Longford County Council Arts Office Offers Exciting Creative Writing Mentoring Programme

Mentoring is one of the most effective supports artists can receive as they struggle to develop their talents and their crafts. In the tradition of the master craftsman and his apprentice the aspiring artist learns at first hand how to develop and hone his or her talents directly from an established artist.

Longford County Arts Office is currently offering the opportunity for a small number of poets and prose writers to participate in a ten week mentoring programme with writers Noel Monahan and Alan McMonagle.

The prose and poetry programmes are for primarily, committed beginners and those who may have been writing for some time.  Both classes will be held on Tuesday nights from 7.30pm to 9.30pm in Templemichael College Longford starting on Tuesday February 11th.

Alan McMonagleAlan McMonagle has published two collections of short stories. Liar Liar, his first collection (Wordsonthestreet, 2008) was nominated for the Frank O’Connor Award for the short story. The title story from his second collection, Psychotic Episodes (Arlen House, 2013) was nominated for a Puchcart Prize. Alan has received awards for his work from the Professional Artists’ Retreat in Yaddo (New York), the Fundación Valparaiso (Spain), the Banff Centre for Creativity (Canada) and the Arts Council of Ireland. He has contributed stories to many journals in Ireland and North America including The Adirondack Review, The Valparaiso Fiction Review, Natural Bridge, Grain, Prairie Fire, Southword and The Stinging Fly. A radio play Oscar Night has just been produced by RTE. Alan holds an MA in Writing from NUI, Galway.

Noel MonahanNoel Monahan is the well-known, Granard born, national award winning poet and dramatist will work with poets on such topics as; the stirring of a poem, the line as a basic unit of a poem, the mass of language, word, syllables, editing , the final form of a poem and getting published and poetry outlets.

Places are free, strictly limited and will be apportioned on a competitive basis. To enter the competition for a place on this Creative Writing Mentoring Programme you simply send a sample of your work, in the case of poetry: five poems and in the case of prose, a piece of approximately 300 – 500 words. The work must be the applicants own but need not have been written specifically for this programme. All applications should be e-mailed with the applicants name and contact details only to, fkennedy@longfordcoco.ie before 5.00pm Tuesday 4th February. The winners names will be announced on www.virtualwriter.ie

Alan’s Course

A ten week course in prose writing for the committed beginner and those who may have been writing for some time

The course will cover –

  • Looking at the basics – ideas, plots, characters and dialogue
  • Editing and polishing your work.
  • Developing the structure and flow of your writing
  • Learning to avoid the pitfalls often encountered in putting together a piece of writing.
  • A gentle introduction to sending out work for publication

With these directions in mind, we will look at selected excerpts from well-known authors from which to draw inspiration. We will look at each other’s writing. There will be writing exercises, an occasional assignment, prompts for tapping into the imagination and getting the pen moving. The pace will be gentle and progressive. Feedback will be generous and constructive.

Noel’s Course

This course is suitable for beginners and those who have written some poetry.

The programme will deal with all aspects of Poetry Writing.

The course will cover the following headings:

  • Poetic inspiration
  • Responding to a poem
  • Finding a form for your poem
  • Arranging your work on the page
  • Rhythm and line breaks
  • Editing a poem
  • How to go about getting your poetry published