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Munster Literature Centre

Writing Workshops

 

Upcoming

Short Story: Tina Pisco (Nov / Dec 2021)

 

(2021)

Short Story: Billy O'Callaghan (March)

 

(2020)

Short Story: Alannah Hopkin (October)

Songwriting: John Spillane (September / November)

Crime Novel: Kevin Doyle (September)

Poetry: Kimberly Reyes (May)

Short Story: Billy O'Callaghan (April / May)

 

How to Book

 

Crafting the Short Story
with Tina Pisco
through online video-conference

 

11th November – 2nd December
Four-week course on Thursday evenings

piscoworkshop2021web

 

Time: 7 - 9 p.m. (11th, 18th, 25th November, 2nd December)
Venue: via Zoom – a web-conferencing desktop programme
Class size: Maximum of twelve
Cost: €120 or €100 (concession to unwaged)

 

Notes: This is an online workshop, open to anyone in the world. You will need to have access to a device (laptop / tablet / phone / computer) which has a microphone, speakers and camera in order to participate in the workshops. Our paid subscription to Zoom means you can use the free version, which only takes a few minuites to download and is very user-friendly.

The administrator will give as much information and guidance as you need in the days before the workshops, and will be available by phone before and during the workshops to offer technical support.


Propspectus

“All short stories may be short fictions, but not all short fictions are short stories” Frank O’Connor

This series of four workshops will focus on the craft of writing short stories. Open to both beginners and more experienced writers. The workshops will include writing exercises, prompts and homework to push the participants further in their writing.

 

Week 1 – The Classic Three Act Structure

Form is at the essence of what makes a short story.

This workshop takes a close look at each part of the classic three act structure to understand what function each part has, and how they interact with each other. We will discuss the “shape” of a story, the need for a satisfying ending, and why you should start at the last possible moment.

 

Week 2 – I/You/She/We: The Importance of POV

Whose story is it? What do they have to tell and how will they tell it?

POV (point of view) is not just about who tells the story. POV is both a lens and an engine. This workshop explores how changing a story’s POV can reveal much to the author. Exercises will focus on how changing the POV can change the tone and pace of a story.

 

Week 3 – Past, Present or Future?

He goes. He went. What’s the difference?

Many writers start writing a story in the third person past tense. However, just like POV, a careful choice of verb tense can be revelatory. Imagine rewriting a story in the first-person present tense, or in the second person future tense. How does that change the story?

 

Week 4 – Putting It All Together

Over the course of the first three workshops, participants will have been writing/re-writing their own stories thanks to writing prompts, exercises, and tips. The last session will be an opportunity to share and workshop their work.

 

 Read about Tina Pisco here

 

For all booking queries, email info(at)munsterlit(dot)ie

 

***

Creative Writing Workshop
with Billy O'Callaghan
through online video-conference

 

23rd March – 13th April 2021 (sold out)

24th March – 14th April 2021 (sold out)


Four-week course on Wednesday evenings

billyocallaghan

 

Time: 7 - 9 p.m. (Wednesdays, 24th March – 14th April)
Venue: via Zoom – a web-conferencing desktop programme
Class size: Maximum of ten
Cost: €120 or €100 (concession to unwaged)

 

Notes: This is an online workshop, open to anyone in the world. You will need to have access to a device (laptop / tablet / phone / computer) which has a microphone, speakers and camera in order to participate in the workshops. Our paid subscription to Zoom means you can use the free version, which only takes a few minuites to download and is very user-friendly.

The administrator will give as much information and guidance as you need in the days before the workshops, and will be available by phone before and during the workshops to offer technical support.


Propspectus

Over four workshops, I plan to cover all the various aspects of writing fiction, with particular emphasis on the short story – because it is the form I feel I know best, and also because it is so accessible, even to beginners.
To get people writing right from the start, my approach will be to break stories down to their basic ingredients in order to cultivate a better understanding of the art and craft of fiction. Each workshop will be accompanied by extensive notes that I have developed over the past six years of teaching creative writing. Suitable for complete beginners and for writers at a more advanced stage in their development, these notes, which can and should be referred back to on a regular basis, are designed to help the writer get inside a story so as to better understand its workings. My workshops, while allowing room for flexibility, will break down as follows:

 

