Posts Tagged "Writing"

summer story storm 2013


Cover design for the kids’ stories

At the beginning of July, I ran a Summer Story Storm workshop at The Hunt Museum in Limerick for kids from 7 to 11 years old (I actually had one 6 year old who told his story through pictures only – full of colour and detail).

The kids had 2.5 hours to find a artifact in the museum to use in their story, and then to write an original piece of their own. Their work would then be bound as an individual book at the end of the session.

We did a quick-fire tour of the museum, where the kids drew and took notes on their favourite objects. Then we returned to the library where they wrote, and drew, until their little hands and brains couldn’t take any more. Even when parents arrived to pick them up, few wanted to leave.

I chatted to the kids as they wrote, and helped them out if they got stuck. They worked so hard, and produced wonderful, twisted, action packed stories. It was a great morning filled with much pencil biting and imagination stretching – a perfect morning in my book!

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IWC e-mentoring pilot programme 2013

In April 2013, I submitted a blurb about a children’s novel I was having difficulty finishing, in order to be chosen as part of the Irish Writers’ Centre’s pilot E-Mentoring Programme.

My blurb convinced the good people at the IWC that I was indeed in need of URGENT mentoring. And so, I submitted samples of WOOD WANDERERS – a story I had been working on for over two years – along with questions relating to my specific issues, to my mentor (a professional writer and instructor).

Over a number of weeks, I chatted with my mentor online regarding his feedback on my work. He gave me great advice, and helped me to see why I was so stuck, and suggested a few ways on how to try and get myself unstuck.

I still have a LOT of work to do, but after taking part in the programme I now feel like I can tackle the novel again. I loved the story concept I came up with, but I had become pretty jaded with the project. After the few online sessions, and one-to-one feedback, I am confident the story will no longer languish in my ‘To Do’ folder, but will now finally graduate to a final draft.

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creative writing & illustrating workshop 2013


Heroes and villains action scene: characters ALL created by kids attending the workshops

Second item on the agenda this year so far: Creative Writing and Illustration workshops for children. I run these workshops as part of my Writer-in-Residence programme at The Hunt Museum in Limerick.

This is my second year as W-in-R at The Hunt, and the whole experience has been amazing. The kids’ enthusiasm and dedication to their stories makes running the workshops a dream for me.

We start off by looking for inspiration amongst the hundreds of artifacts in the museum’s eclectic collection. Every drawing, and word created in the workshops are recorded in the kids’ notebooks. These notebooks act as a record of progress and inspiration through the 4 Saturday sessions.

The kids are encouraged to create story characters through group discussions. We investigate story setting by experiencing and describing the external and internal environment. The kids draw scenes from their stories, as well as completing finished chapters for a final reading session held in the museum on the last day.

I don’t know about the kids, but I certainly have a blast at every workshop, but my favourite part, without a doubt, is when the kids read and critique each other’s work. I can see their confidence grow, and they come away wanting to write more.


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IWC novel fair competition 2012/2013

I’m just catching up on this year’s news NOW! So first on the agenda is the Irish Writers’ Centre’s Novel Fair Competition 2012/2013. I received an email in January from the IWC telling me that my children’s novel, PLAIN BORING, had been long listed for the competition!!

I was really excited because this was my first time entering, and I knew the competition was going to be very strong. Out of 300 entries, they chose 30 for the long list, with a final 10 names on the winners list – all of whom got the chance to sell their wares to publishers and agents at the Novel Fair in February.

I’m definitely going to try again this year, and get myself an invite to the ball!


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