Date: March 6, 2024

Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Duration: 8 weeks

Level: Beginner |

Cost: €240 (€220 Members)

This course will take place in person on Wednesdays (eight sessions in total).

Course Summary

This interactive, sixteen-hour programme, delivered over eight two-hour sessions, is aimed at beginning writers and those who may have had some writing experience in the past but would like to revisit the key elements of creative writing. It provides a practical introduction to short fiction and poetry, through the combined strategies of close reading of selected poems and stories, guided discussion and writing activities. Participants who are willing will be encouraged to share their work, in either small or large groups, in order to experience the workshop method of giving and receiving feedback in a supportive setting.



Course Outline

  • Session 1: Introductions and expectations; analysis of a poem: content, form, structure; Introduction to a short story – character, setting; stimulus writing activity.
  • Session 2: Poetry – introduction to two poetic forms: haiku and sonnet. The line, rhyme, rhythm, assonance, alliteration. Fiction: Revisit story from last week – structure, point of view; stimulus writing activity
  • Session 3: Fiction – description, people and places; building a character. Stimulus writing activity.
  • Session 4: Fiction – Conflict – protagonist, antagonist; dialogue. Stimulus writing activity.
  • Session 5: Fiction – Structure – Elements of the story arc. Stimulus writing activity.
  • Session 6: Poetry – Free verse – the line, and approaches to structure. Stimulus writing activity.
  • Session 7: Poetry: Imagery, symbol, simile, metaphor Stimulus writing activity.
  • Session 8: Recap – revisit course expectations; review own progress; where to from here? Stimulus writing activity and evaluation.

Participants will produce work during the course of the programme, partly in response to stimulus writing activities generated during the session and partly from assignment tasks to be completed, on a voluntary basis, between sessions.  Those who wish can bring their developing or completed work to the next session, where they can receive feedback from the group, if they wish, and from the facilitator. However, there is no obligation or pressure on participants to share their work unless and until they feel comfortable doing so.


Course Outcomes

Having participated in this eight-week course, you will achieve the following outcomes.

1. Explore your own voice and writing passions
2. Read a range of poems and short stories
3. Explore key elements and tools involved in writing in general:
4. Explore some of the tools and elements commonly used in writing poetry;
5. Explore some of the tools and elements commonly used in writing fiction:
6. Practise developing a writing process, from prompt/inspiration, to rough draft, first draft and subsequent  editing.
7. Gain practice in the workshop method, through collaboration and discussion with your fellow participants
8. Produce at least one piece of writing, finished or at an advanced stage.

Liz McSkeane is a writer and publisher. She has four collections of poetry, one novel and a collection of short stories. In 1999, she was overall winner of the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year for her poetry. Her historical novel Canticle was a joint winner in the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair 2016. Liz has had a long career as an educationalist, including tutoring adult and higher education in a wide variety of subjects, including creative writing.