Week 1 – Plot & Character

After a brief introduction into what I think makes a successful plot, citing examples and covering different genres, Workshop 1 will be devoted to a consideration (and demonstration) of plot composition, pacing and structure. We will talk about the pros and cons of outlining, and look at ways of finding major dramatic questions, and more importantly finding the major dramatic question that is right for a particular story, as well as how to shape a plot for maximum dramatic impact.
This workshop will also attend to character. We will consider some examples of great fictional characters and what exactly it is that makes them great. From here, we will look at the essentials of character-building, including:

  • How to create characters, and the pros and cons
    of using characters from real life
  • How plot and character are inextricably entwined
  • How to add depth to our characters
  • The value of showing versus telling
  • Recognising the line between 'enough' and 'too much'

 

Week 2 – Dialogue, Voice, Tense & Point of View

Workshop 2 will begin by focusing on dialogue, specifically:

  • Developing characterisation through dialogue
  • Using dialogue to advance the plot
  • The difference between written dialogue and everyday conversation
  • How dialogue can be a useful tool for the 'unreliable narrator'
  • When to use / when to avoid
  • Dialect and 'colour'

Some time will be set aside to discuss Voice, and we will also look at how a story is changed when choosing a particular point of view, and the directions that can open up to us when we consider a shift in the story's perspective. We will explore, too, the limitations and benefits of both first- and third-person point of view, and of past and present tense.

 

Week 3 – Theme, Description & Sense of Place

Workshop 3 will devote itself to a discussion of Theme, and how it should steer a story. We will also look at how descriptive passages can enhance our work, and why it is always valuable to write with the senses in mind. Additionally, we will try some exercises that can be useful in developing our descriptive powers.
This workshop will also consider setting, citing particularly vivid examples. And following on from this, we will discuss ways of making the local universal. The idea here is to make writers aware of how their background and locality can inform their work.

 

Week 4 – Rewriting & The Business of Writing

In Workshop 4 we will talk about revision and redrafting, addressing critical points such as: what to look for when rewriting, the value of cutting, how best to approach second as well as subsequent drafts, and deciding when enough is enough. I'll talk, too, about the business side of publishing, again with particular emphasis on publishing short stories, both in magazines / journals and in book form, based on my own experience. We will also discuss the merits and downsides of self-publishing. This week's notes will cover:

  • How to properly format a manuscript
  • Setting goals
  • How to find the right market for your work
  • Coping with the inevitability of rejection
  • The value of a good query letter
  • How to approach publishing houses / agents
  • How to avoid scams

 

 Read about Billy O'Callaghan here

 

Quote from March participant:

"Thank you to the Munster Literature Centre for an extraordinary experience! The 4 classes with Billy O'Callaghan exceeded my expectations and I am so grateful to you for the opportunity to learn from such an esteemed writer. The class was perfectly organized and presented. Mr. O'Callaghan's personal insights into the writing process and the publishing world are a gift beyond measure. I extend my endless gratitude."

 

For all booking queries, email info(at)munsterlit(dot)ie

 

***

 

2020

Songwriting Workshop
with John Spillane
through online video-conference

 

4th – 25th November
Four-week course on Wednesday evenings

spillanenov

 

Time: 7 - 9 p.m. (Four weeks, 4th - 25th November)
Venue: via Zoom – a web-conferencing desktop programme
Class size: Maximum of twelve
Cost: €120 or €100 (concession to unwaged)

 

Notes: This is an online workshop, open to anyone in the world. You will need to have access to a device (laptop / tablet / phone / computer) which has a microphone, speakers and camera in order to participate in the workshops. Our paid subscription to Zoom means you can use the free version, which is very user-friendly.

The administrator will give as much information and guidance as you need in the days leading up to the workshops, and will be available by phone before and during the workshops to offer technical support.


Propspectus

At my workshops we do not talk about writing songs, but we actually write songs. I have developed this method over many years, and I find it’s great for freeing up people who are blocked and for learning how to work the songwriting muscles. We go through the following steps:

  1. Deciding on a theme. I suggest loads of themes or people can pick their own themes. We move swiftly and decisively. The only rule that applies to the workshop is that you are not allowed to attack your own work, but instead you must shower it with love and build it up and improve it.
  2. Then we write for about ten minutes on our theme, stream of consciousness, words on paper, or on tablet, whatever.
  3. Then we pick the best bits from our writing and we arrange them in order; verse and chorus; we put a song shape on the writing.
  4. Then we set them to music by singing them. The first thing that comes into your head is the way I prefer best, to move forward in a smooth manner without stopping to think.
  5. A magic happens at these workshops which comes from a mixture of creativity, enthusiasm, positivity, poetry and music.

