - go in for a chat and come out with a piece of writing… Colm is also facilitating the One Community One Book Event in Arklow.
Colm is a writer and poet from Dublin, Ireland. He has been shortlisted four times for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, for both poetry and fiction and won the All Ireland Poetry Slam in 2010. His first book “Don’t Go There” was released to critical acclaim in 2012. His latest collection “Randomer” is available from Salmon poetry. In 2014 he was awarded a residency in the DLR LexIcon. He has developed creative writing projects for schools and colleges across the country. He is a creative writing teacher and co-founder of the Inklinks Project and a co-founder and board member of Lingo, Ireland’s first Spoken Word festival. In 2011, he co-wrote “Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About” - which toured Ireland, Bristol, London and Paris. His short play “The Process” was staged in the Abbey Theatre as part of 24 Hour Plays 2017. His debut full-length play “For Saoirse” was staged in Axis Theatre as part of Dublin Fringe 2018, and was nominated for the Fishamble New Writing award.
Paul Gaffney will be discussing the concepts, planning and execution of each of these projects as well as discussing some of the more practical considerations in the field of art book publishing.
Paul is a visual artist based in Blessington. For the past number of years, he has been investigating different ways of experiencing and representing landscape. Bookmaking is a central part of Paul’s practice and his publications have been shortlisted for the European Publishers Award for Photography and nominated for the Photobook Award at Kassel International Photobook Festival (2013 & 2016), the Prix Pictet and the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize. His first photobook, We Make the Path by Walking, focused on the idea of long distance walking as a form of meditation. His second publication Stray was photographed by night in a dense forest in Wexford, and his most recent project Perigee was made in the Ardennes in Luxembourg under the light of the full moon.
Join Catherine Fulvio as she talks about her books, media career and recipes.
Catherine is a day-time Emmy nominee, TV Chef and presenter. She is also an award-winning food writer and owner of Ballyknocken House & Cookery School in County Wicklow. Born and raised on a working farm, Catherine is an ardent supporter of fresh local produce and one of Ireland’s top culinary stars and a talented keynote speaker. Ballyknocken House opened as a Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast in the 60s and today under the direction of Catherine it produces much of its own fruit, herbs, edible flowers and veg grown in the gardens behind the Cookery School. Catherine enjoys a strong media profile and has four tv series under her belt and has just completed her second series of A Taste of Ireland for Recipe. Her TV series have aired in over a dozen countries and she has published five cookbooks to date, and was winner of the Irish Cookbook Awards in 2012. She is the food writer for the RTE Guide.
Patrick McCabe will be in conversation with Dermot Bolger about his writing life and reflecting on his follow on novel to the Butcher Boy - The Big Yaroo.
Patrick McCabe was born in Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland, in 1955. Shortlisted twice for the Man Booker Prize and winner of the Irish Times Fiction Award for The Butcher Boy, his other novels include The Dead School, Breakfast on Pluto, Winterwood and Heartland. He has also written for radio, stage and screen and is a member of Aosdána.
Dermot Bolger was born in Finglas, North Dublin, in 1959. Dermot Bolger is one of Ireland’s best-known writers across a range of genres. His fourteen novels include The Journey Home, The Family on Paradise Pier, New Town Soul, Tanglewood and The Lonely Sea and Sky. He is also an accomplished playwright and poet, and his collection The Venice Suite, dedicated to his late wife, reached audiences who rarely engage with poetry.
Join the Mouthful BIG Sing, a song workshop for adults on March 29th at 2.00 or hear the group in concert that evening at 20.00. There are also workshops for schools at Blessington Library on March 2nd.
