Weekend Two: March 13-14, 2021

 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

3.00 pm - 7.00 pm (Irish time)

 

“From Memories to Memoir” 

Workshop hosted by Danny Morrison 

 

What makes a good memoir and how far should you, can you or would you go in expressing the ‘truth’ – or, as some might say, ‘bending the truth’? What is the difference between memoir and autobiography and semi-autobiographical fiction? Danny Morrison reveals his views on these sensitive topics, illustrating his points with reference to other well-known authors and memoirists.

Danny, a native of Belfast, wears many hats – author, dramatist, civil rights activist, writing tutor, festival organiser and editor. His writing criss-crosses many genres including fiction, nonfiction, film scripts, plays, essays and short stories.

His work includes ‘West Belfast,’ ‘On the Back of the Swallow,’ written in prison, and ‘The Wrong Man,’ about an informer inside the IRA, adapted for the stage in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin. His fourth novel, ‘Rudi – In the Shadow of Knulp,’ was inspired by ‘Knulp,’ a novel by Hermann Hesse.

Danny has written two memoirs. ‘Then The Walls Came Down,’ described as both ‘poignant and liberating’ and compared to Brendan Behan’s ‘Borstal Boy’ by The Irish Times, comprises letters from prison to his partner and deals with his captivity and his transformation from pacifist to prominent republican activist to publisher writer.

‘All The Dead Voices’ described as conveying ‘the weight of sorrow that is inherent in the human condition,’ defines Danny’s views with insights into those people who influenced his outlook on life. 

Aside from his own work, Danny also edited a book of essays, ‘Hunger Strike,’ published in 2006 by Brandon. Danny was also long-time chairperson of Féile an Phobail, one of the most successful community festivals in Ireland. 

 

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 14, 2021

3.00 pm - 7.00 pm (Irish time)

 

This day’s activities will include: 

 

  • Cozy Conversational Corner with … Dr. Brian Lacey: Where Irish Legend and History Converge

One of Ireland’s foremost archaeologists and historians, Brian is author of 14 non-fiction books on aspects of early Irish history, ranging from the ‘O'Brien Pocket History of Irish Saints' and ‘Siege City: The Story of Derry and Londonderry’ to ‘Lug's Forgotten Donegal Kingdom: The Archaeology, History and Folklore of the Sil Lugdach of Cloghaneely’ and ‘Colum Cille and the Columbian Tradition.’

A popular speaker at universities and conferences, Brian was head of Derry City Council’s Heritage and Museum Service and CEO of the Discovery Programme, an archaeological research institute based in Dublin. He has directed a series of important excavations unearthing secrets from Ireland’s Celtic past and has even presented a documentary on BBC. This online conversation will comprise subjects ranging from ancient Irish legends to pivotal moments in the cultural, religious and social development of Ireland.

 

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

 

  • Cozy Conversational Corner with… Brigid P. Gallagher, memoirist, natural medical practitioner and organic gardener 

Brigid qualified in and practiced natural medicine in Scotland for many years, becoming a tutor for community projects, a women's prison, and the Open Studies and Summer Schools of Stirling University. She was then diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, forcing her to reassess her entire lifestyle. After re-locating to Donegal, home of her ancestors, Brigid retrained in organic horticulture, and worked in the glorious gardens of Glenveagh National Park inspiring children and teachers to create organic school gardens.

Watching the Daisies - Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow’ is the title of Brigid’s inspirational self-help and travel memoir.

Brigid has also contributed articles for ‘Sixty and Me,’ ‘Two Drops of Ink,’ ‘The Mighty, WomELLE Magazine,’ plus ‘Travel Stories and Highlights 2019.’

 

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.