 

John Spillane is a musician, songwriter, performer, recording artist, storyteller, poet and dreamer. Rooted in people, place and story, his music transports the listener and his live performances captivate audiences around the world. Read more about him here.

Quotes from September's participants:

"I wanted to say that John Spillane is an incredible inspiration and has a great way of empowering writers to feel positive about their efforts, comfortable about sharing and unearthing creativity. He does this through his positive attitude, encouragement, through modelling, and by sharing his own work and experiences. What a resource and talent to have. Thanks John and the Munster Literature Centre."

“I really had no idea what to expect apart from the chance to spend some time with the great John Spillane. His energy, enthusiasm and determination to help us write songs was so compelling that we just had to write songs! Whatever stage of song writing you are at I cannot recommend this course highly enough. The price point and value is spot on, in truth John’s spontaneous performances of his songs was worth the course fee alone!”

"What a great experience, I am happy that I got to do it and it was not as stressful as I had imagined. John made it feel magical and this was transposed in song/songwriting and many magic moments shared by all. His enthusiasm for the spoken word was evident with his helpfulness and experience."

 

 

For all booking queries, email info(at)munsterlit(dot)ie

 

***

Four-day short story workshop
with Alannah Hopkin
through online video-conference

 

7th – 10th October
(Wednesday – Saturday)

hopkinworkshop2020

 

Time: 4 - 6 p.m. IST (four days, 7th - 10th October)
Venue: via Zoom – a web-conferencing programme
Class size: Maximum of twelve
Cost: €120 or €100 (concession to unwaged)

 

Notes: This is an online workshop, open to anyone in the world. You will need to have access to a device (laptop / tablet / phone / computer) which has a microphone, speakers and camera in order to participate in the workshops. Our paid subscription to Zoom means you can use the free version, which is very user-friendly.

The administrator will give as much information and guidance as you need in the days leading up to the workshops, and will be available by phone before and during the workshops to offer technical support.


Propspectus

In in the four workshop sessions I plan to give students the skills to improve their work and extend its range, and also hope to boost their confidence. Participants will be invited to submit a story of up to 2,500 words by Friday 25 September.

  • The short story doesn't have be finished
  • Stories can be fewer than 2500 words (or an extract from a longer short story)
  • Please type double-spaced and email as a Word document

This will be read aloud in the workshop, and discussed. I supply a list of assessment criteria to work with to ensure consistency and a positive atmosphere. By 18 September (sooner if the course is full before then) I will supply eight stories I admire (Bret Anthony Johnson, Ellen Gilchrist, Kevin Barry, William Trevor etc) for all participants to read. In discussions, the students will learn how to analyse a story with a writer’s eye, to the benefit of their own work. Various approaches to the short story will be investigated, from conventional to the wilder shores. In the final session we will consider how to follow on constructively from this course.

Wednesday: Plot or Not?

How to begin. Where to find your story and how to write it. The importance of keeping a notebook, and reading widely. The difference between a notebook and a journal. How to recognise and stockpile story ideas, so as to avoid facing the proverbial “empty page”. Cultivating the habit of note-taking. The advantages and disadvantages of plot: melodrama versus minimalism. Working on the edge between fact and fiction, an increasingly important frontier. Turning autobiography into story. Plundering both history and contemporary events for story material; learning how to find and build on the stories that are all around you.

Thursday: Finding Your Voice

‘When you listen to the voice in your head it is not Literature that you hear.’ This dictum of Samuel Beckett is central to my own work. But how do you find that voice, and learn to work with it? How can you tell a good voice from a bad one? The obsessive nature of story writing, how to make productive use of your obsessions. Choosing between first person and third person. Developing character through description and/or dialogue. Understanding how written dialogue works. Different ways of presenting a scene: how to create drama and tension and keep the narrative drive going forward.

