Inishbofin and Inishturk Island Writing Jaunts are “Go!” August and September 2020

TOMMY's SKYLIGHT2020 Inishbofin & Inishturk Jaunt brochure

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Spring 2020! All aboard! And all change!

Coming soon: tailored, intensive short online courses offering the best of my 28 years of teaching and mentoring! THE STARTER HANDLE, start to write course, TO TELL THE TRUTH non-fiction and poetry course, AIRBORNE fiction course, DIVE INTO POETRY and DEVELOPING POETRY and WRITING TRAIN Developing / Advanced Writing Workshop. Feedback and tuition will be by combination of email, phone and facetime/ skype. WORKSHOPS will combine advance reading and emailed feedback with 1.5 hour x up to 8 participant video conference calls. FURTHER NEWS: my Inishbofin Jaunt writing holidays and writing retreats at the edge of the world will run 22-29 May and 29 May-5 June, plus August 22-29 and 29-5 September. 14th year of island trips (Inishturk island Co Mayo trips also in preparation for July and August – email for details!) 54th trip coming up! 1-1 mentoring slots for summer and Autumn 2020 now available. “Immensely worth the money – I couldn’t have been happier” – Anna Connolly, January 2020. “Best creative writing teacher in Dublin” – Dubliner Magazine. Vouchers for Yvonne Cullen’s Writing Train available all year round and currently on a “Spend €75 for €100 voucher” basis, for use on events in Autumn 2020. Support your local creative entrepeneurs, now more than ever! x YC

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START TO WRITE at Cafe Joli, N.L.I.: 8 Sat. with Yvonne Cullen and ONE free place!

We’re back! Starting to write and coffee-ing and cake-ing at the same time on Saturday mornings in Cafe Joli, sure there’s nothing like it! If your enthusiasm and excitement WLTM my 27 years of experience, email 8-week Course starts 19/10 at 10.30 a.m. For a chance of a FREE place on this course (value €250) you might go like this: Email me at and tell me in one sentence why you’d like to win. Then visit my brochure of new courses HERE: and name 2 other classes I’m running this winter. Add another sentence letting me know about any kinds of writing courses you WISH I was running at the moment ( whether it be the time of week, duration of course, skill area or experience level). Email this off to me and I’ll draw the winner for the free place from a hat. CLOSING date 13/10 and results by end of day on 15th!

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Ice fishing and what it might have to do with free writing courses…

Learning to write is like learning to fish through ice. Catching what you can,  not fretting about what’s not there, trusting if you’re patient and your tools are in shape, and the environment you’re fostering for yourself is healthy, and you keep showing up and fishing, then all of this will bring something to your fish-hook in good time.

Classes help, with their combination of motivation and tips and the sense (I’d say, anyway)  of getting hauled up out of a cold sea onto land you didn’t know was there. And maybe this is where our ice floe may feature again, because maybe this spot too is more ice floe than dry land. Maybe now you’ll have to cut a hole in it and make some rods and fish. But you’re still doing a lot better than you were!

It’s great when people can afford classes with me. They pay my mortgage and keep the light on over my head and food in the press. And it’s great to be free to go beyond that business model. If you’d love a course with me this winter, and honestly can’t afford one, you’ll contribute by taking part. You’re contributing by giving me this competition to run and the P.R spin off from it. I’ll get a kick out of paying forward a lot of kindness I experienced, starting to write. And our classes will be nice and full, which is better for everyone involved. (And you’ll be in them with your enthusiasm – better yet : )!

For all these reasons, I’m delighted to offer somebody, anybody who feels they need this and wouldn’t afford it otherwise:

A Winter START TO WRITE course with me (8 weeks) in the stately cafe of the National Library, Kildare Street ( value €240)  ? Or a 12-week Developing Writers’ course in a swanky hotel in Dunlaoghaire if that’s handier for you, (value €325). Prizes are offered subject to each course (of course) having a quorum and going ahead.

I’ll leave it to you yourselves to square up in your own heads do you need the free spot or would it be fairer to let someone else have it. No need to disclose any financial details to me ( mine, to be honest, are often pretty hairy too! : )).

