Writing Groups

Looking for a writing group or looking to set one up?

The Irish Writers Centre has been used as a base for writing groups for many years, with a number of Ireland's best new talents emerging through this creative channel. The Centre is also happy to promote the work of other groups meeting around the country.

If you are interested in joining one of the groups listed below, please email the address provided, or if no contact is provided, email info@writerscentre.ie, telling us who you are, what kind of group you're looking for and your availability. Or contact us to talk about setting up your own group. Attendance at all meetings is €5 per person per meeting.   

Writing Groups at the Irish Writers Centre

The following is a list of current groups meeting and working at the Centre on a regular basis.

Inkslingers    

The Inkslingers is the Irish Writers Centre's open writing group. All are welcome. It meets every Saturday at 1.30–3.00pm (excluding bank holiday weekends) to workshop new work and participate in writing exercises. It's ideal for new members of the Centre who wish to find out more about other groups at the Centre and how writing groups work. They're an exceedingly friendly group. Attendance is €5 for non-members and free for current, paid-up members. Contact: info@writerscentre.ie  and take a look at the Inksplinters blog.

Inksplinters

An extension of the Inkslingers group (see above), this busy group is currently on a hiatus from its Wednesday meetings but have incorporated themselves into the Inkslingers group's Saturday meetings. Poets and prose writers. They welcome new members throughout the year. Contact: Harry Browne: hbrowne4@gmail.com

New Irish Communities Writing Group

Are you new to Ireland? Or is English your second (or third) language? If so, this is the ideal workshop for you. The group will meet every Saturday from 11.00am – 1.00pm, starting from 17 September 2016 onwards. The workshop will be facilitated by writers  Mark Granier and Liz Farsaci. Mark is a published poet and also teaches creative writing at University College Dublin. Liz Farsaci has worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Dublin, and has taught creative and non-fiction writing to non-native English speakers at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Whether you're interested in fiction, prose or memoir, the group will help you to tell your story and express yourself well in English. Students should have a good level of English, be comfortable reading magazines and newspapers, and conversing in English. Cost: €6 per session. €20 for 4 sessions. Buy in bulk online or pay on the day. Contact: info@writerscentre.ie  

Sapphire Writers' Group        

The Sapphires review work submitted by members with varying levels of experience working in a variety of genres. This well-established group meets at the Irish Writers' Centre Mondays at 10:30 am. Operating democratically, each meeting is chaired by a different member, with works shared on a weekly deadline via Dropbox. Members critique each other’s writing according to an agreed set of guidelines. Part of the meeting is devoted to discussing new and emerging ideas and developments of mutual interest. There may be some vacancies coming up soon. Contact: Orla Bourke  sapphirewriters@gmail.com

Bealtaine Writers' Group        

Bealtaine originated in a series of workshops offered by the Irish Writers’ Centre and Age and Opportunity as part of the Bealtaine Festival celebrating creativity in older people in May 1999.  Members of the group were so enthusiastic that they continued meeting monthly, losing and gaining members on the way. Now, fifteen years later, they still meet monthly to write, read, and workshop poems.  Bealtaine is a democratic group where all share in facilitating new work and leading workshops. Bealtaine is open to new members who are older, experienced poets. Contact: Elizabeth O'Carroll mossycarroll@gmail.com   

Writing Children's Literature and Young Adult Fiction     

Do you have ideas for a children's book or a novel for teenagers? This group meets once a month to read each other's work in progress, discuss new ideas and be inspired. If you are looking for honest and constructive feedback on your work, or just want to meet people who love children's books as well, get in touch to find out when we meet next. Contact: Simone Schuemmelfeder schuemmelfeder@gmx.de

