The Story Arc: Beginning, Middle and End
Over the course of the weekend, we’ll be exploring exciting beginnings, gripping middles and endings that will leave the reader longing for more. This writing workshop focuses on all genres, with course leaders Adam and Jessica specialising in poetry, playwriting, memoir, essay and fiction. The workshop will be prompt-focused, ensuring that each participant comes away with a portfolio of exciting new work.
Each morning, Adam and Jessica will set a series of themed prompts in a fun and welcoming atmosphere, using examples from many different genres of literature, and helping the group to come up with creative and well structured writing. In the afternoons, there will be time for self-directed writing and tutorial feedback sessions with each of the tutors. On the Sunday afternoon, we’ll share some of the work we’ve developed.
Here is a little more detail on some of the topics we’ll cover over the weekend:
- Speed writing or stream-of-consciousness writing
- Finding your voice
- Keeping it symbol
- Plotting and shaping a short story or novel
- Characterization, conflict and angle
- Make it New: Avoiding cliché and subverting it
- Tackling poetry forms
- Looking at metaphor and simile
- Rewriting, editing, polishing
- Using literature as models and springboards for writing
NB: Limited to 12 participants
Fee: early bird €160 (if paid in full by Wednesday, 31st January) or €175 if paid later.
To book: please get in touch with me through the Contact page
ADAM WYETH is an award-winning poet, playwright and essayist living in Dublin. He has three books published. His critically acclaimed debut collection, Silent Music (2011) was Highly Commended by the Forward Poetry Prize. Adam’s second book, The Hidden World of Poetry: Unravelling Celtic Mythology in Contemporary Irish Poetry (2013) contains poems from Ireland’s leading poets followed by sharp essays that unpack each poem and explore its Celtic mythological references. Adam’s third book and second poetry collection The Art of Dying was published with Salmon in November 2016 and was named as an Irish Times Book of the Year.
Adam’s poetry has won and been commended in many international competitions, including The Bridport Poetry Prize, The Arvon Poetry Prize and The Ballymaloe Poetry Prize. His work appears in several anthologies including The Forward Prize Anthology (2012 Faber), The Best of Irish Poetry (Southword 2010) and The Arvon 25th Anniversary Anthology. Adam was also selected for the 2016 Poetry Ireland Review’s Rising Generation of poets. Recently Adam collaborated with composer Michael Doherty (BBC, Channel 4) who adapted three poems for a choral piece, called The Art of Dying which got 2nd prize in the West Cork Chamber Festival 2017.
Adam’s plays have had several professional productions in Ireland, Berlin and New York. In 2014 he adapted his debut play ‘Hang Up’ for screen, which premiered at Cork International Film Festival. Adam has over twelve years experience as a creative writing facilitator. He works as a professional reader and editor and teaches creative writing online at adamwyeth.com and Fishpublishing.com. He also currently works on research and ideas for RTE’s Radio 1 Poetry Programme.
Jessica Traynor’s debut poetry collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), was shortlisted for the 2015 Strong/Shine Award. In 2016, it was named one of the best poetry debuts of the past five years on Bustle.com. In 2016, she was commissioned by the Salvage Press to write a series of poems in response to Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. The resulting art book was published in 2017 and a video on the making of the book can be found here. In 2016, she was commissioned by the Irish Writers Centre and the Arts Council to write a ‘A Demonstration’ for the Easter Rising commemorations. The poem was performed in Ancient Rain, which featured in the 2016 Dublin Theatre Festival and the Melbourne Arts Festival.
Poems are forthcoming or have recently appeared in Metamorphic (AUS/IRL), Copper Nickel (US), Salamander (US), Rochford Street Review, (AUS), Acumen, (UK), Prelude (US), The Café Review (US) Hallelujah for Fifty Foot Women (Bloodaxe), Washing Windows? Irish Women Write Poetry (Arlen House), The Deep Heart’s Core, The Level Crossing and If Ever You Go (Dedalus Press) Agenda (UK), Poetry Ireland Review, One (US), Windharp (Penguin), The Stony Thursday Book, Abridged, The Penny Dreadful, The Irish Times, The Pickled Body, and The Stinging Fly (IRL). Poems have been broadcast on Irish national radio on the Poetry Programme, Arena and Sunday Miscellany.
Jessica was recipient of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary in 2014. She was named Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year in 2013 and won the 2011 Listowel Poetry Prize. She was the 2010 recipient of a Dublin City Council Literature Bursary and in 2009, was chosen for the Poetry Ireland Introduction Series.
Her poetry has been translated into Czech, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish and was projected in Edinburgh, Krakow, Prague and Dunedin in 2014-6 as part of the Unesco City of Literature Programme.
