Welcome to Creative Writing at UCC

This site is a road map to the world of creative writing at UCC.  The School of English offers creative writing at undergraduate, Masters and PhD level. See what we do – check out our blog written by students, see the major names in literature who visit our campus, and explore the numerous courses we offer that redefine and broaden what it is to be a 21st century creative writer. 

News and Events

Winter's here!

The third edition of the annual arts journal,  Winter Papers, edited by Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith, has just been published.

This year's Papers features work by Mary Morrissy, associate director of creative writing, William Wall ( PhD candidate in the School of  English),  Eimear McBride, Glenn Patterson, Claire-Louise Bennett, and June Caldwell among others. The trademark cloth-covered, thread-sewn hardback is designed, according to the editors, for aesthetic as much as literary appreciation; it's a beautiful object, in other words.

The journal has many Cork associations - including Barry himself who worked and lived in Cork for several years.  It is designed by John Foley at Bite! Associates  - http://bitedesign.com/ - and printed by Waterman Printers - http://www.watermansprinters.ie/ -  both Cork-based.

The journal will be celebrated on a special edition of "Arena", the RTE arts programme  - http://www.rte.ie/radio1/arena/ - this evening,  Monday, November 13 @ 7pm, featuring editors Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith, along with Sara Baume, Hugh O'Connor, Paul Lynch and Mary Morrissy.


Watching the detectives

Join us for the first of the 2017/18 School of English Reading Series with "Women and Crime" when three of Ireland's leading crime writers, Julie Parsons, Liz Nugent and Alex Barclay will be reading.  The event takes place on Tuesday, November 14, WW6 @ 7pm.  Admission is free and all are welcome.

The full series details are as follows:

January 30, 2018 - Canadian novelist and poet Jane Urquhart, winner of the Governor General Award and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger.

February 27, 2018  - Roddy Doyle and Rooney Prize winner, E.M Reapy

March 20, 2018  - "Writing Parents" - an evening with literary family biographers Carlo Gebler and Susan Phipps.

April 17, 2018  - Irish-American author Joseph O'Neill, author of Netherland, winner of the 2009 Pen Faulkner Award.



Writers in the picture

Catch up with the doings of creative writing alumni  -  and current faculty -  who've been busy writing and publishing this autumn.

Our International Frank O'Connor Short Story Fellow, Marie-Helene Bertino will be reading at Cork's most entertaining literary event, Fiction at the Friary, curated by writers Madeleine D'Arcy (formerly of this parish) and Danielle McLaughlin, this Sunday, October 29 at 3pm.  Check it out at  https://www.facebook.com/FictionattheFriary/.

Paul Asta, Fulbright scholarship student from last year's MA, has had a poem published in the  23rd issue of The Adroit Journal - http://www.theadroitjournal.org/.

Tadhg Coakley (class of 2015/16) has been writing in the Irish Examiner about his second great love after fiction - sport, that is - http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/football/taking-a-seat-for-a-pairc-ui-chaoimh-passion-play-461497.html.  Tadhg's debut novel in stories, The Glory of That Day, also on a sporting theme, is due from Mercier Press next year.

A story by his classmate, Anna Foley, "The Swallow", has just been published in The Bohemyth journal - read it here - https://thebohemyth.com/2017/10/17/swallow-anna-foley - following on stories appearing in The Lonely Crowd and The Incubator. Robert Feeney, (also class of 2015/16) has had two pieces of  flash fiction published in FishFood magazine and The Caterpiller (sibling of The Moth journal) aimed at young readers.

Meanwhile,  poet Bridget Sprouls (2013/14) spent her summer writing and illustrating (see above) a children's novel for 3 to 8-year-olds, All About Trolls at the Train Station.  Although a published poet, Bridget wrote another children's book for her MA thesis. Regular Kindle users can download this one for free on: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss…



Whodunnit at UCC?

Three of Ireland’s leading female crime writers, Julie Parsons, Liz Nugent and Alex Barclay will read together in the first event of the School of English’s annual reading series coming up on November 14. The readers represent a 20-year tradition and several generations of Irish crime writing.

Julie Parsons' first thriller, Mary Mary came out in 1998 and was described by the New York Times as a “first novel of astonishing impact”.  Her sixth novel, The Therapy House, was published earlier this year.

“Julie Parsons was Irish crime fiction before there was Irish crime fiction,” says novelist and critic Declan Hughes. “Before domestic suspense was a thing, before Girls had Gone on Trains or anywhere else, Parsons was writing intelligent, nuanced psychological thrillers under the spell of the two weird sisters of mystery, Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell.”

At a recent event, our second reader Liz Nugent paid tribute to Parsons, saying that her books had “really showed me how to do it”. Nugent's first novel, Unravelling Oliver, won Crime Fiction Book of the Year when it was published in 2014 and her follow-up, Lying in Wait, won a Richard and Judy Award, and a Listeners Choice award at the Irish Book Awards 2017.

Castletownbere-based Alex Barclay is the author of eight crime thrillers.  Her first novel Darkhouse featuring NYPD detective Joe Lucchesi, appeared in 2005 and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, followed by a sequel, The Caller.

She has written six more books in the Ren Pryce series - Blood Runs Cold, Time of Death, Blood Loss, Harm’s Reach, Killing Ways and The Drowning Child.






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