Autumn Writing Workshops, Kinlough

Writing: The Art and the Craft – Tuesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163084Develop your writing skills through free-writing and craft exercises, constructive critique and insightful feedback. Seven x 3 hours: Tuesdays, 7 – 10 pm, Sept 11 & 25, Oct 9 & 23, Nov 6 & 20, Dec 4 2018. Cost: €125, early bird concession €100, before Tues Sept 4.

Numbers limited, advance booking essential. For more info and payment options go to www.monicacorish/workshops

Women Writing Together – Wednesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

my labyrinth smallExplore your creativity  and develop confidence in your voice by writing with other women in a warm and encouraging environment. Seven x 2.5 hours: Wednesdays7 – 9:30 pm, Sept 12 & 26, Oct 10 & 24, Nov 7 & 21, Dec 5 2018. Cost: €105, early bird concession €90, before Tues Sept 4.

Numbers limited, advance booking essential. For more info and payment options go to www.monicacorish/workshops

In Memoriam Andy McLaren

Love this piece by Tom, in memory of a good friend.

Tom Sigafoos

Andy McLaren 1943-2017

It’s been a year since Andy McLaren died. My tribute to him appeared in today’s edition of the Donegal Post (4 July 2018):

Andy McLaren died shortly after midsummer last year. He spent the last week of his life in the Intensive Care Unit of Letterkenny General Hospital, where only immediate family members were permitted to visit. A sympathetic nurse carried messages back and forth. Andy was on a breathing apparatus, and he didn’t want me to see him under those circumstances. He said that he’d let me know as soon as he was better, but his lungs were too damaged and his resistance was too low. He died on Sunday, July 2.

I miss Andy. I miss hurrying into Linda’s Diner to find him sitting with one eye on the clock and the other on a rumpled newspaper, halfway through a cup of coffee and wondering how late I…

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Collage your Personal Soul Cards – A Workshop for Women

Create your own Soul Cards with card, glue, images and  imagination. Collage — a creative and playful method for intuitive, artful self-discovery and self-expression — is accessible to everyone, even those who think they have no artistic ability.

Where? Lakeside Centre, Belleek Road, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal
When? Saturday, July 14, 11 AM – 5 PM
How much? €75, all materials supplied
Early bird concession: €60 before July 6 
Questions? Contact monicacorishwriting@gmail.com

What they said about previous workshops: “Surprisingly easy.”  — “A window into my interior, amusing, surprising and fun.”  — “A restful day of creative play and unexpected connections.”

three cards together
This workshop is based on the SoulCollage® process developed by Seena B Frost, and on the Art to Heart methods taught by Jole Bortoli.

Lunch, teas, coffees will be available at AJ’s Wine Bar and Restaurant, Lakeside Centre.

“Eight Tips on How to Write a Great Story”

Tom Sigafoos

Again from Brainpickings, which I urge you to read and support, here are “Eight Tips on How to Write a Great Story” — guidelines from Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-5, Cat’s Cradle, and many fine short stories):

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window…

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Literature Doesn’t Have a Country

Tom Sigafoos

15 March — It’s the birthday of Ben Okri, author of The Famished Road, who said, “Literature doesn’t have a country. Shakespeare is an African writer. … The characters of Turgenev are ghetto dwellers. Dickens’ characters are Nigerians. … Literature may come from a specific place, but it always lives in its own unique kingdom.”

ben okri

He also said, “Beware of the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.”

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Avoiding Prologues

Splendid writing advice…

Tom Sigafoos

Elmore-Leonard-010

Elmore (“Dutch”) Leonard, author of HombreGet Shorty and Rum Punch, laid down ten rules for good writing. They’re hard to beat:

  1. Never open a book with weather.
  2. Avoid prologues.
  3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
  4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.
  5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
  6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
  7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
  10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

And he said, “My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”

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Writing: The Art and the Craft

Writing: The Art and the Craft – Tuesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163084Six Tuesday evenings: 7 – 9:30 pm, Apr 10, Apr 24, May 1, May 8, May 22, Jun 5. Cost: €90, early bird concession €75, before Tues Apr 3.  For more infomonicacorishwriting@gmail.com 087-6414185. Numbers limited, advance booking essential. Develop your writing skills through constructive critique, feedback and tailored craft exercises.

  €90

Women Writing Together – Wednesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

my labyrinth smallSix Wednesday evenings: 7 – 9:30 pm, Apr 11, Apr 25, May 2, May 9, May 23, Jun 6. Cost: €90, early bird concession €75, before Tues Apr 3.  For more infomonicacorishwriting@gmail.com 087-6414185. Numbers limited, advance booking essential. Develop confidence in your voice by writing with other women in a warm and encouraging environment.

  €90

Some of the Best Advice on Writing You’ll Ever Read

Tom Sigafoos

zadie smith profile

Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing:

  1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

  2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

  3. Don’t romanticise your ‘vocation.’ You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle.’ All that matters is what you leave on the page.

  4. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.

  5. Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

  6. Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.

  7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the Internet.

  8. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody…

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