Cork council announces free online writing workshops for those in isolation

Courses in crime writing, narrative fiction and poetry will be offered free, mayor says

Corkonians confined to home because of the Covid-19 pandemic can now give expression to their creative impulses after Cork County Council announced a number of free online writing workshops by some leading writers.

Mayor of Co Cork, Cllr Ian Doyle has confirmed that novelists, Declan Burke and Denyse Woods, along with poet, Matthew Geden will provide the free online workshops every Wednesday from late April until late June.

Cllr Doyle said Cork County Council's Library & Arts Service, with support from the Arts Council, is providing the three separate free online writing workshops as part of its policy of supporting creative writing throughout the county.

He said the courses, beginning on April 29th and running every Wednesday evening until late June, will offer those with an interest in poetry, fiction and crime-writing an introduction to the skills and techniques used in these forms.


"Ireland and Cork have been, and continue to be, home to exceptional talent in literature. This series of online workshops provides anyone with an interest in writing with the chance to work as part of a group with a professional writer.

“The online forum will provide support and encouragement for their writing. With the support of the Arts Council, we are able to offer these courses free of charge, so that they are accessible to anyone with a love for the written word.”

‘Creativity is essential’

Award winning crime writer, Declan Burke, whose novels include Eightball Boogies, Slaughter’s Hound and Absolute Zero Cool, will host a ten week series of workshops on crime writing entitled, Criminal Intent, he said.

Meanwhile Boston-born writer, Denyse Woods, whose novels include Of Sea and Sand, Overnight to Innsbruck and The Catalpa Tree, will present a series of workshops entitled, A Time to Write where she will explore narrative writing.

And Manchester-born poet, Matthew Geden, who is Cork County Council’s current writer in residence, invites people interested in writing poetry to come on an eight week journey of exploration called A Light to Transform the World.

Cork County Council Chief Executive, Tim Lucey said the new online courses were an example of how Cork County Council can continue to support the cultural and creative needs of its citizens in the midst of this health crisis.

“Creativity is essential to our wellbeing and this use of digital resources is a dynamic and creative response which I am delighted that our Library & Arts Services have been able to develop at this difficult time for our community”.

Mr Lucey stressed that the courses are free but places are limited so he encouraged people to apply as soon as possible. Applications are open to those over 18, by visiting, he said.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times