Writing workshops to take place at Cork City Library

Cónal Creedon, whose book Pancho and Lefty Ride Again was described by one member of the One City One Book adjudicating panel as “the only choice” this year, is to deliver a three-part series of free writing workshops in Cork City Library, beginning this Saturday, 21 May.
Writing workshops to take place at Cork City Library

Conal Creedon at the One City One Book launch event at The Farmgate Cafe, The English Market, Cork, as part of Cork World Book Fest. Picture: Larry Cummins

This year’s Cork City Libraries’ One City One Book author is to present a free series of writing workshops in the Cork City Library, beginning tomorrow.

Cónal Creedon, whose book Pancho and Lefty Ride Again was described by one member of the One City One Book adjudicating panel as “the only choice” this year, is to deliver a three-part series of free writing workshops in Cork City Library, beginning this Saturday, 21 May.

Mr Creedon is an award-winning novelist, playwright and documentary filmmaker whose short fiction has been widely anthologised in Ireland, China, Australia, Germany, the UK and the USA.

He has described Pancho and Lefty Ride Again as is a digitally remastered re-issue of his 1995 short story collection Pancho and Lefty Ride Out, with 11 bonus tracks added.

He told The Echo he was very honoured to be asked to present the series of workshops, but he stressed that despite serving as University College Cork (UCC) writer in residence 2016-2017 and subsequently being appointed in 2017 adjunct professor of creative writing, he doesn’t see himself as a teacher.

“The mad thing is I’ve given workshops all over the world - and the first thing I always say is there's nothing to learn here – I’m not a teacher – I’m a learner,” he said.

“Truthfully - it will be me talking about writing. I always insist that I'm not a ‘writing teacher’- even in my days at UCC - I always sat with the students rather than at the top of the class.” He said that he had always believed there was no such thing as an aspiring writer.

“Writing is a binary thing - you either write or you don’t. It’s not like film-making or sculpting or painting where equipment is needed - a pen and paper is all that's required - give up yer aul’ aspirin’ - and just go and write.

“These will not be creative writing workshops, but rather the sharing of my experiences as a writer,” he said, describing the planned events as “informal, informative, and fun”.

“If learning from one’s mistakes is a virtue - well, my mistakes have been absolutely massive. Mistake-making is probably my most highly honed skill!” 

He said he had loved every minute of his time with UCC, describing it as a highly engaging two-way street and “a steep learning curve” for him; and he said that he believed writing was all about choices.

“I compare it to an addiction – I’d have to get professional help to stop me writing. It’s instinctive. If you have to think about it - you're probably chasing the wrong dream,” Mr Creedon said.

“Every day I put words on paper happily in the full knowledge that many of those words will never see the printed page - and that for me is what writing is all about. It's about following my dream, engaging with my creativity.

“For me creativity happens when I fearlessly embrace ridicule - that's true creativity. All the rest is painting by numbers,” he said.

A series of three free Saturday morning writing workshops with Cónal Creedon will take place in Cork City Library, with each workshop running from 11am to 12.30pm. The first session, “The Life of a Writer” is on 21 May. “Writing for Radio” is on 28 May, and “Diversity: short stories, novels, stage plays and film” is on 11 June, with booking through eventbrite.

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