Ireland Writing Retreat will be officially opened by Martin McGinley in Gaoth Dobhair

Ireland Writing Retreat will be officially opened by Martin McGinley in Gaoth Dobhair

Port Arthur beach by Michelle Nic Phaidin

Well-known Irish musician and director of the Donegal Music Education Partnership (DMEP), Martin McGinley, will open the Ireland Writing Retreat in Gaoth Dobhair, on Monday, September 20. 

Participants from countries as diverse as Mexico, Iceland, the US and Denmark will attend this event.

Retreat co-ordinator Columbia Hillen said:“Sadly, the onset of the virus last year put an end to our in-person week-long international retreats, though with crises sometimes creating opportunities, we did host writing workshops with various authors on Zoom and launched our first-ever awards, Wild Atlantic Writing Awards (WAWA) with over one thousand people having already entered our three competitions so far. It is great, however, once again, to resume our normal retreats at Teac Jack in Glassagh where manager, Gearoid McFadden, and his  staff work so closely with us to make our arts project so successful. We look forward to a memorable week with people from so many different countries, so many different cultures.”

‘Ireland Writing Retreat’ is also expanding its relationship with national Irish-language group, Foras na Gaeilge. Every year, the organisation provides key learning materials to the retreat for international participants to learn basic Irish words and phrases at a special event at the 100-year-old thatched cottage, Teach Mhuiris, overlooking the Wild Atlantic Way, but this year, the retreat will feature for the first time poets and novelists writing in the Irish-language, including poet, Collette Gallagher.

“We are always thinking about new excursions, new events, new speakers to make our retreats even better, more stimulating, and, being in the Donegal Gaeltacht, this extension of our relationship with Foras na Gaeilge is a natural one” said Columbia. “We’ve collaborated with the group over the years with executive officer Colm O’Baoill and his staff in Bunbeg being extremely helpful. We’re delighted to expand our relationship even more now. During the retreat week, participants will also enjoy a ferryboat ride and guided tour of Gola Island with Captain Sabba Curran on ‘The Cricket’ as well as a leisurely ‘discovery walk’ with members of Moving Mevagh Forward in and around Doe Castle."

The latest ‘Wild Atlantic Writing Awards’ (WAWA), with prize money of €1,000 welcomes both flash fiction as well ad creative nonfiction stories such as travel stories and memoir. Any genre, any theme. Maximum story length 500 words. Deadline is Thursday, September 30.

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