JUNE BH Bofin Writing Jaunt lines up with fantastic island festival!

https://yvonnecullen.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/summer-bofin-writing-jaunts.pdf 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 yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com or phone 0861701418. See timetable here for further island trips this summer (INISHTURK THROUGH JULY, BOFIN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER).

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The Rossbeigh Jaunt START TO WRITE and Get Creative course plus Novelists’ Retreat, March 2016

THE ROSSBEIGH JAUNT, Kerry writing courses with Y Cullen, March 2016



Folks, if this post looks a little funny, please excuse its appearance. Click the link and you’ll get a gorgeous poster for my March 16-21 Retreat to Rossbeigh in Kerry.  Thanks for overlooking, if you can, my technophobe ways!

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The early bookers get the deals… and thoughts on fishing holes and creativity!

293b50592d2ed6045e4c77b880926d7031 January EARLY BOOKING INCENTIVE DEADLINE! ANY COURSE STARTING FROM 1st MARCH, at 2015 fees (I.E. less 5% of advertised fee), if booked and fully paid by 31/1. Next similar offer will be 31/3 for courses from July 2. Apart from offering a good deal, booking now is the main way to ensure you get a place in your course of choice. If thinking of booking on for the Advanced sessions: many Writing Train participants return from term to term. At entry level, the History to Story course is limited to 8. Finally, the START TO WRITE and NOVELISTS’ RETREATS on the Writing Jaunts are limited to 8 places at each level per trip. To be in with a chance of a place and accommodation on these trips, early booking is especially vital. It can also often make the difference between a trip being feasible to organize and not. So let “book early!” be your watchword: )

And now that’s said, to creativity again! Thinking about it as last year ended one thing has been striking me: I believe it’s all around us all the time; I believe to be in the world, moving through it is to move through a creative element constantly. With a door in the back of the head we have a choice about leaving open. Leave it open, even just ajar and the world will keep moving you. It is, after all, as I think Annie Dillard wrote, always trying to jump start your imagination. Just leave the door open. And if nothing else for now, then as Miroslav Holub wrote in a similar mode of thought: “at least there’ll be a draft.

If you have a different visual for this habit, I’d love to hear you comment on it below. Maybe one of you thinks of creative activity as a comparable act to sitting patiently with your fishing rod dropped into a fishing hole. That would be handy, as it was with a picture of an Inuit woman fishing that I planned to decorate this post: ). And here she be, turning up in case the world’s sending something by. Wishing you the patience for that, this season and the fruits.
x Y

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The gang will be there! copy

From History to Story – New Term, 12 Feb.

On 12 February, I will start a new set of 12 From History to Story classes/ workshops on writing from research and /or memory towards the creation of longer non-fiction, fiction, drama and poetry projects. These 12 meetings, classes and workshops will run over an extended timeframe and I will be making sure you sign up to approaching lots of small pieces of your projects during the breaks, bit by bit, like the best way to eat an elephant: ). As a result, I hope you’ll end up feeling you’ve got extra value for the fee. Your 12 sessions will be delivered over 19 weeks timeframe, and on the OUT weeks, you might even consider joining me on one of the island or Kerry writing retreats. The dates for this new term of History to Story will fall in two blocks of 5 followed by a set of 2:


FEB 12, 19, 26, MARCH 4, 11,

FOLLOWED BY OUT WEEKS with workplans in place and email group set up for circulating work among yourselves: 18, 25 MARCH, 1 and 8 April,

RESUME for April 15,22,29, May 6 and 13th. A further GAP of 2 weeks, followed by two final sessions on June 3 and 10. In our final session, lets do a short lunchtime reading in the cafe. We can liaise with cafe re best time for this (12.00-1 perhaps… or if we’re feeling brave 1-2 PM!

The fee for this course will be €340, or €320 if booked and paid by 31/1/2016.

Delivering a course over a longer timeframe like this gives you access to my guidance and the support of your peers for far longer than the course fee would imply. An email group and clearly-set goals before each break will help you to keep motivated while we’re apart.

Suggestions for keeping you even more on track for the gap weeks:

Inch Co Kerry 5 night writing retreat and Start to Write course will run from 16-21 March and is currently available at 2015 fee of €550 all -inclusive, including almost all your meals, single room basis, across the road from Inch Strand no less! And a short Inishturk Jaunt for Developing Writers, and those looking for a short writing retreat will run from 3-8 April for those who can take a break at that time of the year ( 5 nights, 4 full days), €550 single room basis and including all meals save one dinner. This fee is available if course is booked and minimum 40% deposit paid by 31/1, thereafter if places remain, full 2016 fee of €595 applies.