To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is email me at and tell me what’s on at WRITING TRAIN on SUNDAYS this winter. (You’ll find this in the AUTUMN-WINTER BROCHURE ON this blogsite. Check out the Yvonne Cullen’s Writing Train facebook page and tell me 2 things I’ve posted about there in the last two months. Add a sentence explaining why you’d like to win. Add another sentence letting me know about any kinds of writing courses you WISH I was running at the moment ( whether it be the time of week, duration of course, skill area or experience level).  And I’ll draw the winner for each event from a hat.

The competition will close on Sunday 13 October and I’ll contact winners by the end of Tuesday 15th.

There is nothing else you need to do to enter and no cost or hidden cost of any kind for taking up your prize. What you’ll get if you win is either 8 or 12 x 2.5 hour classes with me and a group of max 14 participants ( in START TO WRITE) or 8 participants in DEVELOPING WRITER ( again, just to be clear, being offered on the basis that THESE courses, on THESE dates and in these venues will in fact run). These classes will combine tuition,  in-room 1-1 mentoring, creative discussion, some supporting materials online, in-room writing time, work to do at home, and workshopping time.

START TO WRITE will suit you if you have written little or nothing but want to get going.

DEVELOPING WRITER will suit you if you’ve some writing experience, past or recent and a desire to keep going or get going again.

Really looking forward to hearing from you all!

x Yvonne

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Autumn – Winter at Writing Train

Autumn- Winter Courses At Writing Train

(Note: Beginners+ indicates “Beginners plus other skill levels.”) One-Day Events (for beginners +)

 One-Day SUNDAYS         

“On For Size:” Start to Write one-day course: SUNDAY November 10. Intro’ to short fiction, essay, memoir and poetry.

Dive into poetry:” one-day poetry reading and writing course. Sunday November 17.

Vision Edit Your Novel:” December 14. Includes: advance reading of up to 8,000 words; tailored support, tuition, discussion and take-away materials. 6 participants  max.

4-week Courses (for beginners +).

*“HOW’S THE FORM?”  (TUESDAY AFTERNOONS). Four Creative writing forms4.30 p.m. Fee: €120.

   WRITE IN THE CITY: Let Dublin Inspire you!  4 FRIDAY MORNINGS IN            NOVEMBER, Venues: N.L.I., National Museum, N.G.I., and one other by agreement. Nov. 8, 15, 22, 29. DUBLIN- themed START TO WRITE course. Timings: 10.30 – 1.30 p.m. Fee: €120.

5-week Courses (specialised, beginners +)

*FROM HISTORY TO STORY ‘true writing’ course, covering researched and family history, memoir, essay and poetry. Dates: Wednesday mornings: Nov. 6, 13, 20, 27 and 4 December. Timings: 11.00-1.30. Fee: €120 incl. extensive materials by email.

Start to write in Kilmainham. Start Date: 7 November. 5 consecutive weeks. 7.00- 9.30 p.m. weekly. (3 places booked, 3 available).

8-week Courses (beginners +)

*Saturday Morning Writing Train: START TO WRITE. Will suit you if you want to get a run at writing (as the D’unbelievables might say) for the first time, or if you have a little experience and need fresh approaches.

Start Date: October 19th. Venue: The National Library Cafe, N.L.I. Kildare Street, Dublin 1. Timeframe: 8 weeks. (follow on term in Spring 2020). Timings: 10.30 a.m. – 1 p.m. weekly. Fee: €240.

              12-Week Courses: (for developing writers)

Tuition across all the short creative writing forms, matched with discussion, workshopping time & tips for longer projects too! 

Friday evenings, Dunlaoghaire town, (Royal Marine Hotel) Start date: 18 October, 6.30- 9.00 p.m. weekly. Saturday afternoons, Dublin 2 (Buswells’ Hotel), Start date: 19 October, 2.30 – 5.00 p.m.