Writing Changes Lives – 3 x 1 day Saturday workshops
Dates: Jan. 28th, Feb. 4th & Feb. 11th 2017
Venue and time: Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir from 10.30am to 4.30pm
These are my own writing workshops, based on the work of Pat Schneider, and ‘built on a trust in the inherent talent in people and trust in the power of writing as a process’. Anyone who has written with me I think understands how that is proven over and over as we write together in the workshops. Something wonderful happens when people gather and write in a space safe enough to take risks. For more background I highly recommend Pat Schneider’s book, Writing Alone and With Others, (the quote above is from this book) – it is in many local libraries and in the Book Centre, Waterford. As always these writing days are suitable for anyone beginning, or beginning again, to write. Please contact me directly to book a place or to ask me about the workshops – I would love to hear from you.
with writers Lia Mills and Catherine Dunne
Dates: Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd, Sunday 23rd April 2017
Join writers Catherine Dunne and Lia Mills for three days of writing and discussion in the intimate setting of Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir. Award winning writers Catherine and Lia will help you to come to grips with the writing process and write your way towards a finished story (fiction or non-fiction). The emphasis this year will be on the tools of fiction and memoir, with workshops and one to one meetings to discuss your work.
NB: Limited to 12 participants
Fee: early bird €160 (if paid in full by Friday 19th Feb) or €175 if paid later.
To book: please get in touch with me through the Contact page
Lia Mills writes fiction and literary non-fiction. Her most recent novel, “Fallen”, was the Dublin/Belfast: Two Cities One Book selection for 2016. Her memoir “In Your Face” was selected as book of the year by many commentators in its year of publication (2007).
She was the 2015-2016 Writer-in- Residence at Farmleigh House and the 2016 Arts Council Writer Fellow at UCD.
An experienced workshop facilitator, she has also worked as an arts consultant. www.liamills.com
Catherine Dunne is the author of ten novels, the most recent being “The Years That Followed”. “The Things We Know Now” won the 700th anniversary Giovanni Boccaccio International Prize for Fiction in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Eason Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. She has also published one work of non-fiction: a social history of Irish immigrants in London, called “An Unconsidered People”.
Catherine’s novels have been short listed for, among others, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award and the Italian Booksellers’ Prize. Her work has been translated into several languages. She was recently long-listed for the Laureate for Irish Fiction Award 2015.
Catherine Dunne lives in Ranelagh. www.catherinedunneauthor.com
Cancellation 4 weeks or more prior to the course start date – full refund (less a 10% admin fee)
Cancellation between 4 weeks to 1 week prior to the course start date – 50% refund
Cancellation less than 7 days prior to start – NO REFUND
The Story House – ‘Writing for Young People’ Mon. 20th to Sat. 25th February at Lisnavagh House, Co. Carlow
This is a unique five day taught residential course, led by two award winning writers, Sheena Wilkinson and Elizabeth Rose Murray, with midweek guest writer Patricia Ford (of Childrens Books Ireland). Limited to 12 participants – with workshops, one to one tutorials with each writer, and time and space to write. A deposit of €200 secures a place on the course – the fee of €700 is fully inclusive of all accommodation, food, workshops etc. For bookings and enquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For some background to the setting up of TSH you can read an interview writer Lia Mills did with myself and Nollaig Brennan on her blog Libran Writer, and there’s also a recent filmed interview with us on Attic Sessions TV with poet Nessa O’Mahony.
Poetry Plus – monthly open mic at Brewery Lane Theatre tearooms, Carrick-on-Suir 8.15pm
This monthly event just gets better and better. Mark these dates: Fri. Jan. 27th; Friday, Feb. 17th; Friday, Mar. 24th; Friday, Apr. 21st (the latter date will be part of the BL Writers’ W/E, see below). Anyone who comes is welcome to read whatever they wish – poetry or prose. It’s a very welcoming and convivial night with tea and chat and we ask just €3 to cover expenses. No need to book, just come along.
Writing Changes Lives – 3 x 1 day Saturday workshops Jan. 28th, Feb. 4th & Feb. 11th in Brewery Lane Theatre
These are my own writing workshops, based on the work of Pat Schneider and ‘built on a trust in the inherent talent in people and trust in the power of writing as a process’. Anyone who has written with me I think understands how that is proven over and over as we write together in the workshops. For more background I highly recommend Pat Schneider’s book Writing Alone and With Others – it is in local libraries and in the Book Centre, Waterford. The fee for the workshops is €150 – please contact me directly to book a place. Suitable for anyone beginning, or beginning again, to write.
2017 Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend – Fri. April 21st to Sun. April 23rd
This year in Brewery Lane we will be joined by two very talented writers and experienced teachers of writing, Lia Mills and Catherine Dunne, and already there is significant interest, just through word of mouth. The emphasis this year will be on the tools of fiction and memoir, with workshops and one to one meetings to discuss your work. There is an early bird offer of €160 if paid before Fri. 19th February, after that date the full fee of €175 will apply. Limited to 12 participants. Please email me directly to book your place and for payment details or with any questions.
I want to thank everyone who helped me out in various ways during 2016, with both moral and practical support, and to wish you all a lovely Christmas with time for family, friends and also some time for yourself to read, write and be refreshed as we cross into 2017.
