In these practical workshops participants will be invited to take part in writing exercises that focus on: structuring a novel, writing openings with impact, developing setting, creating credible characters, and refining point of view. We will also look at opportunities for further developing and submitting work. Suitable for writers who are beginning or developing a novel. Participants should bring a 250-word synopsis. Works in progress are welcomed. 3 Day Workshop - Thurs/Fri/Sat, 2nd-4th June 2022, from 9am to 12:30pm Day 1. We will hear and give feedback on a selection of the novel synopses that participants have brought and look particularly at: Structuring a Novel and Writing Openings with Impact. Day 2. We will hear and give feedback on synopses and look particularly at: Developing Setting and Creating Credible Characters. Day 3. We will hear and give feedback on synopses and look particularly at: Refining Point of View and Opportunities for further developing and for submitting work. We will finish with information and discussion and a Q&A on aspects of writing. 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
A hands-on, fully participative writing workout that allows you to explore the writing of short fiction, to consider where your strengths as a writer lie and who you’re writing for. Wherever you are on your writing journey, from beginners who are not sure how to proceed, to more experienced writers open to new ways of working, this course will offer exercises and prompts that will help to develop your work in new directions, within a community of fellow writers. Come with an open mind, prepared to write. Bernie McGill is the author of two novels (The Watch House and The Butterfly Cabinet) and two short story collections (This Train is For and Sleepwalkers). Her work has been widely anthologised and has been produced by BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. She is an Associate Fellow with the Royal Literary Fund. These workshops at the John Hewitt International Summer School in the Market Place Theatre, Armagh, run on Monday 24th, Tuesday 25th & Thursday 27th July 2023 from 2.45pm - 4.45pm. Participants should attend all three workshop sessions. Spaces are limited - advance booking is essential. Book this workshop at the Market Place Theatre Box Office. Full information on events and workshops […]