August 4th – 11th, KINSALE, IRELAND



AUGUST 4TH – 11TH, 2017

It’s official, we have a date, August 4th – 11th. We’re going to Kinsale, Ireland.

In 2014, Kinsale was selected as the Prettiest Small Town in Ireland. Originally a medieval fishing port, historic Kinsale in County Cork, Ireland is one of the most picturesque, popular and historic towns on the south west coast of Ireland. It has been hailed as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland, with no shortage of pubs, cafes, and restaurants. Kinsale is still a fishing village. Located some 25 km (18 m) south of Cork City on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale, it sits at the mouth of the River Bandon and has a population of more than 2000. Kinsale is a popular holiday resort for Irish and foreign tourists.

We’ll be staying at that the Lovely Georgian hotel, Old Bank House. It’s situated in the center of the town.

Shared twin room: $2,600 includes hotel, buffet breakfast, 5 dinners, workshops and readings. Plus, a harbor boat cruise.

Singles: $3,500 If you’re interested in bringing a non-participating companion it will be $300 extra. includes hotel, buffet breakfast, 5 dinners, workshops and readings. Plus, a harbor boat cruise

I’m still waiting to hear back from several authors. We will have 3 poetry workshops, 2 Fiction/non-fictiion workshops, Historical fiction & nonfiction, Memoir workshop, Travel workshop and more.


SARAH GRISTWOOD – Historical Fiction & Non fiction

After leaving Oxford, Sarah Gristwood began work as a journalist, writing at first about the theatre as well as general features on everything from gun control to Giorgio Armani. But increasingly she found herself specialising in film interviews – Johnny Depp and Robert De Niro; Martin Scorsese and Paul McCartney. She has appeared in most of the UK’s leading newspapers – The Times, the Guardian, the Telegraph (Daily and Sunday) – and magazines from Sight and Sound to The New Statesman.

Turning to history she wrote two bestselling Tudor biographies, Arbella: England’s Lost Queen and Elizabeth and Leicester; and the eighteenth century story Bird of Paradise: The colourful career of the first Mrs Robinson which was selected as Radio 4 Book of the Week. She also published a book on iconic dresses, Fabulous Frocks (with Jane Eastoe); and a 50th anniversary companion to the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as co-authoring The Ring and the Crown, a book on the history of royal weddings. Her most recent non-fiction books are Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth-Century Europe (2016) Blood Sisters: the Women Behind the Wars of the Roses (2012) and The Story of Beatrix Potter (2016). She has also published a historical novel, The Girl in the Mirror.

A regular media commentator on royal and historical affairs, Sarah was one of the team providing Radio 4’s live coverage of the royal wedding; and has since spoken on royal and historical stories from the royal babies to the reburial of Richard III for Sky News, Woman’s Hour, BBC World, Radio 5 Live, and CBC. She has contributed to a number of television documentary series on cinema and fashion, as well as on history and the monarchy. Shortlisted for both the Marsh Biography Award and the Ben Pimlott Prize for Political Writing, she is a Fellow of the RSA, and an Honorary Patron of Historic Royal Palaces.


DEBORAH HENRY – Connecting With Your Readers

Deborah Henry attended American College in Paris and graduated cum laude from Boston University with a minor in French language and literature. She received her MFA at Fairfield University. She is an active member of The Academy of American Poets, a Board member of Cavankerry Press and a patron of the Irish Arts Center in New York.

Curious about the duality of her own Jewish/Irish heritage, Henry was inspired to examine the territory of interfaith marriage and in so doing was led to the subject of the Irish Industrial School system. She has traveled to Ireland where she has done extensive research and interviews, including those with Mary Raftery (States of Fear documentary filmmaker and co-author of Suffer the Little Children) and Mike Milotte (award-winning journalist), as well as first-hand reports from the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries, Mother Baby Homes, Orphanages and the Industrial Schools.

Her first short story was published by The Copperfield Review, was a historical fiction finalist for Solander Magazine of The Historical Novel Society and was longlisted in the 2009/10 Fish Short Story Prize.

THE WHIPPING CLUB is her first novel.  She is currently at work on her next book.


JACQUELINE MITCHARD will be returning. She’ll be teaching her extremely successful workshop, FULL MANUSCRIPT EDIT & CRITIQUE. This workshop fills-up rapidly since she only accepts 6 participants. 

Jacqueline is a New York Times Bestselling Author, was short-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction, winner, The Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Aware, nominated two times for Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, Anne Powers Award for Fiction, New York Times notable books, Banks Street Notable Books, Bluebonnet Prize

Jacqueline has published 13 Bestselling novels, 7 Young Adult books, 4 Children Books and numerous articles in journals in newspapers.


