Get into the group

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Listings - CATHY DIL­LON

INK: NA­TIONAL WRIT­ERS’ GROUP FES­TI­VAL Var­i­ous venues, Long­ford, Co Long­ford Fri-Sun 043-34906 www.vir­tu­al­writer.net

Writ­ing is a gen­er­ally a soli­tary oc­cu­pa­tion, so many fledg­ling writ­ers seek com­pany in writ­ers’ groups. There are up­wards of 75 groups around the coun­try and this is the only fes­ti­val that caters spe­cially for them, with work­shops, read­ings and other events as well as the pre­sen­ta­tion of the Writ­ers’ Group of the Year Awards. (This year, the win­ning group gets 1500).

The pre­sen­ta­tion of the awards (Sat 8pm, Long­ford Branch Li­brary) will also serve as the launch of Petals on a Bough, an an­thol­ogy of the win­ning en­tries. It will be fol­lowed by a read­ing by nov­el­ist Mia Gal­lagher.

Re­flect­ing a com­mit­ment to tak­ing creative writ­ing into the 21st cen­tury, two of this year’s evening events will be trans­mit­ted live on the in­ter­net, and a mul­ti­me­dia DVD will be avail­able called The Awak­ened Life, fea­tur­ing po­ets Pat Bo­ran (above) and Noel Mon­aghan, who will also be host­ing work­shops over the week­end.

Plenty of other read­ings and work­shops are sched­uled from writ­ers such as Leo Cullen, Martina Devlin, Brian Ley­den and Sarah Webb, as well as from the writ­ers’ groups them­selves. Tonight at 6.45pm, there is an “open ad­vice clinic” or ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion on get­ting pub­lished, and a lit­er­ary ta­ble quiz.

Lots to en­joy, and it’s not just for mem­bers of writ­ers’ groups. In­di­vid­u­als are wel­come too.

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