Online: Northern Soul with Fiona O'Rourke Writing Course Irish Writers Centre Dublin

Booked Out: Online: Northern Soul with Fiona O'Rourke


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Starts: *Wed 30 Jun 2021
Time: 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Cost: €165/€150

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

Course Summary: 

Northern Soul is for writers wishing to focus on Northern Ireland in their work, in a safe and exploratory writing community.  For writers of fiction, poetry, memoir, and creative non-fiction. 

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.

Course Outline:

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.

Course Outcomes:

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


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