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Ireland Writing Retreat Hosts Former CNN Editor, Author & Writing Guide

Ireland Writing Retreat, the only literary event to take place on the nation’s famous ‘Wild Atlantic Way,’ is delighted to announce that former CNN editor and author, John DeDakis, will conduct practical writing and editing workshops at this June’s event in west Donegal.

John’s interest in the mystery suspense genre began long before he finished the first of his three published novels, ‘Fast Track,’ ‘Bluff’ and ‘Troubled Water.’ In fact, John – who will fly to Ireland directly from Washington DC where he now lives – enjoyed the rare privilege of conducting a 40-minute, one-on-one radio interview with the man who has been nicknamed the ‘Master of Suspense,’ Alfred Hitchcock. The career of this British director, who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller movie genres, spanned half a century and led to such celluloid successes as ‘The Birds,’ ‘Dial M for Murder’ and ‘Psycho.’

John spent 25 years with CNN, and also with CBN, working on a wide range of news and current affairs shows, including being senior copy editor on the popular news and current affairs Emmy and Peabody-Award winning programme, ‘The Situation Room,’ with Wolf Blitzer. John was also a White House correspondent for CBN News during the last three years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

The Wisconsin native is a popular creative writing workshop leader at conferences both within the US and abroad, including Sleuthfest (Florida), Killer Nashville (Tennessee), Pennwriters (Pennsylvania), Flathead River (Montana), Hampton Roads (Virginia), BooksAlive (Florida), Lakefly (Wisconsin).

He is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and in 2013 served as a judge for the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel (hardcover).

John is also an adjunct journalism faculty member at the University of Maryland-College Park and has been a lecturer at the American University, Washington, D.C. and Writer-in-Residence at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta, teaching fiction writing classes and holding one-on-one writing tutorials.

Crime writing, historical fiction, fantasy and travel writing – the annual ‘Ireland Writing Retreat’ that takes place amid the beautiful necklace of islands, mountains and lakes on the inspiring ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ in west Donegal has attracted successful authors from such diverse genres as these to teach those wishing to learn the challenging craft of good writing.

These award-winning authors accomplish the task not through general lectures on theories of writing and editing that can be easily read in one of the many garden variety ‘Guide to Writing’ books but by practical, hands-on teaching techniques including one-on-one, sentence-by sentence, paragraph-by-paragraph, critiques of participant’s own work completed before and during the week-long writing retreat.

Not only, but these authors also share specific details about their own professional experiences in the tough world of publishing and book marketing. In so doing, they provide invaluable lessons on how participants can overcome many of the common difficulties they will probably face before succeeding in having their short stories, novels, poetry and memoirs see the light of day in print.

All this takes place over seven, fun-packed days in what is probably the most gorgeous part of Ireland’s rugged coastline, where ancient islands such as Gola and Tory and majestic mountains such as Errigal and Muckish sweep down to the ever-changing Atlantic Ocean.

Participants also enjoy boat trips to the islands, leisurely walks in the mountains with guides expert in Celtic mythology and anthropology, Irish language and dance classes and heart-warming, traditional music concerts in the evenings.

A week-long, creative writing holiday with a difference – scenic walks, fascinating talks and daily practical writing and editing workshops – all in a land that time forgot, in the most scenic part of Ireland, along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Plus lively, traditional Irish music concerts; archaeological and environmental tours of an awe-inspiring landscape soaked in Celtic legend; tuition in the Gaelic language, as well as Irish ceildhe dancing. Accommodation is at Teac Jack’s, a well-known, family-owned boutique hotel, restaurant and traditional music venue overlooking the sea and a short walk from the picturesque Bun na nInver harbor. Register here.

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