Clonakilty Young Authors with Dave Lordan – Free Creative Writing Summer Camp for Talented Teens in Clonakilty Library 22nd-24th July


Call Clonakilty Library at 023 88 34275 to book a free place for your 13-17yo. Participants will be encouraged to write various pieces of work, drawing on their own passions, interests and experiences, with a view to performing some of this in a showcase at the end of the week. Alongside writing and performing exercises there will also be short talks and discussions on different aspects of being a writer in the modern world, and a chance for participants to experiment with new styles of writing and to develop their creative writing skills in general.

Clonakilty’s poet Dave Lordan will be leading a free creative writing summer camp for talented teens in Clonakilty Library from the 22nd-24th of July. Dave is a renowned creativity educator as well as a nationally recognised author, editor and literary commentator. He is the editor of the acclaimed collection of new Irish short fiction Young Irelanders. He was recently guest of honour at the Clonakilty Organic Arts Festival. He teaches creative writing to adults and teens in The Big Smoke Writing Factory, The Irish Writers Centre, the DCU Centre of Poetry Studies, and the American College Dublin. He is the researcher for the RTE poetry programme, presented by Rick O Shea, and is a regular contributor as poet and reviewer to RTE Radio 1 ARENA arts show. He has directed acclaimed teens writing showcases for, among others, the West Cork Literature Festival, The Dublin Writers Festival, The Irish Film Institute and Dublin City Libraries and has provided school workshops in over 200 Irish secondary schools.

The classes, supported by Cork County Libraries, are free to all participants and take place in Clonakilty Library from 10am to 2.30pm on 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of July.
Read more about Dave’s innovative teaching methods here.


“Dave himself is a legend, he’s an amazing writer and an understanding person, he’s non judgemental and fair. Jenessa and I are purposefully avoiding the term teacher as we view Dave as more of a hand that guides us, a friend. The people (students) taking part in Big Smoke are also extremely nice and respectful to everything we write, they listen calmly and never snigger or insult someone’s writing. We’ve noticed nearly everyone in this course has issues with confidence and fear of judgement, hopefully this will change. We all write in class, and we read our pieces out in class with confidence as we know Big Smoke has a friendly atmosphere. This progresses our confidence even further which helps us grow as human beings.”
– Danielle McLoughlin, participant in Dublin Young Authors workshop at the Big Smoke Writing Factory, autumn 2013

“Our inaugural Creative Writing Workshop for Teenage Writers, which was designed and led by Dave Lordan, was one of the great successes of this year’s West Cork Literary Festival. It sold out very quickly, and participants travelled from all around the country to take part. Parents expressed their appreciation that a workshop aimed specifically at creative teenagers was available. In this course, Dave concentrated on the participants’ creativity, without limiting it to writing, which allowed them to develop a very broad spectrum of artistic skills. One young man, for example, was invited by renowned author Dava Sobel to perform a section of her play during her own headline event. A young woman, who had insisted on the first day that she would never do a public reading, nonetheless read her extraordinary piece about the Christchurch earthquake on the following Friday. Several of the group, with Dave’s guidance, volunteered to take part in our Amnesty International Writers at Risk campaign, which involved reading to huge audiences, in front of world-class authors. Dave’s work on this involved helping the group to write and edit their pieces, coaching them in public speaking, and giving moral support at the event. Having young people involved, like this, in many aspects of our programme was an asset to the festival – and would not have been possible without Dave. His dedication to his group was extraordinary. He made himself available to them around the clock, which in fact made it possible for the WCLF to hold this workshop in the first place. The group produced brilliant work in the classroom sessions and their performances at a special reading on the final day were also a testament to Dave’s hard work. Several parents spoke to me in moving terms about what this very special week in Bantry had meant to their children, and so to them, and this is entirely due to Dave’s talent, dedication, and sensitivity. I very much enjoyed working with him, and look forward to repeating the workshop again next year – with Dave at the helm.”
Denyse Woods, Artistic Director, West Cork Literary Festival

Dave Lordan’s Workshops were a real treat. He managed to bring out the students’ creative side in a really fun and engaging way. Many of these students discovered sides of themselves that hadn’t been explored before. Highly recommended.’
Stephen Doherty, JCSP Librarian, Wicklow Community College

Dave Lordan delivered the ‘Got Something to Say’ series of spoken word workshops for Dublin City Public Libraries. Working with teens from the Coolock and Darndale area Dave made poetry relevant to their lives, encouraged their self expression and helped build their confidence and self esteem. The resulting work was heartfelt and resonant and was performed confidently to an audience of adults and peers who were very impressed. We’d love to have Dave back again for a similar project.
Mags Curley, Dublin City Libraries

Dave Lordan did a series of creative writing workshops with primary and secondary students as part of our Dublin 8 One Liberties, One Book project. He was great to work with.He pitched his sessions at a level that allowed children of all abilities to participate. He dealt very skillfully with all eight groups and succeeded in getting them not just to produce work but in many cases to present it to the rest of the class. There was lots of fun, laughter and enthusiasm in the session.Dave’s preparation and the time he took to liaise with us before embarking on the sessions was very valuable. He was very easy to deal with and very flexible in responding to our needs. I look forward to working with Dave again and would highly recommend his workshops to others.
Deirdre Cronin,Home School Community Liaison Coordinator, The Coombe, Dublin 8,