Last night I was lucky enough to be at Dalkey Creates’ Open Mic event in Finnegans’ pub, Dalkey (where Michelle Obama hangs out when she’s in Dublin, dontcha know).
It was a fantastic success, not least because of the diversity of work being read. We had local ladies reading their poetry, stand-up comedians, short stories and rap. This guy, Alex, even showed up and wowed the crowd with his stuff. (He’s in the TV show Vikings….get with it, people.)
We had a Patrick Kavanagh Award winner, a local pharmacist, Maeve Binchy’s husband Gordon Sewell and a young writer who brought the old craft of story-telling back to life, and managed to quieten an entire rowdy pub as she did it. All writers, some experienced, some starting off, all listening to and enjoying each other’s work.
It was the perfect example of how an Open Mic event should be – complete with a few spot prizes thanks to local businesses and the wonderful host Al Finnegan.
This is why I write. This is why I want to be a part of this life. These people came to share their work with strangers, to entertain, to get a reaction to their writing and to react to another’s. It’s scary – I know – it’s difficult to leave your writing desk and put your work out there to be heard, to be judged.
But do it. Share your work. Share others’. This is what it’s all about. This is life.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!