The next course at The Story House is ‘Writing for Young People’ with the very talented and experienced duo of Sheena Wilkinson and E.R. Murray (Elizabeth’s novel The Book of Shadows has just been shortlisted for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards). Writer Patricia Forde, of Childrens Books Ireland, will join the group for dinner midweek followed by readings and conversations about writing in this exciting genre. The venue for the course is the beautiful and inspiring Lisnavagh House in Co. Carlow and it will run from Monday 20th February to Saturday 25th February 2017. All courses at TSH are limited to 12 participants (over 18s only) and a deposit of €200 will secure a place. The full fee is €700 and local arts officers may be able to offer financial support.
The Story House is unique in Ireland, offering an immersive taught residential experience to anyone who wishes to write. We’ve seen how changes can happen over the five day period as the outside world is held at bay and creativity is given room to grow and flourish. Participants meet and mix at morning workshops, one to one tutorials, communal meals, and also experience the luxury of taking time on their own with their writing, entering a different internal space. All the while supported by the two tutors and the TSH team.
Yesterday we were delighted to announce a very special initiative, news we’ve been waiting to share for some time – The Story House Residency. Any writer who attends a course at TSH is eligible to apply for a week’s private residency, free of charge, during May 2017 at a lovely, peaceful cottage in the west of Ireland, generously donated by a past participant, (did I mention that changes happen on a Story House course?). This will give one writer the opportunity to focus for a week on a writing project away from their everyday distractions and responsibilities. If you attended a course in the past or wish to book a place on the ‘Writing for Young People’ course above, you are eligible to apply for this special residency. See here for details of how to apply.
There will be a change to my usual workshop calendar in Brewery Lane for this autumn. I won’t be starting my usual Saturday morning classes in September because I am taking some time out to complete a long anticipated personal project. Instead I will do a series of full day workshops on 3 consecutive Saturdays in November, the 12th, 19th and 26th.
If you are interested and would like to sign up for these writing days please let me know through the contact page as soon as possible. The fee will be €150 and, as always, the emphasis will be on playfulness and creativity while being open and generous to yourself and others.
‘Would a feeling of aliveness be reason enough?’ Lynda Barry
Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm
I am running this as a benefit day for The Story House and the proceeds raised will help Nollaig and myself to put plans in place for the next residential course, open to anyone who wishes to write.
‘Write about what you don’t know about what you know’ (Eudora Welty)
My workshops, Writing Changes Lives, will start again on Saturday, 23rd January for 8 weeks in the tearoom in Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir. I like to keep the emphasis on playfulness and discovery, the essence of creativity – it doesn’t matter if you are beginning, beginning again, or at some other stage in your writing life, I guarantee you will experience a renewal of your creative self.
If you would like to join me or to find out more please get in touch with me through the contact page. We will start at 10.30am each Saturday in the tea-room and the fee is, as usual, €150. If you know of anyone who might be interested please feel free to spread the word.
I will, as always, be basing my work on the Amherst Writers and Artists’ philosophy – that ‘the teaching of craft can be done without damage to a writer’s original voice or artistic self-esteem’.
‘Writing has brought me up from underground. I’ve been my own Orpheus.’ Nuala O’Faolain
Join writers Selina Guinness and Katie Donovan for the 2016 Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend. The dates are: Friday, 1st April, Saturday, 2nd April and Sunday, 3rd April, the weekend after Easter. This is Ireland’s most intimate writers’ weekend, limited to 12 participants, where writers get the opportunity to work with some of the best writers and teachers of writing in Ireland. Participants gain insights into the practice and craft of writing through group workshops, one to one tutorials and time for writing.
Here is what Nessa O’Mahony, one of our fabulous duo of tutors at the 2015 event, has written about the impact on her of attending a workshop with Katie Donovan: ‘Katie Donovan will forever have my gratitude for being the first professional writer to tell me that I had something worth developing – my own voice.’
The early-bird fee for the weekend is €160, but this must be paid by Friday, 5th February. This fee includes all workshops and tutorials plus lunch on Friday and Saturday. For payments later than this the full fee of €175 will apply, but please note that the weekend will fill on a first come, first paid basis. If you need accommodation for the weekend the Carraig Hotel is offering a special deal to participants.
For booking and payment details please get in touch with me through the Contact page.
Writers, if you want to treat yourself to some writing time in 2016, with expert tuition and guidance (or suggest this to anyone who is asking what you would like for Christmas), here are a couple of suggestions:
The Story House course, ‘Poetry: The Craft’, with poets Nessa O’Mahony, Peter Sirr and midweek guest Patrick Chapman. The dates are Monday, 11th to Saturday, 16th April 2016 and you will be living and writing in the magnificent surroundings of Borris House in Co. Carlow. The full fee is €700, which includes daily workshops, one-to-one tutorials, all accommodation and food. A deposit of €200 secures your place with the balance to be paid six weeks before start of course. If you want to check any details about this please email email@example.com
For a shorter writing break there is the 3 day Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend with writers Selina Guinness and Katie Donovan, from Friday, 1st April to Sunday, 3rd April. There is an early bird offer of €160 if booked and paid in full by Friday, 5th February (€175 if paid later). For those who live outside of Carrick-on-Suir The Carraig Hotel are offering a special deal to participants. For more details about this you are welcome to get in touch with me through the contact page here.
Both of these courses are limited to 12 participants.