Category Archives: News

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/.  

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. 

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!