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

MA student voices live and on the air

In the next week there's a chance to hear student voices from the MA in Creative Writing - live and on the radio - proving that our graduands and graduates aren't letting the grass grow under their feet.

Tomorrow (Friday, September 14) MA student Diarmuid Hickey from the class of 2017/18,  will be reading at a showcase event for the Banshee Journal at the Cork International Short Story Festival. https://www.corkshortstory.net/.  Diarmuid's story, "The Straw that Broke" appears in the journal's seventh issue, out now.

On Monday next, September 17, his classmate Claire Zwaartman's story "Ashes",  just announced as this year's outright winner of the Francis McManus Award, will be read on the Book On One slot  on RTE Radio 1 at 11.20 p.m.

Finally, MA alumn Tadhg Coakley, whose debut novel The First Sunday in September is riding high in the Irish best-sellers list, will be reading with Frank O'Connor International Short Story Fellow Carys Davies and UCC writer-in-residence Danielle McLaughlin at a School of English Culture Night Special - on Friday, September 21, WW 5 @ 5pm.  Admission free and all welcome. 


See our visiting writers in action

We're delighted to welcome our two visiting writers to the School of English this year.  Welsh writer Carys Davies is 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 and Carys will be teaching our MA in Creative Writing students. She 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,  Her novel, West, came out earlier this year.  

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

Her debut collection of short stories Dinosaurs on Other Planets was published in Ireland by The Stinging Fly Press in 2015, and her stories have been widely anthologized.  She is at work on a novel and is editing a collection of short stories, Counterparts,  with a legal theme, due out in November. 

Both writers will appear in the upcoming Cork short story festival (September 12 - 15)  - https://www.corkshortstory.net/programme.html - and will also feature in the School of English special Culture Night offering - along with MA graduate Tadhg Coakley  at 5pm on Friday, September 21, WW 5.  Please join us there! 



UCC writers at Cork short story festival

UCC writers feature prominently in the upcoming Cork International Short Story Festival which runs next week (September 12 - 15). 

Carys Davies, this year's Frank O'Connor International Short Story Fellow sponsored by Cork City Council and the Munster Literature Centre,  will be in conversation with local novelist Danny Denton at Nano Nagle Place on Wednesday, September 12, @ 8pm.  Carys will be teaching at UCC this coming semester. Danielle McLaughlin, our newly appointed Arts Council writer-in-residence will also be participating in the festival, as will novelist William Wall, who was recently conferred with a doctorate in creative writing from UCC. 

We're also very proud to report that two of our students will feature in this year's event.  MA student, Diarmuid Hickey, will be reading in the literary journal Banshee's showcase event at Cork Central Library @ 2.30pm on Friday, September 14. His story "The Straw that Broke" appears in the current issue of the journal.

Meanwhile Rose Keating, a BA in English student and Quercus scholar, will read at the relaunch of Southword International 35, the triumphant return of the literary journal to print @ 4.30pm on Saturday, September 15, at Firkin Crane.  Rose is in good company - along with her work, this issue features Kit de Waal, Simon Van Booy, Deborah Levy, Danny Denton and the late Matthew Sweeney. 

For full details of the festival go to :https://www.corkshortstory.net/programme.html


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/.  

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