Dalkey Creates Writing Festival October 2016

I am super excited to be helping out at the 3rd annual Dalkey Creates writing festival this coming October!

There are workshops and classes planned for every level of writer, from beginners to those ready for publication, and all priced really reasonably. One exciting new event this year is a Meet-the-Editor event with Ciara Doorley of Hachette on Saturday 15th October – an incredible opportunity to meet a real editor in person, and ask the questions you’ve always wanted answered about submitting your writing work!

And no writer should miss out on the Open Mic event being held on Thursday evening, the 13th October in Finnegans pub. It’s free to register, and you will have the ears of the locals (some of whom are famous writers themselves) as you share 5 minutes of your own writing with them. The winner of the Dalkey Creates short story competition will also be announced that evening. With a prize of €1,000 up for grabs, I’m thinking the first round will be on them! LOL.

Some classes are already booked out, and as many of them are limited to 10 places, you have no time to waste in booking yours.

So get creative! Click here for easy online booking or for more info on how to reserve your place at one of the many exciting writing workshops.




Hey, Author! – Bernice Barrington

Hey, Author! is my new place to find out things about my favourite authors that other blogs just don’t ask. The nitty-gritty. The dirt. The skinny.

Not stuff about their forthcoming books, or their writing process, none of that high-brow shenanigans thank you – no – Hey, Author! is about getting to know the person behind the bestseller.

So let’s get to it.

The honour of being the first author in my Hey, Author! roll call falls to the gorgeous Bernice Barrington from Longford in Ireland, whose debut thriller Sisters and Lies is out 24th March 2016.

Bernice Barrington photo


So, Bernice! We like the look of your book. We might even buy it and read it. But first, there are some things we need to know. What is your:

Favourite night out in your hometown?

I want to say something fabulous like dinner in L’Ecrivain, then dancing in Lillies in Dublin’s city centre. But, really, my favourite thing is a casual bite in Dalkey (see pics below – Ed.), followed by a trip to the cinema in Dun Laoghaire.

Favourite skincare/haircare product?

I adore IMAGE skincare, but I’m pretty agnostic about haircare products (basically because I have such a huge mop myself I’d bankrupt myself if I bought the really expensive stuff.) I love the smell of the Aussie range though!

Favourite book of all time? (Just one!)

Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes


Marian Keyes


Favourite clothes shop?

I’m very fond of House of Fraser in Dundrum Town Centre – loads of choice plus it’s close to the Laura Ashley concession, which is an added boon!

Favourite restaurant anywhere in the world?

The most amazing restaurant I’ve ever eaten in was Indego by Vineet in Dubai (the meal included edible gold!) but if we’re talking the place I go most often and where I feel most comfortable, it would be Harry’s Café Bar in Dun Laoghaire. It’s just a little café/diner place but the food is lovely, the service always excellent and I just associate it with happiness and relaxation.


Harry’s Dun Laoghaire

Favourite bar anywhere in the world?

I’m not really a bar person – I much prefer coffee/tea shops. Having said that, I do love Dunphy’s in Dun Laoghaire. It’s an utterly unreconstructed, old-school pub with lovely staff and entirely free of pretension.


Favourite movie?

Oh Lord, so many to choose from, but I have a DEEP affection for Four Weddings and a Funeral.  fwaf9

Favourite band/musician?

I love Nina Simone – her music is so raw and energetic but also so accomplished.

 Favourite meal?

I’m obsessed with Asian food – so it would probably be a Japanese Teriyaki dish followed by Italian ice-cream.

 Favourite tipple?

I do love a good gin and tonic.



Don’t we all, Bernice? Don’t we all?

So now you know all the important details about Bernice, but if you want to know more, you can find her on Twitter @beebarrington

Thanks for sharing Bernice, and best of luck with Sisters and Lies!


Be sure to follow me here to read more Hey, Author! posts. Where else will you get this kind of insider information? Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to invest in some Aussie shampoo. Seriously, have you SEEN that girl’s hair?!

