Weekend Four: March 27-28, 2021


Saturday, March 27, 2021

3.00 pm - 7.00 pm (Irish time)


‘Characterisation Through Dialogue’

Workshop hosted by John DeDakis

When characters talk to each other, the story moves forward and the reader learns about the speaker. In this class, you’ll learn how to find the right words to put into the mouths of your characters.


Former broadcast journalist, producer and editor over several decades with leading media groups including CNN’s ‘The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,’ John DeDakis, a native of La Crosse, Wisconsin, has already written written five novels – namely, ‘Fast Track,’ ‘Bluff,’ ‘Troubled Water,’ ‘Bullet in the Chamber’ and ‘Fake.’

Interestingly, John’s main protagonist is a young gutsy female reporter, Lark Chadwick, who faces some tough challenges in the world of journalism, with ethics and relationships being key recurrent themes in his books.

John is a popular speaker at workshops and festivals, hosts a series of excellent two-minute writing tips online and is also a workshop leader at The Writer's Center in Bethesda, Maryland and the Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington D.C. He also hosts an interesting set of online interviews entitled – ‘One-to-One with John DeDakis.’


This is a practical workshop. An in-class assignment will be emailed by participants during the workshop to the tutor for critiquing. There will also be an assignment of not more than 500 words given during the workshop to be emailed the following day for personal feedback. 


All workshops will be delivered via Zoom.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

3.00 pm - 7.00 pm (Irish time)


This day’s activities will include:


  • Cozy Conversational Corner with… Bradley Harper, Pathologist, Crime Writer & Sherlock Holmes Aficionado: 'What makes killing murder?'

An experienced pathologist, having performed over 200 autopsies, Brad Harper is author of novels, shorts stories and graphic comics and a popular speaker at writing conferences. Brad is now working on his third novel, his first two being, ‘A Knife In The Fog’ linked to Arthur Conan Doyle and the Jack the Ripper murders, and its sequel, ‘Queen’s Gambit.’

Interestingly, Brad, (69), was keynote speaker at the Virginia Writers Guild annual conference earlier this month, his topic, ‘Starting Writing Later in Life.’ Brad only started writing fiction at the tender age of 63. 

For Sherlock Holmesian adventurers, Brad also launched an online publication free to access. Not only, a comic, ‘Dark Tryst,’ based on an erotic vampire poem Brad wrote twenty years ago, has just been released. 


  • Critique of participants' assignments from the previous day’s workshop and summary of weekend’s activities.


  • Cozy Conversational Corner with … Dr. Linda Dryden, Professor of English Literature at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland


Dr. Linda Dryden is not only Professor of English Literature at Edinburgh Napier University but also director of the Centre for Literature and Writing (CLAW) and the Head of Research in the School of Arts and Creative Industries. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, she completed her Doctorate on Joseph Conrad and is a member of Joseph Conrad Society (UK).

Linda has also always cherished an enduring love for the work of Edinburgh-born Stevenson. As such, she is the editor-in-chief of a comprehensive website devoted to the writer, RLS Website, edits The Journal of Stevenson Studies and has helped maintain The Ernest Mehew Robert Louis Stevenson Collection at Napier, comprising more than 4,000 items including first edition books, private letters, images and magazine serialisations. Together with the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, she helped established ‘Stevenson Day,’ an annual tribute event on his birthday, 13 November.

She is one of the three authors of ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and Joseph Conrad: Writers of Transition,’ which analyses the two authors shared literary history and experience of Victorian London.

Linda, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, has also written three monographs: Joseph Conrad and the Imperial Romance (1999), The Modern Gothic and Literary Doubles: Stevenson, Wilde and Wells (2003), and Joseph Conrad and H.G. Wells: The Fin de Siècle Literary Scene (2015).


Please Note: In addition, each participant in this workshop has the opportunity to send in advance a piece of writing (maximum 1,000 words) from a work-in-progress and receive critique and personal feedback in writing.