Breathe out the old year, breathe in the new… Inishbofin Writing Jaunt, Dec. 27-Jan. 3! Come winter jaunt with me!



Click the link for the full brochure, folks! And contact me at and 0833888574 to discuss a booking.

I can do a beaauuutiful voucher for the trip, as a brilliant Christmas present…

xx Y

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dreamstime_694613 copySTART TO WRITE FRIDAY NIGHTS at Writing Train

12 week term starts on 3 March in Royal Marine Hotel, Dunlaoghaire, 7.15 – 10.15 p.m.

Workshop, support, specific skill inputs on request, weekly, and we’ll finish this course on June 16 with a Bloom’s Night reading in Glasthule, to which you’ll each be welcome to invite pals.
MARCH 3, 10, 24, 31
APRIL 7, 21.
MAY 5,12,19,26
JUNE 9,16

Fee is €340, 12 meetings over a good stretched-out timeframe
Returners/ Facebook pals’/ twitter fee, if booked and paid by 10 FEB is €315. Fee after this point is €340. One DROP IN space at €30 per meet also available. and 086 1701418 to book or discuss!

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STARTING Saturday 4th February, National LIbrary Cafe, Dublin 2.

Dubliner Magazine’s “Best Creative Writing Teacher in Dublin”

Spring into Spring with a

VENUE:  Cafe Joli, National Library, Dublin
START DATE:  4/2, for 11 wks for fee of 10.

FEE: €265

Further classes & workshops from 1-day to 15 weeks, in Dublin city centre and Dunlaoghaire, county Dublin.


Vouchers and one-to-one editing and mentoring available too!
TO BOOK, email 0861701418

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New Classes… Which to choose?


If you’d like to take a set of classes with me this season, here are some I would recommend:


Writing Train Beginners’ Classes – These courses will work best for people who want to start from scratch identifying their material and the forms they like by writing under direction and ‘reading as writers’ in class and at home, as well as touring through elements of the craft of all the short forms of writing under my guidance. These classes work equally well for complete beginners and people starting to write again after a break.



next course is starting Sat 28 Jan, 10.45 a.m., NLI CAFE, 10 weeks over 14, with time off for Bank Holiday weekends and a further week off for your tutor (that’s me: ), during Feb.


Next course is starting: Mon 30 Jan 7.00 p.m. Dunlaoghaire – This course will work best for people who want to start from scratch identifying their material and the forms they like by writing under direction and ‘reading as writers’ in class and at home, as well as touring through elements of the craft of all the short forms of writing under my guidance. 10 weeks. Further details and fee are in the linked document attached.


ONE space in Friday night meeting in Glasthule at the moment. 3 TRY-OUT weeks available for €90 in this 3 hour class/ workshop combo session by the fireside in my Glasthule home. Each week, I teach on a requested skill area. The rest of session is given to workshopping, discussion and occasional brief guided readings of established writers’ work. Each week you get homework…

NEW TERM OF FRIDAY NIGHTS will start in FEBRUARY – taking bookings now!

These meetings are a notch above START TO WRITE, in pace, and in place of the taught aspect they contain more workshop and more discussion.

One space in MONTHLY SATURDAY session in Dublin 2: contact me immediately if interested! 6 x 3 hour intensive and supportive group meets over 7 months, €200.

DEVELOPING WRITER/ FROM HISTORY TO STORY sessions: daytlme meetings in the National Library Cafe Joly.
For writers working from research, developing fiction or non-fiction, memoir or poetry. 10.45 a.m. on Fridays in the library. Workshop, discussion and tips on craft, research and technique, plus a deadline for production and a small group of supportive and friendly peers. DETAILS ON START DATE AND FEE AT


are aimed at Advanced writers who want feedback and support while they continue work-in-progress, or writers looking for deadlines and feedback while they challenge themselves to write a certain amount every week. Discussion and technical help will be tailored to each project, and the feedback of a group of experienced and supportive peers will be a great bonus in your Advanced Writing Train workshop.



Join an established group for the remainder of its current season as a way of deciding if you like my style:

AVAILABLE: Tuesday nights in WESTIN HOTEL IMMEDIATE availability (9 meets, €270, 3 hours plus each week)

AVAILABLE: Weds nights in same venue and ditto re availability, timeframe and fee.

AVAILABLE: Thursday nights in Dunlaoghaire. 4 meetings, €120 3 hours plus each week. (often 3.5!)

Looking forward to seeing you in one of these settings, soon! and 086 1701418 will reach me re!

x Y

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Jaunt to Bofin at New Year and Vouchers for the season of (yes, I’m saying it), ‘Ho ho ho’!