WEB Women Writers' Group                 

In 1987, Arlen House, the feminist publishing house, invited a group of twelve women writers to participate in a series of workshops. The initiative was designed to encourage and help Irish women to become serious writers, at a time when it was perceived that women were under-represented in the Irish literary canon. The poet, Eavan Boland, whose own work had been ground-breaking, facilitated most of the workshops in the series; Clare Boylan, the novelist, taught one of them.  When the Arlen House project finished, eleven of the participants decided to continue meeting to peer review their own work. So the WEB Women Writers’ Group was born. The group has met monthly since 1987. Initially the workshops took place in members’ homes. Since 1992, however, the group has been happy to use the facilities of the Irish Writers’ Centre for its meetings, which are held once a month, on Saturday afternoons.Over the years, many of the WEB writers have established successful literary careers. Several have published books, had plays and film scripts produced, and many have won prestigious literary prizes.  The Group is not all hard work: we have holidayed abroad together, attended festivals such as the James Joyce Summer Festival in Trieste, and liaised with other writers’ groups, such as ‘Word of Mouth,’ in Derry.  And there have been quite a few parties! Membership of the WEB women writers’ group is by invitation only. At the moment, with eighteen members, the group is full.

Thornfield Writers Group    

A women's writing group made up of experienced and professional members which meets on a monthly basis on a Saturday afternoon. By invite only. 

Words on the Wind   

A group of poets of all ages who meet every second Friday from 11am to 1pm. Contact: scana6@gmail.com

Circle of Poets

A group of five to six experienced poets who meet every second Wednesday from 11.00am to 1.00pm. Contact: Anita Readman: anitareadman@gmail.com. Note: Currently this group is full and unfortunately can not accept new members.

The Second Mondays Group

This is a small group of committed writers, who have been meeting up once a month for the past few years to discuss and critique each other’s work. In our group we have a mixtures of ages and genres - from novelists, to crime fiction writers, to short fiction writers. Some of our group have secured publication and the rest of us are aiming towards publication at some point. It's a small but friendly group and the aim is always to provide positive but realistic criticism. We meet on the second Monday of each month in the Writers Centre, from 7 pm to 9.30 pm. How it works is that each member of the group circulates a piece of writing (up to 1,500 words) by email in advance of the meeting and then this writing is read out and discussed at the meeting. The only cost is room hire at 5 euro per session. We do require a level of commitment to attending as many sessions as possible, as even if you may not have any writing to present yourself, the group benefits from everyone's feedback on each other’s pieces. Although we need to ensure that the group is small enough to work effectively, there may be space for new members at some stage throughout the year. If you think this group would suit your writing, please forward a short sample of your writing to second.Mondays@gmail.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Stephen's Green Writers' Group  

This group of experienced poets and prose writers meet roughly once a month, usually on a Wednesday. Contact: Michael Casey  m_g_casey@hotmail.com   

The Kilroy Kids

This group have formed following their week-long intensive course led in the summer of 2014 by Claire Kilroy. They usually meet on a Tuesday evening, about once a month. Contact: info@writerscentre.ie 

Scríbhneoirí na Gaeilge 

Is grúpa critice é seo agus pléann sé prós agus filíocht. Cruinníonn Scríbhneoiri na Gaeilge le chéile uair sa mhí in Áras Scríbhneoirí na hÉireann. Malairtítear an lá idir an Chéadaoin agus an Satharn chun freastal a dhéanamh ar dhaoine atá ag obair i rith an lae agus iad siúd nach bhfuil. Gach eolas ó scribhneoiribac@gmail.com

Around Dublin

Ballymun Writers Group

Ballymun Library Writers’ Group meets every Wednesday 4.30pm - 6.30pm.  Email ballymunlibrary@dublincity.ie for further details.

Bayside Writers Group

This writing group meets the last Friday of every month from 7pm to share and encourage creative writing and discuss each others work. New members are welcome. For more details call 01 8390378.

Coolock Adult Writers' Group               

The group meets every Thursday from 11am to 1pm in Coolock Library. For more details call 01 8477781.

Dalkey Library Writers Group

The Dalkey Library Writers' Group meet to read and discuss their writings every second Thursday at 6.30pm. For more information, contact Dalkey Library at dalkeylib@dlrcoco.ie                         

Donaghmede Adult Writers' Group  

This writing group meets on the first Thursday of every month at 6.30pm in Donaghmede Library. For more details call 01 8482833.

