July 2022

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Novel Writing: Getting Started at Cairde Sligo Arts Festival

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

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 […]


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

Hawk's Well Theatre 2 Temple Street, Abbeyquarter North,, Sligo, Ireland

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 […]


Celebrating the Short Story with Wendy Erskine & Bernie McGill

Market Place Theatre, Armagh Market Street, Armagh, Armagh, United Kingdom

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 […]