Date: October 31, 2023

Time: 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Duration: 6 weeks

Level: Beginner | Emerging |

Cost: €165 (€150 Members)

Location: Irish Writers Centre

This course will take place on Tuesdays (six sessions in total). 

Course Content

The availability of our own lives as subjects for representing subjective experience has created the genre known as Autofiction. Autofiction borrows certain technical elements from fiction and autobiography/memoir to do something different and tell an alternative ‘story’. 

Course Outline and Outcomes

The 6-week course will look at literature which features the crossover between these genres and includes the work of established writers of autofiction such as Annie Ernaux, Ocean Vuong, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and Olga Tokarczuk. As well, you will experiment with your own experiences in order to apply techniques and perspectives that allow you to transcend the limitations of both autobiography and fiction and unite them in an autofictional work-in-progress. It may be serious or playful, but above all it will be distinctly yours. This course is suitable for emerging writers but also for beginners who are curious about writing in this genre.

Mary O’Donnell is a widely-published novelist, short story writer, and poet. Her most recent poetry collection is Massacre of the Birds (Salmon). Current projects include an RHA- exhibited collaboration with visual artist Geraldine O’Reilly, who interpreted 10 of her poems. A member of Ireland’s affiliation of artists, Aosdána, she is Writer in Residence at the Irish College in Leuven in October this year. She has taught creative writing at University Colleges Cork, Galway and Maynooth. Occasional reviewer of books for The Irish Times. It is helpful for participants if they familiarise themselves with Mary’s work in advance of the course through her website