west-cork-lit-festOver the last 20 years the West Cork Literary Festival has brought us diversity in writers, events and workshops. Running for a whole week, from Sunday 17th to Saturday 23rd July, its calendar of events is even fuller this year. In terms of heavy hitters, it’s got the lot. From David Mitchell to Marina Warner, Louis De Berniéres, John Banville and Gloria Steinem, there is no shortage of world renowned faces to see. There really is too much to chose just a few favourites, so we thought we’d pick out a few events over the week, that may appeal to the novice writer, from self-publishing workshops to pitching your work.

Monday 18th – Carole Blake, Literary Agent

Monday afternoon sees leading literary agent Carole Blake take you through “researching, approaching and working with agents and publishers”. With over 50 years experience in the world of publishing and writing, Blake’s advice is indispensable for anyone looking for a publisher. Tickets are priced €20.

Tuesday 19th – Writing Groups, An Inside Story

This event brings Danielle Mc Laughlin, Barbara Leahy and Marie Gethins together to give us the highs, the lows and the successes of having a writing group. The description says it all: “How our group began. Will a writing group work for you? Beginnings, middles, endings: how to structure a meeting; holiday fling or epic romance – keys to group longevity; keeping on the same page: infidelities, mutinies and sharks.” If you’ve thought about forming a writing group or want to fine tune your current one, this looks like the right place for you to be on Tuesday. Tickets €20

Wednesday 20th – Self-Publishing with Catherine Ryan Howard

It’s not an overstatement to say that author Catherine Ryan Howard is an expert when it comes to self-publishing, having given seminars on the subject, self-published two books and written Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to SelfPublishing. Her workshop will steer your through finding a title, finding your audience and everything in between. If you’re thinking about self-publishing, this will be money well spent. Tickets €20

Thursday 21st – That Killer First Page, Paul McVeigh

If you are thinking about entering a short story competition, writer and founder of the London Short Story Festival, Paul McVeigh, will be giving his insight into what grabs judges’ attention. “Get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action. You’ll also look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.”  Tickets €20

Friday 22nd – Spotlight on UCC MA in Creative Writing

For anyone thinking of going down the formal route, Mary Morrissy from UCC’s School of English will be giving you the rundown on their MA & Phd programmes in Creative Writing. It’s not all about the course though; 2 current students will be reading from their work, so you get to hear new writers and new writing. This event is free!

Saturday 23rd – Free From the Well with Clair Kilroy

This free event in Bantry Library will feature stories from this year’s annual Cork County Library and Arts Service From the Well Short Story competition. The winner Patrick Doyle and highly commended entrant Catherine Kirwan, will read their shortlisted stories. This is a great event for anyone who wants to know what a winning story sounds like!

West Cork Literary Festival is a treasure trove of events and writing. These are just a very small sample of some of the events writers starting out, might fancy. For a full festival listing visit West Cork Literary Festival and download a programme.

If you are thinking about self-publishing your own work, why not visit SelfPublishBooks.ie for more information.