Tag Archives: Writer

Writing Dates – Spring 2017

Below are dates for your new 2017 diaries, and I know you will of course want to prioritise writing dates. Some of these below would make a lovely gift if you haven’t yet got it all sorted!

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: thestoryhouseireland@gmail.com
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.

‘Writing for Young People’ – Feb. 2017, plus The Story House residency

The Story House Ireland

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.

President Higgins replies


Post from the President

President Higgins has replied to my Open Letter and you can read his elegant response in full below.

Reply from President Higgins

Reply from President Higgins

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote that ‘If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood, and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.’ So the campaign for a residential writing centre in Ireland, that is open to all, continues. If you have any thoughts on this I would love to read them in the comments box below.

2014 Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend

At last it’s time to reveal the details of the 2014 Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend! The dates are Friday, 11th April to Sunday, 13th April. This is Ireland’s most intimate writers’ weekend, centred in the special atmosphere of Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir.

The writer Dave Lordan will deliver workshops on Flash Fiction, Shem Caulfield, artist and photographer, will hold a seminar called ‘The Epic is in the Detail’ and there will be a showing of the film Poetry, winner of Cannes Film Festival 2010.

The Brewery Lane Poetry Competition is now open for entries. As well as overall awards, there is a special category for an emerging writer, plus a schools’ category. The closing date for entries is Friday, 14th March. This year’s judge is Richard Hayes, Head of the School of Humanities, Waterford Institute of Technology.

All enquiries, including entry form and rules for the poetry competition, to brewerylanepoetry@gmail.com or through the contact page here

2014 Brewery Lane Writers' Weekend

Spring Writing Workshops

Glimmer Train

Dawn Sewell McKeever has written an interesting essay in Glimmer Train on becoming a writer, noting how often in her life she was sidetracked from writing.

Maybe you have been sidetracked from your writing just once too often. Is it time to make a definite commitment to put pen to paper? If you are living in the south-east my Saturday morning writing workshops will start on 1st February in Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir. These workshops are informed and inspired by the work of Pat Schneider and are suitable for anyone beginning or beginning again to write. You can get in touch with me here.

Writing dates and details for 2014


They are all gone now aren’t they?

We’ve well and truly crossed into 2014 – decorations are down, chocs are history – and now here are dates and details that should be of interest to all you writers in or around the south-east:

On Sat. 1st February I will be starting my spring series of creative writing workshops in Brewery Lane Theatre. These will run over 8 Saturday mornings, from 10.30am to 1pm. Each week you are guaranteed to make personal writing discoveries and to learn about the craft of writing while in the stimulating company of other writers. Do get in touch with me asap through the contact page here if you would like to be part of this group, booking is essential.
The monthly poetry nights in Brewery Lane Theatre resume on Friday, 31st January at 8.15pm. This event is open to anyone who wants to enjoy the pleasures of poetry – just turn up on the night, it’s a friendly group. The theme for January is, appropriately, ‘New’. And well done to all the writers who contributed to the 2013 poetry pamphlet, ‘Tidings’, with proceeds going to Carrick River Rescue.
And plans are well advanced for the (now) annual Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend. This year’s event will take place over the weekend of April 11th, 12th, 13th and will include workshops with Dave Lordan on Flash Fiction, a seminar with Shem Caulfield called ‘The Epic is in the Detail’ and, of course, the 2014 Brewery Lane Poetry Competition, which will again have a special category for emerging writers. This year’s competition will be judged by Richard Hayes, Head of the School of Humanities, Waterford Institute of Technology. I will be posting further details of the Writers’ Weekend when booking opens.

And if all of that doesn’t give you the urge to crack open your notebook straightaway and grab a pen I don’t know what would!

‘Tidings’ – the 2013 Poetry Pamphlet from Brewery Lane

'Tidings' - 2013 Poetry Pamphlet

It’s here! ‘Tidings’, this year’s poetry pamphlet from the writers who read at the monthly poetry sessions in Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir, has just been delivered by the printers. This year’s edition, with contributions from 12 poets, is in aid of Carrick’s River Rescue, a voluntary group whose work forms an important part of the fabric of the town.


