Danielle Mac Laughlin’s workshop at Listowel Writer’s Week 2017

I attended Danielle’s workshop on humour in the short story last weekend at the Listowel Writer’s Weekend. This was made possible through funding from the Carlow Arts Council and many thanks.

Danielle McLaughlin, Bairbre Leahy and Marie Gethins talk up the writing group movement
Danielle McLaughlin, Bairbre Leahy and Marie Gethins talk up the writing group movement

Danielle is a super writer and everytime I meet her, she is always very positive and encouraging. She deserves all of her success in writing.

After this weekend, I feel that I really got a deep insight into how a full-time writer thinks, reads and writes. She spoke to us about all of her current reading, excellent writer’s talks she had attended and gave us some super handouts with weblinks, book lists and short stories to read.

A month before the course, we received an email directing us to read 5 stories. Danielle has selected these with the theme of humour in writing in mind. I loved them all for different reasons and was introduced to a short story writer called ZZ Packer. Check out her story, Drinking coffee elsewhere for a zippy, comic but terribly sad at the end short story.

The course was made up of 15 participants, all who were hugely interested in writing and reading(Honestly, I have attended courses where the participants said they had don’t really read fiction) or a course for intermediate where the partcipants have never written a word! We had some brilliant discussions and debates about the 5 stories all faciliatated really well by Danielle. She was never intrusive and encouraged us to chat and rave about my great love, the short story. We all came to the agreement(Phew) that Kevin Barry is a genius of a man and should be banned due his excellence. 😉

We got 2 writing prompts which went really well and lots of ideas and energy for future reading and writing. The days were well structured with reading, discussion, writing and listening to Danielle answer questions all balanced nicely.

I met with a friend for lunch in the lovely Listowel Arms Hotel and had a little shop browse and a couple of walks on Ballybunion beach.

Thanks to the Arts Council again. Now to work!

Off to Listowel with thanks to Carlow County Council Arts funding

I received word today that an application I sent through to Carlow County Council for Arts Service funding this year was successful. I had applied to attend the Listowel Writers Festival in June and taking a place in Danielle Mc Laughlin’s short fiction workshop, which runs for 2 days.


I greatly admire Danielle, her writing and her helpfulness as a writer to other little writers like me. I have a sneaking feeling that she will be as good of a teacher as she is a writer.



Listowel Writers’ Week kicks off today!

Listowel Writers’ Week kicks off today. There are the usual writing courses but some brilliant names like Eimear Mc Bride, Paul Lynch, Mary O’ Donnell, John Mac Kenna, Sinead Morrissey, Peter Fallon, Gerard Dawe,Donal Ryan, Joseph O’ Connor and loads of others!


Also, theatre, street events, new writers’ salons, open mic and a childrens’ programme.

Most importantly, my lovely husband Simon Lewis has had his poems “Jewtown” shortlisted for the Listowel Poetry Prize 2014 so we are overly delighted!

Listowel does look slightly superior than Bantry this year but the prices reflect that with 3 day writing courses costing 175 euro!