Friday: Ways of Writing – the Wilder Fringes
‘A Beginning, a Middle and an End - but not necessarily in that order…’
So says the French filmmaker, Jean Luc Godard. We look at alternative ways of structuring a story, the advantages and drawbacks of presenting events in the order that they happened. Framing devices, the story within a story, and other ways of polishing an apparently finished piece. The need to cultivate the habit of constantly revising and rewriting. Improving your writing at the level of individual words, each of which must be exactly right. Paying attention to simile and metaphor, when to use, when to avoid. The importance of reading other short story writers, and writers in translation. Writing exercises will encourage participants to take flight and explore new frontiers.

Saturday: The Point and Beyond
The great William Trevor says that all his stories, however strange or dispassionate they may seem, have “a point”, and that this is usually stated towards the end of the story. Stories, however strange, must have an innate coherence: how can we be sure it’s there? We look at Frank O’Connor’s The Lonely Voice, especially his comments on Chekhov, and Chekhov’s statement on open endings – his inconclusive endings caused outrage initially. Have we come any further as readers/writers of stories?
The rest of the session will be practical: making time for writing in your life. How to get a story ready to send out? Where do you send it? Submsission gateways, online reminders. The pros and cons of competitions. How to cope with rejections. Self-publishing – pros and cons. How to put a collection together and propose it to publishing houses/agents.


Alannah Hopkin’s story collection The Dogs of Inishere was published by Dalkey Archive Press in 2017. Her stories have appeared in the London Magazine and The Cork Literary Review, among others, and been short-listed for the RTE Short Story Award. She has published two novels,and worked as a freelance journalist and art critic. Her non-fiction books include Eating Scenery: West Cork, the People & the Place. She regularly hosts events for the Cork International Short Story Festival, the West Cork Literary Festival and Words by Water in her hometown, Kinsale. Her latest book A Very Strange Man: A Memoir of Aidan Higgins is due from New Island in Spring, 2021. She is the 2020 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellow.

 

 

For all booking queries, email info(at)munsterlit(dot)ie

 

***

Write the Crime Novel Which Sells
with Kevin Doyle
through online video-conference

 

1st – 22nd September
Four-week course on Tuesday evenings

doyleworkshopweb

 

Time: 7 - 9 p.m. (Four weeks, 1st – 22nd September)
Venue: via Zoom – a web-conferencing desktop programme
Class size: Maximum of twelve
Cost: €120 or €100 (concession to unwaged)

 

Notes: This is an online workshop, open to anyone in the world. You will need to have access to a device (laptop / tablet / phone / computer) which has a microphone, speakers and camera in order to participate in the workshops. Our paid subscription to Zoom means you can use the free version, which is very user-friendly.

The administrator will give as much information and guidance as you need in the days leading up to the workshops, and will be available by phone before and during the workshops to offer technical support.


Propspectus

What do commercial crime novels have in common? In this four-week course learn the nuts and bolts which make this specific genre a success. We’ll be examining character, setting, voice and theme from a crime novelist’s particular angle. Learn about the business end of crime novel publishing so your career can be sustainable. Participants will have the opportunity to share their writing in a constructive, supportive setting with a successful, published author.

Kevin Doyle is the author of two crime novels set in his native Cork, To Keep A Bird Singing (2018) and A River of Bodies (2019) – both published by Blackstaff Press. He’s been shortlisted for many short story prizes winning the Michael McLaverty Award in 2016. He also co-wrote with Spark Deeley, the award-winning illustrated children’s book The Worms That Saved the World. He’s an experienced creative writing teacher and has worked with Cork City Libraries and on the Adult Education programme, facilitating courses on finding your voice and writing a first novel. More information at his website.

To Keep A Bird Singing and A River of Bodies are the first and second books in the Solidarity Books Trilogy. The third and final book in the series will be published in 2021. To Keep A Bird Singing and A River of Bodies feature ‘accidental investigator’ Noelie Sullivan, an unemployed ex-punk who uncovers a complex web of secrets linking Garda Special Branch to rogue elements inside the Catholic church.

