We’re delighted to announce that we are running the following workshops Saturday/Sunday 19/20th September. All workshops cost €12 and must be booked and paid for in advance.

**Please note: All workshops this year will take place ONLINE.**

BEFORE booking your workshop, please contact us to check availability: blfwkshops@gmail.com 

To book your workshop: pay via the following Paypal link, and email us with your name and Paypal receipt number.


Adult Workshops

Saturday 19th: 10.00-12.00

Fearless Flash fiction with Barbara Byar       *SOLD OUT*

Flash Fiction is a short story usually under 1500 words. It is a burgeoning and exciting form where length belies enormity. This workshop will help you get the most bang from your word count through a series of exercises and editing tips designed to help give your short writing lasting impact.

While open to all levels, those with some writing experience will most benefit. It will be a challenging workshop where participants are encouraged to get the most out of their writing and themselves.

Barbara Byar is a writer and editor who immigrated to Ireland from San Francisco some 20 odd years ago. Barbara’s debut flash collection Some Days Are Better Than Ours was published in November 2019 to rave reviews and was shortlisted for the 2020 Saboteur Awards in the Best Short Story collection category. She also received Pushcart and Best Small Fictions nominations in 2020.

Poetry: Vision and Revision with John McAuliffe   *SOLD OUT*

Vision and Revision: “you can’t revise nothing” (Frank O’Connor)
Poets should send two drafts of a single poem of their own in advance.
In the workshop we will look at how poems get revised. We’ll look at poems by other poets including John Clare, Emily Dickinson, WH Auden, Elizabeth Bishop and Seamus Heaney, seeing how they edit, develop, alter and focus from draft to draft.
Then we will discuss how they have revised their poems and look at different approaches to revision.
John McAuliffe’s fifth book of poetry, The Kabul Olympics (Gallery Press) has just been published. He works as Professor of Poetry at the University of Manchester and writes a regular column on poetry for The Irish Times.

Sunday 20th: 10.00-12.00

Fiction: Beginners Guide with Alan McMonagle

This ‘beginners guide’ will steer participants through the elements of an effective short story. We will look at openings, voice, tone, point-of-view, characterisation, dialogue, language, setting and endings. We will examine what a short story attempts to achieve, reference proven masters and apply topics covered to a prompt-based exercise. Suitable for the committed beginner and those who may have been writing for some time.

Alan McMonagle has written for radio and published two collections of short stories (Psychotic Episodes, Arlen House, 2013 and Liar, Liar, Wordonthestreet, 2008). Ithaca, his first novel, was published by Picador in 2017 as part of a two-book deal. His second novel, Laura Cassidy’s Walk of Fame, was published in March, 2020. He lives in Galway.

Memoir: Writing from Life with Lia Mills

Why write memoir? We live in a time of status updates, Instagram and Facebook posts. We note, record and share our lives as they happen and get the instant gratification of likes and emoji responses from friends and strangers. But if that’s not enough for you, if you want the challenge of making sense out of the random events of your life, if you want to craft a story from the whole limitless mess of it, or even if you want to craft a single strong essay from one particular thread, then memoir is for you.

 In this workshop we’ll look at how to find your way into your own story, how to identify which story you want to tell and how to shape it.  We’ll read examples of work by other writers and try out some techniques of our own. We’ll talk about ethics, practicalities and publication in a supportive environment.

Lia Mills writes novels, short stories, essays, memoir and an occasional blog.  Her most recent novel, Fallen, was the 2016 Dublin/Belfast Two Cities One Book festival selection. She is a founding member of the Freedom to Write Campaign in Ireland. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.