Date: September 7, 2021

Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Duration: 6 weeks

Level: Beginner | Emerging |

Cost: €165 (€150 Members)

All Irish Writers Centre remote courses take place on Irish Standard Time (GMT)

Course Summary:

A series of workshops on writing about the natural world, landscape and place that will offer writers the opportunity to craft their skills in evoking settings, imagined, remembered or lost. Long before we had maps, we had stories through which we knew our place in the world and could project our fears, loves and memories. Taking inspiration from examples of nature writing the participants will work on exercises that will demonstrate how landscape can elevate works of poetry, fiction and memoir.

Course Outline:

Participants will produce written material in each workshop, focusing initially on producing word maps of landscapes they know well and discovering how to convey their settings convincingly. They will be encouraged to collect a portfolio of these word maps, conveying their favourite landscapes and describing the associations between past and present, people and places. Creative writing exercises will be provided to help stimulate the participants’ imaginations and improve their use of the senses, weather, seasons, character, foreshadowing and authenticating detail.

Course Outcomes:

Participants will discover how to set their story in a convincing landscape, getting the chance to grow their skills at describing the world their characters inhabit, so that readers can clearly visualise the scenes as they unfold, experiencing the action as it takes place, and hear, touch, smell, feel and see the world and its objects. They will learn to use setting as a source of character, embodying the feelings and moods of their main characters. Participants will also learn how to use their powers of description to create suspense and drive their story forwards. Without a strong sense of place, readers will feel lost. Stories with a strong sense of place take readers out of their own worlds into a different reality, and this is the greatest gift that a writer can give. The chance to escape!

Anthony J Quinn is the author of nine crime fiction and historical novels. His debut, Disappeared, was picked by The Sunday Times as one of its Best Books of the Year, and was the Daily Mail Crime Novel of the Year. His books have been shortlisted for awards in the US and the UK. He has a PhD in Creative Writing and teaches creative writing at Queens University Belfast at Masters and Undergraduate level.