Danielle McLaughlin Aiden O'Reilly Alan McMonagle Claire-Louise Bennett Martin Malone Irish Writers Centre Dublin

Booked Out- Masterclass Series on the Short Story

Starts: Wed 14 Feb 2018
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Duration:  8 Weeks 
Cost: €250/€230 Members

Some of the greatest writers of the 20th century have explored, teased and experimented with the short story to create small but perfectly formed works of fiction that challenge both the reader and the craft of writing itself. Incorporating a diverse range of topics, from the universal struggle of rewriting and revising, to openings, language, structure and narration, attendees will have an exclusive opportunity to engage with those who do it best. Join Claire-Louise Bennett, Martin Malone, Danielle McLaughlin, Alan McMonagle, Aiden O'Reilly and others over eight sessions to discover new ways to get to the heart of what makes short fiction one of the most engaging forms of modern literature.

Week 1: Developing from the Short Story with Martin Malone
Wed 14 Feb • 6.30PM - 8.30PM 
Discuss and explore how writers develop a novel or a play or both from a short story, and why that is possible to accomplish with one story and not another.

Week 2 & 3: Short Stories as a Place for Dark Psychology with Aiden O'Reilly
Wed 21 & 28 Feb • 6.30PM - 8.30PM
The short story is the natural format for the voice of the marginalised or those with a deviant perspective on the world. Sarah Hall writes: “I like short stories to be a powerful distilling. It is a place for dark psychology.” The intensity of the short stories we look at is not just a literary device, but emerges from a distinct way of experiencing the world.

Week 4: Draft to Final Cut with Alan McMonagle 
Wed 7 March • 6.30PM - 8.30PM 
Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words and in the plainest possible language. Using texts of the author's published work, this talk-through will provide a 'draft to final cut' commentary on editing the short story.

Week 5: Short Fiction is a Funny Thing with Danielle McLaughlin 
Wed 14 March • 6.30PM - 8.30PM 
It's a funny thing, short fiction: It can transport us to the darkest places and still make us laugh. This talk will explore different approaches to writing humour in short stories. It will look at how humour can be a pathway to the deadly serious, how to write humour with compassion, and how we can allow ourselves to be funnier as writers.

Week 6: Writing War with Danielle McLaughlin  
Wed 21 March • 6.30PM - 8.30PM 
This talk will consider what the short story can do in writing about war, and will reflect on the opportunities and challenges presented.

Week 7 & 8: Stop Making Sense with Claire-Louise Bennett 
Wed 28 March & Wed 4 April • 6.30PM - 8.30PM 

'Everyone tries to make so much sense', so says Shelia Heti in her introduction to Leonora Carrington's gloriously subversive collection of short fiction. Over the two sessions we'll be looking at an exciting range of work that embodies the more subterranean and radical aspects of human expression, including stories by Ann Quin, Clarice Lispector, Fleur Jaeggy, Shirley Jackson and Anais Nin, in order to stir up our own deep imaginative store and overturn the obligation to make ourselves understood via received forms.


About the Authors

Claire-Louise Bennett's short fiction and essays have been published in The Stinging Fly, The Penny Dreadful, The Moth, Colony, The Irish Times, The White Review and gorse. She was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize in 2016. 

Martin Malone is the author of 7 novels, a memoir, 3 short story collections and several radio plays. His short stories have been widely broadcast and published, and have won numerous awards. 

Danielle McLaughlin’s debut collection of short stories, Dinosaurs On Other Planets, was published in Ireland in 2015 by The Stinging Fly Press, and in the UK and US in 2016 by John Murray and Random House.

Alan McMonagle has published two collections of short stories (Liar Liar and Psychotic Episodes), and holds an MA in Writing from NUI, Galway. In 2015 Alan signed a two book deal with Picador.

Aiden O’Reilly’s short story collection Greetings, Hero was published by Honest Publishing UK, and launched in September 2014. His fiction has appeared in The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review, The Irish Times, Prairie Schooner, 3am magazine, and several anthologies. 

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