Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Write in Ireland!

My friend Suzanne Stempek Shea sent me this announcement. Sounds like a great opportunity...


Following on the success of the Howth Writers Week in October 2008 and the Dingle Writers Week in 2009, Ted Deppe, Annie Deppe, and Suzanne Strempek Shea are offering a writers conference this coming May in Howth, a beautiful seaside village twenty minutes north of Dublin. Two prominent Irish authors (to be selected after we see the make up of the participants) will join us and we will offer a full week of workshops, writing exercises, seminars, and readings. There will also be a literary field trip into the city of Dublin. Optional private manuscript critiques are available at additional cost.

This week is meant to be a chance for serious writers to generate new work as well as to workshop current work and take their writing to the next level. For those who want to explore Ireland, we hope that you will leave yourself a week before or after the conference to travel and get to know this wonderful country. (Once you’re over here, it’s extraordinarily inexpensive to hop on a low-cost flight to Continental Europe as well! Dublin is also the perfect spot to catch a train or bus to destinations in Ireland or Northern Ireland.) However, at the request of past participants, there will also be a little more free time built into the schedule so you can explore the spectacular cliff scenery of Howth, look for treasures in the fine shops, or visit Neolithic sites on the peninsula.

Ideally, this is a week to focus on your own writing, so we recommend that if you want to travel with family or significant others, you do this before or after the residency.


The cost for the week (workshops, lectures, readings, and a field trip) will be
$1,150 plus accommodations.

Bed and breakfast rates are as follows. We will reserve a room for you on a first-come, first-serve basis, so don’t delay!

$650 for the week if you share a room, ground floor (U.S. “first floor”)
$750 for the week if you share a room, first floor (U.S. “second floor”)
$950 for the week for a single room, ground floor
$1,100 for the week for a single room, first floor

Bed and breakfast at the 4-star King Sitric Guesthouse is a true delight. It is one of Ireland’s gourmet restaurants and all rooms look out onto the Irish Sea. Check out their website: www.kingsitric.ie Lunches and suppers are on your own in any of the fine restaurants or pubs that are within a block or two in Howth. Workshops and talks will all take place in the King Sitric.

Airfare and travel to the residency is on your own, but we will help advise you on travel plans if you wish. Aer Lingus is the national airline and a roundtrip ticket for direct flights from Boston to Dublin in May currently costs $687. Participants usually find cheaper flights with Continental, Delta, US Air, or American Airlines, all of which have flights into Dublin.


Two leading Irish writers will be invited to give talks and readings. They will join:

Ted Deppe is the author of Children of the Air and The Wanderer King (Alice James Books, 1990 and 1996); Cape Clear: New and Selected Poems (Salmon, Ireland, 2002); and Orpheus on the Red Line (Tupelo, 2009). A recipient of two grants from the NEA and a Pushcart Prize, he has been writer in residence at the James Merrill House in Stonington, CT and Phillips Academy in Andover. He received an MFA from Vermont College and has taught creative writing in graduate programs in the U.S., Ireland, and England. He currently directs Stonecoast in Ireland.

Annie Deppe is the author of Sitting in the Sky (Summer Palace Press, Ireland, 2003).
A second collection, Wren Cantata, is forthcoming from Summer Palace in December 2009. She is the recipient of writer’s grants from both the Irish Arts Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Her work appeared in The Forward Book of Poetry 2004 and in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. She holds an MFA from Lancaster University, England, and was chosen to read in the Introductions Series of Poetry Ireland. She assists in running the Stonecoast in Ireland residencies. Annie and Ted are dual citizens of Ireland and the U.S. and currently live in County Galway.

Suzanne Strempek Shea is the author of five novels: Selling the Lite of Heaven, Hoopi Shoopi Donna, Lily of the Valley, Around Again, and Becoming Finola. She has also written three memoirs, Songs From a Lead-lined Room: Notes - High and Low - From My Journey Through Breast Cancer and Radiation; Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama and Other Page-Turning Adventures From a Year in a Bookstore; and Sundays in America: A Yearlong Road Trip in Search of Christian Faith. Winner of the 2000 New England Book Award, which recognizes a literary body of works’ contribution to the region, Suzanne has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Late Late Show, and PBS’s documentary The Polish Americans. She teaches in the Stonecoast MFA program.

Email us at teddeppe2@hotmail.com or call 011-353-87-909-1724 to reserve your spot in this weekend. If you need more information on any of this, just ask! This is a great chance to give your writing a boost and to have a lot of fun at the same time.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.