Workshops with top writers on offer in Bantry

April 1st, 2018 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

In the short story workshop, Marie-Helene Bertino will look at what builds a strong and effective short story. (Photo: Sioux Nesi)

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BOTH aspiring and established writers have been advised to secure their places now for some of the array of workshops on offer at the West Cork Literary Festival, which runs in venues in Bantry from July 13th to 20th next. 

From journalism to poetry, creative writing for beginners to advanced poetry, there is a workshop for people at all levels looking to spend time in the beautiful West Cork seaside town, honing their craft. 

Workshop facilitators include Justine McCarthy, Sinéad Gleeson, Martina Evans, Eimear Ryan, Billy Ramsell, Katharine Weber, Marie-Helene Bertino, Philip Hoare, Dave Lordan and Trish Deseine. 

Workshops will be filled with lively discussions which writers can use as jumping off points to spark fresh, passionate work. 

Early booking is advised to avoid disappointment and online booking is open on the festival website (

Award-winning journalist Justine McCarthy will cover a broad range of subjects during her five-day workshop, including investigative journalism and writer, Sinéad Gleeson, whose debut essay collection will be published by Picador next year, will share her expertise on life writing and memoir. 

In Creative Writing for Beginners, Eimear Ryan, who has won several awards for her short stories, will explore the various elements of writing from ideas to first lines and, in Poetry for Beginners, Billy Ramsell, who has published two collections of poetry, will help aspiring poets to take the next step. 

Katharine Weber’s workshop on novel writing is appropriate for writers of all levels. Katharine is the author of six novels and taught creative writing at Yale University. 

Award-winning poet and novelist, and author of 11 books of prose and poetry, Martina Evans, will conduct the advanced poetry workshop, which will encourage poets to see how they can truly be the director of their own work. In the short story workshop, Marie-Helene Bertino will look at what builds a strong and effective short story.

Dave Lordan’s workshop for teenage writers, which is back by popular demand for the eighth year in a row, is designed to build the creative confidence and expressive ability of teenagers with an interest in writing. This year, Dave will be accompanied by acclaimed children’s writer ER Murray. 

Travel and nature writer Philip Hoare will explore the way we intuit a sense of place and the world through words, over a three-day workshop on Whiddy Island. 

Over five mornings, cookbook author and food writer, Trish Deseine, will look at favourite cookbooks with a view to creating your own and will also be looking at illustration and food photography. She will be joined by French photographer, Virginie Garnier, for a morning dedicated to food styling.

The West Cork Literary Festival is generously supported by The Arts Council, Cork County Library and Arts Service and Fáilte Ireland. Booking for readings and other events will open at the end of March.

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