Autumn 2015 - this course has now passed.

Runs: Sept 2015 – March 2016

Application Deadline: Mon 17 August

See 'How to Apply' below

Starts: Mon 28 Sept (introductory session)
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Duration: 20 Weeks + 4 Saturday sessions (dates/times/speakers TBC)
Cost: €1,500 / €1,450 IWC Members

— Organised by The Stinging Fly in association with the Irish Writers Centre 

— Supported by Words Ireland

Are you in the early stages of writing a novel or short-story collection?

If so, we are looking for people like you to participate in The Stinging Fly Fiction Workshop offered in association with the Irish Writers Centre.

The workshop, led by acclaimed novelist and short story-writer Sean O'Reilly, will consist of no more than 10 writers and will meet once a week over a six-month period (September 2015—March 2016).  

How it goes:

At each evening workshop, two participants will present their work in progress (a draft of a short story or novel excerpt) to the rest of the group for close scrutiny. The writing up for discussion each week is the raw material; any questions of writing technique or prose style will arise naturally from the work itself. If you are writing a novel or story collection, you will have ten close readers to respond to every stage of its development. 

Alongside the weekly workshops, on four Saturdays during the period, there will be a series of specialist talks on issues around the process of writing and the imagination. Previous guest speakers have included Evelyn Conlon, Gavin Corbett, Mia Gallagher, Michael Harding, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Declan Hughes, Claire Keegan, Paul Murray, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Mark O’Halloran, Keith Ridgway and Peter Sheridan.

Over the duration, each participant will also have two one-on-one sessions with Sean.

How to apply:

We are taking applications now and places will be offered on the basis of work submitted. The final date to apply is Monday 17 August.

See the attached PDF for more detailed information.

What happens then:

We will read all the stories and extracts submitted and offer 8–10 places on the workshop.

A €200 deposit will be payable once a place on the workshop has been offered and accepted. The balance to be paid in two instalments in September 2015 and in January 2016. The cost of the course includes free membership of the Irish Writers Centre.

See the Stinging Fly website for more information.

Sean O’Reilly’s published work includes Curfew and Other Stories, the novels Love and Sleep and The Swing of Things (all with Faber and Faber), and Watermark (with The Stinging Fly Press). Sean has a wealth of experience facilitating fiction workshops, as Writer-in-Residence with Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council and IADT/Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council amongst others. He currently teaches at the American College Dublin and in the Irish Writers Centre.

Feedback from participants of the Stinging Fly Fiction Workshop:

'It’s the best writing course I've done, and I've done a few, including a Masters. The group worked because of the quality of the criticism and there were no door-size egos. Without doubt everybody's work improved during the course and the work was good to start with. The one-to-one sessions were instrumental and in-depth. The guest speakers were unholy and brilliant. The course is definitely a leg up (or a kick in the arse) on the finicky road to completing the first novel.'

'What is outstanding about this course is the generosity, both in terms of time and close attention, with which every submission was discussed by Sean and the rest of the group. Sean’s instincts were unerring, his suggestions helpful, and the energy with which he engaged with each participant was remarkable. An atmosphere was soon established in which as much could be learned by critically engaging with the work of every other member as from feedback on one’s own work.'


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