Novakovich is a recipient of the Whiting Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, panelist of National Endowment of the Arts, an award from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Novakovich was a finalist for The Man Booker International Prize in 2013. He was anthologized in Best American Poetry, Pushcart Prize (three times), and O.Henry Prize Stories. Kirkus Reviews called Novakovich “the best American short stories writer of the decade”.


Jacob is an English poet from Carlisle, Cumbria, United Kingdom.

His first four books of poems, all published by Picador, are The Brink (2003), Little Gods (2006), The Havocs (2012), and Jackself (2016). Jackself won the 2016 T. S. Eliot Prize.

He graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in 1997.

Polley won an Eric Gregory Award, and the BBC Radio 4/Arts Council ‘First Verse’ Award, in 2002. His first book, The Brink (Picador 2003), was a Poetry Book Society Choice, and went on to be shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys prize.

Polley was selected as one of the Next Generation Poets in 2004.

His second book, Little Gods (Picador 2006), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

Jacob Polley’s first novel, Talk of the Town, was published in June 2009 by Picador. The book went on to win the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award and was also shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize.

The Havocs (2012), his third book of poetry, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and won the 2012 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection and for the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2012.



Michèle Roberts is the author of twelve highly acclaimed novels, including The Looking Glass and Daughters of the House which won the WHSmith Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her memoir Paper Houses was BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week in June 2007. She has also published poetry and short stories, most recently collected in Mud- stories of sex and love (2010). Half-English and half-French, Michèle Roberts lives in London and in the Mayenne, France. She is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.


Declan Ryan was born in County Mayo, Ireland. He’s published four pamphlets with Faber and Faber. Declan was included in Faber’s New Poets series. He is poetry editor at Ambit and teaches at King’s College London. He was highly recommended by poet Ruth Patel, one of our instructors. Ruth judges the T. S. Eliot Prize.

GABRIELLE SELZ – Memoir & Biography

Gabrielle Selz is a writer and a live storyteller. Combining her dual passions for words and images, she holds a BA in art history from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an MA in writing from City College of New York. She has worked in commercial television and on the political campaigns of two Greek democratic presidential candidates: Michael Dukakis and Paul Tsongas. She is the recipient of a fellowship in Nonfiction Literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a Moth Story Slam winner. She has published in magazines and newspapers including, The New Yorker, The New York Times, More magazine, Los Angeles Times, Fiction, Newsday, and Art Papers. She now writes art reviews for The Huffington Post, and you can read her blog about art and life here.

Unstill Life is her first book. She is currently writing a biography on the American painter, Sam Francis.


DELTA WILLIS – Travel Writing 

Delta has published more than 30 articles in Audubon, Outside, Natural History, PEOPLE,The New York Times Book Review,( SOME PRIMATES WEREN’T TO BE TRUSTED – New York Times ) The Explorer’s Journal, Diversion and Omni’s Exploration column. For two decades she was chief contributor to Fodor’s Guide to Kenya & Tanzania. See her reports from Kenya

A member of the Explorers Club, Willis crossed the Sahara for a London Zoological Society/World Wildlife Fund expedition which led to the establishment the largest nature reserve in Africa. When China first opened to American travelers, Lindblad Travel recruited her to guide their clients for 30 day tours. She organized the first expedition to East Africa for the late Stephen Jay Gould. En route to Nairobi, the evolutionary biologist served as her guide to the home of Charles Darwin, now a museum, near London.

Interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Pulse of the Planet,” and “New York & Company,” Willis has lectured at The American Museum of Natural History, New York University, The Explorers Club, The 92nd Street Y, and the Fulbright Institute.

Her memoirs, “My Boat in the City,” begun when her base camp was a houseboat moored on the edge of Manhattan.


Finishing Line Press Authors will also be joining us.


Addition list of authors teaching workshops will follow shortly.



DEBORAH HENRY – Connecting With Your Readers

We will discuss in three part sections the myriad ways we can find our niche and connect with our readers in the digital age.

Part One: Four to Six months before publication date.

Part Two: Before and After Launch Date.

Part Three: After initial launch and onward – How to build a wider audience.

Throughout the three segments, we will have Q & A which will be organic to the flow of discussion as we share the journey — including utilizing traditional and social media skills to land an agent, an editor, a publisher, blurbs and much more as well as how to build a global writing community with ever increasing innovative marketing models.


JACQUELYN MITCHARD -Full Manuscript Edit & Critique

LIMITED to six students, #1 New York Times Bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard will host a full-manuscript intensive critique. Each student will receive advance digital copies of the other writers’ manuscripts and, at Lismore Castle, Mitchard will lead a full half-day session on each completed book of fiction or creative non-fiction. Admission to this class is based on individual manuscript potential, and application must be made well in advance of the conference in order to assure that the extra demands of a full-book seminar can be met. Mitchard also will provide a written critique with editing and revision suggestions to each participant. Contact conference organizer Nancy Gerbault for guidelines and specifics. 

