Category Archives: News

Rose wins Young Writer award

Rose Keating has done the School of English proud.  She has just been announced as a winner of the Marian Keyes Young Writer Award Summer 2019, hosted by the Irish Writers’ Centre.

Rose is an undergraduate studying at UCC on a Quercus creative writing
scholarship. She has been published in Banshee, Southword, Hot Press and in UCC’s literary journal Quarryman. She also writes a column for the Waterford News and


Guardian nomination for Conal

A round-up of summer publishing news from the MA. 

Conal Creedon, our Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing is on the Not the Booker Prize long list with his recent novel, Begotten not Made (Irishtown Press).

MA student Molly Twomey will have a flash fiction piece appearing in a forthcoming issue of the literary journal, Banshee.

Dr Laura McKenna’s  novel, submitted for her recently conferred PhD, Words to Shape my Name, reached the longlist of this year’s Bath Novel Award.  Laura’s novel centres around Tony Small, an escaped slave who became a personal assistant to the Irish rebel aristocrat Lord Edward Fitzgerald.

Congratulations to all of them!


Paris Residency for Eibhear Walshe

Congratulations to our Director of Creative Writing, Eibhear Walshe, who has been awarded a literary residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.  He will be spending time at the Cité internationale des Arts campus in the centre of Paris in later 2019, working on his new novel and researching on the Paris riots of 1968, a key element for this new work!

Bloody Marys all round!

“I’m going to make you Bloody Marys. . . ” Expect the unexpected in episode 7 of Beau Williams’ summer soap in the Echo

It’s not too late to catch up on the second week of Beau Williams‘ fictional serial “Bleach” now running in the Evening Echo.  

Despite its title, “Bleach” is a grisly romance story set in Cork about two housemates with a terrible secret. Catch up here –…/Summer-Soap- and read on, as the soap reaches its climax.

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  Echo, co-ordinated by Features Editor, John Dolan. 

Beau’s classmate Christie Kannapel  authored another serial, this one featuring time travel – “One Summer in Cork” –  which ran in the Echo last month. 

Congratulations to Mary O’Donnell!

Congratulations to the distinguished poet, novelist and short-story writer, Mary O’Donnell,  who today ( July 22, 2019)  defended her doctoral thesis in creative writing ( by prior publication)  at the School of English with great success. 

Mary’s PhD includes a critical reflection on her formative years as a writer and considers the themes of space, liminality, crisis and redemption in her 1999 novel, The Eylsium Testament. 

Best wishes and well done to Mary!



Starring at the West Cork Literary Festival

Many thanks to PhD candidate Jenni Debie for taking these  great pictures of UCC writers in action at the West Cork Literary Festival.  MA students Beau Williams (top left),  and below, Marie Haugh, Molly Twomey, and Niamh Twomey at their very successful reading on Monday, July, 15.

Pictured also (top right)  Dr Eibhear Walshe, director of creative writing with MA alumnus Tadhg Coakley, at his reading from his novel, The Trumpet Shall Sound, (Somerville Press) at the festival yesterday, Tuesday, July 16. 

Best of luck to Tadhg for his reading from his novel The First Sunday in September (Mercier) at Bantry Library @ 1pm today, Wednesday, July 16.

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.

He follows in the footsteps of other MA alumns, Madeleine D’Arcy, Waiting for the Bullet (Doire Press) Tadhg Coakley, The First Sunday in September (Mercier Press) and Bridget Sprouls The Remaining Years (Kelsay Press).  

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