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Buy as a gift, or for yourself! Until midnight
24/12, pay €65 for a €100 Writing Train voucher;
pay €210 for a Writing Train voucher worth €285
(i.e full value of e.g. a Start to write in Dublin course, 75% of an Advanced Workshop!) Email me at yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com to book!Hokusai - Yuki no ashita no Fuji Fuji the Day after Snow left panel

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Train furnace


VISION EDIT YOUR NOVEL – One Day Course with Yvonne Cullen (Includes advance reading of up to 80,000 word manuscript submitted by Monday night 7 Dec.). 7 places only. Find your way to your book’s full potential in this challenging and fun one-day event. SAT DEC 12/2015, fee €130.                                                                                                       FROM HISTORY TO STORY – Imagine, shape up and start to write your historically-based or factually-based non-fiction or fiction projects.Includes in-room exercises, workshopping and advice on research and interviewing, plus finding the angle of the telling for your project. SUNDAY 13/DEC/ 2015 €90/ €80 for current WT participants. VENUE: Each course takes place in Sandycove, Co. Dublin, with lunch stop at the Farmers’ Market in the Peoples’ Park. “Best writing teacher in Dublin” – Dubliner Magazine. Teaching and editing writers in Ireland full-time for the last 22 years! email yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com, phone 0861701418 for info and to book. Image: Thursday night Writing Train regular workshop in our Sandycove venue. x Yvonne

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TIme to stop showing your writing to your friends?

Time for a writing workshop?

New writing classes I’m starting right away:

Start to Write & Developing Writer mixed group, Friday evenings from this evening (8 wks over 15);

From History to Story, writing from research and/ or memory – Friday a.m.s, 11-1, followed by a sociable lunch, starts 6 Nov., 8 weeks, NLI cafe, D. 2;

Start to Write Short Course of Sat a.m.s in NLI Cafe, from 14 Nov., 6 weeks over11 week timeframe for the feel of a much longer course;

Developing Writer Short Course Sat p.m.s Fitzwilliam Street, D2, from Nov 14;

2 spaces in Advanced Thursday night workshop till Xmas, (small group, advance reading of work) immediate start, Glasthule;

2 spaces in Advanced Tuesday night workshop, Westin Hotel, D2., (format as Thurs) 12 weeks, immediate start.

One Day Sunday intensives:

8/11 Poetry, (the Lyric poem and sequences plus workshop);

22/11 Start to Write;

6/12 History to Story, writing from research or memory;

13/12 Vision Edit your novel. (All One Day sessions take place in Glasthule, with a break for lunch in Peoples’ Park Sunday Market).

For New Year course start dates and Writing Retreat trips to Bofin and Inishturk in 2016, see the AUTUMN 2015- SPRING 2016 courses tab above. Email me on yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com or ring 086 1701418 for info on any of the events listed here.

Spare yourself your family’s and friends’ puzzled faces. Show your work (and your writing dreams) to folks who understand! At Writing Train, guidance and the best of writing peers are at hand!: ) (And the odd rhyme, at no extra charge, clearly; ) I guess with a long-time poet at the helm you’ll occasionally have that: )

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Set yourself up for a creative winter with the INISHBOFIN OCTOBER BANK HOLIDAY CREATIVE JAUNT!


A BOFIN JAUNT has snuck into the timetable for 22-27 OCTOBER. Cosy fire-lit houses courtesy of Mr Pat Coyne out there, and others, dinners down at the BEACH BAR, links in with island walking guide, and artists plus bring your camera and we’ll go on photo walks… Focus is on creativity all-round on this one as WELL as starting to write or having a writing retreat. BROCHURE IS UNDER THE ISLAND WRITING HOLIDAYS TAB ABOVE. 5 nights, 4 days, half board and loads of input from me, and the fee is €550 till 7 OCTOBER, 5% increase per week after that. Oh early bookers, how I love and will cherish you; )… Ring me at 086 1701418 or email writingtrain@gmail.com to discuss. We will close bookings soon, so do make contact quickly, if you’re keen! We always have a truly wonderful time! X Y

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AUTUMN 2015 – SPRING 2016 CLASSES at a glance!


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



Sat. 10.30- 1 P.M. START TO WRITE/ DEVELOPING WRITER course, 10 weeks, €265, starts OCT 8th  FREE TASTER SESSIONS Sat. 26/9 & Sat. 1/10 MUST be booked ahead ONLY from writingtrain@gmail.com.  12 places at taster meetings, 10 places only on longer course. Further term starts 23/1/2016 (9 wks) and 9/4, 10 weeks).

THURS 2.30-4.30 P.M. “From History to Story:”  ‘writing from research’ course, 7 wks, €180, starts OCT 8th. FREE TASTER SESSION OCT 1st(MUST be booked by email only to writingtrain@gmail.com). 10 places at taster meeting, 8 places only on longer course. New 10-week term starts Jan 14, €265.

All classes limited in size, all taking bookings now.

WRITING TRAIN AROUND TOWN: NORTH CITY CENTRE: at the Irish Writers’ Centre, Parnell Square

My autumn START TO WRITE course at the Writers’ Centre has now SOLD OUT. Please enquire from the I.W.C. directly at 01-8721302 if you would like to take a Spring START TO WRITE course with me there!

