Workshop details for 2016 West Cork Literary Festival announced

29 April 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth

West Cork Literary Festival

West Cork Literary Festival
July 17th – 23rd, Bantry, West Cork.

Taking place in an inspiring setting on the Wild Atlantic Way, the West Cork Literary Festival will host a series of workshops, from song writing to playwriting, memoirs to travel writing, where experts in their field will share their knowledge. One-on-one and group workshops will be filled with lively discussions writers can use as jumping off points to spark fresh, passionate work. These workshops offer the opportunity to share work and ideas and receive constructive feedback in a supportive environment designed to get creative juices flowing.

“A songwriter has to go deep into themselves and find a place where they can relax, take stock and release their creativity.” This is an essential element at the very heart of Jack Lukeman’s creative process and he invites songwriters to come on a journey with him that will be thought-provoking, educational, insightful, personal, unique and fun. Jack will take you step by step, through the entire song writing process, integrating the craft’s many skills into a seamless artistic whole.

Literary Editor and Op Ed Columnist, Fintan O’Toole, will present a Journalism and Social Justice workshop, examining the ways in which journalism can hold those with power to account, challenge orthodoxies and stand up for those whose voices are not heard. Participants will be asked to listen for what is not being said and will learn to write persuasively against the grain

In the unique setting of Whiddy Island, Horatio Clare, multi award winning author, will share his tips from classics, explore contemporary works and suggest new directions for travel writers of the future. On the mainland, Thomas Morris will examine the short story form, paying careful attention to issues such as getting a story started, getting a story finished, and how to do the bits in between. Michael Harding will adapt his course on The Art Of Memoir to suit participant’s needs as together, they explore themes such as memoir as a story, structure, humour and editing, with a strong emphasis on personal experience and personal story.

Join Magi Gibson for lively and stimulating workshops designed to help you find your true voice, the Wild Woman voice you’ve lost by being caught up in all the other roles life demands. Magi will help you confront and deal with the negative voices holding you back from writing the way you want to, those inner censors that stop you from saying the things you need to say.

For writers with a novel in progress, whether they’re five or fifty thousand words in, through discussion, writing exercises and reading examples from great novels, Lisa McInerney’s workshop group will focus on creating an absorbing and cohesive plot, developing complex characters, nailing realistic and vibrant dialogue, capturing an evocative setting, and finding their own narrative voice.

Bring your notebooks and writing tools to the Poetry Workshop led by Jo Shapcott in which she will explore the many ways poetry brings ideas, stories and emotions to life. Come prepared to write, to be open to techniques and approaches old and new, and to have fun with language.

Danielle McLaughlin will host Creative Writing for Beginners, for those who are taking the very first steps in their writing journey. Expect discussions about where stories come from – do we find them or do they find us? By studying examples of great writing, Danielle will explore a variety of styles, and approaches, over the course of five mornings.

For those new to writing for the stage, and also playwrights who wish to review and develop their practice, Carmel Winters will share her expertise on the art of playwriting. Whether a beginner or more advanced writer, writing for the stage continually challenges us to find both traditional and new ways to communicate with an audience. Carmel will work through a series of experiential exercises designed to reinvigorate understanding of how theatre works.

Dave Lordan will assist in building the creative confidence and expressive ability of teenagers with an interest in writing by combining a high-energy workshop approach with talks and Q&A sessions on being a writer in the contemporary world. This is Ireland’s leading workshop for teenage writers and demand is always high so early booking is advised.

And finally, seize the rare opportunity to speak with Hannah Griffiths, a literary editor with more than 20 years experience in publishing, most recently as Fiction Publisher at Faber & Faber, by booking a one-to-one session.

Early booking is advised to avoid disappointment. Online booking is now open online on the festival website ( For all enquiries call +353 (0) 27 52788 or lo-call 1850 788 789.

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