Developing your writing skills

COURSES aimed at developing writers’ skills will take place at a number of locations around the city and county over the coming weeks.

COURSES aimed at developing writers’ skills will take place at a number of locations around the city and county over the coming weeks.

As part of their ongoing commitment to Kilkenny writers, Kilkenny County Council Arts Office and Library Service will hold a number of writers’ workshops.

A workshop in Creative Prose by Ken Bourke will run from April 10 to May 15 at John’s Quay, City Library for six weeks from 6pm to 8pm.

Over the six weeks, participants will have the opportunity to develop your prose-writing skills in a relaxed atmosphere. They will be encouraged to identify your writing objectives in terms of how, where, what and when you will write. The workshops will focus on shorter prose forms, but there will be opportunities to discuss other aspects of story-telling, and the focus and objectives of the workshop will be tailored to the needs of the participants. All levels of experience are welcome: the diversity of the group will be one of our key resources, and numbers will be limited to encourage full participation by all present.

Ken Bourke has been a professional writer for over twenty years. He is an experienced facilitator and has worked with a wide range of groups and lives in Kilkenny.

A poetry workshop by Derek Coyle will also run at Thomastown Library from April 10 to May 15 from 6pm to 8pm. Over a series of six workshops particpants will learn what to look at in a poem, work on developing your skills by

learning how to read and examine carefully the work of other poets, and learn some new words and techniques so that you can become more confident readers, and thus writers, of poetry. Participants will learn about prose poetry, satire, the dramatic monologue, metaphor, simile and symbol. The workshops will examine lots of ways to get started, from writing poems about modern life, political satire, animals, birds, and flowers.

Along the way you will look at a selection of poems by leading contemporary Irish and international poets: Eavan Boland, Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Simon Armitage, Mary Oliver and Derek Walcott to name a few.

Derek Coyle lectures in English Literature and Irish Studies at Carlow College. He has published poems and reviews in The SHOp, Ceide, The Texas Literary Review, and The Irish Literary Supplement. Recently, he has had poems published in Mexico, in Cuadrivio, in their Irish issue. He has been shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Award (2010), and the Bradshaw Prize (2011).

An Introduction to Creative Writing by Eimear Cheasty will take place at Ferrybank Library from April 10 to May 15. The course will run each Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm. An Introduction to Creative Writing, will arm students with foundation skills and tools to create their own unique pieces of work. They will examine the work of some well known authors and poets, and look at how they have mastered their craft. Participants will get the chance to explore both poetry and the short story as formats, and will be taught exercises that will help develop and inspire their own ideas and stories. You need have had no previous experience with writing, just a willingness to create and have fun! All ages and levels of experience are welcome.

Eimear Cheasty is the creative writing tutor for Waterford Youth Arts. She has also worked with Waterford Writers Weekend, Storytelling Southeast and Waterford City Library Services. Her most recent play ‘The Crow on your Shoulder’ was performed during the Imagine Festival in 2012. Her work has appeared in the Irish Examiner, Mongrel, and Jane magazine amongst others.

There is a nominal fee of €25 to secure places on all the courses. Deadline for bookings is 4pm on March 25. Participants are expected to sign up and commit to the six weeks of their chosen course.

Places are limited to 12 participants per course so please book early to avoid disappointment. To secure a place on the above courses please contact the Arts Office on 056 7794133/056 7794138 or email

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