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June 2022

Bernie McGill & Rosemary Jenkinson in Conversation at Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy

25 June @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Seamus Heaney HomePlace, 45 Main Street
Bellaghy, BT45 8HT United Kingdom
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£12

In Conversation with Emma Warnock Seamus Heaney HomePlace is delighted to welcome two of Northern Ireland’s finest writers in a celebration of the short story. Both Bernie McGill and Rosemary Jenkinson have released short story collections this year and have had their work anthologised in many collections. 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 short fiction has appeared in anthologies The Black Dreams, Her Other Language, Belfast Stories, The Long Gaze Back, The Glass Shore and Female Lines. Her new short story collection, This Train is For, will be published in June 2022 by No Alibis Press. Rosemary Jenkinson is an award-winning playwright and short story writer. Her plays include The Bonefire, which won the Stewart Parker BBC Radio Award, Here Comes the Night and Lives in Translation and she was the 2017 Artist-in-Residence at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. Rosemary’s short story collections include Contemporary Problems Nos. 53 & 54, Aphrodite’s Kiss and Catholic Boy which was shortlisted for the…

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July 2022

Novel Writing: Getting Started at Cairde Sligo Arts Festival

6 July @ 10:30 am - 1:00 pm
The Yeats Building, Hyde Bridge, Abbeyquarter North,
Sligo, F91 DVY4 Ireland
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€20

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…

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An Arrow in Flight: A Panel Conversation on the short story at Cairde Sligo Arts Festival

6 July @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Hawk’s Well Theatre, 2 Temple Street, Abbeyquarter North,
Sligo, F91 EDE9 Ireland
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€16

With Bernie McGill, Sheila Armstrong and Stephen Walsh, hosted by Jan Carson. Irish author Mary Lavin once famously referred to the short story as ‘an arrow in flight’, a ‘flash of lightning lighting up the whole landscape at once’ with no need for a classical beginning, middle and end. For our panel event on the short story, Jan Carson will chat with three Irish writers who have all published collections of short stories this year. Bernie McGill's award-winning stories have been widely praised for their emotional depth and their lyrical language.  This Train is For is her latest collection. Sheila  Armstrong is a writer and editor from the northwest of Ireland. How To Gut A Fish, her first collection of fiction, was published by Bloomsbury in 2022, and she is working on her debut novel. Stephen Walsh published his debut collection of short stories late 2021. Shine/Variance has been described as  Beautiful little studies of unspoken fear and longing and love, told with a sure-footed delicacy rare in a debut. - The Irish Times Book here for this event. Please note that Bernie McGill will facilitate a workshop on the morning of 6th July in the Yeats Building, Sligo, as part…

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Creative Writing Workshop: Summer Home with Bernie McGill at Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy

16 July @ 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
Seamus Heaney HomePlace, 45 Main Street
Bellaghy, BT45 8HT United Kingdom
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£25

Join writer and facilitator Bernie McGill for a writing workshop in the Moyola Hall and Sensory Garden at Seamus Heaney HomePlace. This will be a practical workshop on the everyday craft of writing with the aim of sparking ideas for new work. Prompts and exercises will take inspiration from the words ‘summer’ and ‘home’ and from Seamus Heaney’s poem of that title. All levels of experience are welcome from experienced writers to first-timers, as well as poets and fiction writers alike. Participants will have the option to find a spot outdoors in the Sensory Garden (pictured here) to write, weather permitting, or indoors in the adjoining Moyola Hall. Come with writing materials, prepared to write! A hard back notebook or clipboard may be useful for writing outdoors. Bernie McGill is the author of two novels The Watch House and The Butterfly Cabinet. Her collection of short stories, Sleepwalkers, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize in 2014. Her new collection of short stories, This Train is For, is published by No Alibis Press in June 2022. Book at Seamus Heaney HomePlace.    

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Reading & Signing: This Train is For at The Secret Bookshelf, Carrickfergus

18 July @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Secret Bookshelf, 38 Scotch Quarter
Carrickfergus, BT38 7DP United Kingdom
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Set in the secret garden in The Courtyard, Carrickfergus, The Secret Bookshelf is a hidden gem of a shop. From our showroom of new and lovely books, browse our bespoke rooms: our geek-den, crime-alley, family room, and second hand store. Come up the stairs and let us, and the shop, transport you into the world of books, where we’re always happy to help with recommendations, take orders, or just chat about book-love. Bernie McGill will read from her new short story collection This Train is For at The Secret Bookshelf on Monday 18th July at 2pm. This new collection, her first since 2013, contains unpublished stories along with a number of previously published stories featured within award winning anthologies. ‘This Train is For portrays the complexities of the heart with sensitivity and acute psychological insight. Rendered in the most perfect prose, Bernie McGill presents lives in physical and emotional transit, uncertain of the journey’s destination, understanding that sometimes the most important moments in our lives involve travelling not forward, but to moments we thought we had left long behind.’ David Park ‘Bernie McGill is one of the most accomplished short story writers in Ireland today. These stories contain powerful truths and…

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Novel Writing – First Chapters with Bernie McGill at the John Hewitt International Summer School

25 July @ 2:45 pm - 28 July @ 4:45 pm
Market Place Theatre, Armagh, Market Street
Armagh, Armagh BT61 7BW United Kingdom
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£66

In this practical and participative course on novel writing you will focus on structuring work; writing openings with impact; creating credible characters and selecting point of view, as well as opportunities for further developing and submitting work. Suitable for writers who are beginning or developing a novel. Participants should prepare a 250-word synopsis of their novel in advance. Workshops will take place at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh during the John Hewitt International Summer School on Monday 25th, Tuesday 26th and Thursday 28th July from 2.45 pm - 4.45 pm. Bernie McGill is the author of two novels, The Butterfly Cabinet and The Watch House (short-listed for the Ireland European Union Prize for Literature in 2019) and two short story collections, Sleepwalkers, and This Train is For, published by No Alibis Press, June 2022. Book for this series of workshops here. Bernie will be in conversation with Wendy Erskine and Paul McVeigh at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh on Wednesday 27th July at 1.30pm. Full details here. You can view the full programme for the John Hewitt International Summer School, from 25th - 30th July 2022, including all workshops, talks and evening events here.