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Hi all!
What’s on my mind, here on the Writing Train,in pictures…(and in one attachment: a sample Writing Train VOUCHER you might leave lying around for loved ones re the unmentionable season that’s on the way….(Okay, as that is not the best marketing sentence I ever wrote: Christmas, I DO mean you…!)
START TO WRITE or KEEP WRITING, plus a Guided Writing Retreat for writers with projects well in hand, will run with me, Yvonne Cullen, on stunning Inishbofin, from 29 Dec.this year, to 5 Jan next year. 4 places left on this 8-person trip, fees set at LAST year’s Winter retreat level of €650, for bookings by November 18th. (€75 surcharge after this point).
Skies full of stars and rainbows, a writing course as outlined above plus all manner of laughs, walks, pints, creative explorations and link-ins with the wonderful locals in Bofin at a very special time in their year when everyone is home and together: this is what the New Year Bofin Jaunt will take in, this year.
I have 4 places left, at last year’s new Year fee of €650 for lovely, cosy single room accommodation in houses with knock-out views and woodstoves, covering accommodation and a week’s tuition and creative support (and the above “all kinds of fun”). You’re brought right in to Bofin on my trips, with the 16 years I’ve spent visiting and bringing writers there. Guided walks, meetings with local artists and photographers, boat builders, farmers and fishermen and musicians, and the island to yourself to explore at this still time of year, are just some of what the trip offers. Breakfast and  lunch foods are supplied and we pool resources and ideas re 3 dinners. The rest of our evening meals are at the BEACH bar where top quality food at the end of the world waits for you!
And as for the help with your writing, or ambition to write: “Life changing!” is what one participant called the New Year trip in 2014.
To book or enquire, ring the number below or email.
OTHER CLASSES and WORKSHOPS COMING UP, and which vouchers might go towards…
January START TO WRITE Cafe classes at the NLI will begin 14 January,
JUMP ON THE TRAIN places in Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night Writing workshops in the city and Glasthule for Mid-January commencement date are also bookable now. Options from 6 to 11 week tickets, course-depending. Fantastic workshops with dedicated and generous participants, in nicely off-beat locations, if I do say so, like the WESTIN hotel bar, NLI CAFE, Central Hotel LIbrary bar, and the Royal Marine Hotel Dunlaoghaire. We also occasionally meet in participants’ houses in the DLR area. (And if you are interested in hosting our sessions in return for a free place in a class, let me know!)
I’ll be adding One-day events to the Blog and facebook notifications soon. Rough SPRING into SUMMER start again point is St Patrick’s weekend. Summer and autumn JAUNTS this year will include EASTER on Inishturk and in ROSSBEIGH in Kerry, (just after Easter), MAY BH on Bofin, June BH for INISH ARTS Festival and a 10-day Jaunt around that – JULY (3 weeks to choose from) on Turk, late August to Mid-September on Bofin, and others to follow.
In other news
I’m starting to look seriously into creating a permanent venue for the Jaunts in Bofin. I may be doing a small Fundit next year for a small distinct aspect of that process. I will, once it gets off the ground, be looking for willing helpers to dig with me, plaster and paint with me and all manner of other fun, for a couple of years, in return for credit towards retreats and time in the retreat venue. Do let me know if you’d be interested in being involved in helping build Writing Train’s Inishbofin Jaunts a home at the end of the world: ) And if you need to check it all out with a trip to Bofin at new year, you know who to talk to; ).
Warmest wishes for now, everyone!
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Winter Classes at Writing Train

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And we’re off!

Winter 2016 – Spring 2017 Timetable at Writing Train.

Hi all!
Feeling a bit like the papal conclave, I am now posting a timetable for the winter session at Writing Train. Only sorry I couldn’t find a good picture of that Vatican stove!

I have been gone a while, on my own writing train! Delighted to be back and planning classes again! Here they are:


11.30 a.m., National LIbrary Cafe Joly
3 p.m, Buswells’ Hotel bar

11-week Saturday morning term, 10.30 – 1.15 p.m. each week.
FEE: €310 for 11 x 2.75 hour meetings over 15 weeks (4 weeks off at Christmas and New Year).

START TO WRITE classes: Friday nights in Dunlaoghaire. Starting on Nov. 9 and running 5 sessions till Dec 9th, restarting Friday 13th January for another 5. (Fee here is €295).

DEVELOPING WRITER/ WRITING WORKSHOP combined session: Tuesday and Wednesday night City Centre options for this course in the Westin Hotel Bar, 15 week course over 20 weeks. Start dates from 1 November.

WRITING WORKSHOP Thursday night option in Dunlaoghaire, 10 weeks , 2.75 hour -3 hour sessions, €300.

ONE -DAY events Winter 2016:
Sunday 13 NOVEMBER: START TO WRITE day in Dunlaoghaire.
SUnday 20 November: 1 -day poetry workshop in Dunlaoghaire.
Sunday 27 NOVEMBER VISION EDIT YOUR NOVEL day in Dunlaoghaire.
Sunday 11 DECEMBER: Start to write day in Dunlaoghaire.