This is an intensive workshop. Plan on only taking this workshop along with a second workshop at the end of the week.


JOSIP NOVAKOVICH – Fiction/Nonfiction 

The Art of the Microforms

A Multi-genre course, concentrating on the short forms, from a short paragraph to vignettes up to approximately 1500 words. The boundaries between narrative poems, lyrical essay, and flash fiction are frequently arbitrary, so let’s not worry about the definition of what we do in the short form, and play. The definition can come later.

Course Objective: To play with words in order to come up with good moments.

Come to class with several short pieces for us to give you constructive feedback now how to revise and improve.

The class time will be divided among the following activities:

Critiquing your work constructively.
Analyzing published paradigms of short form writing.
Sketching and writing vignettes from prompts and assignments.
Even in the short form, the elements of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction can be at play productively, so we will concentrate on plotting stories from the basic motives. Man is his desire, sid Aristoteles. We’ll sketch several stories based on primary motives, desire and fear.

Paradigms of microforms to be discussed and covered:

Examples of quick writing
Grace Paley, Robert Coover

2. Myths, Parables

Story of Jonah, Prodigal Son. Tolstoy’s, Three Parables. Johann Peter Hebe, Man is a Strange Creature.

3. Fables and Fairy Tales

Aesop, Brothers Grimm

4. Short-Shorts

Franz Kafka, Kurt Vonnegut, John Cheever, Eudora Welty, Hemingway

5. Flash Fiction

Lydia Davis, Jonathan Wilson, Diane Williams, Dave Eggers

6. Absurdist and Surrealist Stories

Etgar Keret, Daniil Kharms, Dino Buzzati, Aimee Bender

7. The Lyrical Essay

Death of the Moth, Virginia Woolf

8. Very Short Essay, True Story

Mikhail Iossel, Why…, JN, “Ice”

9 Story as one scene:

The Use of Force by William Carlos William.

10. Prose Poems

Sandra Cisneros, Monkey Garden

Reading list:


Prodigal Son:

Story of Jonah:

Johann Peter Hebel: and

Tolstoy, Three Parables:

Aesop’s Fable:

Brothers Grimm, Fairy Tales:

Franz Kafka Short Shorts:

Dino Buzzati, Falling Girl:

Lydia Davis:

Aimee Bender:


Mikhail Iossel: and

Daniil Kharms:

John Cheever, Reunion:

Ernest Hemingway, A Very Short Story:

Robert Coover:

Diane Williams:

Eudora Welty:

Virginia Woolf:

Jonathan Wilson:

Etgar Keret:

Grace Paley: and and

Dave Eggers:

Kurt Vonnegut:



One of the pieces of advice I offer in the morning workshop to students tackling writer’s block is to have something delicious to eat. Another tip is to practise automatic writing. Given a phrase, you then write non-stop for three minutes, whatever comes up, without censoring. A good way to get the juices flowing is to begin with “I hate” or “I am disgusted by . . .” Hate and disgust are helpful energies and provoke original writing.”

None of us gets nostalgic about school dinners, do we? From primary school, I remember fatty mutton in greasy gravy. Rice pudding, tapioca pudding, semolina pudding, macaroni in warmish sweetened milk. Slimy and disgusting. At secondary school, a convent, the nuns’ speciality was carrots boiled to a pulp, tasting of soap. Slimy. Or spinach, bitter and sour and, yes, slimy. Too close in texture and appearance to spit and sick, to all those bodily wastes we shun, which the feminist author Julia Kristeva calls “the abject”. Giving an abstract name to wanting to throw up helps keep it at bay. Kristeva refers somewhere to “those currents of bodily feeling we call emotion”. In the writing workshop, we begin by translating abstract words like bliss and desire and contentment into sensual, physical images.


GABRIELLE SELZ – 3 Day Memoir Intensive and Biography workshop

The American essayist and poet, Kenneth Rexroth wrote, “Against the ruin of the world, there is only one defense: The creative act.” Memoir is a creative act, one that marks the intersection of truth and storytelling.

Whether writing personal essay-length pieces or a book, this workshop will show you how to best tell the stories from your life.Together, we will analyze methods for creating a narrative through imaginative reconstruction. Participants will be asked to submit a 2,500-word sample—a stand-alone essay or an excerpt.

After introductions, we will begin with a series of essential questions that will guide us in clarifying and defining our projects. The answers are meant to be flexible, opening us up to an ongoing process that will help illuminate our material and choices as we progress.

