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.
The next course at The Story House will take place from Monday, 11th April to Saturday, 16th April 2016. ‘Poetry: The Craft’ will be facilitated by the very talented team of Nessa O’Mahony and Peter Sirr in the special surroundings of Borris House in Co. Carlow, home to the Festival of Writing and Ideas. The midweek guest writer will be the poet Patrick Chapman.
If you are interested in taking you and your poetry on a very special break you can reserve a place right now with a booking deposit of €200. The full fee of €700 includes accommodation, all meals, daily workshops and one to one tutorials. The camaraderie and stimulation of being with other writers for a week is priceless. The course is limited to 12 participants and, be aware, there are only a few places left. See booking terms and conditions here. If you would like to know more The Story House can be emailed directly at: thestoryhouseirelandATgmailDOTcom
The poet Adrienne Rich gave the instruction to ‘Send out your signals, hoist your dark scribbled flags’.
If you think it’s time to hoist your writing flag my autumn series of writing workshops will start on Saturday, 26th September for 8 weeks, in Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir, open to anyone who wishes to write. The tea-room of the theatre on those Saturday mornings becomes a special creative and energetic writing space. If you want to find out more get in touch with me through the contact page here – you can read what previous participants have said here
Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend
Fri. 10th, Sat. 11th, Sun. 12th April 2015
Inspired by Arvon City
EARLY BIRD OFFER: €160 if paid by Thurs. 12th Feb. (€175 after that date)
‘The universe is expanding … you’re going somewhere else!’ (Robert Pinsky).
Join writers Ferdia MacAnna & Nessa O’Mahony for three days of writing in the intimate setting of Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir. Expand and develop your range of writing skills and learn how techniques used in screenwriting, poetry and memoir can help to expand your writing toolkit. You will work with Nessa & Ferdia, two experienced writers and teachers of writing, over three full days, exploring the link between real life and imagination and discover new ways of identifying and transforming material. There will be facilitated workshops, one-to-one sessions and time for you to write. Fee: €160 early bird if paid by 12th Feb or €175 if paid later. If you want to know more do get in touch with me through the Contact page.
I have been neglecting this blog in recent months, not that I’m losing my conviction that writing changes lives, far from it, but because so many other things have been happening in my writing life, one more exciting than the next!
Not least is the development and launch of The Story House, a residential writing centre inspired by the work of the late John Moat & The Arvon Foundation. The first course to take place in The Story House, on short fiction, will be taught by Julian Gough & Susie Maguire with a visit from the special mid-week guest, Dónal Ryan. This inaugural course will take place over five days, from Mon. 23rd to Sat. 28th March 2015 in scenic west Waterford. Hurry on over to The Story House website for all the details and to book your place.
The Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend has also been completely revamped for 2015. Taking inspiration from Arvon’s city courses the weekend will feature three days of writing with two writers, Ferdia MacAnna (aka Rocky de Valera!) & Nessa O’Mahony, in the intimate setting of Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir. During the Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend you will expand and develop your range of writing skills and learn how techniques used in screenwriting, poetry and memoir can help to expand your writing toolkit. You will work with Nessa & Ferdia, two experienced writers and teachers of writing, over three full days, exploring the link between real life and imagination and discover new ways of identifying and transforming material. There will be facilitated workshops, one-to-one sessions and time for you to write.
Dates: Fri. 10th – Sun. 12th April 2015. Fee: €160 early bird if paid by 12th Feb 2015 or €175 if paid later. Accommodation available in The Carraig Hotel at a special rate to participants . To book your place or to find out more details please get in touch with me through the Contact page.
Last, but not least, my own spring series of writing workshops will start again in Brewery Lane Theatre on Saturday, 24th Jan. 2015. If you’re interested in writing but have not previously attended my workshops you might like to start by reading Pat Schneider‘s book ‘Writing Alone & With Others’ (but it’s not at all compulsory). Pat has been an enormous influence on my work and her book is in Waterford City Library and, often, in The Book Centre, Waterford, and is also available to buy online.
And have I mentioned the monthly Poetry Plus night in Brewery Lane Theatre? It’s free and it’s fun!
‘Each of us has genius, but we need support …’ Pat Schneider
Is it just me or did we not just have the October Poetry Plus night? Tempus is fugiting … The November Poetry Plus night is on Friday next, 21st at 8.15pm in Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir. There will be the usual extravagant prizes for those who take up the challenge and recite from the heart.We’ve had some stunning performances and I’m looking forward to more.
I find Ted Hughes’ explanation for the decline of learning by heart and the rise of rote learning over so many dismal decades in school very interesting. He links it to the rise of Puritanism with its attempts to eradicate imagery from all aspects of life, not only in churches and the forbidding of drama, but also the use of imagery as a memory technique. The deadening, stultifying learning by rote then became the norm. You can read the complete version of this in his introduction to ‘By Heart:101 Poems to Remember‘.
The theme for this month’s event is ‘Music’. You can read / recite in any form that appeals to you. There is a limit of two poems or short(ish) pieces of prose. If you have a song let’s hear it!
I’m tempted to read from Lavinia Greenlaw’s memoir, ‘The Importance of Music to Girls’. Now what to pair it with?