Writing & Literature
The BA in Writing + Literature emphasises practice leading to lives and careers in writing, acknowledging that everyone does not start from the same place. Voices are individual. Different writers move forward at different paces, imaginations fire as they will. The tutors on the course will equip students with the tools that they need to write, the ability to self-edit, to understand the power of the image, to develop voice, but see their real job as clearing the imaginative space in front of students, to create the room where their own work as a writer can thrive.
The art of the tutor in this field is to know when to guide and encourage and when to stand back and allow writers to engage in their own practice.
Writing is presented and practiced on the course in a broad, cross-disciplinary context. Students have the opportunity to tell stories on the page, in digital formats, as audio pieces, screenplays and as live performances. Critical abilities are honed, whether it’s reading a poem, novel or screenplay. Always students are asked to move beyond the knee-jerk like/don’t like response. They are encouraged to articulate exactly what it is that makes or doesn’t make a piece of writing sing, to flex their critical muscles and take a position.
Writing is a solitary individual endeavour but that doesn’t mean you don’t engage with the world. Writing + Literature students have travelled to festivals and readings in County Clare and theatre performances in Belfast,Dublin as well as in Sligo. They’ve read poems at the bottom of caves in Leitrim, sat in awe in Dermot Healy’s ‘chapel of salt’ in nearby Ballyconnell, and given public readings of their work in the YeatsBuilding at Hyde Bridge. Students have facilitated writing workshops for groups of local secondary students.
They have done internships with publishing houses, literary festivals, lifestyle and fashion magazines, news outlets, content and public relations agencies to name but a few.
Professionals in the publishing, media and literary world, ranging from an RTÉ radio producer, an editor, a literary agent, journalists, the ArtsCouncil literature officer, have visited our students in person and, more It is important to us that students experience the tangible end of the craft, that they submit work and engage in the increasingly vigorous sphere of Irish writing.
Writing + Literature students have been published in online poetry journals and a range of anthologies, the Cormorant and the Irish Times. They’ve read in Sligo Library’s The Word series as emerging writers with Kevin Barry, Declan Burke, Nicole Flattery among others.
They’ve had classes with visiting writers such as Mary Costello, Molly McCloskey and Sebastian Barry. A footprint in the writing world is important and gaining that footprint is a key part of the course.