The books have received praise for their complex and original plot lines:

“Highly, highly recommended. What Kevin Doyle does with the Solidarity Books Trilogy is go into the territory of real detection. The author has perfect pitch and photorealistic accuracy. Everyone in these books is a person speaking in their natural voice.” – Paula O’Hare/ Books Ireland

“An impressive and thrilling debut that looks corruption in the eye and never blinks.”
– David Park (author The Truth Commissioner)

“Doyle’s work has a lot in common with favourites from the Nordic Noir genre, where authors like Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbø share a terse matter of fact way with words, a bleak approach to the world, and yet have an underlying dogged determination to bring about justice. It’s Cork Noir if you will.” – Ellie O’Byrne/ Evening Echo

To Keep A Bird Singing is a great compulsive read, with an excellent sense of place.”
– Sue Leonard / Irish Examiner

A River of Bodies is a gripping thriller and has everything.” – Colette Sheridan/ Irish Examiner

“If you're expecting action in A River of Bodies, you might be a little disappointed. But, if you're looking for atmosphere and detective work, this is for you. Bring on part three.”
– The Pensive Quill Blog

“The characters are … ordinary people who dare to take on the might of the state and the dangerous child abuse ring which has tentacles into the Catholic Church establishment. 5 stars out of 5.”
– The Crime Novel Blog

 

Week 1 – Beginnings

  • Crime writing today: popularity and scope
  • Genre and subgenres: where do you fit in?
  • Beginnings: Why they are important and what they tell us
  • Book overview: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson)
  • Your work – a constructive look at participants’ work/ ideas
  •  

    Week 2 – Plot and Pace

  • Plotting essentials: story arcs, complications, twists
  • Pace, movement and the use of time in narration
  • The role of drafting and redrafting
  • Book overview: The Dry (Jane Harper)
  • Your work – a constructive look at participants’ work/ ideas
  •  

    Week 3 – Characters, good and bad

  • What to look for in character – protagonists and antagonists
  • Plausibility and realism in crime writing
  • A good quest and keeping the reader involved
  • Examining the heart of your story
  • Book overview: To Keep a Bird Singing (Kevin Doyle)
  • Your work – a constructive look at participants’ work/ ideas
  •  

    Week 4 – Business end

  • Common mistakes to avoid
  • Writing stamina, well-being and having a plan
  • Getting published: general considerations
  • Getting published: checklist
  • Recommended further reading
  •  

     

    For all booking queries, email info(at)munsterlit(dot)ie

     

    ***

    Poetry Performance Workshop
    with Kimberly Reyes
    through online video-conference

     

    8th – 29th May
    four-week course on Friday evenings

    reyesworkshop

     

    Time: 7 - 9 p.m. (Four weeks, 8th – 29th May)
    Venue: via Zoom – a web-conferencing desktop programme
    Class size: Maximum of twelve
    Cost: €120 or €100 (concession to unwaged)

     

    Notes: This is an online workshop, open to anyone in the world. You will need to have access to a device (laptop / tablet / phone / computer) which has a microphone, speakers and camera in order to participate in the workshops. Our paid subscription to Zoom means you can use the free version, which is very user-friendly.

    The administrator will give as much information and guidance as you need in the days leading up to the workshops, and will be available by phone before and during the workshops to offer technical support.


    Propspectus

    The performance of poetry is an often-misunderstood art. It’s more than just speaking in complete (or painfully obtuse, incomplete) sentences. It’s more than using big words. It’s more than being vocal about your sadness or anger, and it’s certainly more than rhyming.

    Over four workshops, I plan to cover the various aspects of effective performance as I have learned over the years. This course will be accessible to beginners and trained performers alike. We will study the various techniques that successful performers employ to push their discourse to the next level. We will start on the page and look at how the work we put in there can translate into a powerful rapport between audience and poet. We will “workshop” readings (students’ in addition to well-known performers) to help push your work to the next level. We’ll also have a special guest drop by, Tongo Eisen-Martin. You’ll have the opportunity to ask this acclaimed performer questions about his craft and his preparation, after he gives our class a private reading.

    While allowing for flexibility, especially in light of current events, this workshop will align in the following way:

     

    Week 1

    The persona performance

    After a round of introductions, we will begin by focusing on persona poems. All poetry is performance and no matter how much you may use the “I” in your work, that person is still a persona. We’ll be looking at works from Gwendolyn Brooks and Frank Bidart to see how they step into and perform the life of another. What sort of empathy and attention to detail does that take? How can that enhance our ability to relate to each other and ourselves? I will ask you to come to this class ready to read a short work that you are comfortable performing.