Mouthful are a 4-piece a Cappella vocal group who make innovative, exciting and original music using only the human voice as an expertly-played and finely-tuned instrument. Bex Mather, Dave Camlin, Katherine Zeserson and Sharon Durant create and perform a diverse range of vocal material, with an exciting and accessible repertoire that ranges from Georgian to gospel, folk to funk, including jazz, country and outdoor Scandinavian ‘yoiking’ along the way. Be prepared to have your preconceptions about vocal music blown out of the water by powerful and exciting original work, and sophisticated and unusual arrangements…They create their repertoire together through playing out loud with songs, with sounds, with feelings, with ideas and with our voices. Equally at home in prestigious venues as diverse as Sage Gateshead, RSC Stratford, British Museum or the Glastonbury Festival, or on a rural tour of Northumberland churches, Mouthful make all of their own vocal arrangements, charming audiences extensively across the UK.
Dr. Finch with Aga Grandowiccz and Rob Maguire
Dr Hibernica Finch’s Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals celebrates the diversity and wonder of Ireland’s fauna – from the tiny Eurasian pygmy shrew to the enormous killer whale – with exquisite zoologically correct illustrations and light-hearted prose. The book was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards 2018, CBI’s Book of the Year Award 2019 (and won the Award for Illustration in the latter one) and for Literacy Ireland Children’s Book Award 2019.
As a child, Aga Grandowicz always wanted to be a vet or an ichthyologist (a scientist who studies fish), but changed her plans one year before college and became an award-winning art director and visual designer instead. She’s the owner of a boutique graphic design agency in Dublin helping various businesses communicate their offerings. Outside of work, she switches off and escapes by drawing furry animals and old trees.
Rob Maguire hails from Bray, Co. Wicklow, and has worked as a musician, a script supervisor, a journalist, a blogger and a bookseller. Now an advertising copywriter, Rob spends his time coming up with madcap ideas – such as writing a book about animals, despite being allergic to them.
Poet Martin Dyar and Soprano Lorna Breen present an evening of poetry and song.
Martin Dyar grew up in Swinford in County Mayo. His poetry collection Maiden Names (Arlen House), described by Bernard O’Donoghue as ‘a thrilling new development in Irish poetry’ was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize, and was a book of the year selection in both the Guardian and the Irish Times. With composer Ryan Molloy, he has written a poetry song cycle for soprano harp and flute, which toured nationally in 2018. He has also written a play, Tom Loves a Lord, about the Irish poet Thomas Moore. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2009, and the Strokestown International Poetry Award in 2001. A graduate of NUI Galway, and Trinity College Dublin, he has held fellowships at the University of Iowa, the Washington Ireland Program, and the University of Limerick. Martin’s work has been added to the Leaving Cert prescribed poetry syllabus, and selected for numerous anthologies, including Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916 (Penguin Ireland), and Reading the Future (Hodges Figgis/Arlen House). The recipient of the 2019 John Broderick residency fellowship, he has recently edited an anthology of poems on medical subjects, Vital Signs, which will be published in Autumn 2020 by Poetry Ireland.
Lorna Breen is a Soprano from Co. Wicklow who graduated with Distinction from the Masters in Music Performance course at the RIAM/TCD. She also has a First Class Honours degree from the RIAM. Lorna has won 15 Senior Solo Vocal Competitions in the Feis Ceoil including the prestigious Lieder Prize & Dermot Troy Trophy. Notable performances include Soloist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Goethe Institut Choir & Orchestra & Dún Laoghaire Choral Society.
Karl Henry discusses his books and fitness work with hints and tips for health.
Karl is Ireland’s most recognised and leading Personal Trainer. He is well known for his role as the leading Fitness Expert on RTÉ One’s Operation Transformation since it began over twelve years ago. In 2018, Karl released his fifth book called ‘Karl Henry’s Healthy Living Handbook’. The book offers an encouraging, practical, affordable and sustainable plan to help the reader achieve lasting changes in their wellbeing and has become a number one best seller. 2018 also saw Karl launch his first podcast series entitled ‘The Real Health Podcast with Karl Henry’. Karl is joined by a variety of guests each week from all different walks of life. Previous guests have included An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, U2’s Adam Clayton and Radio and TV Broadcaster, Doireann Garrihy. Karl previously wrote for the Irish Independent, and has successfully published four other books to date.
