Course/Workshop Reviews

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I have just returned from a writers’ weekend with Claire Keegan. A great writer doesn’t always make for a great writing teacher but Claire is both, sharing her knowledge with seriousness and authority, whilst remaining playful, reactive and magically in the moment.

Her deep and insightful knowledge of writers and their writing craft was inspiring, and she helped foster an extraordinarily heightened atmosphere of supportiveness and commitment to learning from all the writers attending. A wonderful kick-start to my own writing in 2020: I immediately signed up for another of her workshops on Chekhov and Carver in Dublin in February. ” A. M.

” Thanks to a residential writing retreat – complete with silent writing spaces without mobiles – I am more open to the heart of my writing and back on track. Claire has such generosity of spirit and shared her writing experience and knowledge which allowed for enlightening discussions and encouragement. I am already looking forward to my next writing retreat with Claire. ” S.G.

“I have attended several of Claire Keegan’s workshops and each time I find my mind blown, my learning about the elements necessary for writing strong, fresh prose reinforced. Claire’s passion for reading and writing illuminate her sessions and her thoughtful analysis convinces me she is the best teacher of creative writing a fellow writer could ask for. Writers wishing to improve their craft by enrolling on MA Creative Writing programmes would do well to save their money and sign up for Claire’s courses instead.” H. V.

“Wonderfully alive masterclass – bit of a privilege – I felt to listen to Clare – getting to the heart of story writing- and not in an academic way but through the blood and guts of finding, fixing, stirring a story to life. I did return with many notes but that is not the point. I felt physically invigorated, as well as intellectually armed to keep writing. Can only hope my stories are some kind of testimony to being there.” Dee Bee

“Claire Keegan’s workshops clearly and carefully lay out for participants the elements necessary for writing strong, fresh prose. Key among the learning I have come away with is that writers need to be kind to their readers. Above all, through Claire’s teaching I appreciate character as a physical body moving through time. Claire’s passion for reading and writing illuminate her sessions and her thoughtful analysis convinces me that she is the best teacher of creative writing a fellow writer could ask for. ” H.W.

“This was my third workshop. Claire puts so much energy into both her preparation and her delivery. I always come away full of questions, answers and ideas. For aspiring writers I suspect these workshops are essential, but for anyone who simply loves literature these workshops help you to understand exactly why it is you love it. The guided discussions are always robust and challenging. Claire never patronises but encourages exploration.For this workshop, the selection of stories was both imaginative and stimulating. Claire’s approach was creative. I would feel able to recommend these workshops to anyone with a love of the written word.” J.L.


“Attending a Claire Keegan course on creative writing is a major treat. She’s a wonderful teacher, exposing students to the greatest authors and texts, breaking down the process of what makes fiction work and bringing it to life.  We’re very lucky to have a creative writer and teacher of Claire’s calibre in Ireland.” D. O. B.

“Claire Keegan is an incredible writing teacher. I’ve been to four courses with her, and have reached a level with my writing I didn’t think was possible. Her passion for literature is inspiring. As is her generosity as a teacher. She really shares everything – all the insights/understandings about fiction that she has toiled to gain. I’ve done manuscript courses with her (where she gives feedback on submitted work) and courses analysing the published work of fiction masters, and both kinds of course have been excellent. If you want to up your game, book a course with her!” P. M. N.

“The two-day course on dialogue with Claire was excellent, as expected. Claire is able to cut to the very core of a chosen story and demonstrate the writer’s skill. In the course on dialogue in early October, Claire showed, very clearly, the difference between drama and tension, between feelings and emotion. In the two days she managed to get through 8 short stories and an extract from a novel, all from well-known writers. The stories were very different but there was something to be learned from each one. After two days, after looking closely at the texts and learning new techniques in story-telling, your head is full and you’re in a rush home to your desk to improve your own writing. ” M.R.

“Workshop “What’s the point in talking?” October 5&6 2019 I learnt an immense deal of things about the nature of dialogue in a work of fiction, and how it affects the story both structurally and semantically. Claire was tremendously well prepared – we were given 9 texts to read prior to the workshop, and we managed to discuss all of them, and I felt not a second was wasted. It was intense and beautifully enriching. If you want to work hard, listen to someone who is willing to share their knowledge and experience with you, enjoy talking about Literature which is talking about the human condition, then Claire Keegan is your teacher. ” V.N.

“I went to my first course with Claire Keegan in October and was blown away by the quality of the lectures and the insights I was given. No creative class I attended before was this thorough, enjoyable and useful. I would highly recommend it.” M.S.