Sheena x

Dalkey Creates Writing Festival

After a fantastically successful inaugural festival in 2014, the Dalkey Creates writing festival is returning in October 2015, with a programme packed full of opportunities for writers.

dalkey-creates-cover twitter facebook 2015

The three day festival includes seminars and workshops on ghostwriting, advanced fiction writing, writing for TV, advanced blogging and buckets more. With a list of teachers and facilitators that includes Ferdia MacAnna, Liz Nugent, Martina Devlin and Sue Leonard, this festival is a must for anyone with an interest in improving their writing skills.


Of course, it’s no hardship to spend some time in the most picturesque little seaside town in south county Dublin which was home to the beloved Maeve Binchy. Attendees will also have the chance to enjoy the town’s many cafes and shops, not least our own Gutter Bookshop, before and after the festival events.


You might even deserve a pint in Finnegans after all that hard work writing, and while you are there, you can take part in the Al Finnegan’s Live Mic event – just bring your best writing, and the microphone and the audience will be yours for 5 minutes!

castle 2

And if the physical act of writing isn’t your thing, there is still plenty to enjoy at Dalkey Creates, including Shay Linehan’s adaptation of Maeve Binchy’s ‘Aches and Pains’ which will be premiered in Dalkey Castle over the festival weekend.

Dalkey is already well-known for its Book Festival, and Dalkey Creates is fast becoming as popular with writers from Dublin and afar, so come along, meet other writers and learn from the best! You can book tickets online by clicking here.

Drumroll, please…..

So it’s not everyday that the first copies of your novel arrive by courier in a package from your publisher. When you’ve dreamed of that moment for a long time, you somehow expect champagne corks, orchestras, double air kisses from the neighbours. The reality is, however, that it’s just another in a long line of milestones that inevitably get overtaken by dinnertime, or homework, or a scraped knee; each a little anti-climax that go towards building a career in writing novels.

But I’ll take them. They’re MY anti-climaxes after all.

So here’s the latest one.


Now I’m off to tackle the ironing.

It’s Here!

This writing business isn’t big on instant gratification.  I started writing my second novel The Lake back in 2012, and it’s only today, three years later, that I can finally share it with the world, thanks to my agent Ger Nichol, my editor Sarah Hodgson and the Killer Reads team at HarperCollins in London.

I loved researching it, I loved writing it, and I truly hope you love reading it.

Now I’m off to write number three.  See you all in 2018…

One Day To Go….

So tomorrow, my novel THE LAKE will be published by HarperCollins Killer Reads.

I feel a little like I should be doing something constructive, but what I’m not sure. Housework, maybe? I’m reminded of what it felt like being pregnant the day before my due-date, although at least I know the book won’t be two weeks late and weigh over 11lbs.

If you’re reading this, the nicest thing you can do for me right now is go on to Amazon and pre-order, or if you already have (THANK YOU) tell your friends to.

I’m going to hoover the sitting room.

Dalkey’s Getting Creative!

My hometown of Dalkey, County Dublin is hosting what looks like a fantastic festival of writing in October 2014.

Workshops and seminars planned will be on playwriting, song-writing, memoir, fiction, screenwriting – they seem to have everything covered! The whole of the town is getting involved, and the best part of all is the day of performance planned for our lovely Town Hall on Sunday the 19th, when everyone involved in the festival will get a chance to read their new writing to an audience. There’s even an Open Mic competition for closet writers, to be adjudicated by New York Times Bestselling Author Hazel Gaynor no less! How cool is that? I entered a similar contest a few years ago at the Dalkey Book Festival, and it was a fantastic (and unusual) opportunity to get some feedback on my writing from real, live listeners.

Even if you aren’t a writer, the festival really is worth checking out, as there are other events scheduled – anyone for a Literary Walk around Dalkey, or – for real – a Literary Kayak around Colimore Harbour?! Check it all out at http://www.DalkeyCreates.com

See you there!