Easter Writing Workshops

I am running historical fiction writing workshops for children and for teenagers. The focus of these workshops is on having fun and learning how to create an exciting story within a particular historical setting. Combining my degree in History with writing skills, I help participants create characters such as roman emperors, world war heroes, famine victims or rebels of the Easter Rising in 1916. These workshops are suitable for children …

Autumn Adult Writing Retreat

Adult Writing Retreat After the success of my first adult writing retreat in May, I am running a second one this November in the same country house in Kildare. http://www.dollardstown.com/   We will hire the venue exclusively for us, so we can have complete run of the place.  They will feed us all of our meals and it’s only one hour from Dublin! DATES The retreat runs over the weekend …

RTE Guide/Puffin Books Short Story Competition Runner Up!

Clever Abbie Alwell (age 12), who attends my teenage class in Malahide, has come runner up in the RTE GUIDE and Puffin Books story writing competition for ages 11-14 year olds! Abbie wrote a brilliant story about a cyber stalker and will be attending an awards ceremony in RTE with Puffin Books Editor, Claire Hennessy. Well done Abbie! You can read Abbie’s gripping story below.                                                                                                                                                                           Stalker One comment. One …

Students Win Listowel Writers’ Week Literary Competitions!

Wonderful news for my students from the Listowel Writers’ Week Writing competitions! I’m so proud and excited! Sadhbh Cushen has won joint second place in the nine years and under category. Sadhbh attends classes in Skerries and wrote a very funny story (told mostly through dialogue) about a child who doesn’t want to go to sleep. She shares this prize with Grace Lenny, who is doing an online writing course …

Summer Camps for Creative Kids!

My summer camps are now booking! These courses are particularly suited to creative and imaginative children and teenagers. Here is a picture of a very happy bunch who attended a teen summer camp with me in Skerries Mills.   Each course runs for five days and each day we cover a main topic. For example the first day I may do a guided writing exercise to help the students understand …

Adult Writing Retreat

I am running a lovely adult writing retreat in a country house in Kildare. http://www.dollardstown.com/   We can hire the venue exclusively for us, so we will have complete run of the place, they will feed us gourmet food and it’s only one hour from Dublin! DATES The retreat runs over the weekend of 8th/ 9th May. The hotel will be available exclusively for the adult writers. No other visitors …

Student Wins The Cuirt Young Writer’s Award 2015

Whoopeeeee!! Sarah McKenna (age 13), student of my creative writing classes in Skerries, has won The Cúirt New Writing prize for Youth! Well done Sarah!!!! Sniff! Sniff! I’m so proud. Below is a picture of Sarah, when she came first in the literary competition for Youth with Listowel Writers’ Week last year. This girl is amazing! (as are my other students Sadhbh and Hannah who were shortlisted for The Cúirt …

Three Brilliant Writing Students Shortlisted for The Cúirt New Writing Award!

I’m chuffed and delighted to announce that not one, not two, but THREE of my teenage writing students have been shortlisted for The Cúirt New Writing Award for Youth. Sadhbh Edisson, Sarah McKenna and Hannah Rudden all have a chance to be the winner and read at The Cúirt Writing Festival. But no matter who wins, it is a huge honour to be shortlisted and I couldn’t be more proud. …

Easter Writing Workshops!

EASTER WRITING WORKSHOPS! This Easter I am running historical fiction writing workshops for children and for teenagers. The focus of these workshops is on having fun and learning how to create an exciting story within a particular historical setting. Combining my degree in History with writing skills, I help participants create characters such as roman emperors, world war heroes and brave famine victims. These characters will then come to life …

New Online Writing Courses!

This January I am launching online writing course for children (7-12 year olds) / teenagers (11-16 yr olds) and adults: Each course consist of ten modules. For each module I email notes and an assignment to be completed. Once I receive an assignment, I will promptly reply with written feedback on the work and also set the next assignment. My tone will be positive and encouraging, praising what is good …

Book Launch!

We had a wonderful book launch for “What’s the Story?” in Ardgillan Castle on Saturday 8th November. Thank you to everyone who attended. Ardgillan castle reminds me of Downton  Abby and I am hugely grateful to the manager, Tom, and his team for once again so generously giving us this beautiful venue for our event. “What’s the Story?” is a collection of poems and short stories written by the writing …

What’s the Story?

‘What’s the Story?’ is being launched this Saturday 8th November in Ardgillan Castle in Balbriggan at 2.30p.m. All are welcome! This collection of stories and poems is written by the children, teenagers and adults who attend my writing classes in North County Dublin. The book costs €10 and all profits are going to Focus Ireland, to help the homeless. If  you can’t make it to the launch, you can buy …

Spooky Story Writing Workshops!

SPOOKY STORIES WITH A TWIST! I am looking forward to my annual Spooky Story Writing workshops next week during the Halloween midterm: Come to a spooky writing workshop and create eerie characters from the afterlife and beyond. Scare your readers, and yourself. Finish the story with a surprising twist! Children’s Workshop: Wednesday 29th October 2 – 5p.m. in St. Andrew’s Parish Hall in Malahide. ( 8 -12 year olds ) …

A Wonderful Writing Week

We had a very special time at Listowel Writers’ Week from 28th May – 1st June. I was lucky enough to spend time with one of my favourite writers, Douglas Kennedy. I learned a lot from him about writing and about life. My wonderful students Ciara Hogan and Sarah McKenna collected their prizes at the awards ceremony and saw their work published alongside top Irish writers Donal McCann, Deirdre Madden …

Listowel Writers’ Week

Today I am heading down to Listowel in County Kerry to attend their national writing festival. Listowel is my absolute favourite writing festival in Ireland and I’m so excited to be teaching there for the firs time. Not only that, two of my students have won first prize in the writing for youth competitions, and I will be attending the awards ceremony with them this evening. I am also re-launching …