Creative writing with Maria C McCarthy and Maggie Harris

June 14th, 2014 § 0 comments

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Date(s) - 14/06/2014
10:30 am - 3:30 pm

Broadstairs Rugby Club St Peter's Recreation Ground

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A Day of creative writing workshops with free books thrown in!

 Workshop One 10.30-12.30 a.m.

A suitcase with two of everything – writing stories from life, led by Maria C McCarthy

How many of us listened to our mothers’ or grandmothers’ stories, or tried to fill in the gaps of the secrets our parents never talked about? Maria C McCarthy’s family tales were of her Irish parents travelling on the boat from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead with ‘one suitcase containing two of everything’; of sending money home to Ireland; of how hard it was to find a place to live in England if you had an Irish accent in the 1950s. Her own stories as a second generation Irish girl are of feeling not quite English and not quite Irish, of rejecting and later embracing her Irish identity.

These stories are in danger of being lost if they are not written down.

In this writing workshop participants will unpack that ‘suitcase containing two of everything’, exploring family stories as inspiration for writing. As well as writing exercises, participants will look at what gets in the way of telling these stories, different ways to tell them (memoir, fiction, poetry), and the responsibilities that come with writing about real people.

Maria C McCarthy was born in Ewell, Surrey in 1959 and raised by Irish parents. Her Irish heritage features strongly in in her poetry, stories, and her columns for BBC Radio 4’s Home Truths (written and broadcast as Maria Bradley). Her latest book is As Long as it Takes (Cultured Llama, 2014), a collection of linked short stories about Irish women in England.  She has an MA with distinction in creative writing from the University of Kent. She writes in a shed at the end of her garden in a village in North Kent. Her website is

Workshop Two – 1.30 – 3.30 pm

WRITING SHORT FICTION: Location! Location! Location!

A Day out in the Park, led by Maggie Harris

Join Maggie Harris for an afternoon of inspiration and writing in the Broadstairs Rugby Club. We’ll be using the club and park to explore ideas about place and landscape, leaves and dog walkers, sporty lives and tales summoned up through this lovely part of Kent. How many different ways can a character tell his/her story? How do we write about landscape in new, innovative ways? How to bring the two together to create rich, memorable prose?

Maggie Harris lived in Broadstairs for almost 20 years and is the author of two short story collections, Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning and In Margate by Lunchtime, a memoir Kiskadee Girl, and five poetry 

14 June 2014

£15 per workshop including a copy of As Long as it Takes by Maria C. McCarthy for Workshop One; either Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning or In Margate by Lunchtime by Maggie Harris for Worskshop Two. £25 for both workshops.

Refreshments included, but please bring a packed lunch.

Unfortunately, the venue is not wheelchair accessible.

Places are limited, so book now at Eventbrite

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