‘Tidings’ will be for sale from Friday, 13th December in the pop-up Artisan Christmas Market at 42 Main Street, Carrick-on-Suir, beside the old Post Office – with thanks to Linda Fahy for providing this showcase for craftspeople in the area. Only a limited number of copies of ‘Tidings’ have been printed so get there early.



Read ‘Crash!’ Julian Gough’s new novel

Julian Gough

Read Julian Gough’s splendid new novel ‘Crash! How I lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love’ if you

  • live in Ireland / Europe / rest of the world
  • would like to be introduced to a hen called ‘Enda’
  • are tired of listening to ‘newspeak’
  • know that economics is not that complicated
  • have walked in Ballyhea
  • want a novel to reduce you first to laughter then tears
  • have a ghost estate in your Irish town / village
  • are on an ever-lengthening waiting list for a health procedure anywhere
  • your adult children are in Canada / Australia / New Zealand / Hoboken
  • appreciate darned good writing
  • ditto masterful satire
  • can afford to spend less than €2 on same
  • know that the truth is to be found in fiction

Click on the link above, download the book then go on to spread the word. (Julian Gough is also responsible for ‘The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble’)

Writing Deadlines Are Good …

Southword Online Journal-Header

The new issue of Southword, Issue 24, is available online now and includes my poem ‘My Father’s House’. It’s in very good company indeed! You can check it out here.  Southword is now open for poetry submissions for its Winter issue.

Here are some other interesting competitions with deadlines coming up soon. Deadlines are so good!!

If you write fiction the James Plunkett Short Story Award deadline is 16th August.

James Plunkett Short Story Award

You can submit prose or poems to Boyne Berries before the deadline of 13th July. The 2013 guest editor is poet Kate Dempsey.

And here’s one that’s a fun, quirky challenge that changes weekly to keep you writing and submitting – The O’Bhéal International Five Words Poetry Competition


Writing Workshop – The Molly Keane House, Ardmore, Co. Waterford

News of my next One-Day Writing Workshop

Venue: The Molly Keane House, Ardmore, Co. Waterford
Date: Sunday, 30th June 2013 from 10.30am to 5pm
Fee: €70
Molly Keane's House
‘When you lift the gate and walk down the steps into Molly Keane’s house in Ardmore you know you are coming down into a creative lair, into an eagle’s nest, into a writer’s heaven.’ poet Thomas McCarthy

I am excited at the prospect of bringing together in this workshop the influence of two special women. The first is the writer Molly Keane whose home this was and where she wrote her most famous novel, the Booker nominated ‘Good Behaviour’ and others.

Good Behaviour

Next is Pat Schneider, founder of Amherst Writers & Artists, whose books Writing Alone and With Others’ and How The Light Gets In: Writing as Spiritual Practice’, are both powerful and influential books about the importance of the process of writing. The method devised and developed by Pat informs all of my work with writers, beginners and those more experienced, and the results continue to surprise and delight me, as well as the participants, at each workshop.


During the workshop you will write in this ‘cottage hanging above Ardmore Bay’, with its stunning sea views. You will benefit from the stimulation and support of other writers in what Pat Schneider calls ‘necessary companionship’, and allow your pen to reveal that which was never really lost, but simply obscured. ‘The strangest objects were lost and found, as well as the most ordinary’ is a line from the novel Good BehaviourSo it will be with your writing.

This workshop is non genre specific – you are free to write and experiment in whatever form you wish.

If you wish to inquire about booking a place on this workshop please get in touch with me through the contact page. Below are the contact details for some local B & Bs – you might be tempted to extend your stay in Ardmore and enjoy the cliff walks and the beauty and heritage of this seaside village. 

Cush 024 94474

Summerhill 024 92682

Duncrone 024 94860

Do feel free to pass this information on to anyone you know who might be interested. 

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