How Fiction Works: A Study of Narrative Using Works by John McGahern

Linenhall Library, Belfast. May 13 & 14, 2019. 10am–5pm, both days.

Claire Keegan will direct this fiction writing course using works by John McGahern to explore and demonstrate the mechanics of writing and narrative structure.

1. The Leavetaking

2. “Christmas”

3. “Parachutes”

4. “The Conversion of William Kirkwood”

How do stories begin? How and why does an author make an incision in time and build tension? How is a reader drawn into a narrative? Why is a reader sometimes not drawn in at all? Keegan will discuss the structure of a narrative and go into what she calls the much-neglected middle, the trunk of the story. Are endings natural? Why do stories need to end, to find a place of rest? The discussion around endings will focus on falling action, emotional consequences and inevitability. Participants will also examine the differences between the short story and the novel. This course will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction or reading works is welcome to attend. To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com Tuition is £300. A 50% deposit secures.

McGahern

Claire Keegan’s story collections include Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Her debut, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English,” wrote the Observer. Walk the Blue Fields, her second collection, was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in 2010, and won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded to the strongest collection published in the British Isles. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, then the world’s richest prize for a single story. New Yorker readers chose Foster as their story of the year. It was also published in Best American Stories is now on the school syllabus in Ireland. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

The Child in Society: Weekend of Fiction Writing & Reading with Claire Keegan

Amber Springs Hotel, Gorey, Co Wexford

June 29 & 30, 2019

children

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. Nelson Mandela

For two days, Claire Keegan, author of Foster (Faber & Faber) will explore fiction writing through the linked theme of The Child in Society. Discussion will include the rights of the child, having and not having children, fathering, mothering, fostering, adopting and neglecting children. Participants will be asked to imagine being a boy, a girl, a parent, a child minder – and undoubtedly there will be talk around housing, fathering, contraception, pregnancy, money, hunger, mothering, sleep and what it means to love and be loved, to mind and to be minded — from different points of view. The lecture will explore and display how time, tension, drama, dialogue and narrative structure are put to use in the following:

Jude the Obscure, a novel by Thomas Hardy

The River,” a story by Flannery O’Connor

Sleepyhead,” a story by Chekov, translated by Constance Garnett

The Widow’s Son,” by Mary Lavin.

Vera Drake, a film by Mike Leigh

Tuition 350 euro. Reservations can be made by emailing ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com

Fiction Seminar with Claire Keegan

Irish Writers Centre

Regular price €80.00 Non-members                                                                  Members – €70.00 EUR                                           

Click here to book your ticket

Starts: Saturday 18 May 2019  
Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm
Duration: 1 Day
Cost: €80/€70 members 

Run in association with The Stinging Fly

Loss and Love: A Study of Narrative

Claire Keegan, internationally acclaimed author and teacher of creative writing, will demonstrate and explore the mechanics of fiction-writing and narrative structure using two John McGahern short stories: ‘Gold Watch’ and ‘The Conversion of William Kirkwood’.

Participants are asked to read these two stories before they attend the seminar.

How do stories begin? How and why does an author make an incision in time and build tension? How is a reader drawn into a narrative? Why is a reader sometimes not drawn in at all? Keegan will discuss the shape of a story, describe how a beginning sometimes turns into what she calls the much-neglected middle or the trunk of the story. How is this related to love? To loss? Participants will be asked to consider if endings are natural.Why do stories need to end, to find a resting place? The discussion around endings will focus on falling action, emotional consequences and inevitability.

Claire Keegan was raised on a farm in Wicklow. Her short stories have won numerous awards and have been translated into 17 languages. They are published in Granta, The Paris Review, The New Yorker and Best American Stories. Foster is now on the school syllabus. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction writing. 

“Every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.” – Hilary Mantel

“The best stories are so textured and so moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it’s easy to imagine readers savoring them many years from now and to imagine critics, far in the future, deploying new lofty terms to explain what it is that makes Keegan’s fiction work.” – The New York Times

“Every single word in the right place and pregnant with double meaning.” – Jeffrey Eugenides

“Keegan is a rarity, someone I will always want to read.” – Richard Ford

Michael McLaverty Short Story Award

Wednesday 15 May at 1pm Free

The Michael McLaverty Short Story Award is given to foster and encourage the art of the Irish short story and to celebrate the archive of Michael McLaverty held at the Linen Hall. At the award event Dr Eamonn Hughes will discuss the significance of McLaverty’s work, and adjudicators of the award, writer Claire Keegan and publisher Patsy Horton, will announce the winning stories.

Events

Beginnings, Middles, Endings: The Structure of a Narrative with Claire Keegan

image1

Goldsmiths University, London

November 2 & 3, 2019. 9:30am–5pm, both days

Claire Keegan, internationally acclaimed author and fiction-writing coach, will direct this, her most popular fiction writing course, using a novel and two short stories to demonstrate and explore the mechanics of fiction writing and narrative structure.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2. “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor

3. “Nobody Said Anything” by Raymond Carver

How do stories begin? How and why does an author make an incision in time and build tension? How is a reader drawn into a narrative? We will also explore the much-neglected middle; the trunk of the story, its denouement and turning points — and ask if endings are natural. Why do stories need to end, to find a place of rest? The discussion around endings will focus on falling action, emotional consequences and inevitability. Participants will also examine the differences between the short story and the novel.

This weekend will be of particular interest to those who write, teach, read or edit fiction — but anyone with an interest in how fiction works is welcome to attend.

To book your place, contact ckfictionclinic@yahoo.com Tuition is £350. A 50% deposit secures.

IMG_3242

Claire Keegan’s story collections include Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster (Faber & Faber). These stories, translated into 17 languages, have won numerous awards. Her debut, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. “These stories are among the finest stories recently written in English,” wrote the Observer. Walk the Blue Fields, her second collection, was Richard Ford’s Book of the Year in 2010, and won the Edge Hill Prize, awarded to the strongest collection published in the British Isles. Foster won the Davy Byrne’s Award, then the world’s richest prize for a single story. New Yorker readers chose Foster as their story of the year. It was also published in Best American Stories is now on the school syllabus in Ireland. Keegan has earned an international reputation as a teacher of fiction, having taught workshops on four continents.

Every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.” Hilary Mantel

The best stories are so textured and so moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it’s easy to imagine readers savoring them many years from now and to imagine critics, far in the future, deploying new lofty terms to explain what it is that makes Keegan’s fiction work.” The New York Times

Every single word in the right place and pregnant with double meaning.” Jeffrey Eugenides, The New York Times

Keegan is a rarity, someone I will always want to read.” Richard Ford