Following on the great success of three previous Curlew Writing Conferences, Annie Deppe, Ted Deppe, and Suzanne Strempek Shea are offering a new week for serious writers this coming October in Howth, a beautiful seaside village twenty minutes north of Dublin.
I was fortunate enough to attend their Howth workshop last January. It's a great place to workshop your current project, generate new work, and take your writing to the next level. Ted and Annie Deppe are an inspiring pair of workshop leaders as well as fabulous poets.
The setting, even in January, is jaw-droppingly beautiful and so steeped in literary culture that one can't help but be inspired. Everywhere you go you are walking in the footsteps of James Joyce (Leopold and Molly were walking along Howth Hill when Molly said Yes). One day of the workshop was a field trip into Dublin. We stopped first at the Martello Tower famous from the opening of Ulysses, which is now a James Joyce Museum. A few more minutes on the train and we were in Dublin, where we retraced many of Leopold Bloom's steps in Ulysses as well as visited several museums. Most notable for me was the Yeats exhibit at the National Library and the production of Joyce's The Dead that we saw at the Abbey Theatre. In between we stopped at various bookstores and loaded our bags with copies of books by Irish writers, many of whom I'd heard read and met at the workshop, writers like Claire Keegan, Eamon Grennan, Sinead Morrisey, Theo Dorgan, and Joan McBreen. Other workshops have featured Paula Meehan, Hugo Hamilton, Eva Bourke, Carlo Gebler, Joan Newmann, Kate Newmann, & Nuala Ní Chonchúir. The writers to be invited are determined after the workshop organizers determine the genre preferences of the participants.
The conference takes place at the 4-star King Sitric Guesthouse (www.kingsitric.ie). King Sitric is one of Ireland’s finest restaurants and all the bedrooms look out onto the Irish Sea. In fact, one day we were able to run out from the inn to witness the release of a rescued baby seal back into the water. Lunches and suppers are on your own in any of the restaurants, cafes, or pubs that are within a short walking distance. Workshops and talks will all take place in the King Sitric or the Howth Yacht Club a few minutes stroll along the harbor.
The cost for the week (workshops, lectures, readings, a field trip, and a gourmet “high tea” the first evening) will be $1,150 plus accommodations. If you go, plan to spend a few more days before or after the workshop in Ireland. You won't regret it!