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

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. 

Death of John Rodgers

It is with great sadness that we note the death of John Rodgers, one of our MA in Creative Writing students (2017/18).  John, pictured above with fellow student Nora Kirkham,  had just started semester 2 when he was diagnosed with a serious illness and he didn't get a chance to finish his course or complete his thesis, although he continued writing till the end.  His work was featured in the MA showcase event held in the Triskel Arts Centre in early May, read by his son Fionnbharr.

John was an enlivening presence on the MA, thoughtful, trenchant, with a dry wit, loved and respected by all; he will be greatly missed.  Originally from Newry, John was based in Rostrevor, Co Down, but he had made his own of Cork. Both students and faculty on the MA take this opportunity to sympathize with his family and friends, in particular his son Fionnbharr, who became, through sad circumstance, an honorary member of the 2017/18 MA group.

Meanwhile, a friend of John's, Eamonn Rafferty, plans to collect John's writings for publication as a tribute to the work John did both on the MA and outside it.


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! 

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