Kindling: materials for starting a fire.
For the past couple of summers I have been lucky enough to host my summer writing workshop at Mia Carney’s wonderful creative space, Manyweathers’ Studio, on the slopes of Sliabh na mBan. This year, of course, due to the pandemic everything has changed. But I think it is probably more important than ever that we put down our words, make our marks on pages, on screens, attempt to capture and transform our lived experiences. There really is no time like this.
This year my summer workshop will be on the virtual platform, Zoom. I’m calling it, ‘Kindling’, because together we will write first drafts that have the potential to become a blaze, to bring both light and heat. My very special Chambers Dictionary also offers this second definition of ‘Kindle’ – to bring forth young (Shakespearean apparently), which I also like very much in this context.
My approach to facilitating writing workshops, wherever I do them, is always informed by the Amherst Writers and Artists method, as developed by Pat Schneider. In the writing of first drafts in my workshops I always urge participants to ‘trust the pen’. Here is how Pat says it in her book, How the Light Gets In:
“… slowing down and allowing the images to write themselves, without trying to analyze them – can bring about an amazing experience of personal revelation.”
It is always my great pleasure and privilege to accompany writers as, together, we follow the images and generate fresh, new writing in the heat of creativity. I hope you can join me.
Here are the workshop details:
Date: Sunday, 12th July 2020
Time: 7pm GMT+1 until 10pm approx.
To book: please use the Contact Page and I will reply with booking and payment details
PS: you will, of course, need reliable internet connection to participate.
I am delighted that my 2019 Summer Writing Day will again take place in the gorgeous Manyweathers Studio, near Kilcash, on the slopes of Sliabh na mBan. This is the creative home of artist Mia Carney, with stunning views across the Suir valley.
Booking / enquiries: please get in touch with me through the contact page
Where: Manyweathers Studio, Kilcash, Co. Tipperary (approx 20 mins drive from both Clonmel & Carrick-on-Suir)
When: Saturday, 20th July 2019
Time: 10am to 4.30pm
Fee: €70 (incl teas/coffees, snacks but not lunch. Suggest bringing a packed lunch)
Suitable for: anyone beginning or beginning again to write
As always my approach to writers and writing is informed by the wisdom and work of Pat Schneider and Amherst Writers and Artists, I am an affiliate of AWA and Pat’s book, Writing Alone and With Others, will give those interested an insight into the way I facilitate workshops, and why, and is available in libraries and bookshops. This workshop method always generates creative surprises for both novice and more experienced writers and is based on a trust and belief in the inherent creativity of people. One of my roles as facilitator is to hold a space where we listen to each other and connect with what we hear and, for me, this is a great pleasure and privilege. I just love to do this.
Booking / enquiries: please get in touch with me through the contact page
*Bursary News for Writers*
The 2019 Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend, with writers Angela Carr and Enda Wyley, will take place from Fri. 26th to Sun. 28th April. Thanks to the generous support of Tipperary County Council we are delighted to now offer two (2) full bursaries, worth €175 each. NB These bursaries are only open to writers who have not previously had their work published.
This annual writers’ weekend takes place in Carrick-on-Suir, in an intimate theatre setting, and is unique in its focus on writers and writing. We believe that a lot can be learned from craft techniques across writing genres, so we keep it non-genre specific. Every year 12 participants get the opportunity to work with two professional writers over 3 days – to date the writers teaching on the weekend have included poets, novelists, screenwriters, memoirists and sometimes a mix of all genres in the one person!
If this appeals to you and you wish to apply for a 2019 bursary please do the following:
- In a statement of not more than 250 words, outline how participating in the Writers’ Weekend would benefit you and your writing and state that you have not previously had your writing published. You might usefully include in your statement
- your experience of writing
- any financial/personal obstacles you experience in accessing professional development as a writer
- email your statement, with Bursary Application in the subject line, as a .docx attachment to email@example.com
- final submission date is midnight on Wednesday, 9th Jan 2019
- submissions will not be considered after that date.
- all submissions will be anonymously assessed by an independent adjudicator.
If you do not qualify to apply for a bursary (i.e. you’re already published) but would like to book a place on this weekend you are very welcome to get in touch with me through the Contact page for booking details. The early bird offer of €160 is open until Jan. 31st and there are still places available. After that date the full fee of €175 will apply.
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.
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.
‘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
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.