    This week will cover:

    • What do we learn about the world and ourselves when we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes?
    • Why it’s important to nail your performance on the page before you can bring it to life on stage

     

    Week 2

    The performance of self

    This week we’ll be discussing what makes a performance powerful and memorable, and what lands flat. We’ll view and talk through some sound performances by a diverse group of poets. What makes these successful performances work? Why do people spend time and money to see these people? What is it about a strong performance that transcends the page? This week will cover

    • How to decide which poems are most appropriate for which venue
    • What to know about the set-up of your space before arriving to read
    • How to balance the banter with the poems
    • How to memorize work and what that may add to the performance
    • Tricks and tips to combat nerves and hiccups (sometimes literally!) and when that fails, how to mess up gracefully.

     

    Week 3

    “Slam poets” and “page poets,” what do those terms even mean?

    We’ll look at the history of “performance” from Emily Dickinson to the Delhi Poetry Slam. This will also be the week that Tongo Eisen-Martin stops by to perform and chat with us.

    This week will cover:

    • The origins of spoken word/slam poetry
    • The slam poet/page poet divide
    • Q & A with Tongo Eisen-Martin

     

    Week 4

    Ready set read

    In Workshop 4 we will performing for each other. We’ll discuss and analyze our different approaches. I’m always amazed at how much students learn from offering thoughtful critique and how that translates into making better readers, performers and writers. I'll talk, too, about the business side of performing.

    This week will cover:

    • The performance of self, who are you and who do you want to present to the world?
    • Agreeing to readings, when you should and shouldn’t
    • Should you perform for free?
    • Should you employ online tools to get your work out?
    • How do people make a living doing this?!

     

    Read about Kimberly Reyes here

    Book your place by emailing info(at)munsterlit(dot)ie

     

     

    ***

    Creative Writing Workshop
    with Billy O'Callaghan
    through online video-conference

     

    Tuesday evenings April 14 - May 5 (sold out)
    Wednesday evenings April 15 - May 6 (sold out)

    Thursday evenings April 23 - May 14
    (sold out)

     

    billyocallaghan

     

    Time: 7 - 9 p.m. (Thursdays, April 23 - May 14)
    Venue: via Zoom – a web-conferencing desktop programme
    Class size: Maximum of ten
    Cost: €120 or €100 (concession to unwaged)

     

    Notes: This is an online workshop, open to anyone in the world. You will need to have access to a device (laptop / tablet / phone / computer) which has a microphone, speakers and camera in order to participate in the workshops. Our paid subscription to Zoom means you can use the free version, which only takes a few minuites to download and is very user-friendly.

    The administrator will give as much information and guidance as you need in the days before the workshops, and will be available by phone before and during the workshops to offer technical support.


    Propspectus

    Over four workshops, I plan to cover all the various aspects of writing fiction, with particular emphasis on the short story – because it is the form I feel I know best, and also because it is so accessible, even to beginners.
    To get people writing right from the start, my approach will be to break stories down to their basic ingredients in order to cultivate a better understanding of the art and craft of fiction. Each workshop will be accompanied by extensive notes that I have developed over the past five years of teaching creative writing. Suitable for complete beginners and for writers at a more advanced stage in their development, these notes, which can and should be referred back to on a regular basis, are designed to help the writer get inside a story so as to better understand its workings. My workshops, while allowing room for flexibility, will break down as follows:

     

    Week 1 – Plot & Character

    After a brief introduction into what I think makes a successful plot, citing examples and covering different genres, Workshop 1 will be devoted to a consideration (and demonstration) of plot composition, pacing and structure. We will talk about the pros and cons of outlining, and look at ways of finding major dramatic questions, and more importantly finding the major dramatic question that is right for a particular story, as well as how to shape a plot for maximum dramatic impact.
    This workshop will also attend to character. We will consider some examples of great fictional characters and what exactly it is that makes them great. From here, we will look at the essentials of character-building, including:

    • How to create characters, and the pros and cons
      of using characters from real life
    • How plot and character are inextricably entwined
    • How to add depth to our characters
    • The value of showing versus telling
    • Recognising the line between 'enough' and 'too much'

     

    Week 2 – Dialogue, Voice, Tense & Point of View

    Workshop 2 will begin by focusing on dialogue, specifically:

    • Developing characterisation through dialogue
    • Using dialogue to advance the plot
    • The difference between written dialogue and everyday conversation
    • How dialogue can be a useful tool for the 'unreliable narrator'
    • When to use / when to avoid
    • Dialect and 'colour'

    Some time will be set aside to discuss Voice, and we will also look at how a story is changed when choosing a particular point of view, and the directions that can open up to us when we consider a shift in the story's perspective. We will explore, too, the limitations and benefits of both first- and third-person point of view, and of past and present tense.

