Category Archives: News

Another MA novel!

Congratulations to Thomas Moore (MA class 2016/17)  whose American Civil War novel, A Fatal Mercy, has just been published in the US by Green Altar Books, South Carolina.

A Fatal Mercy centres around events at the battle of Gettysburg that are resurrected for the novel’s hero at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the war in 1913,  when 50,000 Union and Confederate veterans returned to the battlefield to remember their experiences. 

Thomas wrote part of the novel during his MA and presented it for his thesis.  It was subsequently long-listed for the 2017 Bridport Prize for Fiction. 

MA on show at Bantry Festival

UCC’s creative writing MA is taking this year’s West Cork Literary Festival by storm with faculty and students, past and present, featuring prominently in the programme. 

Today (Monday, July 15) ) the MA literary showcase, a regular event at the festival,  highlighted the work of four current MA students, Marie Haugh, Molly Twomey, Niamh Twomey, and Beau Williams, who took time off from their theses to read and talk about their experience of the MA in a session chaired by director of creative writing, Eibhear Walshe.

Meanwhile, Eibhear will read from his recently published novel, The Trumpet Shall Sound (Somerville Press) at Bantry Bookshop at 11.30 am tomorrow (Tuesday, July 16)  while MA alumn Tadhg Coakley (2015/16) will read with Mary White at Bantry Library on Wednesday, July 17, at 1pm.

For the full Bantry  programme see – 


Time travel in Cork’s cafés

Congratulations to MA Writing for Media student Christine Kannapel, who is the first of two students  commissioned this year by the Evening Echo to write a fictional serial.  Entitled “One Summer in Cork”, the serial features mystery and history when an American student is transported back to Cork in the 1790s, and appears under the newspaper’s “Summer Soap” banner.  

The serial (in 12 episodes) has been featuring in the Echo for the past fortnight. Today is the final episode but you can binge-read the entire serial on the Evening Echo website –

Primarily a poet, Christine (23) came to study at UCC having admired Leanne O’Sullivan’s poetry. (Leanne leads the MA’s poetry modules.)   She hails from Salt Lake City, Utah.  She talks about her writing process in this interview in the Echo in which she explains she did most of her writing during her year-long MA in Cork’s cafés. –

The Summer Soap serial project, now in its fifth year, is the product of a co-operative arrangement between the MACW’s Writing for Media module, led by Mary Morrissy, and the Evening Echo, co-ordinated by Features Editor, John Dolan. 

A second serial by another student from the course, Beau Williams, will run in the newspaper and on the website in August. 

The experience of writing

Associate Director of Creative Writing Mary Morrissy appears in this new anthology on the process of writing from Arlen House. The Danger and the Glory: Irish Authors on the Art of Writing is a fat volume – 450 pages – crammed with essays from 61 Irish writers documenting their writing experiences and their experience of writing.  

The book was edited by Dr Hedwig Schwall, director of the Leuven Centre for Irish Studies and project director of EFACIS (European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies) – – and grew out of a website –– where many of these essays first appeared.

The triggering inspiration for the project was “Fiction and the Dream”  an essay by John Banville, who will be a visiting professor at the School of English in the coming year. Other writers with UCC associations who appear in the volume include William Wall, Billy O’Callaghan, Danny Denton, Mary O’Donnell, Glenn Patterson  and Danielle McLaughlin.  The  introduction is by journalist and Seamus  Heaney biographer, Fintan O’Toole

The book will be celebrated at a special event hosted by the IASIL conference  – – at  the Burke Theatre, Trinity College Dublin, @ 5.30pm on Tuesday, July 23. The Irish ambassador to Belgium, Ms Helena Nolan, who supported the project, will attend as will John Banville, Fintan O’Toole and the volume’s editor, Hedwig Schwall.

The cover image is by Belfast artist Rita Duffy


New Writer-in-Residence and Frank O’Connor Short Story Fellow appointed

The School of English is delighted to announce that Cork writer Danny Denton is to be this year’s UCC/Arts Council  Writer-in-Residence and that the British novelist and short story writer Sara Maitland has been appointed as the 2019 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellow.  The fellowship, now in its fourth year, is sponsored by Cork City council and the Munster Literature Centre.

