Residential Writing Weekend with Claire Keegan

Teach Bhride Holistic Centre, Tullow, Co. Carlow, Ireland 3 to 5 January 2020

This residential weekend will see all participants arriving at Teach Bhride on Friday afternoon before dinner. The next two mornings will be spent writing in any genre in well lighted, quiet spaces without mobile phones.

Lectures and discussions will be held in the afternoons and evenings on the following:

  • Letters by Anton Chekhov & others

  • Paris Review/Writers at Work Interviews

  • Essays by Eudora Welty, Frank O’Connor and Flannery O’Connor

  • Hemingway’s advice on writing

  • Some poems on writing and creativity

  • Viewing of A Private World, a documentary on John McGahern

Tuition includes all meals and two nights’ accommodation, with everyone arriving before dinner on Friday, helping themselves to breakfast both mornings, and leaving before dinner on Sunday evening. This course will suit anyone interested in a quiet weekend of writing. None of what is written will be read aloud. It’s a chance to engage with the intricacies of the creative process and use your imagination.

To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com Tuition is 400 Euro. A 50% deposit secures. See CKFictionClinic for more information.

KEEGAN ClaireClaire Keegan’s portrait taken in the offices of Sabine Wespieser, Publisher, Paris

Claire Keegan’s story collections include Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Her debut, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English,” wrote the Observer. Walk the Blue Fields, her second collection, was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in 2010, and won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded to the strongest collection published in the British Isles. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, the then world’s richest prize for a single story. New Yorker readers chose Foster as their story of the year. It was also published in Best American Stories and is now on the school syllabus in Ireland. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

Every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.” Hilary Mantel

The best stories are so textured and so moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it’s easy to imagine readers savoring them many years from now and to imagine critics, far in the future, deploying new lofty terms to explain what it is that makes Keegan’s fiction work.” The New York Times

Every single word in the right place and pregnant with double meaning.” Jeffrey Eugenides, The New York Times

Keegan is a rarity, someone I will always want to read.” Richard Ford

Beginnings, Middles, Endings: The Structure of a Narrative with Claire Keegan

Goldsmiths University, London

November 2 & 3, 2019. 9:30am–5pm, both days

Claire Keegan, internationally acclaimed author and fiction-writing coach, will direct this, her most popular fiction writing course, using a novel and two short stories to demonstrate and explore the mechanics of fiction writing and narrative structure.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2. “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor

3. “Nobody Said Anything” by Raymond Carver

How do stories begin? How and why does an author make an incision in time and build tension? How is a reader drawn into a narrative? We will also explore the much-neglected middle; the trunk of the story, its denouement and turning points — and ask if endings are natural. Why do stories need to end, to find a place of rest? The discussion around endings will focus on falling action, emotional consequences and inevitability. Participants will also examine the differences between the short story and the novel.

This weekend will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction works is welcome to attend.

To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com Tuition is £350. A 50% deposit secures.

IMG_3242 (1)

Claire Keegan’s story collections include Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Her debut, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English,” wrote the Observer. Walk the Blue Fields, her second collection, was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in 2010, and won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded to the strongest collection published in the British Isles. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, the then world’s richest prize for a single story. New Yorker readers chose Foster as their story of the year. It was also published in Best American Stories and is now on the school syllabus in Ireland. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

Every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.” –Hilary Mantel

The best stories are so textured and so moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it’s easy to imagine readers savoring them many years from now and to imagine critics, far in the future, deploying new lofty terms to explain what it is that makes Keegan’s fiction work.” – The New York Times

Every single word in the right place and pregnant with double meaning.” – Jeffrey Eugenides, The New York Times

Keegan is a rarity, someone I will always want to read.” – Richard Ford

What’s the Point in Talking? A Weekend on Dialogue with Claire Keegan

The Amber Springs Hotel, Gorey, Co. Wexford

9:45 am – 5 pm, October 5 & 6.

In response to many requests, Claire Keegan will be directing a weekend on writing dialogue. Keegan will argue that our speech is full of casual and consequential misunderstanding. Some of what characters say is what we do not wish to say or reveal or realise. We will also look at other human factors: why it isn’t always possible to hear what is being said, and why we cannot often or do not wish to listen. And how despite our attempts to say little, we reveal a great deal. How, through our speech and silences, we give ourselves away.