Over the course of our three days together, each writer’s work will be work- shopped in a safe, honest environment. The whole group will help the writer identify what is unique and exciting in their work, as well as what might be getting in their way. If you are embarking on something new, it is okay to submit a skeletal description. We will then focus on helping you sketch and fill out your memoir project.

We will emphasize issues of craft with discussions on:

 Prologue: How to hook readers, set up the stakes and foreshadow the arc of the story.

 Structure: How to shape through Conflict and Turning Points.

 Character/Dialogue: Making characters dimensional through desire and contrast.

 Desire Line: Ask yourself, “What did I want more than anything else? What is my underlying question, my underlying want?” Create a desire line. It’s all about wanting.

 Writing the personal outward and within the context of history.

 Setting/Place: Creating setting, mood and emotion of place.

 Emotional authenticity

 Theme and how to weave it in so that it informs all the aspects of the story.

 Revision and its various stages.

 The Business/The Writing Life
DELTA WILLIS – Travel and Food Writing

Travel Images Expand your reach and profits by submitting sharp photos with your travel reports. Increasingly online magazines want a photo essay, spiced with a few paragraphs. Now smart phone images allow you to compete with professional photographers to illustrate your own articles. This workshop will focus on composition, editing, and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram) that engage your readers. Three workshops will explore photo ops in the village and harbor of Kinsale; two will be indoors with laptop exercises, including capturing color, light, and sense of place with words, photographing food, when to avoid selfies, the dangers of Photoshop, copyright protection, and photographing people without permission. Minor additional expenses for excursions, workshops in cafes or pubs. Led by Delta Willis; see sample blog with images





Morning Workshops begin at 8:00 am – 12:00

Room #1 Full Manuscript Edit & Critique 

Room #2 Memoir & Biography Room 

Afternoon Workshop 12:30 – 4:30

Room #1 Travel Writing  

Room #2 Declan Ryan/Poetry

Readings 5:00 – 7:00

Welcome Dinner Party at LEMON LEAF


Breakfast 7:00 – 10:00

Morning Workshops 8:00 – 12:00

Room #1 Full Manuscript Edit & Critique 

Room #2 Memoir & Biography

Afternoon Workshops 12:30 – 4:30

Room #1 Michele Roberts/Fiction

Room #2 Declan Ryan/Poetry

Readings 5:00 – 7:00

Dinner – Free night out 


Breakfast 7:00 – 10:00

Morning Workshops 8:00 – 12:00

Room #1 Full Manuscript Edit & Critique

Room #2 Memoir & Biography

Afternoon Workshop 12:30 – 4:30

Room #1 Michele Roberts/Fiction

Room #2 Declan Ryan/Poetry

 Readings 5:00 – 6:45

Harbor Cruise 7:00 – 9:00 

Buffet Dinner on Boat


Breakfast 7:00 – 10:00

Morning Workshop 8:00 – 12:00

Room #1 Full Manuscript Edit & Critique

Room #2 Travel Writing

Afternoon Workshop 12:30 – 4:30

Room #1 Michele Roberts/Fiction

Room #2 Connecting With Your Readers

Readings 5:00 – 7:00

Dinner at restaurant, Fishy Fishy


Breakfast 7:00 – 10:00

Morning Workshop 8:00 – 12:00

Room #1 Josip Novakovich/Fiction & Non-Fiction

Room #2 Jacob Polley/Poetry

Afternoon Workshop 12:30 – 4:30

Room #1 Historical Fiction & Non-Fiction

Room #2 Connecting With Your Readers

Readings 5:00 – 7:00

Dinner – Free night out


Breakfast 7:00 – 10:00

Morning Workshop 8:00 – 12:00

Room #1 Josip Novakovich/Fiction & Non-Fiction

Room #2 Jacob Polley/Poetry

Afternoon Workshop 12:30 – 4:30

Room #1 Historical Fiction & Non-Fiction

Room #2 Connecting With Your Readers

Readings 5:00 – 7:00

Dinner at Blue Haven

BBQ Fish dinner and Buffet afterwards we’ll listen to music in the bar


Breakfast 7:00 – 10:00

Morning Workshops 8:00 – 12:00

Room #1 Historical Fiction & Non-Fiction

Room #2 Jacob Polley/Poetry

Afternoon Workshops 12:30 – 4:30

Room #1 Historical Fiction & Non-Fiction

Room #2 Travel Writing

Readings 5:00 – 7:00

Celebration dinner at Lemon Leaf with music


Breakfast 7:00 – 10:00

Departure 10:30

Please note that Delta Willis’s Travel & Food Workshop will be in two different rooms at different times.




Shared Twin Room  $2,600 – includes: Full Breakfast, 5 dinners, Workshops, Readings

Single Room  $3,600 – includes: Full Breakfast, 5 dinners, Workshops, Readings. You’re welcome to bring a companion for an extra fee of $300.

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