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John hewitt society

Creative Writing Workshops with the John Hewitt Society


John Hewitt International Summer School opens its doors to the public, offering a host of Creative Writing workshops

Award-winning poet and novelist Mary O’Donnell, bestselling crime writer, Anthony J.Quinn and Armagh-born playwright and screenwriter, Daragh Carville, are among the top writers leading creative writing workshops at this year’s John Hewitt International Summer School. 

Supported by The Open University, these popular writing workshops provide a unique opportunity for anyone interested in developing their writing to take part in workshops led by highly-regarded, published writers who all have wide experience of directing writing workshops. 

Leading the ever-popular Memoir writing workshop will be Maureen Boyle who won the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize and the Strokestown International Poetry Prize in 2007, and in 2013, was awarded the Fish Short Memoir Prize.

There are, as always, two Poetry workshops, and this year’s poetry tutors, Niall Campbell and Siobhán Campbell, are coming from Scotland and London respectively. Niall Campbell has been recipient of an Eric Gregory Award and a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. His collection, ‘Moontide’, was given a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Siobhán Campbell is an award-winning poet whose collections of poetry include ‘The Permanent Wave’ (1996), ‘The Cold that Burns’ (2000) and ‘Cross-Talk’ (2009). 

Daragh Carville, the popular Armagh-born playwright and screenwriter, will lead the scriptwriting workshops. Daragh’s films are ‘Middletown’ and ‘Cherrybomb’ and TV credits include ‘Being Human’ (BBC3), '6Degrees’ (BBC NI) and 'The Smoke’ (Kudos/Sky One). 

Proving very popular to date is Mary O’Donnell’s Prose Fiction workshop. Mary is an award-winning poet and prose writer whose best-selling novels include ‘The Light-Makers’, ‘Virgin and the Boy’, ‘The Elysium Testament’ and ‘Where They Lie’ from which she read at JHISS 2014. 

The Crime Fiction workshops will be taken by Co Tyrone novelist, Anthony J. Quinn, whose debut novel ‘Disappeared’ was shortlisted for a Strand Literary Award in the US. Two more of his Celcius Daly novels, ‘Border Angels’ and ‘Silence’, are to appear this year. 

Leading the workshop on the Short Story will be Heather Richardson who is the author of ‘Magdeburg’, a novel, and ‘Chilled', a short story collection. Her short fiction and poetry have been published widely in the UK and Ireland. 

The Open University has worked in partnership with the John Hewitt Society since 2010 to host three of the seven creative writing workshops at the annual Summer School in the Marketplace Theatre, Armagh. 

Associate Lecturers from The Open University devise and deliver workshops on themes such as memoir, poetry, script, and historical fiction. The Summer School culminates with a creative writing showcase where participants can present their work to their peers and in front of an audience. This takes place at 2.15pm on Friday 31st July and is free to the public. 

The workshops will take place at the Market Place Theatre, the AmmA Creative Learning Centre and Armagh Pipers’ Club. 

Places on each Creative Writing Workshop course at JHISS will cost £40 per course and these can be booked now at The Market Place Box Office on 028 37521821 or online at The full Summer School programme is also available online at

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