The Dublin Writers' Forum    

The Dublin Writers' Forum meets every Thursday at 7.30pm in The Workman’s Club, 10 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2, except during school holidays. The DWF operates on a drop-in basis. Writers of all genres and experience are welcome. Co-facilitated by Fiona Bolger and Anne Tannam, the Forum provides a safe 'working space' where writers can bring their work to be critiqued by other writers. Contact: dublinwritersforum@gmail.com   

Dun Laoghaire Writers’ Group

This is a small group of experienced writers whose focus is on the novel. They are currently open to new members and meet in Dun Laoghaire on the last Tue of every month. If you are interested in joining, please email imeldamcdonagh@gmail.com introducing yourself and include a 200 word sample of your writing.

Eblana Writers

Eblana Writers is a collective of novelists, playwrights and short fiction writers based in Dublin. Eblana Writers meet at 7pm on the first Thursday of the month from February-July and September-December at the Lantern Intercultural Centre, 17 Synge Street Dublin 8.

The Flying Bookclub  

Designed to bring book lovers together, The Flying Book Club offers a range of programmes exploring Irish writing.  Come and join one of our informal and engaging groups (mid-week or weekend) for three hours of discussions, readings, tours and special guest appearances. Our timetable allows plenty of time to explore the city and to visit our wonderful libraries and bookshops. The Flying Book Club is all about books - sharing our experiences of books, revisiting old favourites, and discovering new fields of interest. For further information see the website, www.flyingbookclub.ie, or contact The Flying Book Club telephone: or email: editor@flyingbookclub.ie    

Kevin Street Creative Writing Group               

This writing group meets every Thursday from 2.30pm to 4pm in Kevin Street Library. Times may vary, so call in advance if you are interested in participating. For more details call 085 160 9906.         

The Phoenix Writers Group

This writing group meets every first and third Wednesday of the month at 8pm, currently in the function room of the Bell pub in Castleknock.

Rathmines Writers' Workshop            

Participants read from their own work, either a poem, short story or extract from a novel or play and then receive feedback from the group.  The emphasis in the workshop is on constructive feedback. Participants are welcome to attend without reading themselves but you'll have much more fun if you do read. A fee of €5 per person (€3 concessions) is charged to cover costs. The fee for the prose meetings is €7 (€5). The group meets from 7.30pm to 10pm at Christ Church in the centre of Rathgar Village. Contact: marybguckian@yahoo.co.uk 

Write Club

Write Club meets in various locations of Dublin city centre on the last Wednesday of every month. There are limited places and a small fee to cover room rental (approx €3). To join, please send two pages of your best work to brybutler@gmail.com

Elsewhere

Ards Writers, Co. Down

Ards Writers currently meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month (except July and August) from 7.30 - 10.00pm at the Web Theatre, North Street, Newtownards. The meetings consist mainly of readings of members' work followed by discussion and criticism, usually lively but always constructive and fair. All types of writing - poetry, short stories, novels, plays, non-fiction are covered. Occasional guest speakers. For further details contact mail@ardswriters.com

Ballyhackamore Writers, Co. Down

Ballyhackamore Writers meet on a Monday once a month at the Ballyhackamore Library from 6.45pm to 7.45pm. Contact the library for further details.

Ballymoney Creative Writers, Co. Antrim

Ballymoney Creative Writers meet on Mondays and Tuesdays during term time in Ballymoney Town Hall. Contact Anne McCusker for further details: Email: amccusker2000@yahoo.co.uk

Bundoran Writers' Group, Co Donegal

The Bundoran Writers' Group meets on alternate Mondays from 8-10 pm at Brennan's Pub in Bundoran, Co Donegal, from September through May. We follow the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) guidelines, writing to triggers and responding positively to encourage new voices and experimentation (See “Writing Alone and with Others” by Pat Schneider, ISBN-13: 978-0195165739). We have enjoyed exchange visits with other writing groups. New members are welcome. Contact tomsigafoos@gmail.com for further details.

