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

Visiting writers for 2018 announced

We're delighted to announce the appointment of two visiting writers who will teach on the MA this coming academic year.  Welsh writer Carys Davies will be the 2018 Frank O'Connor International Writer Fellow, a Munster Literature Centre initiative  funded by Cork City Council.  This is the third year of the fellowship which runs through the first semester.  

Our UCC/Arts Council Writer-in-Residence this year will be Cork author Danielle McLaughlin, who will teach on the MA and offer workshops to undergraduates and staff during her year-long stay with us.

Photograph:  Jonathan Bean

Carys Davies is the author of two collections of short stories, Some New Ambush (Salt, 2007) and The Redemption of Galen Pike (Salt, 2014), which won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. She is also the recipient of the Royal Society of Literature's V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, the Society of Authors' Olive Cook Short Story Award, a Northern Writers' Award, as well as a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library.

Her first novel, West, has just been published in the UK by Granta, in North America by Scribner, in Australia by Text, with translations coming in seven languages. Born in Wales, she now lives in north west England.

Danielle McLaughlin’s stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, Southword, and The New Yorker, and in various anthologies.  Her debut collection of short stories Dinosaurs on Other Planets was published in Ireland by The Stinging Fly Press in 2015, and in the UK (John Murray), US (Random House) and Slovakia (Inaque) in 2016.

In 2017, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Oscar Wilde Centre, Trinity College, Dublin, where she led workshops for students on the M. Phil in Creative Writing. Together with writer and MA alumna Madeleine D'Arcy, she co-runs Fiction at the Friary, a free monthly fiction event in Cork which takes place at the Friary Bar, North Mall, on the last Sunday of every month.

MA student wins J G Farrell Award

Great news for UCC's MA in Creative Writing.  Deirdre Collins, (writing as M F Whitney) has just been announced as the winner of the 2018  J. G. Farrell Award in association with the West Cork Literary Festival at Bantry. 

Deirdre who is currently an MA in Creative Writing student completing her thesis in fiction, won the contest  - awarded for the opening chapter of a novel in progress by a writer resident in Munster - with an extract from her novel, The Lonesome Boatman, about a teenage girl with psychic powers.     

Judge of the contest, American novelist and non-fiction writer, Katharine Weber  described Deirdre's work as a "stand-out" among the many submissions. "From the opening lines, as we are introduced to the narrator’s family history and claims of uncanny talents, we are also immediately seized by the confiding, possibly unreliable voice of this story. We don’t know if this character will tell the truth, but even before the end of the first page, we can settle in, trusting the author to tell us a good story." 

Katharine Weber is the author of six novels (Still Life With Monkey, True Confections, Triangle, The Little Women, The Music Lesson, Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear) and a memoir (The Memory of All That: George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family’s Legacy of Infidelities). She has held the Richard L. Thomas Chair in Creative Writing at Kenyon College for the past six years and is an editor-at-large for the Kenyon Review. 

Deirdre's prize includes a place on Katharine Weber’s Novel Writing workshop, during  the  West Cork Literary Festival (July 13 – July 20). 

The award is offered annually in memory of J.G. Farrell who was born in Liverpool but resident in west Cork where he died tragically at the age of 44, when he was swept into the sea while fishing from rocks near Kilcrohane. His novel Troubles won the Faber Prize in 1971, and in 2010 was awarded the Lost Man Booker Prize. The Siege of Krishnapur, Farrell’s novel about the Indian Mutiny of 1957, won the Booker Prize in 1973.

Many congratulations to Deirdre from all on the MA! 

AWP showcase for UCC's creative writing

Niamh Prior reading from her work at the University of Tampa, Florida

UCC's creative writing programme made a splash at this year's AWP Conference in Tampa, Florida.   Director of Creative Writing, Dr Eibhear Walshe and PhD candidates poet Kathy D’Arcy and fiction writer Niamh Prior read from work in progress on a panel entitled "Out From Under the Influence: Irish Writers Reach Beyond Post-Colonialism."  They were joined by the 2014 winner of the Frank O'Connor Prize,  Colin Barrett.

The AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programmes) Conference & Bookfair is the largest literary conference in North America and a linchpin of the cultural year for  professional writers, teachers of writing, students, editors, and publishers. Over 12,000 people attend, with over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings, panels, and craft lectures.

The book fair hosts 800 presses, journals, and literary organisations from around the world. 

After the conference, Kathy D'Arcy, Niamh Prior and Colin Barrett went on to give a reading at The University of Tampa to an audience of faculty, students and members of the public and visited Dr Kathleen Ochshorn’s Irish literature class where they read from their work and discussed the theme of writing and "Irishness".

Kathy D'Arcy, Colin Barrett and Niamh Prior at the reading in the University of Tampa, Florida.





Allihies inspires enterprising students

Creative writing MA students M.F.Whitney and Claire Zwaartman  are the leading lights behind a totally new west Cork festival of food and literature.  The inaugural "Allihies Inspires" festival which will take place July 6-8,  is an eclectic mix of workshops, readings, walks, music and food and is being run in conjunction with the Allihies Coastal Education Hub.https://www.facebook.com/allihieshub/

Writers Claire Keegan, Leanne O'Sullivan, Theo Dorgan, Paula Meehan, Tony Curtis and Anita Brohail will be reading and artists Tim Goulding, Sheena Dempsey and Bill Griffin will be talking about their work.  There will be writing workshops and guided tours, including the historic Allihies Copper Mine, pictured above, plus several lunches and seafood suppers

M.F. and Claire dreamed up the festival as part of the Business of Writing module, which requires students to do a placement with a literary/cultural organisation during their MA.  They've gone one better - they've started their very own event. We hope it becomes a fixture on west Cork's  cultural calendar. 

For further programming details see : http://www.AllihiesInspires.org


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