‘Quite simply, I know that without The Stinging Fly I would never have had a single thing published. I attended the six month workshop in 2015–2016 and it was a transformative experience. That sounds a little excessive, but it was. It changed quite profoundly the way I think about what I read, and it made me an infinitely better writer.’ —Wendy Erskine
The principal aim of our workshop programme is to allow writers to develop their writing practice through engagement with groups of similarly motivated individuals.
2022-23 Fiction Workshops
Are you writing a novel or short-story collection? Do you feel you would benefit from a relationship with a group of others engaged in the same process?
We are currently accepting applications for the following fiction workshops:
A hybrid workshop with Sean O’Reilly
An online workshop with Danielle McLaughlin
The aim of these workshops is to help writers to engage more deeply with their work and to equip them with the tools necessary to develop their writing practice over time. During both workshops, participants will present works in progress (a draft of a short story or novel excerpt) to the rest of the group for close scrutiny.
The application deadline for both workshops is midnight (Irish Standard Time) on Wednesday August 31st 2022. We are accepting applications via Submittable.
– Places on the workshops will be offered based on work submitted. You can submit either a novel extract with synopsis or a short story. Short stories should be no longer than 8000 words and novel extracts should be no more than 20 pages.
– Anyone applying for the hybrid workshop must be available to attend the in-person workshops at the Irish Writers Centre.
– You can apply for a place in both workshops if you wish. To do so, you will need to make two separate applications.
– The application form includes a cover note. Use this space to let us know about your current writing project(s) and to tell us how you believe your work will benefit from participating in the workshop.
– No more than 8 places will be offered in each workshop. Places will be offered by Monday September 12th.
During the workshops, each writer presents work-in-progress to the group for discussion. All work is shared in advance and is closely read by the workshop leader and the other participants.
NB: There will be no attempt to impose a rationalised schema of creative writing exercises. The writing up for discussion each week is the raw material; any questions of writing technique or prose style will arise naturally from the work itself.
Over the course of the full workshop period, each writer can look forward to having their work reviewed and discussed on four occasions. In this way, the group will witness and contribute to the development of all the novels/collections in progress. The ultimate aim is for each participant to complete a strong first draft of their novel or collection.
The Hybrid Workshop
Workshop sessions will take place in-person over 4 Saturdays in the Irish Writers Centre and online over Zoom on Monday evenings. The workshop starts on 8 October 2022 and runs until the end of March 2023.
Saturdays, IN-PERSON, 10.30am-4.15pm
October 8th, November 26th, January 28th, March 25th
Mondays ONLINE, 7pm-9pm
October 17th, 24th
November 7th, 14th
Wednesday January 18th* (combined session for both workshop groups)
February 6th, 13th, 20th*
March 6th, 13th, 20th*
The Online Workshop
Workshop sessions will take place online over Zoom on Wednesday evenings, 7pm to 9pm.
The workshop starts in late September 2022 and runs until the end of March 2023.
DATES: (ALL ONLINE)
Wednesday September 28th Introductory session 7pm–8pm
October 12th, 19th, 26th
November 2nd, 9th*, 16th, 23rd, 30th
January 18th* (combined session for both workshop groups)
February 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd
March 1st*, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
* These dates will feature talks by guest writers on different aspects of writing craft.
NB: All dates are provisional and changes may need to be made at short notice.
The tuition fee for each workshop is €1600.
The concession rate for anyone who is unwaged or on low income is €1200.
A deposit of €200 (non-refundable) will be payable once a workshop place has been offered and accepted. The balance will be payable in two instalments at the end of September 2022 and in January 2023. (Where necessary an alternative payment schedule can be agreed.)
Thanks to the support we receive from the Arts Council and to the continued generosity of our patrons, we are in a position to offer one free place on each workshop. These will be awarded to writers who are either unwaged or on low income. You can tell us why you want to be considered for a free place in the cover note that is included on the Submittable application form.
The Stinging Fly is open to submissions from writers of all backgrounds. We are committed to pursuing a proactive approach to diversity and inclusiveness. We strongly encourage writers from underrepresented areas of society to apply. If you are such a writer, we hope you feel encouraged to join us. If you know such writers, please spread the word (with our thanks).
Any questions? Contact Elaine: admin [at] stingingfly [dot] org
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Danielle McLaughlin is the author of the short-story collection, Dinosaurs on Other Planets, and the novel, The Art of Falling, which is shortlisted for this year’s Dublin Literary Award. She has been Writer in Residence at University College Cork and Visiting Writer Fellow at the Oscar Wilde Centre, Trinity College, Dublin. She has also designed and delivered workshops in Creative Writing for various organisations and festivals and currently mentors a number of emerging writers.
Sean O’Reilly is the author of two short-story collections, Curfew and Other Stories and Levitation, and three novels Love and Sleep, The Swing of Things and Watermark. He has led fiction workshops with The Stinging Fly since 2007 and is a member of Aosdána.
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‘The Stinging Fly’s 6-month fiction workshop is a game changer; challenging, exhilarating, and unforgettable, it completely alters the way you read and write fiction… At the end of the course I had completed a short story collection I was proud of that went on to be critically acclaimed. If I could Groundhog Day this course, I’d do it again and again for every book. Magic.’ —June Caldwell
‘I attended the Stinging Fly summer school in 2018, and I thought I knew what to expect because I’d attended a few writing workshops before this, but the Stinging Fly school was different—the discussions were more rigorous, more challenging, more frank and generous in spirit; it was joyful. The class completely changed the way I think about the fiction I read. It pushed me to investigate what I’m interested in, in my own writing, with more commitment and care.’ —Chetna Maroo
‘It is a rare privilege to be in the company of people who understand the insecurities and anxieties that arise when you are struggling to create fiction out of all the embarrassing stuff that’s inside your head. The Stinging Fly continues to create a space where writers can learn to support and champion each other’s aspirational worlds.’ —Louise Nealon
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