All one-day sessions are €95, except for Vision Edit your novel, capped at 6, with a fee of €125. In the case of VISION EDIT, advance materials and requirements will be sent out to you and opening 10,000 words and synopsis read by everyone participating, before we meet.

New Year jaunt to Bofin

A week-long New Year writing retreat to Inishbofin will run from 29 December. For an idea of these trips in the past, see:

Fee for the Jaunt, covering individual room accommodation in cosy shared houses, breakfasts and lunches, tuition for the week and a mainline into island life and activities: €675 if booked and 30% deposit paid by November 10. 10% fee increase after this point. (Evening meals at our own expense are held in the Beach bar and restaurant, other homecooked island dining options can be arranged at small surcharge or organised between a group).

I’d be delighted if something here works for you! I’m also often available for editing work, with a couple of months’ advance booking.
Happy autumn, all, and I look forward to working with some of you through the season!
x Yvonne

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Jaunt with us to Rossbeigh in Kerry! August 13-20


Click on the link above for the new brochure for the wonderful Rossbeigh Jaunt mark 2! First trip was a resounding success!

To book or discuss this  August writing trip,  email me at


(Rossbeigh, from above, on the way to our March Jaunt event!)


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June 2-9 Bofin Jaunt and INISH arts and culture festival all at the same time!

Coinciding with INISH FESTIVAL:

This June’s Bofin Jaunt has been designed to flow around the fantastic INISH Arts and Culture festival. To get the most out of our course, as we will be using Inish for inspiration, participants are required to book a season pass to Inish, (€60 early bird, till 30 April, €75 thereafter). See site above to book. Friday through Sunday we will have breakfast, lunch and dinner classes, with more conventional morning classes of 2.5 hours per class duration Monday through Wednesday. A celebratory reading together for an invited audience will end our week on Wednesday night. All in all, you can expect 16 contact hours with me on our trip, and an ideal warm up into your own creative expression via the host of inspirations at Inish and all around you on lovely Bofin.


Our official welcome night is THURSDAY June 2nd at 7.15, when I will greet you on the dock in BOFIN and bring you to your lodgings on the island. Later that night, you will be


Within reason, I will try to assist you if you need to do either of the above. It isn’t possible to alter standard course fee/ standard package fee in these situations but short stays in either the island hostel or DOLPHIN HOTEL may be possible. COntact me to discuss and for contact details for the above.


If arriving THURSDAY night, your ferry will leave CLEGGAN in Connemara  at 6.45 P.M, which means, for a calm start to your trip, get to Cleggan at 5 p.m., 5.15 at latest! More in this vein when you contact with expressions of interest: )

You can buy your ticket on the dock ( most people do, €20 return). Boat departs without exception AT its departure time. If you miss it, you’ll have to put yourself up in Cleggan and join us the next day! I’m on 0861701418 if that transpires!

If interested in the JUNE JAUNT TO BOFIN, please do make contact soon. I will need to close the booking on this trip on 30 April due to the intense demand for accommodation on the island at that time. Right now, I have ONE individual double room in our house, ONE double in the nearby hostel, a 6-bed dorm in same hostel, ONE bed in a twin room in our core house and ONE hotel room in the nearest hotel ( supplement of €125 applies here).  July Jaunt bookings will close mid May, and Rossbeigh Jaunt booking will close end June. It may still be possible to book any of these trips after those dates but at 10% surcharge to encourage you to book soon; ).

Look forward to hearing from some of you soon!

Yvonne x

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JUNE BH Bofin Writing Jaunt lines up with fantastic island festival! Bofin Jaunt JUNE 2-9 coincides with fantastic INISH-ISLAND CONVERSATIONS festival. Take a couple of short sharp writing classes with me each day from Friday through Sunday 2-4 June. Around those, hear astounding music from Mairtin O’Connor, Contempo String Quartet, Doug Paisley, Elisa Rodruiges and Pedro Vidal, Stunning jazz piano from Martin Tingvall, the Whileaways, Jack L, Larry Beau, watch the best of cultural documentaries on Maire Mac an tSaoi and the fishermen of Ireland’s north Atlantic islands, hear Kevin Barry, Theo Dorgan, Claire Kilroy, Bernard O’Donoghue, Andrew McNeillie, Olwen Foure, Michael and Edna Longley … Meet like minds, walk and eat and have the odd pint, and scribble down odd thoughts… And from Monday thru Wednesday, after all that cultural fertilization is over, intensify your writing training with me, building up to a celebratory performance of our own in the Galley Cafe on the island on Wednesday night June 8th. Depart for home Thurs a.m. June 9th. For further info and to book, email or phone 0861701418. See timetable here for further island trips this summer (INISHTURK THROUGH JULY, BOFIN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER).

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