Danny Denton is a writer from Passage West, Co. Cork, with a BA in English & Philosophy from UCC, and an MA in Writing from The National University of Ireland, Galway. His first novel, The Earlie King & The Kid In Yellow, was published by Granta Books in 2018, and nominated for ‘Newcomer of the Year’ at the Irish Book Awards. Among other publications, his work has appeared in The Stinging Fly, Southword, Granta, Winter Papers, The Dublin Review, Tate Etc, The Guardian, The Irish Times, Architecture Ireland and The Big Issue. Since December 2018, he has been a guest editor of The Stinging Fly literary journal. 

Sara Maitland was born in London and attended Oxford University, where she read English. Her first novel Daughter of Jerusalem won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1979. Since then she has written five more novels and several collections of short stories, the most recent in 2013,  Mosswitch and Other Stories. In 2004 she moved to Galloway in Scotland and built herself a house on the moors above Stranraer where she now lives. Since then she has produced an eclectic range of non-fiction including  A Book of Silence, (Granta, 2008) part cultural history, part memoir about her own search for silence, Gossip from the Forest: The Tangled Roots of our Forests and Fairytales (Granta, 2012), and How to be Alone (Picador, 2014).



So good they launched it twice!

Congratulations to Mona Lynch (MA class 2016/17), editor of Voices,  which was relaunched today at a Travellers’ Visibility Group health and development conference at the Triskel Arts Centre. 

Voices, a book of stories by and about travellers, was curated by Mona during a writing residency at Cork Prison, as part of the MA in Creative Writing’s Business of Writing module. Students are expected to participate in a community or commercial arts/literary event and to write about the experience.  Mona chose to offer a writing workshop at Cork Prison and Voices is the very tangible literary result.

The new-look Voices, has illustrations added, and has become a valuable teaching and cultural resource since it was first published two years ago. A worthy venture all round.

Bridget’s debut collection

Another publication for the MA in Creative Writing , this time from Bridget Sprouls who was on the inaugural MA course in 2013/14.  The Remaining Years, Bridget’s first collection of poetry (though she has published two children’s books and is working on another) comes from American-based indie publisher, Kelsay Press. –

Bridget was born in New Jersey and educated at McGill University, Le Conservatoire de Musique de Québec, as well as UCC. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Belleville Park PagesFieldMap Literary, Steps Magazine, The Stinging Fly, and elsewhere. A recipient of Eyewear Publishing’s Fortnight Prize, she currently divides her time between Cape Breton and New Zealand.

The following poem of Bridget’s appeared in The New Yorker in 2016.


His sentences all ended with the word Austin,
a place I’d never seen,
so I packed a duffelbag,
overwatered the garden, and set out on foot,
the way many of the greats in my family had done,
among other rascally things.

The flutter of engines enchanted me.

Most awkward moment:
Out of cash,
bartering my eyelashes.

Thank you, bad-shot farmers, for all the pecans.
Thank you, hounds, for losing interest.

Some nights I would wake to a sweet melody grinding
like an ice-cream summons and stumble,

half-awake, trying to answer the phone in a forest.

So what if I drooled into rock receivers?
Someone needed to arrive first
and put an ear to the ground.

Someone needed to find a loft with flexible floors.

Who better to memorize the acoustics of local venues,
know which houses were haunted,
which gutters led somewhere?

I tumbled after the weeds,
eager to turn on the A.C.

and give the first tour.




Tadhg scores again!

Our MA alumnus (2015/16) Tadhg Coakley, whose debut novel, The First Sunday in September, a novel built around a fictional GAA hurling final, was published by Mercier last year, has returned to the literary pitch this year with an essay in the current edition of The Stinging Fly, Ireland’s premier literary journal. 

Curated by guest editor, writer Danny Denton, this issue features fiction, poetry and non fiction from both local, national and international names. Tadhg’s essay, part of a larger non-fiction project, is entitled “Five Moments in Sport”.  He also writes on sport for the Irish Examiner  – – and has an active blog –

Watch out for details of  Cork launch, happening on June 22.