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

Hippocrates Award for Kathy D'Arcy

Poetry PhD candidate - and qualified doctor - Kathy D'Arcy has won first prize in the health professional section of the international Hippocrates Awards for Poetry and Medicine 2017 - http://hippocrates-poetry.org  - which were announced at an award ceremony in Harvard at the weekend.

The judges were Pulitzer Prize winning poet  Jorie Graham, paediatrician and ER producer Neal Baer, Scotland's Makar (National Poet) Jackie Kay, New York poet Maya Catherine Popa, and New York poet and psychiatrist Owen Lewis.

The Hippocrates Prize attracts both health professionals and established poets from around the world - with a strong emphasis on highly accessible poetry that comes from direct personal experience.

Kathy's poem "Inside" explores the relationship with the human heart.   Speaking about the poem, Kathy said it was partly inspired by her medical internship. "I loved looking at cardiac imaging, watching bright air bubbles fizzing inside ventricles during bubble echoes, discovering that the chordae tendineae  (the ‘heartstrings’) looked like harp-strings that you could play. I wondered if I could only truly connect with others by opening their ribcages and reaching inside to hold their hearts. I wondered what it would feel like to live inside someone’s heart. This organ – not the romantic cypher, but the self-governing, muscular bag of blood that da Vinci says 'does not stop unless forever' – is a source of endless fascination for me.”

“These poems show us everything we have in common,’” said adjudicator Jackie Kay. "They help us with grief and grieving. But above all they make us cherish life, our health, our minutes and our hours. I’d keep these poems about me as my companions."

With a prize fund of £6000 for winning and commended poems, the Hippocrates Prize is one of the highest value poetry awards in the world for a single poem. In its eight years, the prize has attracted over 8000 entries from 60 countries.


Shortlisting on the double!

Great shortlisting news for our recently  graduated creative writing MA students.  Tadhg Coakley has been shortlisted for the Mercier Press fiction competition - https://www.mercierpress.ie/news/short-list-for-mercier-press-fiction-competition.  His collection, The All-Ireland, is among seven finalists for the competition. The winner will receive a €1000 cash prize and a publishing deal with Mercier.  Results due in July.

Tadhg is also shortlisted for the 2017 From The Well anthology, along with classmate Nora Shychuk. The short fiction competition is sponsored by the Cork County Library and Arts Service.  Having got through the first round, Tadhg's story "Angels" and Nora's "Separations" will be adjudicated by writers Billy O’Callaghan, Claire Kilroy and the Well Review editor Sarah Byrne  - http://www.thewellreview.com.  A winner will be selected in the coming weeks, and the publication is due out in late June 2017. The winning story will give the annual anthology its title.





Echo showcases student serial fiction

MA Creative Writing Sue Dukes is this year's winner of the Evening Echo fiction serial competition with her entry entitled "Personal Services", about a masseuse in Cork with several dark secrets.

The contest, which is in its second year,  is run as part of the MA Writing for Media module in collaboration with the Evening Echo. http://www.eveningecho.ie/

The runner-up was Uversity student Luisa Geisler, whose soap "12 Letters from Home" concerns the Cork-based relationship between a Brazilian woman and an Irishman.  Third placed Jacqui Corcoran was commissioned to write a short story for the Holly Bough, the Examiner's Christmas publication.

Features Editor John Dolan who adjudicated the student submissions said this year's entries were marked by "lots of good humour, which is not an easy genre".

The students' 12-episode soap serials will run in the newspaper and on  the Evening Echo website during July and August. Watch this space!

Lecturer shortlisted for Notting Hill Prize

Rachel Andrews is among 13 writers shortlisted for the 2017 Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize, worth £25,000. https://www.nottinghilleditions.com/essay-prize

Rachel is a writer and journalist who guest-lectures on the long-form essay on the MA in Creative Writing module, Writing for the Media. She has been published in literary journals including The Dublin Review. Her essay, A New Wilderness at the Maze, which documented the destruction of the infamous Maze prison in Northern Ireland, won the inaugural Essay Prize (2013) at the Centre for Documentary Studies, Duke University, NC. She holds an MA (Distinction) in Creative Non-fiction from Bath Spa University.

The six prize-winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on June 28.



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