     Advanced Writing Workshop At Writing Train:

In its 14th year, with a revolving membership of experienced and developing writers, many published. Includes winners in the Hennessy, Francis McManus, Listowel and Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair competitions. 3 hours plus per week. Advance reading of everyones’ work weekly keeps us as forensic as we are supportive.

(Note on WORKSHOPS in general: these will suit you best if you have work-in-progress or some writing experience and specific projects you want to develop with our help).

            Advanced workshops available in the following timeslots:

WEDNESDAY NIGHT ADVANCED WRITING WORKSHOP, Atrium Bar, THE WESTIN HOTEL, Dublin 2. Start Date: 9 October. Timings: 7.00 – 10.00 p.m. ONE SPACE AVAILABLE FOR CURRENT TERM. Fee €430.

BOOKING NOW: THURSDAY NIGHT Advanced Writing Workshop now booking for start date in January  2020. Fee as above. EARLY BIRD FEE by 31/ OCTOBER €375.

The Inishbofin Jaunt HALLOWE’EN Island Writing Retreat

Fri 25/10 – Tues 29/10. €425 inclusive of individual room accommodation in cosy island houses, class daily and 1-1 time plus access to organised events and social time. DEVELOPING WRITER level. 


The Inishbofin Jaunt New Year Island Writing Retreat

Write, learn, meet like minds and blow the cobwebs away at New Year on  the western edge of Europe. Dates: December 29 – January 4th will see us holding the 48th Inishbofin Jaunt writing retreat.  Fee: €725 (-€100 for Early Birds!)

Included: comfortable individual room in shared house,  5 x daily tailored classes, group activities, 1-1 time with tutor and welcome hamper of breakfast food at your self-catering house.

Early Bird deal: €625 for bookings paid by 31 October.

Testimonials on the INISHBOFIN JAUNT:

Exactly what I needed in terms of rest, renewal, and a confidence boost for my writing.  It’s given me fresh heart and determination to continue.  It was also a great group to be sharing the week with.”

Kathleen Rogers on the Inishbofin Jaunt September writing holiday 2018.

I attended a writing retreat with Yvonne Cullen in Inishbofin last winter and it was absolutely life

changing. No exaggeration. Yvonne will always manage to get the best out of you and give you the

energy to keep you going. Thanks to her I’m back writing after many years.


“Yvonne is a people whisperer who has the ability to meet you where you’re at and send you off with

a toolkit to support your writing practice. I was on a writing retreat recently with Yvonne and find

myself still dreaming of the landscape. If you enjoy writing on any level, I recommend you attend.”

            MAIRIN HARTE, Dublin.

   “You wove a web of magic round us!”


“A fantastic week, with brilliant people. Heaven on earth!”


“Truly a treat for the mind, body and soul. Chilling with a purpose!”


              Feedback on my Dublin classes:

“Of all the writing classes and workshops I have attended, (and there have been hundreds), yours is

the one I chose to return to!”

Joyce Garvey, September 2019.

“Best Creative Writing Teacher in Dublin” – DUBLINER MAGAZINE

“Writes beautifully and can pass on the skill” – THE IRISH TIMES.

Feedback on my EDITING AND MENTORING services:


“Yvonne Cullen is a gifted editor. She’s encouraging, affirming and responsive but also demanding;

pushing for every stanza, every line and every word to be as good as it can be.”

Award-winning poet, Jane Clarke.


‘If you are working on a novel and need feedback, look no further than Yvonne Cullen . Her attention to detail and ability to look at the whole picture was a massive help to me in all areas in the development of my work in progress; plot, scenes, character, dialogue, chapter order – no stone went unturned. After receiving a critique from Yvonne, you will go back to your writing reenergized and inspired.’

Now taking bookings for mentoring Spring 2020.

To book, email or phone 0861701418.