Christine Dwyer Hickey discusses her work and having her novel Tatty selected as the book to read for Dublin Once City One Book event 2020.
She is an award-winning an award-winning novelist and short story writer. She has published eight novels, one collection of short stories and a full-length play. She is a member of Aosdána, Honorary Secretary of the Irish Pen and lives in Palmerstown with her family. Her novel Tatty, first published by New Island Books (2004) and by Vintage UK (2005), has been selected as the Dublin One City One Book 2020 choice.
Join Michelle Gallen interviewed by Hilary Copeland, Director of Irish Writers Centre on getting published and presenting her debut novel.
Michelle was born in Northern Ireland in the mid 70s. She grew up on the border between Ireland and the United Kingdom and now lives with her family in Dublin. After recovering from a brain injury in her early 20s, she co-founded 2 award-winning tech start-ups and won international recognition for her digital work. Her first novel, Big Girl, Small Town, was published in the UK and Ireland by John Murray. It’s being released by Algonquin in the US (Winter 2020). She is fuelled by black coffee, anxiety and the certain knowledge that our planet is burning.
Hilary Copeland is Acting Director at the Irish Writers Centre, the national resource centre for literature in Ireland, supporting, informing and promoting writers at all stages of their development. Hilary has worked in arts management for over ten years, for festivals, arts and theatre companies.
Sarah Webb presents this exciting workshop for primary school children from 4th / 5th class on Blazing a Trail, encouraging them to write their own stories.
Sarah is an award-winning children’s writer. Her books include A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea: Favourite Rhymes from an Irish Childhood (illustrated by Steve McCarthy), and Blazing a Trail: Irish Women who Changed the World (illustrated by Lauren O’Neill), both winners of Irish Book Awards. Sarah is the Family and Schools Programmer for ILFDublin (International Literature Festival Dublin) and works with MoLI (Museum of Literature Ireland) on their family events. She also runs creative writing clubs for children in Dún Laoghaire and reviews children’s books for The Irish Independent. Her latest book, Dare to Dream: Irish People Who Took on the World (and Won!) Illustrated by Graham Corcoran was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards.
Join Clíodhna Ní Anluain and writers from Sunday Miscellany50 read from fifty-five personal essays and poems which reveal the power of Ireland’s finest writers to delve into the details of Irish life with warmth, sincerity and wit.
Here, side by side, are stories around the first moon landing, the eruption of violence in the North, the visit to Ireland by Ronald Reagan, the Eurovision Song Contest, 9/11, direct provision centres, the Celtic Tiger and its crash, great sporting moments, Edna O’Brien, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs and Sinéad O’Connor, emigration, moving statues, Irish weather and water, first love and first jobs, wedding day dresses, setting up home, parenthood, illness, loss and starting over.
As a record of Ireland from wonderful and unexpected angles, Miscellany50 will amuse and intrigue for many years to come. Originally commissioned for performance at Miscellany50 Live radio festival weekend in late 2018, this is a unique collection.
Michael Russell will be talking about his own experiences of working in drama and looking at the role of the writer in film and television. He will also discuss why we write at all, whatever we write, and how we should think about it, whether we do it for pleasure or with a view to earning a living. Perhaps, despite Dr Johnson, we do it because we have to?
Michael has worked in television drama in Britain as a writer and producer. He wrote on long-running programmes such as Eastenders, The Bill and Emmerdale, and on many drama series, including All Creatures Great and Small, Heartbeat, Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders and A Touch of Frost. His work as a Script Consultant also took him to Los Angeles. He now writes detective fiction. The sixth of his Stefan Gillespie novels, The City under Siege, will be published in July. The Stefan Gillespie stories feature an Irish detective in the 1930s and 40s and are set in Dublin, West Wicklow, and in cities that, directly or indirectly, played a part in the events of the Second World War, such as Danzig, Berlin, Lisbon, New York, and London. Three of the books have been shortlisted for Crime Writers Association awards. Michael has lived in Wicklow since 1995.
