Listowel Writers' Week Fringe

Blogging Listowel's Literary Scene

Archive for the ‘creative writing’

Prizewinners @ Listowel 2009 Literary Competitions

July 06, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: competition, creative writing, photographs

About to be photographed after being presented with his prize.

Prizewinners @ Listowel 2009 Literary Competitions

July 06, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: competition, creative writing, photographs

Best wishes to West Cork Literary Festival which starts today

July 06, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: competition, connections, creative writing, events

Hopefully they’ll have a wonderful week.

It’ll be hard to make it this year but I might squeeze a short visit it.

Very keen to dip the toe.

Author & Brenda Woulfe in Woulfe’s Bookshop

June 10, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: competition, creative writing, organisers, photographs

Before leaving Listowel Writers’ Week, I had to visit Woulfe’s Bookshop. It’s where I bought my first Moleskine notebook.

I found these two together, an author doing business with a proprietor:

The question is : who is he?

The first person to send in the correct answer in a comment wins a signed copy of the book… The author and the bookseller are not eligible to enter.

Poem composed & performed in J B Keane’s pub

June 08, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: creative writing, poem

For once I have the chosen seat,
the stool beside the bar.
I see the wake, the bodhrán drum,
the Sacred Heart, the flame on fire.
In John B Keane’s I trawl the room
for writers on the prowl.
I see them with their lips aloud,
and close both eyes, to hear
a symphony of singing voice,
a choir of accents down from hills.
They thrill the light in Listowel night,
evangelise the whole.
Another Guinness for my thirst,
another witness be not cursed.

Watch out Listowel Writers’ Week – here comes West Cork Literary Festival

June 05, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: competition, connections, creative writing, events, localinfo, organisers

Coming up on the inside lane, is a cheeky Literary Festival…

Why do I call it “cheeky”?

According to Ruth Flanagan, Cork County Librarian:

“The West Cork Literary Festival can now, with some justification, be regarded as Munster’s premier literary festival.”

Does she not know Kerry is in Munster?

Does she speak with the arrogant justification of a West Corkonian?

Does she only say this because she works for Cork County Library Service?

Or might she have a pint?

We’ll return to this issue in due course.

I just want to flag it up, so that you can take a look at what they are offering & compare it with Listowel Writers’ Week.

I’d like to publicly invite Ruth Flanigan [who’s responsible for publishing my first short story, “The Ring” in Bealtaine Short Story Competition 2006] to come on here and support her contention.

It would be wonderful to welcome her on here, wouldn’t it?

If anyone knows Ruth Flanigan, please let her know of the invitation.

It would be a fine opportunity for her to market West Cork Literary Festival 2009.

It runs in Bantry, from Sunday 5 July – Saturday 11 July, so it is a ‘full’ week.

Tony Guerin launched this book

June 04, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: creative writing, events, novels, organisers, photographs, storytelling

Tony Guerins novel

Tony Guerin's novel

At 1330 on Saturday 30 May, straight after Rebecca Miller read from her new novel, Tony Guerin‘s novel was launched by Billy Keane.

Billy Keane looked so relaxed, sounded so fluent, that he seemed a different man from the one who’d been in the ring with George Kimball.

Billy was speaking to his people, in his way, about his kind of book.

I’d watched a long line of people queue to have their “Tomorrow is another day” signed by Tony Guerin, including…

Bryan McMahon’s son read from Tony’s book. So did a young woman who said “my father died before J B Keane“. She may have been Bryan McMahon’s daughter. (I couldn’t catch her name

She described Tony Guerin as having “a massive heart” for the generosity he’s shown her father.

Lynn Roberts won the poetry collection prize @ Listowel Writers’ Week

June 04, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: competition, creative writing, participants, poem, poet, poetry

Lynn Roberts with Dillon Boyer

Lynn Roberts with Dillon Boyer

At the “Meet the Bloggers” event in Lynch’s Bakery & Cafe,
Lynn Roberts gave us this poem from her winning collection of 12 poems …

Isn’t it a beauty?

