April 13, 2019

One City One Book Workshops 2019 Saturday 13 April at The Irish Writers Centre

1. Follow the Story – Catherine Dunne: 10 – 11.15 am

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Based on her experiences of researching and writing An Unconsidered People, Catherine Dunne’s workshop will focus on some of the key issues that arise when preparing an interview. Background research is essential: it gives direction to the interview and highlights the issues for discussion. Listening is as important as the questions we ask. ‘Open questions’ help as does a willingness to ‘follow the story’ – going where the interviewee leads. It’s essential to be ethical. Sometimes, people reveal more than they intend. Their interests must be protected. Finally, the mechanics of transcribing will be explored as will editing the interview. What do we include? What do we leave out? How do we decide?

2. The Continuing CharacterDermot Bolger: 11.30 – 12.45 pm 

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Not least of the achievements of Edna O’Brien’s Country Girls Trilogy is how she interweaves the worlds of her two central characters at different stages of their lives. In this workshop novelist Dermot Bolger examines the challenge of getting inside the head of the same characters for a second time and progressing their stories while remaining true to their original representation. In discussing how he depicted the early decades of his real life heroine, Eva Fitzgerald, in his classic 2005 novel, The Family on Paradise Pier, and then later used the same characters to explore Eva’s closing decades in his 2018 novel, An Ark of Light, Bolger explores questions of to how to blend the plot of one novel into the plot of its sequel; how to research fiction set in the period when The Country Girls is set and both the issues and responsibilities involved in basing fiction on real events, be they biographical or autobiographical.

3. Writing From the Body – Nuala O’Connor 1.45 – 3 pm 

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Writing sensual moments and/or sex scenes in fiction can be a tricky business. How upfront does the writer need to be? How much should be on the page and how much hinted at? Using examples and writing exercises, this workshop will look at how far to go when it comes to writing from and about the body in long and short fiction.

4. Panel Discussion: Class Divides in Irish Society Past and Present 3.15 – 4.45 pm

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Colm Keegan and Professor Margaret Kelleher

What promises to be a very lively discussion between these two well-known personalities on the Dublin literary scene will include topics such as how the working-class has traditionally been portrayed in writing; working-class writers and social issues; how writers portray class in their own work; the shift in attitudes towards class as displayed in current writing; and to what extent the urban/rural divide still exists. There will be plenty of time for Qs & As also.

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