Burnavon Writers, Co. Tyrone

Burnavon Writers meet on Thursday evenings from 7pm until 9pm. They welcome new members. Contact Mary Crooks Mary.Crooks@cookstown.gov.uk for further details

Fermanagh Writers, Co. Fermanagh

Fermanagh Writers meet weekly at Blakes of the Hollow on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm. Those interested in joining us are most welcome to come along and see what we’re all about. Meetings consist of readings and positive feedback sessions in a comfortable environment. Whether a seasoned writer looking a like minded community, or just taking your first tentative steps into the world of writing, Fermanagh writers offers you a warm welcome. For further details email contact@fermanaghwriters.com

Great Island Writers Group, Co. Cork

This group meets every Saturday at 10:30am in Cobh library. Contact Thelma Mills for further details: Tel: 021 4816611

Holywood Writers, Co. Down

Holywood writers meet every other Friday between 10.15am and 12.15pm. The group is open to new members and details are available in the Holywood library.

Hungry Hill Writers, Co. Cork

Hungry Hill Writers is for those interested in meeting others on Beara who write, or want to write. There are active writers' groups, such as the regular open poetry sessions on the last Friday of the month in Castletownbere. For further details see here.

MEAS Writers, Co. Donegal

MEAS Writers is based in south-west Donegal and currently meets fortnightly in members' homes. The group members read extracts from material they are working on and offer them for collective critique. Cake is usually involved. For further information email charliegarratt@yahoo.co.uk.

Midleton Writers Group, Co. Cork

This group meets in Courtyard Craft and Exhibition Centre in Cork on the 1st Thursday of the month at 8pm. Contact Michael O’Connor for further details: Tel: 087 6743137

Muse Writers Group, Co. Down

This group meets in Bangor, Co. Down. Contact Thelma Sheil for further details: Tel: 028 9146 3674

Navan Creative Writing Group, Co. Meath

A new writers’ group is being set up in Navan, and is currently seeking members for fortnightly meetings. These would ideally take place on Wednesday evenings, 7-9PM, at Blackbird Bookshop, Old Cornmarket, Navan (subject to confirmation).  Night of the week and time is flexible depending on interest received. Informal meetings would allow all creative writers to share their works-in-progress, whether short stories, poetry, novel chapters, scenes from plays etc. All genres and levels of experience welcome. Bringing copies of work would be advantageous in allowing detailed, constructive feedback. If interested, please contact John Davies: Tel: 089 445 1169 Email: davies.jp@talk21.com

The Poets' Place, Belfast
The group meets on an ad hoc basis and is always open to new members. Contact chelley@comartspartner.org for further details.

Shalom Writers, Belfast

Membershipm to this group is restricted to a maximum of 14. Applicants for membership are asked to send examples of their writing to the secretary Denis O’Sullivan at the library. The group meets on Thursday mornings from 10am-12 noon. For further details contact belfast.central@librariesni.org.uk

SixPens Writing Group & Weekend Writing Retreats, Westport, Co. Mayo  

Have a book in you? Story, Poem, Play or Song? SixPens runs weekends of writing at the beautiful Old Rectory Retreat in Westport (October, January, April & June). Both residential and non-residential available. Nourish body and mind with productive hours spent in good company: writing, sharing, laughing & eating delicious homemade food! Facilitated by Fin Keegan & Fiona Keane (both MFAs, Columbia University). Contact hq@sixpens.com
Also in Westport: SixPens weekly writing groups (youth & adult) Adult class Friday mornings. Children & Teens Saturdays. For more information contact Fiona Keane 087 763 4339 or hq@sixpens.com.

Virgin Slate, Co. Cork

Virgin Slate is a small group of amateur writers based in Cork. They usually meet once a fortnight. There are no membership fees. Every two weeks the group meets (in a city centre pub) to discuss the various submissions and decides upon a theme for the following fortnight. They publish work in an ezine on Facebook. Each issue begins with a theme (a word or a phrase). Writers then have two weeks to submit a piece of writing on that theme. The writing can use any form and take the theme in any direction the author wishes. New members are welcome to either join us in the pub or to submit entries by email or post. Email us at: virginslate@gmail.com for more information on venue. Or follow them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VirginSlate or to view a list of back issues: http://tensepretence.com/