Looking forward to hearing from some of you about the course list above.

x Yvonne C

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Mentoring and Editing

If I look at you like this occasionally, know it will all be to the good in the end…

It’s time I said it loud: I mentor. I edit. Prose and poems. Screenplays and other drama too, if asked to. My special areas are a bit like Brian Eno’s special areas with U2. I can help you see the implications of what you are doing. The potential and pitfalls. I can assist with a kind of talking cure that shows you where your project wants to go. Creativity Whispering, some kind students/ mentees have called it.  VISION EDIT, I sometimes call it also. I can further work on structure with you. I don’t do the spelling/ layout/ grammatical nitpick side of copy edit but I will LINE EDIT you when required. And line edit you with the precision of a poet. Promise. I will also line edit you if you are a poet.

Feedback on my services in this field:


“Yvonne Cullen is a gifted editor. She’s encouraging, affirming and responsive but also demanding; pushing for every stanza, every line and every word to be as good as it can be.”

Award-winning poet, Jane Clarke.


‘If you are working on a novel and need feedback, look no further than Yvonne Cullen . Her attention to detail and ability to look at the whole picture was a massive help to me in all areas in the development of my work in progress; plot, scenes, character, dialogue, chapter order – no stone went unturned. After receiving a critique from Yvonne, you will go back to your writing reenergized and inspired.’

Now taking mentoring bookings for slots from December 2019 through Spring 2020.

To book, email or phone 0861701418.

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Saturday Morning Classes at the National Library of Ireland ride again!

This is a bit of an eye test, but what is says is that START TO WRITE classes will commence once again with me at the NATIONAL LIBRARY cafe on 19 October. Booking through me only, I must stress, on and 0861701418. These sessions were a great hit for about 6 years straight and I’m really happy to be resuming them. 10.30 – 1 p.m., 8 week term, moderate fees ( great value compared to other options around town!) And cake!!! On Saturday!! What, in all of that, is not to like?

Give me a shout asap if keen!

x Y

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Creative Camino, short-stay island Jaunts. Dip into our events then do your own thing by our sides!

Creative Camino

Join us on Inishturk from 3-10 August or August 10-14

or come meet us in Bofin August 24-31 and 31-7 September.

The standard way to experience the Jaunts is to come out with us for 7 nights.

But if time or funds make that too much for you, here’s a new way to take part in our trips:

Creative Camino…

Take the first 2-4 days of our START TO WRITE or GUIDED WRITING RETREAT course.

Avail of a built in, general CREATIVITY KICKSTART mentoring session. Settle in to comfortable accommodation booked for you as part of your Jaunt deal. Bring your own creative work, or reading, or music, bring your walking boots, songs to learn, your knitting or your ukelele, your binnoculars for watching birds, the books you’ve been meaning to get stuck into, your diary for journalling…your togs, your snorkel…

Then after a short blast of our Jaunt classes or guided writing retreat, retreat! Do your own thing at your own pace, knowing we are there for advice and support and the very best of creative company for the duration of your stay. And go home changed! As everyone does who spends peaceful time with us on these trips.

Inspiration, peace and fun, on island time…

You don’t have to get on a plane to go on a Camino…

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Inishbofin and Inishturk Summer 2019 offers!

Inishbofin&Inishturk WRITING AND CREATIVE JAUNTS brochure Summer 2019


Jaunts kicking off again from 3 August. START TO WRITE, take a GUIDED WRITING RETREAT, stay a week with us, or take one of my new CREATIVE CAMINO offers where you stay 2-4 days of our event and choose how long to linger on the island after that, knowing we are around for the best of creative company…


As usual, and 0861701418 will reach me to discuss. EARLY BIRD deadline for fantastic fees: 17/7.


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In rainbows: mentored writing and creative retreat, Inishbofin 8-15 June, fab first -outing fee €450!

INISHBOFIN JAUNTS: If you’re looking for rainbows… In response to demand, as they say: ), I’ve a new offer for my 8-15 June stint in Bofin. A Mentored writing retreat comprising an opening and a closing class/ guidance session plus 1-1 time and 6 days to get your head down or get out in the landscape and CREATE! Inclusive of lovely comfy quiet accommodation in individual rooms in one of our course houses, this 7-night trip is on offer for its maiden voyage at a mad fair fee of €450. 4 places only. And a beautiful bonus half-day haiku course with haiku genius Maeve O’Sullivan. Offer open till next Monday only! Email

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