Irish Writers in London Summer School (short course)

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Why study this course?

James Joyce famously wrote, "The shortest way to Tara is by Holyhead", meaning that in order for Irish people to understand themselves and Ireland, they historically had to leave their homeland.

First established in 1996, the Irish Writer in London Summer School provides an informal but informed setting for you to read and discuss contemporary literature. It's also an opportunity to explore the different reasons why Irish writers still come to London. How has the experience of migration influenced their work? How in turn has their writing helped express and mediate Irish culture and Irishness at home and abroad?

More about this course

On this course, you won't just read and discuss work by contemporary writers, you'll meet and talk with them about their work and careers. There will also be lectures, seminar discussions and optional visits to associated Irish cultural events in London.

You'll read and learn about a wide range of writing during the course and gain valuable insights into the different approaches involved. This year's set texts include fiction, poetry and journalism. Lectures will cover topics such as Fictions of Irish North London, Narrative Poetry and the Irish Revolution, and Writing in the Age of Social Media. 

During its 20-year history, the Summer School has hosted over 90 different writers including Edna O'Brien, Eimear McBride, Matthew Sweeney, Emma Donoghue, Ronan Bennett, Martina Evans, Maurice Leitch, Julia O'Faolain, Shane Connaughton, Anne Devlin, Blake Morrison, Polly Devlin, John Healy and Jess Kidd.

The Summer School was founded in 1996 by Tony Murray, who will also be teaching on the course again this year. He has taught English Literature and Irish Studies for many years and is also Curator of the Archive of the Irish in Britain. Tony has published widely on literary and cultural representations of migration and diaspora and his book, London Irish Fictions: Narrative, Diaspora and Identity was published by Liverpool University Press in 2012. More about Tony Murray.   

Summer 2020 Guest Writers to be confirmed early in 2020. 

Assessment

There is no assessment for this course, but the last session will have an optional student reading.

Fees and key information

Course type
Short Course
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Who's this course for?

This is not a creative writing course, but it provides an excellent accompaniment to such courses at London Metropolitan University or elsewhere. No prior qualifications are required.

Course structure

The Summer School runs for two nights a week for five-and-a-half weeks. Each Thursday evening, an established Irish writer comes to read and speak about their work. On the Tuesday evening prior to this, you'll discuss the writer’s work with fellow students and the course tutor. This unique format provides time for you to digest and reflect on reactions to set texts before meeting the writer in question.

What our students say

"It is obvious why the Summer School is now going into its third decade. Where else would you get a chance to meet such a range of contemporary Irish Writers to discuss their work? As well as being interesting and stimulating, it's always relaxed and a lot of fun. I'll be back!" – Peter Hammond, student.

"It was brilliant. The course material was both stimulating and thought-provoking and the visiting writers were excellent." – Shirley Cully, student.

"My involvement with the summer school has hugely contributed to my life as a writer." – Martina Evans, writer and poet.

"I think the Summer School is a fantastic model. The range and depth of discussions, between students, tutor and authors is truly impressive and rewarding to be part of. My reading and thinking have been challenged, stretched and stimulated." – Carolyn Morris, student.

"The Summer School is unique. Its gentle, inclusive atmosphere encourages real debate. Being invited is both an accolade and a very good night out." – Bridget Whelan, writer.

"It was perfect! Well prepared and engaging tutor, balanced presentation: seminars and group discussion, exciting and stimulating opportunities to meet varied and interesting authors and a chance to meet like-minded learners and compare Irish related backgrounds and interests." – Eileen McGroary, student

"I loved the format of this course. A real privilege to meet the writers." – former student

"Very well organised. Welcoming and very friendly atmosphere promoted. High standard of participants from whom I learnt. Interesting lectures by Tony. Excellent range of writing and writers. Wonder to have them present to discuss work with and also to dine with them afterwards." – former student

"Tony Murray runs such a wonderful course!" - former student

Course dates

Course dates

Summer dates will be announced Spring 2020

Days Tuesdays and Thursdays with an additional class on the final Friday
Time 6pm to 8.30pm 
Maximum class size 25

Further information

For more information about the application process or fees, please contact The Cass short courses:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7320 1842
Email: 
thecass.shortcourses@londonmet.ac.uk

For further information about the course itself, please contact Tony Murray:

Email: t.murray@londonmet.ac.uk 

Twitter: @LonIrishWriters 

How to apply

Booking for this course isn't open at this time as the dates of the next intake are not yet confirmed. Please get in touch for further information or register your interest to receive notification as soon as booking opens.

When to apply

Please note, the deadline to book a place on one of our short courses is one week before the start date. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate you.