Let us consider the translator:

amphibian; moving between elements,
breathing water, breathing air; ingesting
complex planktons under the shark’s
political eye; excreting guano
to fertilize mutual incomprehension;

immigrant loomsman, weaving
from diplomacy’s exquisite fine wool
interlaced carpets of Isphahan or
coarse drugget; making peace or trade;

oenologist, brain yeasty
with spores; fermenting words, converting must
to Chateauneuf du Pape, and standing wine
to vinegar; Homer to Pope, or
poetry to motion;

interpreting the shuttered circles of
a zoo-bound bear into the ordinary round,
or moonlit howl into doleur de vivre;

intermediate woman,
sieving the Sanskrit grunts and verbal
hieroglyphs of teenage speech
through mesh of instinct, winnowing out
the little knotted, folded seeds and grains,
searching for meaning in the alien corn.

Let us consider the translator,
through whom words pass, like water, like wine.

Lynn Roberts.

first published in the book of Writers’ Week Competition Winners.

Workshops we haven’t yet featured…

May 27, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: creative writing, novels, participants, tutors, workshop

Julia Bell on Writing Funny

  • turn a good joke into a good piece of fiction
  • write funny without turning out cartoons
  • difference between comic hyperbole & just plain old melodrama
  • developing comic characters
  • using point of view & structure to tell stories…to amuse and entertain.

Brian Dillon on Memoir Writing, author of “In the Dark Room”

  • first-person writing through consideration of history, methods & motivations of memoir
  • autobiographical narratives: Vladimir Nabokov, Joan Didion & Dave Eggers
  • confession in contemporary culture
  • how memories may be remade as literature.
  • experiment writing a short piece of prose memoir.

Declan Hughes on Crime Writing

Declan Hughes reads from his new novel

Declan Hughes reads from his new novel

  • anatomy of a crime novel.
  • crime writing forensically examined through character, dialogue, action, plot & structure.

Paddy Breathnach on Writing for Screen

E.M Forster wrote of the story, “It has only one merit, that of making the audience want to know what happens next. And conversely it can have only one fault, that of making the audience not want to know what happens next.”

  • ways of achieving the former and avoiding the latter by
  • recognising what you’re trying to write: tone, genre & simple stuff that’s often forgotten
  • mythic journeys & sequence theories that help structure your screenplay.

Michael Harding on Writing for Theatre

Putting the story on the stage.

  • finding your story.
  • what is the best starting point for a story?
  • examination of characters in the story & the world of the story
  • shaping your story, how to structure & shape as play for theatre
  • essential rules & principles of the craft
  • making your story work on the stage
  • examination of the personal & socio-political aspect of your story
  • how your story must serve the requirements of the audience.

Martina Evans on Advanced Poetry

  • Everything written is as good as it is dramatic – Robert Frost
  • screenwriter Waldo Salt spoke of thinking like a poet in order to visualise the Dustin Hoffman character in Midnight Cowboy
  • explore film techniques as a way of creating lyrics that are vivid compressed narratives.

Matthew Sweeney on Poetry Getting Started

  • Robert Frost: ‘Poetry is a fresh look and a fresh listen’
  • fresh look at the world around us
  • fresh listen to the language people are using
  • looking at poems that do this & taking your cue from them
  • writing in a way that might surprise you
  • If you surprise yourself, you just might surprise your reader.’(Frost)

Sheila O’Flannagan on Popular Fiction

  • practical, interactive
  • building a popular fiction, covering characterisation, story development, writing skills & editing
  • advice on how to get publisher
  • how to work with a publisher.

Carlo Gebler on Writing a Novel

  • start a novel, advance a novel or finish a novel
  • a better sense of the book you want to write
  • how to set about starting it, advancing it or finishing it.
  • those with work already written should bring it to the workshop
  • tutor cannot undertake to read it outside of the class.

David Park on Creative Writing Advanced

  • construct a piece of fiction, having focused on the cornerstones of structure, characterisation, setting and perspective
  • be willing to share both self and work
  • feedback given individually on all work produced.

Hopefully some of these workshop leaders will write a piece for us…


Hopefully those of you who are at these workshops will also write for us…

A modern sonnet for Listowel

May 26, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: creative writing, poem, storytelling

I dare not bring my Mont Blanc to Listowel.
These Moleskine notes complain the risk of loss.

Every marriage demands the space for dreams
to fly, and learn the gift of flight across

the void that’s left when closest friend is gone.
This pen has need of lines forever near,

so sits beside its book like winter fire,
content to keep the company that’s dear.

Tis I that guards the fate of coupled mates
that live their lives in need of each to flower,

both pocket-sized travellers designed for ease
and style, reservoirs in black round tower.

Show me the hand that dares transport its jewel
from safest hearth to storm that could be cruel.

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