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

First novel from creative writing MA

This coming Thursday, August 16, is a proud day for the MA in Creative Writing, when Tadgh Coakley's novel in stories, First Sunday in September, will be launched at the Triskel Arts Centre. 

Tadhg, an alumn of the 2015/16 MA, entered his manuscript for the Mercier Press Fiction Award last year and though his novel didn't win the contest, he was offered a publishing contract by Mercier - so that counts as a win!

Tadhg's novel  - set around the events of a fictional All-Ireland hurling final - is the first to come out of the MA.  He's following the example of his thesis supervisor Madeleine D'Arcy who was a student on the inaugural MA in 2013, when her short story collection, Waiting for the Bullet came out from Doire Press. 

First Sunday  has already garnered high  praise from author Donal Ryan  who has described it as "quite an achievement. The stories are vibrant and authentic, brimming with intensity and desire".

Tadhg is not resting on his laurels.  He is currently at work on a Cork-based crime novel and an essay collection on sport, one of his great loves.  You can also read his very active blog here: https://tadhgcoakley.com/

Please join Tadhg to celebrate publication at the Triskel Arts Centre, August 16 @ 7pm .  All welcome.  See  https://triskelartscentre.ie/events/177/tadhg-coakley-book-launch/.  

Claire shortlisted for RTE fiction award

Great news for current MA student Claire Zwaartman whose short story "Ashes" has been shortlisted for the 2018 Francis McManus Award, sponsored by RTE. Claire made the shortlist from 1800 entries, judged by book publicist Cormac Kinsella and authors Danielle McLaughlin and Sinead Crowley.  

The top three winners, who will be announced on September 12 (watch this space) plus the seven shortlisted stories will be broadcast during a two week season of new writing on RTÉ Radio 1 in the autumn, read by some of Ireland’s leading actors. They will also be podcast.

Congratulations and good luck to Claire. 

West Cork showcase for writers

Three of our current MA students - Anna Sheehan, Dee Collins and Diarmuid Hickey - read at the annual UCC writers' showcase event at the West Cork literary festival at Bantry last week.  The reading, introduced by Director of Creative Writing Dr Eibhear Walshe, is  now in its third year and features the work of our students chosen by competition, as well as providing an informal information session on the MA to those interested in applying.  

In addition to the three readers,  John Rodgers, a student on the 2017/18 MA,  was remembered with a reading of his work by 2017/18 writer-in-residence Tom Morris.  John died in June after a short illness.  

Reasons to be cheerful

Good news on the publishing front for Diarmuid Hickey, whose story "Ambulance Man" is to appear in the September issue of Banshee - https://www.facebook.com/bansheelit/.  Diarmuid is currently an MA student completing his thesis.  Robert Feeney, MA graduate (2015/16) and now signing up for a creative writing PhD, has also had a story, "Tessellation", which was part of his MA thesis work, published in  issue 19 of the Five 2 One magazine. 

Meanwhile Tadhg Coakley's debut novel, The First Sunday in September, will be launched on August 16, coming from Mercier Press. https://www.mercierpress.ie/authors/coakley-tadhg/ This is the first novel to come out of the MA course so we're excited and proud about that.  Tadhg's book will be launched at the Triskel Arts Centre.

Tadhg, who graduated in 2016, has been busy on the work, a novel in stories, part of which he presented for his thesis under the supervision of writer and MA alumna Madeleine D'Arcy. 

More news…