Monday, 24 May 2010
CURLEW WRITING CONFERENCE - A REPORT
I'm in recovery after a busy week-end, trying to catch up, hoping to put shape on a poem, musing on a story that I need to finish. We had a party for the two youngest on Saturday - sugar heaven. Then Sunday we drove to Howth for my talk on fiction writing to the participants of the Curlew Writing Conference, which is run by writers Annie and Ted Deppe. They are wonderful writers both and really some of the loveliest people I've ever met: they ooze learning and positivity. Other writers who took part during the week included Joan Newmann, Kate Newmann and Claire Keegan.
Howth was a-buzz: wheeling seagulls, a brilliant outdoor food-market, a (over-priced) book fair, a pipe band, an anglers' exhibition, hundreds of couples and babies and sun-worshippers lolling about, greedy seals in the bay, boats and water and sun, sun, sun.
My talk took place in the Howth Yacht Club and focussed on fiction: my approach to the short story VS the novel; what I hope for in fiction as a reader and as a writer; the writer's need to be able to self promote and my frustration with trying to find an agent. I also read an extract from my novel You. My talk turned into a conversation with the participants, who were all experienced writers, here on a week-long writing trip from the States. What a bright, lively, friendly group they were. As always I was nervous going in and, as usual, I came out feeling good - they were inquisitive and intelligent and welcoming people and what more could a speaker ask for from an audience? Three of them (THREE!) gave me the names of their agents to contact. I've rarely come across such generosity. Sadly, for them, they are all gone home today and sadly, for me, I couldn't stay around to hear them read their work as I had to get back to my kids. But what a great day. All thanks to the Deppes for the opportunity.
Now back to that poem...