I hope you’re enjoying the summer and have seen some sunshine, here or somewhere else. I’ve managed to swim in the sea in Skerries and to be outside, as much as I can, whenever the sun peaks out. And the rainy days have been good writing days for my summer weeklong courses. So far they have gone very well. Here is some of the feedback:

“I learned loads and now I’m going to write a full book!” Ciara, aged 12

“It’s an excellent summer camp. We learned loads.” Paula aged 13

“I learned how to really write and it wasn’t even like a class. It was more like spending time with friends.”  Muireann aged 13

“I really enjoyed it. I didn’t want it to end.” Deynagh aged 15.

“I would take part again in a heartbeat.” Rebecca – Adult

FINAL SUMMER CAMP  13th – 17th AUGUST 2012

My final summer camp is for 8 – 13 year olds and it begins tomorrow in Skerries Mills from 13th – 17th August. There are still spaces available. The price is still €135 (the early booking price) and it runs from 10.30a.m. to 3p.m. each day.


At the end of August, I, my husband, and our lovely Golden Retriever called Beau, are moving house (well from our apartment to a house).  We are travelling all the way down the coast (4 km) from Skerries to Loughshinny. We are very excited about this as, for the first time, we shall have a garden, and not only that there shall be two piglets and hens to look after!


Yes, that time of year is coming around. September to December is my favourite writing term, as we work towards the publication of a book of short stories to sell for charity at Christmas.  The term runs for twelve weeks (with one week off during the Halloween midterm) and the schedule is as follows:

ADULT class begins Monday 17th September from 10.30a.m. – 12.30p.m. in Skerries Mills.

CHILDREN’s classes begin on Tuesday 18th September in St. Oliver Plunkett’s School in MALAHIDE    from 4 – 5p.m for ten to twelve year olds, and from 5 – 6p.m for eight to ten year olds.

A new children’s class begin on Wednesday 19th September in DONABATE COMMUNITY CENTRE from 3.15 – 4.15p.m. for eight to twelve year olds

A new TEENAGE CLASS ( for 12 – 16 year olds) begins on Wednesday 19th September in DONABATE COMMUNITY CENTRE from 4.15 – 5.15p.m.

CHIDREN’S class begins on Thursday 20th September in SKERRIES MILLS from 2.55p.m – 2.55p.m for eight to ten year olds, and from 4 – 5p.m. for ten to twelve year olds.

The adult twelve week term costs €215 if booked, and paid for, before 17th August, or €240 thereafter (with the option to pay in instalments).

The children’s twelve week term costs €140 if booked, and paid before, 17th August or €155 thereafter (with an option to pay in instalments)

The teenage term costs €140 if booked and paid for before 17th August or €155 thereafter (with option to pay in instalments).

The average group size for children and adult classes is eight students and the maximum capacity is fourteen.

A deposit of €50 will secure a place.  50% of fees are refundable two weeks before a course begins. There is no refund after that date.


I  was very upset when I heard about the death of Maeve Binchy last week. She was such a lovely person and I was lucky enough to meet her at the Dalkey Book Festival in June. I booked a place to listen to her reading a short story written especially for the festival. It was funny, dramatic and included a lot about Dalkey. She kept all us enthralled. Afterwards, I asked her a question: Do you have any encouragement for struggling writers trying to get published? She said that they mustn’t give up and that finding the right editor was similar to finding the right husband. It took her years to find her lovely husband, Gordon Snell, while everyone else around her was getting married. But she never gave up and in the end they had the happiest of marriages. So listen up all writers:  we mustn’t give up. Think of Maeve and her search for Mr. Right.  And think also of her husband, Gordon Snell, now who must miss her terribly.


I was at the West Cork literary Festival in July. It was my first time ever to Bantry and it was a very interesting and intense experience. I attended a novel writing workshop with the writer, Claire Kilroy. She made us work hard and read each other’s work every evening before class. I learnt a lot about redrafting, and building dramatic tension and atmosphere. I was pretty tired by the end of the week but delighted that I had attended. There is a lot going on but after attending both Listowel and the West Cork literary festivals, I have decided that I prefer Listowel Writers’ Week in Kerry. It is shorter (only three days) and the whole town is taken over by writers. Bantry is too big for that to happen.

The next festival coming up is The Mountain to Sea Festival in Dun Laoghaire in early September. There will be lots going on for children and adults. Do check it out and book early so that you’re not disappointed. Here is the link:  I plan to attend an event on publishing children’s fiction and also a short story writing workshop – if I get place.

So that’s it from me. I hope you’re well and looking forward to the autumn. September is a great time to begin new things. I hope to do a new yoga class and maybe learn Italian (but I’ve been promising that for years!)

I am looking forward to seeing lots of you soon.