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Celebrating the Short Story with Wendy Erskine & Bernie McGill

27 July @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Market Place Theatre, Armagh, Market Street
Armagh, Armagh BT61 7BW United Kingdom
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£10

Celebrating the Short Story with Wendy Erskine & Bernie McGill in conversation with Paul McVeigh. Wendy Erskine’s first collection, Sweet Home (2018), was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize and won the 2020 Butler Literary Award. In her new collection, Dance Move, we meet characters who are looking to wrest control of their lives, only to find themselves defined by moments in their past. In these stories – as in real life – the funny, the tender and the devastating go hand in hand “Truly magnificent. These stories buzz with life and verve and humour… reminds us how glorious the short story can be.” Danielle McLaughlin. Bernie McGill's latest collection of short stories This Train is For, was published by No Alibis Press in June 2022. She has written two novels, The Butterfly Cabinet and The Watch House, shortlisted for the 2019 Irish/European Union Prize for Literature. Her first collection of stories, Sleepwalkers was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and her short fiction has been widely anthologised in a number of publications including the award-winning The Glass Shore and The Long Gaze Back. "Wonderful stories of journeys geographical and of the inner kind."  Bernard MacLaverty Paul McVeigh is the…

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August 2022

Sand, fire, glass, sea: a creative writing and glassmaking workshop at Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart

13 August @ 10:30 am - 2:30 pm
Flowerfield Arts Centre, 185 Coleraine Road
PORTSTEWART, Northern Ireland BT55 7HU United Kingdom
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£50

Led by Author Bernie McGill and Glass Artist Andrea Spencer of Benefield Spencer Glass, this half-day workshop will take inspiration from the landscape of the north coast. Following introductions and a short writing exercise, participants will alternate in two groups between a creative writing session and a glassmaking session, during which time there will be a break for lunch (please bring your own packed lunch). At the end of the creative writing and glassmaking workshops, you will have created a piece of creative writing and flameworked glass, ending the session with a sharing of work. No previous experience is necessary. Andrea Spencer maintains a studio in rural Ballintoy on the North Antrim Coast. Her work is inspired by nature, drawing on natural forms and structures to create pieces which correlate with aspects of the human condition. Bernie McGill’s most recent short story collection, This Train is For, was published in June 2022 by No Alibis Press. Her novel The Watch House was nominated in 2019 for the Ireland/European Union Prize for Literature.

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September 2022

Writing Workshop, Old Church Centre, Cushendun

17 September @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Old Church Centre, Cushendun, 1 Church Lane
Cushendun, BT44 0PG United Kingdom
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£7

As part of Culture Month, Cushendun Old Church Centre is hosting a writing workshop with author Bernie McGill. This will be a practical workshop on the everyday craft of writing with the aim of sparking ideas for new work. Prompts and exercises will be used. 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 stories, Sleepwalkers, was shortlisted for the prestigious Edge Hill Prize in 2014. Her new short story collection, This Train is For, was published in June 2022 by No Alibis Press. Bernie was Writing Fellow with the Royal Literary Fund (RLF) at Queen’s University, Belfast from 2018 to 2020. She is an Associate Fellow of the RLF and works as a Lector (for Reading Round at Coleraine Library) and Writing Facilitator for the organisation, and is a Writing Mentor with the Irish Writers’ Centre. She lives with her family in Portstewart. Booking for the Writing Workshop is via the Old Church Centre website. *Please note that Bernie will read from her Rathlin island novel The Watch House at…

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Reading from The Watch House by Bernie McGill at the Old Church Centre, Cushendun

17 September @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Old Church Centre, Cushendun, 1 Church Lane
Cushendun, BT44 0PG United Kingdom
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£5

As part of Culture Month, Cushendun Old Church Centre is hosting an afternoon of readings with author Bernie McGill, inspired by the North Antrim coast. Bernie McGill's novel The Watch House is set on Rathlin Island at the time of the Marconi telegraphy experiments in 1898. A pair of strangers arrives from the mainland, laden with mysterious radio equipment, and the islanders are full of dread. For native Nuala Byrne, abandoned by her family for the New World and trapped by a prudent marriage to the island’s ageing tailor, the prospects for adventure are bleak. But when she is sent to cook for Marconi’s men and is enlisted, by the Italian engineer Gabriel, as an apprentice operator, she becomes enthralled by the world of knowledge that he brings from beyond her own narrow horizons. As Nuala’s friendship with Gabriel deepens, she realises that her deal with the tailor was a bargain she should never have struck. Praise for The Watch House: ‘McGill writes about life, love and telegraphy with a poet’s clarity’ The Sunday Times ‘The Watch House, set on Rathlin Island at the turn of the 20th century, awash in old rituals and impending transformations, in loyalties and enmities and…

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