Fiction Seminar with Claire Keegan

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

Run by the Irish Writers Centre, in association with The Stinging Fly

Book your place here

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