For Sama - A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.
Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as she wrestles with an impossible choice – whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.
Winner - L’Oeil D’Or, Festival de Cannes 2019
Winner - Human Rights Award, Galway Film Fleadh 2019
The Writing Life: Richie Sadlier
A former sports star turned pundit, psychotherapist, columnist, and now author, Richie Sadlier is one of Ireland’s most trusted voices in both the Irish sporting and mental-health arenas. Richie has spoken about his struggles with alcohol and mental health in the past. Now in Recovering – his insightful, new memoir – Richie reveals with unflinching honesty just what it took to face his demons and begin the road to recovery. In The Writing Life, playwright Philip St John will explore with Richie the fascinating questions raised by his best-selling book.
Philip St John writes fiction and drama. His fiction has been published in New Irish Writing and anthologies here and abroad. He has twice received literature bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland. Four of his plays have been produced in Dublin in the last six years. The Sylvia was also performed in translation in Italy (2017) and the rights for Temptress (2015) have since been sold for a movie. His drama has received a range of funding from Wicklow County Arts Office, Dublin City Arts Office and been supported by Mermaid Arts Centre and The New Theatre, Dublin. Philip hosts The Writing Life event at Mermaid. He was 2018 writer in residence in Farmleigh House.
International Women’s Day at the Whale Theatre Greystones with an excellent line up of performers and writers.
Kate Feeney's comedy explores human nature, and how completely irrational— but ultimately gas— we all are. She was a Semi-Finalist in the Funny Women Competition 2019; and has performed stand-up all around, including at: The International, Comedy Gold, Electric Picnic, Cherry Comedy and K-Fest.
Lucy Sweeney Byrne's essays and stories have appeared in Banshee, The Dublin Review, The Stinging Fly, Litro, Grist and elsewhere. Her work was chosen for inclusion in the twenty-year anthology, Stinging Fly Stories, and she writes a weekly book column for The Irish Times. Her first collection, Paris Syndrome, was published by Banshee Press in September 2019 and shortlisted for the Kate O’Brien Award. She has twice been awarded a literature bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland. Lucy is from Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
Fiona O’Rourke an emerging author of fiction. Her stories have been anthologised, broadcast and translated. She works for writers at the Irish Writers Centre, is a member of WomenAloudNI, and holds the MPhil (Dist) in Creative Writing from TCD. Her greatest ambition is to be a cat. Twitter: @fionamkorourke
Rachel Duffy has performed in venues such as Áras an Uachtaráin, Dublin Castle and the National Concert Hall, at festivals in China, Germany and Spain and on national television and radio. A prize-winner of the Fleadh Cheoil and the Feis Ceoil, she plays with the National Folk Orchestra and directs the Bray Harp Ensemble.
Tribal Dance Group Zoryanna - The Zoryanna are Dee, Mary, Elena & Sarah. We are a troupe of Tribal Fusion bellydancers. Our style is a fusion of world cultural dances. Our influences are taken from the Arabic, Indian, Spanish & many more cultural dance forms.
Pitch Perfect Ladies Choir was founded in 2010 by Julia. They have performed widely throughout Ireland and have won many awards for their beautiful singing. They sing regularly around Greystones and County Wicklow including performances at the Wicklow Sings Choral Festival, the Holy Rosary Church, St Patricks, Church of Ireland church and Blacklion Church. They Raise money for various charities such as The Bray Womens Refuge, Aoibhins Pink Tie, Enable Ireland and St Vincent de Paul. They rehearse every Thursday evening and rumour has it they laugh almost as much as sing…Rumour also has it that Julia is a tough task master and insists on hard work and attention to detail but she can often be caught having a chuckle with the ladies.. The Ladies are absolutely delighted to be making their debut in the Whale Theatre and to be included in such an eminent line up of artists.