Welcome to my new blog

Hi there.

I'm a writer and freelance teacher and editor with an addiction to new technology.

Having haphazardly kept a blog elsewhere over the past couple of years, I'm determined to start afresh with this one. The challenge will be to keep it updated, interesting and relevant. Time will tell.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Anam Cara Workshop on Narrative

Anam Cara Writers and Artists Retreat in Eyries on the Beara Peninsula has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Situated overlooking Coulagh Bay and set in a glorious garden of streams and nooks and crannies and wild spaces, it is run by the wonderful Sue Booth-Forbes who has created a rare sanctuary for writers and artists.

I've visited on a number of occasions over the past 13 years, but am very excited to be finally facilitating a workshop there, with my partner, Peter Salisbury. The workshop will take place from 1st to 4th July. Here's more detail:

“Finding the story” is aimed at any writer grappling with the challenge of plot, storyline and narrative. Through a combination of practical creating writing and drama exercises and exploring texts from literature, as well as one to one feedback sessions and clinics, we’ll explore how best to structure our stories to make them compelling and readable. Participants may already be in the process of writing stories, in which case there will be opportunities to workshop and get feedback, with emphasis placed on solving problems that disrupt the narrative flow. But the workshop is also aimed at generating new story ideas and new approaches to generating and structuring our narratives. By the end of the weekend, participants should have a much clearer idea about how to structure their stories to create compelling, credible and intensely readable stories. They should also have lots of ideas for new story lines.


Thursday, 1st July, evening: Arrival, introductions and ice-breaker

Friday, 2nd July:

Morning session – What’s the story? Generating story ideas
Afternoon session - How plots work and the best structures
Evening – Trip to be arranged

Saturday, 3rd July:

Morning session – How to generate and manage conflict in story
Afternoon session – Clinic (one to ones) and free writing time
Evening – Plot driven characters or character-driven plot

Sunday 4th July:

Morning session - Losing the plot – stories that write themselves
Early afternoon: Workshop round-up and next steps

You can get more information by emailing Sue at anamcararetreat@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New book and readings by Noel King

Noel King is an indomitable figure in the Irish poetry scene. He has been championing new Irish writing for many years now, publishing many fine writers under his Doghouse imprint. I first met him at a workshop given by Pat Boran in Tralee in 1995 and it's a delight to see finally see his own poetry in book form. Details about a forthcoming reading that Noel is doing with Eileen Sheehan are below:

The Poetry Café, The Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street,, Covent Garden

0207 420 9887/ 0207 420 9888


June 16th

Irish Poets, Noel King and Eileen Sheehan


Although both native to Co Kerry both poets offer, through their work, two distinctive views of Irish cultural life. Eileen’s strongly rhythmic voice weaves through a backdrop of rural landscape and domestic interiors to explore the depths of life and relationships. Referencing myth and Irish folklore, her earthy humour has an underlying feminist twist. Noel’s poems speak through a more urban voice; rooted in history, both social and political. The personas in his work give voice to the social and economic dilemmas of a people from wartime Ireland through to the post Celtic tiger era.

No admission charge. Noel’s debut collection, Prophesying the Past (Salmon Poetry, 2010) and Eileen’s collections Song of the Midnight Fox (Doghouse Books, 2004) and Down the Sunlit Hall (Doghouse Books, 2008) will be on sale.

The event is funded by Culture Ireland – Promoting Irish Arts Worldwide


I've published three books to date:

In Sight of Home, a verse novel, published by Salmon Poetry in 2009. You can get more details here:

Trapping a Ghost, published by bluechrome, Bristol, in 2005.

Bar Talk, published by iTaLiCs Press, Dublin, in 1999. An online version of this book is available on the Irish Literary Revival website.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Creative Writing Summer School at UCD's John Hume Institute

I'm delighted to be involved with a new initiative over at the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies at University College Dublin. We're launching a new Creative Writing Summer School, to run from 30th August to 1st September 2010, at the John Hume Institute building in Belfield. We're extraordinarily lucky to have persuaded Pat Boran, Claire Keegan and Hugo Hamilton to give master classes, and I'll be leading creative writing workshops each morning. There'll also be a reading by Hugo, Pat and myself on the final evening. And all for the modest price of €250. You can get more information by emailing me at nessa.omahony@ucd.ie.