Listowel Writers' Week Fringe

Blogging Listowel's Literary Scene
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Sheila O’Flanigan back in Listowel in 2010

February 03, 2010 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: 2010, creative writing, tutors, workshop

Sheila O’Flanigan will be running a workshop this year…

The Kerryman today…

January 27, 2010 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: 2010, creative writing, events, organisers, participants, preparations, starting up, workshop

There’s a nice report today in The Kerryman newspaper. The message seems to be :

Get your booking for a writer’s workshop in early this year: unprecedented demand for places.

Michael Lynch, chairman of Writers’ Week Listowel organising committee, encourages you to book now.

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…

and

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

Workshops: Creative Writing with Mary Morrissy

May 22, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: creative writing, tutors, workshop

Are you a lucky one signed up to spend three days with Mary Morrissy?

Are you going to “tone up” your creative writing skills?

Mary Morrissy workshop director

Mary Morrissy workshop director

You can find her books here.

Read this Dublin Quarterly conversation with her.

Mary Morrissy was born in Dublin in 1957. She has published one collection of short stories, A Lazy Eye (London, Jonathan Cape/ New York, Scribner, 1993).


Her novels are Mother of Pearl (Scribner, 1995/Jonathan Cape, 1996); and The Pretender (Jonathan Cape, 2000).


She won a Hennessy Award for short fiction in 1984, a Lannan Literary Prize in 1995, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize in 1996.


She lives in Dublin.”

The blurb for the Workshop says:

“Want to keep fit as a writer? … toning language skills, developing character and building plot …. in-class writing will be involved… light reading… short assignments for homework.”

I wonder what Mary Morrissy considers “light reading”?

If we are privileged, Mary Morrissy will accept our invitation and write something here before the workshop…

Who founded Listowel Writers’ Week?

May 11, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: historical, organisers, participants, poet

The history of Writers’ Week…

Bryan MacMahon, reputed to be the first person to link writers’ workshops with a literary festival.

I wonder if this is true?

Who else was involved?

As you can see there’s not much I know about the history. I’m starting this post in order to give us a place where we can collaboratively build up the story.

Know anyone who know something relevant to the story of how the fesival was germinated, conceived, born and developed ?

Most of all wouldn’t it be grand to hear from someone who was involved in the first Writers’ Week… to hear from the horse’s mouth…


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