SOUTH CITY CENTRE: In my Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2 venue: WEDS EVENING DEVELOPING WRITER, 12 week 2.5-2.75 hrs, Starts WEDS OCT 14, €345. SATURDAY AFTERNOON DEVELOPING WRITER, 12 weeks from SAT OCT 10, €345 NEW 12 week term from 2 MARCH. 10 places max, all courses may be booked now.

In the Westin HOTEL, WESTMORELAND STREET, Atrium Bar (our 5-story, glass-roofed classroom): TUES NIGHT DEVELOPING? ADVANCED WORKSHOP. New 12 week term starts OCT 6th, 2.75-3 hr meetings, €340. Spring term starts January 19th. Limited to 9 participants. All terms bookable now. TRY OUT THIS WORKSHOP WITH A TASTER session €25, on Sept. 29th. MUST be booked in advance by email to writingtrain@gmail.com or phone number below.


These classes take place in particpants’ homes and in the Royal Marine Hotel, DLR.

Thurs. night Advanced Writing workshop starts 1 OCT with a TASTER, DROP IN SESSION for €25. New term proper begins OCTOBER 8.(15 meets, 3 hours per week, highly motivated, talented and award-winning peer-group, €380), Fri. night START TO WRITE, 7 weeks from OCTOBER 9- DEC 10 (€220), Tues. a.m., Weds. a.m., Weds p.m (Courses available on each of these start dates and timeslots), START TO WRITE / DEVELOPING WRITER  motivating mixed session,6 weeks from OCT 13/14, €180.

writingtrain@gmail.com /  0861701418

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Space for joiners in the DEVELOPING WRITER workshop and class in Fitzwilliam Street, from Weds 8 July. I can sell a 6,7,or 8 session ticket for these meetings, which run 2.75-3 hours.€180 for a 6 meeting ticket, €205 for 7 and €225 for 8. Email yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com, phone 086 1701418


( Monday evenings and 4 Friday evenings), GLASTHULE. FRI 10 JULY, MON 13 JULY, MON 27 JULY, MON 24 AUGUST, FRI 28 AUGUST, FRIDAY 4 SEPT, MONDAY 21 SEPT. I can offer 6 or 7 week tickets for these, fees as per Weds night rates above. (2.75 hour sessions, book-surrounded and with a constant flow of tea!) Email yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com, phone 086 1701418



My longest-running workshop: participants have won book deals and national competitions, and still they come back to the Thursday night sessions because of the ethos and atmosphere they find there, and the learning the sessions are still offering.

We have 2 spaces for joiners in this fantastic workshop, for 6 of the following dates: 9,16,30 JULY,  6.13, 27 AUGUST OR 3 SEPT (there will be one week’s closure between these two last dates. TBA as soon as possible). Classes are 3- 3.25 hours, focus and fun are immense, among some of the best emerging writers in the country. €175 for 6 meets. Email yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com, phone 086 1701418



Following on from the last similar day on 28 June (‘fantastic!’ I was told!), the date for this is August 9th (SUNDAY). €95/ or €80 to current students in other classes. This session will combine a workshop with a taught/ discursive and facilitated session on the question of Voice and Clarity, looking at the work of established writers plus at difficulties we are all having on this issue in our own writing. You’ll receive study materials in advance for this course to maximise our effectiveness on the day.Email yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com, phone 086 1701418


One-day event on working with research in fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry will take place on JULY 26th. €90 is the fee for this 10-30-5-30 day in GLASTHULE. During it, I hope to pass on what I’ve learnt in 10 years research and non-fiction historical / social history writing, plus what I’ve learnt in my writing and facilitating on the effective use of research in poems and fiction too.  VISION EDIT DAY: SUNDAY 23 AUGUST, a day dedicated to achieving a clearer vision for your novel, long non-fiction prose work or thematically linked collection of poems. Excerpts will be read and exercises. challenges and discussion will ensure your project finishes the day in sharper and clearer shape. €90. Email yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com, phone 086 1701418


                                                                                                                                                            18-25 JULY & 15-22 AUGUST INISHTURK JAUNT:  There are still a couple of spaces left in the JULY INISHTURK JAUNT for beginner, Developing and Advanced writers. 18-25 JULY. All-in fee for 1 week’s single room accommodation, 5 x 3 hour classes at your chosen level ((1)beginner/ developing / (2) Guided Advanced Writing retreat), social activities and walks, one to one time and most meals €625. Special deal fee for participants in current or recent ( spring 2015) WT classes ( email yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com or phone 086 1701418 for details).  EARLY BOOKING DEAL still available for AUGUST INISHTURK JAUNT (15-22 AUGUST), and Sept 5-12 and 12-19 INISHBOFIN WRITING JAUNTS €550 for any of these 1-week events if booked by 18 July, in place of full fee of €625. SEE WRITING HOLIDAY HEADING IN BLACK STRAP LINE ABOVE FOR MORE INFO.

To book any of these courses, email yvonnesworkshops@gmail.com and phone 086 1701418

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