     

    Week 3 – Theme, Description & Sense of Place

    Workshop 3 will devote itself to a discussion of Theme, and how it should steer a story. We will also look at how descriptive passages can enhance our work, and why it is always valuable to write with the senses in mind. Additionally, we will try some exercises that can be useful in developing our descriptive powers.
    This workshop will also consider setting, citing particularly vivid examples. And following on from this, we will discuss ways of making the local universal. The idea here is to make writers aware of how their background and locality can inform their work.

     

    Week 4 – Rewriting & The Business of Writing

    In Workshop 4 we will talk about revision and redrafting, addressing critical points such as: what to look for when rewriting, the value of cutting, how best to approach second as well as subsequent drafts, and deciding when enough is enough. I'll talk, too, about the business side of publishing, again with particular emphasis on publishing short stories, both in magazines / journals and in book form, based on my own experience. We will also discuss the merits and downsides of self-publishing. This week's notes will cover:

    • How to properly format a manuscript
    • Setting goals
    • How to find the right market for your work
    • Coping with the inevitability of rejection
    • The value of a good query letter
    • How to approach publishing houses / agents
    • How to avoid scams

     

     Read about Billy O'Callaghan here

     

     

    ***

    To book or ask as question, email us at

    info(AT)munsterlit(DOT)ie

     

    Payment will be accepted by cheque/postal order (made payable to the Munster Literature Centre) or via Paypal (link provided on registration)

     

    Cancellation Policy: After you have paid for the workshop, should you have to cancel for any reason, we will exercise our best efforts to find a participant to replace you. If we can do so, we will refund your tuition payment. If we cannot replace you, we will not refund your tuition payment. The later the cancellation date, the more difficult it is for staff to find a qualified participant. Though we do recognize that emergencies happen, and we will do our best to help you, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to replace you in the event of cancellation.

    Your workshop place will be secured only after full payment: Every effort will be made to make sure that the programme proceeds as advertised but the Munster Literature Centre accepts no responsibility for changes made due to circumstances beyond our control. Refunds will be given only if a workshop is cancelled. As workshops sell out notification of such will be posted on this page.

     

     

    Click here to sign up for our newsletter to receive reminders about workshops

     

     

    “When I first went along to the Cork International Short Story Festival
    I didn’t know any other writers, wasn’t attending any writing classes....
    didn’t have a single word of fiction published. I signed up for the
    fiction workshop that autumn and again in the following spring,
    and now a year later my 12th story will be published. So I’d like to say
    a big thank you to everyone at The Munster Literature Centre!”

    – Prizewinning writer Danielle McLaughlin

     

    "Ironically enough, words fail me when it comes saying
    how amazingly stimulating and fantastic it was.
    "
    – Amy Barry Murphy on MLC evening fiction workshops

     

    Phone: + 353 (021)4312955
    Email: info(AT)munsterlit(DOT)ie
    In person: The Munster Literature Centre, Frank O’Connor House,
    84 Douglas Street, Cork

     

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    2021 Competitions

    Sean O'Faoláin
    Short Story Competition

    Deadline: 31st July

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    Fool for Poetry
    Chapbook Competition

    Deadline: 31st August

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    2021 Publications

    Southword 40

    Includes O'Faoláin Prize stories
    & O'Donoghue Prize poems

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    Felicity Sheehy

    Fool for Poetry Winner

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    Vicky Morris

    Fool for Poetry Winner

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    Queer Love

    Fiction anthology

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    YouTube Videos

    Poetry-Films

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    O'Faoláin Short Story
    Prize Reading Playlist

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    O'Donoghue Poetry
    Prize Reading Playlist

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    How to Write Titles

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    Workshops

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    Cork Events

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    Essays & Blogs

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    Munster Literature Centre
    is a constituent member of

    wordsirl

     

     
     
       

    Frank O'Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Ireland.

    Tel. (353) 021 4312955, Email: info@munsterlit.ie

       
    Irish Registered Charity No.12374