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Novel Writing: Getting Started at Cairde Sligo Arts Festival

6. July 2022 @ 10:30 am - 1:00 pm


Do you have an idea for a novel but don’t know how to get started? Or have you started a novel but become stuck part of the way through? Would you like some guidance from a professional writer on how to continue or how to begin? This workshop, led by Bernie McGill will incorporate practical advice on structuring a novel, developing setting, building characters and refining point of view. Suitable for writers who are beginning or developing a novel. Early booking is advised due to limited spaces (max. 10).

Bernie McGill is the author of two novels: The Watch House (nominated for the Ireland European Union Prize for Literature in 2019) and The Butterfly Cabinet (named by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes as his novel of the year in 2012). Her first collection of short stories, Sleepwalkers, was shortlisted for the prestigious Edge Hill Prize in 2014. Her work has been published in the UK, the US and in translation in Italy and the Netherlands. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies The Black Dreams, Belfast Stories, The Long Gaze Back, The Glass Shore and Female Lines. Her new short story collection, This Train is For, is published in June 2022 by No Alibis Press.

Bernie is a former Writing Fellow with the Royal Literary Fund (RLF) at Queen’s University, Belfast. She now works as a Lector and Facilitator with the RLF and is a Professional Mentor with the Irish Writers’ Centre. She lives with her family in Portstewart.

‘McGill writes about life, love and telegraphy with a poet’s clarity.’ The Sunday Times

‘The book is a masterclass in how to marry narrative and setting.’ David Park, Irish Times

‘McGill proves once again she is a masterful storyteller… historical fiction at its absolute best.’ The Lady

Book this workshop here.

Please note that Bernie McGill will take part in a short story panel discussion at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo, along with Sheila Armstrong and Stephen Walsh, and chaired by Jan Carson, at 8pm on Wednesday 6th July 2022. Full details here.



The Yeats Building
Hyde Bridge, Abbeyquarter North,
Sligo, F91 DVY4 Ireland
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