This four-week course (eight hours) is designed to facilitate you in writing a short story. Over the course of the weeks, we will look at story openings, characterisation, dialogue and setting as you are guided through handouts on craft, invited to partake in written activities, and encouraged to discuss the elements of craft encountered in assigned stories and in your own work.
There will be a reading assignment each week and your written goal will be to complete a short story.
While your manuscripts will not be workshopped during the classes, I will suggest that you share your work in progress with the group so that any references you make to your text during our discussions will be familiar and thus enable the sharing of ideas.
You will be encouraged to submit your story a fortnight after the classes finish to enable me to offer any advice I think may be helpful.
Writers of the short form you can expect to encounter include William Trevor, Eílís Ní Dhuibhne, Claire Keegan, Danielle McLaughlin, Flannery O’ Connor, Raymond Carver, Jhumpa Lahiri, Carys Davies, and Kevin Barry.
Class numbers will not exceed nine.
If you have a factual story that you want to tell but are not sure what form to tell it in, this course will help you explore the possibilities. Over the course of the weeks, we will look at life-writing in its many guises, voice in non-fiction, characterisation, and the shape of your story. During each two-hour class you will be guided through handouts on craft, invited to partake in written activities, and encouraged to discuss the elements of craft encountered in assigned extracts and in your own work.
There will be a reading assignment each week and your written goal will be to complete a preface and opening chapter. While your manuscripts will not be workshopped during the classes, I will suggest that you share your work in progress with the group so that any references you make to your text during our discussions will be familiar and thus enable the sharing of ideas.
You will be encouraged to submit an extract of 2000 words from your work a fortnight after the classes finish to enable me to offer any advice I think may be helpful.
Writers of creative non-fiction you can expect to encounter include David Sedaris, Michael Harding, Emilie Pine, Eílís Ní Dhuibhne, Pat Boran, Frank McCourt, Hilary Mantel, Mary Karr, Tobias Wolfe and Doireann Ní Ghríofa.
A follow-on course in two parts for students who have completed the ten-week course on the short story.
This course is only suitable for students who have already completed the ten-week course here at the centre.
The course is divided into two blocks of five weeks.
Students can decide to take one or both blocks.
The course intends to build on the skills students have developed in the first ten-week course and to provide the student with a discipline and routine around their writing practice. This will be particularly helpful if the student is working on an on-going project, which could be a work of fiction or creative non-fiction, as both will be covered.
This course takes you through the elements of craft that are needed to tell any story, whether it is fiction or creative non-fiction (sometimes referred to as memoir). The focus of this course is to give you the tools to express yourself creatively.
Each week the lesson is divided into three sections, (a) A prompted free-writing exercise, (b) Instruction and discussion on one element of craft based on a handout and (c) the weekly reading assignment, a workshop of the weekly writing assignment from three students.
- Memoir/Biography/Autobiography -
If you have a story you want to record for posterity or an interest in something or someone specific that you would like to write about, then this may be the course you are looking for. Through prompted written exercises, instruction in the art of writing and the sharing of your work you will be encouraged and guided through the processes involved in writing about fact in a creative manner.
Every writer knows what Patrick Kavanagh meant in Iniskeen Road, July Evening when he said:
“I have what every poet hates in spite
Of all the solemn talk of contemplation…”
He was referring to the loneliness, the isolation of the artist, which is how it has to be when you are writing. You write alone, but here in the Kildare Writing Centre we recognise the importance of being part of a writing community, having at least one significant other that you can share and collaborate with on all things literary. Some writers will have a special reader, someone they trust to read their early drafts and offer advice and guidance. This, however, is the exception rather than the norm.
The Emerging Writers Course is a facilitated meet-up of like-minded writers where you will get an opportunity to (a) write and share a first-draft piece of writing, (b) discuss the works of established writers focusing on specific aspects of craft, and (c) workshop extracts from your current manuscripts.
If after the first five weeks the group wishes to continue the course will roll over to a follow-up five weeks and so on in to the future.
This is an introduction to writing the novel or a collection of short stories. The course looks at the opening pages of any work and what it is the writer needs to do to keep the reader reading. Over the course of the weekend the writer will (a) be informed on the major elements of craft, (b) participate in prompted free-writing exercises, (c) share extracts from their own work, and (d) discuss the works of established writers.
We can bring our courses and workshops to your venue, numbers permitting. Drop a line or call and we can work out the possibilities together.