Intermediate Creative Writing Course

Eileen Casey is a poet, fiction writer and journalist and holds an M.Phil in Creative Writing (Distinction) from The School of English, Trinity College, Dublin. Her work is widely published in outlets such as The Moth, Verbal Arts Magazine, County Lines: Portrait of a County (New Island); The Ulster Tatler, Ice (Pighog Press, UK), Poetry Ireland Review, The Irish Times, The Jelly Bucket (USA), The Coffee House (UK), among others. Recent awards include a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship and a Hennessy Literary Award (Emerging Fiction). She also won the Siar Scéal Poetry Award (Roscommon Libraries), The Francis Ledwidge Award, The Moore Medallion and The Oliver Goldsmith International Poetry Prize. Her debut poetry collection ‘Drinking the Colour Blue’ (New Island) was published in 2008. ‘Reading Hieroglyphs in Unexpected Places’ and ‘From Bone to Blossom’ (supported by South Dublin Arts, County Offaly Arts and AltEnts Publishing) are collaborative works with Co. Offaly Visual Artist Emma Barone. ‘Snow Shoes’ (Arlen House), a debut collection of short stories was published in 2012 and in 2014, Eileen’s collection of memoir essays ‘A Fascination with Fabric,’ was published (Arlen House). Berries for Singing Birds (Arlen House, 2019), contains a sequence of poems themed around Orphan Girls who emigrated during famine times, under The Earl Grey Scheme. She was also a visiting writer on the 2011 Eastern Kentucky University Winter Residency, in Lexington, Kentucky.

Next course starts on 9th September 2020

Note: We are currently experiencing a high demand for our online creative writing courses. We therefore recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment. 

Price: €150

Duration: Six weeks

The online intermediate creative writing course will allow participants to explore specific writing techniques which help build a solid bridge between the beginner and the more experienced writer. The creative impulse is very much an element of this journey, it helps to maintain a healthy imaginative register. Each module will guide the participant towards producing a strong body of writing based around relevant exercises and prompts. Each exercise will be read by your tutor, Eileen Casey, and you’ll receive weekly written feedback on the exercises.

Week One: As it was in the Beginning
Nurturing the ‘flow’ is an integral part of creative experience. All work and no play make us very dull artists and writers. For those who have undergone a lapse or who need to freshen up existing writing practice, the first module discusses the importance of shoring up material for that all important writing arsenal. Where and how to discover new sources culminates in a writing exercise which draws these elements together and allows the course participant to take stock.

Week Two: Time and Motion
This module discusses the concept of time in terms of using specific timelines within the short story or novel. How to use transitions from one scene to another effectively determines whether or not the reader has an authentic sense of the passage of time. ‘Time waits for no man’ is a familiar saying and one which should be borne in mind when trying to avoid characters trapped in a fictional time warp.

Week Three: Mapping
Finding a container for story can often result in a beginning, ‘muddle’ and end type structure. As Joyce mapped out the city of Dublin, this module offers an enjoyable method of overcoming the initial difficulties when structuring a story. Literally mapping the narrative from start to finish, focusing on the possibilities of place, atmosphere and mood results in stories that have geographical as well as emotional depth.

Week Four: Flash Fiction
The ‘meat’ of story comes from an ability to write the first draft and then be prepared to re-visit and re-route, no matter how short or how long the work. This ensures that a fully fleshed out narrative emerges as opposed to an intriguing, yet flimsy outline. Engaging with Flash Fiction is a powerful way of heightening fictional recognition and making sure the writer is not left with the feeling; ‘there’s a story in there somewhere, if only I could find it.’

Week Five: The Sensual Writer
We primarily discover our world through the visual and the audio, thereby forgetting our other senses. Often, this ‘discrepancy’ is imported into our writing. The Sensual Writer aims to activate all five senses and to introduce the notion of synaesthesia whereby the senses interact in fresh and original ways.

Week Six: Figurative Language
Finding a central image for a short story can heighten its impact. This module explores both the beauty of ‘plain’ language and its disadvantages. Rudyard Kipling said, ‘Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.’ Coleridge maintained, ‘The right word in the right place,’ while Ezra Pound urged that we ‘Make it New.’ Using vibrant imagery/descriptive language eliminates ‘lazy’ writing and challenges the need to be inventive. This module will take the work to new levels as it explores, not only figurative language, but also the possibilities for creating ‘voice’ through a range of language possibilities.

I thoroughly enjoyed the last six weeks. The course is beautifully put together, a source of inspiration, advice and motivation.” – Ciara Harte

The course – both the framework and the content of the modules – gave motivation, focus, discipline, purpose and stamina. The exhuberant response of the tutor was a spur and a tonic.” – Anya Mali

“I recently finished this course with Eileen. She is a fantastic tutor and an expert writer. I couldn’t recommend the course enough for those who wish to step up a level. The course content is challenging but really rewarding if you work hard. I am genuinely sad that I am finished but the confidence I have gained through Eileen’s guidance will drive me on for a long time.” – Peter Hughes

“I would whole-heartedly recommend this course. There is a choice of assignments at the end of every module and although challenging, they definitely spark creativity and encourage new ways of thinking and writing. Eileen couldn’t be more helpful in terms of constructive criticism.” – Nora Hegarty

To find out more about how the online courses work, or if you have any further queries, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at

Our cancellation/refund policy may be viewed here.

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