Online: Northern Soul with Fiona O'Rourke
Starts: *Wed 30 Jun 2021
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Duration: 6 Weeks
Course Level: Emerging
All Irish Writers Centre remote courses take place on Irish Standard Time (GMT+1)
*Please note that no class will take place on Wed 28 July and this course will end on Wed 11 August
Northern Soul is for writers wishing to focus on Northern Ireland in their fiction, in a safe and exploratory writing community. As this is the centenary year of the formation of the North of Ireland, course content will explore how there is more than one experience of the Troubles. Participants will read extracts from short stories, novels, and poetry (including the course facilitator’s work) and use these as discussion points and exploration for their own works in progress, and to generate new work.
Week 1: The challenge of fictionalising history and real life: is it still too dangerous to tell the truth?
Week 2: Understanding another’s culture & beliefs through fiction: the novel that inspired the birth of an independent bookshop.
Week 3: Incorporating two cultures: ask a friend or research?
Week 4: If you want a job done ask a busy woman: the female perspective blazing the trail.
Week 5: Poetry: up close and personal and beyond the border.
Week 6: The peace process: Ceasefire babies and troubles of the mind.
Each week (by prior arrangement) 2 writers will have the opportunity to share an extract of their work in a safe and confidential writing community for peer appreciation and constructive feedback.
Through course exercises and homework (not compulsory) participants will have progressed their work and firmed up an existing or new writing project which is focused on the Northern experience.
Fiona O’Rourke’s stories have been published, broadcast, and translated. Wrong Whiskey, a Troubles fiction, was a prize winner at the Fish International Short Story Award and was included on the reading list for Saint Mary’s College, California. Her debut novel Have You Found Luke? also a Troubles fiction, was a winner at the Irish Novel Fair 2016, and other Troubles fictions have been published in Sonder and translated for Troquel Revista de Letras. Since earning an MPhil in Creative Writing (TCD, 2015), she has facilitated creative writing courses and provided mentorships for writers. She is a member of Women Aloud NI.
Recommendations of Fiona O'Rourke's work:
A wonderfully unique take on Northern Ireland’s paramilitary/criminal underworld and the effect its culture has on families for generations.
(Editor & Publishing Consultant Averill Buchanan on debut novel Have You Found Luke?)
Your course features big time in what I am writing, the poems I submitted (for Masters’ course) are all from work I did at your sessions.
(Anne McDonald, shortlisted in various competitions and published debut poetry collection)
Highly recommend this course with @fionamkorourke who has been a brilliant reader, critic and creative spark in my life since we met back on #xBorders - she’ll get you writing what you need to be writing.
(Michelle Gallen, author of Big Girl Small Town)
I loved this story's sense of time and place. It treats the reader like an intelligent adult by leaving a trail of clues, not about who committed the crime, but that a crime is happening, right now.
(Author David Mitchell, judge of Fish International Short Story Award on Wrong Whiskey