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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
What is a Reading Round group? Reading Round is a unique type of reading group that differs in a number of ways from traditional-style book groups. Each group is run by a published author who has worked for at least two years in the Royal Literary Fund’s Fellowship scheme. Reading Round is funded by the Royal Literary Fund and is free for members to join. Where and When will it happen? The Reading Round group will meet in the Meeting Room at Coleraine Library starting again in September 2022. Provisional dates (28th September 2022 through to 7th June 2023) to be confirmed. What’s involved? Each week the group listens to a different piece, or pieces, of writing read aloud by the Group Lector. The piece might be a story or a poem though it might also be a speech, memoir or piece of narrative non-fiction. The group then discusses the piece(s) at some length to really try to get under the skin of the text: What effects does it have on us as we read? How does it achieve those effects? Guided by a Lector, the group considers the text in detail, looking at tone, choice of words, viewpoint, the effect of a certain image […]
Whether you are an avid reader and in a book club, or have no time to read and are simply looking for inspiration then come and join us for the FLive Book Club at the Ardhowen Theatre Studio, Enniskillen. To take part read Bernie McGill’s newly published collection of stories, This Train is For (released by No Alibis Press on 1st June 2022), within your book club or individually, then buy a ticket for the FLive Book Club and come and chat with Bernie*. Book online for FLive Book Club on the FLive Festival website. *Bernie will facilitate a Creative Writing Workshop at the Ardhowen Theatre Studio from 10 am - 12 noon on Saturday 8th October. Full details and booking on the FLive Festival website. Praise for This Train is For: ‘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 […]
Join writers Nuala O'Connor and Martina Devlin for a discussion about their historical fiction novels based on the lives of real people. Nuala O’Connor’s novel Nora tells the story of Nora Barnacle, one of the world’s most famous muses, bringing her out from behind the shadow of James Joyce. Nora was named a Top 10 2021 historical novel by the New York Times and was the One Dublin One Book choice for 2022. Martina Devlin’s new novel Edith: A Novel is set during the War of Independence and focuses on Edith Somerville, who was one-half of Irish writing sensation Somerville and Ross. Writing with her cousin Violet Martin, she produced some of Ireland’s most celebrated literary works, such as The Real Charlotte in 1894 and The Irish RM stories, which have stayed in print for more than a century. Nuala and Martina will be in conversation with novelist Bernie McGill to explore historical fiction, responsibility to the past and the celebration of fascinating women. Book via Seamus Heaney HomePlace.
Have you always wanted to write but didn’t know where to start? Or have you been writing for a while and find yourself in need of a little creative workout? This workshop, led by author Bernie McGill, aims to flex your writing muscles through exercises, prompts and suggestions that will help to strengthen your writing practice and develop your work in a new direction. All levels of experience welcome, from seasoned writers to first-timers, poets and fiction writers alike. The workshop will be fully participative with participants taking part in writing exercises and sharing their work with other group members. Come with writing materials, prepared to write. There will be a short break for lunch (please bring your own). Suitable for 16y + Bernie McGill is the author of two novels: The Watch House (nominated for the Ireland European Prize for Literature in 2019) and The Butterfly Cabinet (named by Julian Fellowes as his novel of the year in 2012). Her collection of short stories, Sleepwalkers, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize in 2014. Her new collection, This Train is For was published by No Alibis Press in 2022. Book for this workshop on the Burnavon website.
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 […]