Literary Highlights of the Allingham Festival 2017

Poetry Masterclass; Fighting Words; The Art of Awareness; Literary Lunch; Wild Atlantic Writers; and lots, lots more… Book all events through Eventbrite. More info at

Allingham 2017 logo

  • Friday, 10:30 – 11:30 Fighting Words Information Session, with Sean Love – for anyone interested in learning about Fighting Words, the free creative writing programme for students of all ages in Ireland.
  • Friday, 11:30 – 12:30: Fighting Words Volunteer Training, for those who have already completed the application process – if you are interested in applying in time for this training, please email
  • Friday, 13:30 – 15:30: The Art of Awareness: A Creativity Workshop for Adults, with Olive Travers
  • Friday, 16:00 – 17:30: Wild Atlantic Writers, with Mick Delap, Winifred McNulty, Monica Corish and Enda McGloin.
  • Saturday, 9:00 – 12:00: Poetry Workshop with Moya Cannon: “Stitching the Inner and the Outer World Together”. This workshop is aimed at those who have been writing poetry for some time – places limited to 10. Participants are asked to send two pieces of work to before October 31st.
  • Saturday 12:30 – 15:00: Literary Lunch in Nirvana: Splendid Food; Jim Keane Flash Fiction Award; Allingham Poetry Award; launch of “Grace” by Paul Lynch
  • Saturday 15:30 – 17:00: Mike McCormack, author of “Solar Bones”, in conversation with Sinead Crowley, RTE Arts and Media Correspondent.
  • Saturday 19:00 – 20:00: History Ireland Hedge School: William Allingham – “An Irish poet but not a national poet”? Moderated by Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland.

Do you have what it takes to be a Fighting Words volunteer?

Fighting Words is coming to South Donegal/North Leitrim/North Sligo/West Fermanagh, and we are looking for volunteers!  Have you got what it takes? Have a browse on the Fighting Words website: to learn more, or come along to an information session at Bundoran Library on Monday, October 9 from 12 till 1.


From the website:

What kind of people volunteer at Fighting Words?

Everyone! All tutoring at Fighting Words is free and delivered by teams of volunteer writing tutors.  We have over 400 volunteer tutors – people from all walks of life – including third level students (from all disciplines!), retired people, writers (both professional and aspiring), teachers, journalists, visual artists, musicians and filmmakers – just to name a few.

What kind of skills do I need to volunteer at Fighting Words?

Anyone who enjoys working in a creative environment with the individuals and groups that come to our centres – and is a good listener –  is welcome to volunteer. You don’t need to be a writer or a teacher to be a Fighting Words volunteer writing tutor.

What kind of commitment to I have to give?

Volunteering with Fighting Words is totally flexible because your time is a valuable resource.  Tutors choose the days and times they come in using our online calendar for Dublin, Glencree and Cork.  You simply click on the day you’d like to come in and sign up. For example, we have tutors who choose to come in on the same day every week on the same day, tutors who come in for a week or two in the summer and tutors who come in a few times a year for evening workshops. In Mayo, the local volunteer co-ordinator will contact you by email about our monthly workshops.

There is no minimum time commitment – and we mean that!

Deadline Extended for Allingham Flash Fiction and Poetry Competitions

Dig out your best work, there is still time to enter. Up to 5 poems, max 40 lines; up to 5 flash fiction pieces, max 800 words.  Moya Cannon will judge the poetry competition, Paul Lynch the flash fiction, and Monica Corish will be the filter judge for both competitions. Read all about it at

And keep an eye on the Allingham website for news of lots of splendid writerly events, including a poetry masterclass from Moya, a book launch from Paul, and readings from all three judges.


Creative writing on Thursday mornings in Bundoran Community Centre

Bundoran Community Centre is offering a new ETB-funded creative writing class on Thursday mornings, 10.30 – 12.30,  starting September 28.

The cost for 7 sessions is only €14. The classes will be led by local creative writing tutor Monica Corish. Places are limited, so contact to book your place, or phone 071-982-9675.


Bundoran Community Centre Creative Writing Logo


Quotes on Writing, Quotes on Living

Tom Sigafoos

Each morning I read the latest postings from The Writer’s Almanac, Delancey Place, and Word-a-Day. From those sources, and a few others, I’ve collected two kinds of quotations that have caught my eye:

  • Quotes on writing, primarily from writers – observations and advice on how to use language to spin stories, conjure memories, and reconstruct vivid experiences.
  • Epigrams, aphorisms, and observations about this endlessly-challenging business of living.

aa-author-photo-cropped-2Last year I launched, hoping to attract a community of like-minded writers and readers. At the core of the website, I’ve posted quotations. In 2016, most of my posts were about writing. In 2017, in a world that seems to be losing its sense of decency and compassion, I’m going to post other quotes as well.

I hope that you enjoy the quotations and ideas. Please consider following my blog, re-blogging the quotes, and sharing them on Facebook or re-tweeting them on Twitter…

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Celebrating Cuba in Ballyshannon!

The Cuban Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Dr. Hermes Herrera Hernández will be the Guest of Honour at the Official Opening of Emer O’Shea’s fabulous ‘Celebrating Cuba – From the Bluestacks to the Carribean’, a photographic exhibition at the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, at 6 pm  (prior to the carnival parade) on Saturday  October 7.

The exhibition is sponsored by Donegal County Council as a Bluestacks Festival Event. Refreshments will be served  and a wee taste of salsa may be on the menu. Prints of the images can be ordered and all profits will go to Dr.David Hickey’s Fund for Medical Aid for Cuba. Everyone is welcome, RSVP Emer O’Shea  0860219023,

Tai Chi in Bundoran

Highly recommended

Tom Sigafoos

yin yang tai chi

Roisin Cassidy of Chen Ireland ( is offering a free “taster” session of Tai Chi training at the new Bundoran Community Centre on Tuesday, 19 Sept from 8 to 9pm. I’ve participated in the Chen Ireland classes with Roisin and Gill Keogh for years. They are great instructors, truly supportive for people — including older people — who are just getting started. I encourage everyone to come along and give it a try.

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Craft and Critique Writing Workshop in Kinlough, Co Leitrim

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163084-e1503500217438.jpegDevelop your writing skills through free-writing and craft exercises, constructive critique and insightful feedback. The workshops will be led by Monica Corish, an experienced and encouraging workshop leader and an award-winning writer of poetry, short stories and memoir. They are suitable for aspiring poets, fiction writers and memoirists. Places limited to 8.

Fortnightly on Tuesdays, 7– 9:30 pm: September 12 & 26, October 10 & 24, November 7 & 21, December 5.

Cost: €110 / €95 early pay before September 5. Go to for more info and payment options.



Allingham Flash Fiction and Poetry Competitions

Moya Cannon will judge the poetry competition, and Paul Lynch the flash fiction. Postal entries September 9; online entries September 11. Read all about it at