Course participants will be asked to read scenes, and stories, examine and edit scenes – and we will also look at why and how dialogue works, and why it sometimes doesn’t. We will also take a look at accents, dialogue layout, pacing, humour and balancing descriptive paragraphs with dialogue.

This course will likely be of interest to those who read, write or edit novels, short stories, plays, memoirs, screen plays, creative non-fiction or are simply interested in how and why people talk.

The reading list is as follows:

1. Opening five chapters of Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter 

Short Stories:

3. “The District Doctor,” by Ivan Turgenev, translated by Constance Garnett 

4. “Sarah,” by Mary Lavin   

5. “Miss Brill,” by Katherine Mansfield 

6. “Music at Annahullion,” by Eugene McCabe 

7. “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” by Raymond Carver 

8. “Kathleen’s Field,” by William Trevor 

9. “Bullfighting,” by Roddy Doyle 

All the works in the reading list will be provided free of charge by email.

To book your place, email ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com. Tuition is 350 euro. A 100 euro non-refundable deposit secures a place. There are only two spaces left on this course. All welcome.

For more information, see ckfictionclinic.com

 

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The Child in Society

Weekend of Fiction Writing & Reading with Claire Keegan

Amber Springs Hotel, Gorey, Co Wexford

June 29 & 30, 2019children

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. Nelson Mandela

For two days, Claire Keegan, author of Foster (Faber & Faber) will explore fiction writing through the linked theme of The Child in Society. Discussion will include the rights of the child, having and not having children, fathering, mothering, fostering, adopting and neglecting children. Participants will be asked to imagine being a boy, a girl, a parent, a child minder – and undoubtedly there will be talk around housing, fathering, contraception, pregnancy, money, hunger, mothering, sleep and what it means to love and be loved, to mind and to be minded — from different points of view. The lecture will explore and display how time, tension, drama, dialogue and narrative structure are put to use in the following:

Jude the Obscure, a novel by Thomas Hardy

The River,” a story by Flannery O’Connor

Sleepyhead,” a story by Chekov, translated by Constance Garnett

The Widow’s Son,” by Mary Lavin.

Vera Drake, a film by Mike Leigh

Tuition 350 euro. Reservations can be made by emailing ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com

For more information, go to ckfictionclinic.com

How Fiction Works: A Study of Narrative Using Works by John McGahern

Linenhall Library, Belfast. May 13 & 14, 2019. 10am–5pm, both days.
Claire Keegan will direct this fiction writing course using works by John McGahern to explore and demonstrate the mechanics of writing and narrative structure.

1. The Leavetaking

2. “Christmas”

3. “Parachutes”

4. “The Conversion of William Kirkwood”

How do stories begin? How and why does an author make an incision in time and build tension? How is a reader drawn into a narrative? Why is a reader sometimes not drawn in at all? Keegan will discuss the structure of a narrative and go into what she calls the much-neglected middle, the trunk of the story. Are endings natural? Why do stories need to end, to find a place of rest? The discussion around endings will focus on falling action, emotional consequences and inevitability. Participants will also examine the differences between the short story and the novel. This course will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction or reading works is welcome to attend. To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com  Tuition is £300. A 50% deposit secures.

 

IMG_3242 (1)

Claire Keegan’s story collections include Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Her debut, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English,” wrote the Observer. Walk the Blue Fields, her second collection, was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in 2010, and won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded to the strongest collection published in the British Isles. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, then the world’s richest prize for a single story. New Yorker readers chose Foster as their story of the year. It was also published in Best American Stories is now on the school syllabus in Ireland. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

The Short Story with Claire Keegan

Short story course held on 13 and 14 April at The River Mill’s Retreat, Co. Down. 10am to 5pm, both days.

This weekend course will explore the short story using works from the anthology You’ve Got to Read This (ed. by Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard). Participants will be asked to consider:

  • How fiction works — and why it sometimes doesn’t

  • Where and when stories begin and how and if this differs from the novel

  • The differences between a short story and the novel / a chapter

  • Beginnings, Middles, Endings: Narrative Structure

To book, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com. Tuition is £300. Lunch and tea are provided for all. There are only two places left. Visit CKFictionClinic for full details.

Claire Keegan has written Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards, and have been published in The New Yorker, Best American Stories, The Paris Review. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.