#SleepingSeason by @Kellycreighto16 #WritersWise Thurs 9th April 2020 8-9pm BST

Hullo all!

Next #WritersWise is this Thurs 9th April 2020. All welcome to join using the hashtag #WritersWise on every tweet for the hour 8-9pm UK/Irleland. We trended #2 in Ireland last week even though many tweets were without the hashtag!

Topic – Reading and Writing during the pandemic.

T1. Can you read/write these days?

T2 What locations (at home) are are you writing/reading in?

T3 What genres are you hitting that are new to you or are you sticking with the old-faithfuls?

T4 Kelly’s book explores many great themes – what are your favourite themes?

T5 Have we got any reading quotes/gifs to share. If not RT Kelly’s fine book links pls

Sleeping Season by Kelly Creighton kindle purchase link

Sleeping Season. Kelly Creighton. Paperback.


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Detective Inspector Harriet Sloane is plagued by nightmares while someone from her past watches from a distance. In East Belfast, local four-year-old River, vanishes from his room. Sloane must put her own demons to bed and find the boy. Before it’s too late.

Kelly Creighton lives in Co. Down and facilitates creative writing classes for community groups and schools. For five years she curated The Incubator literary journal. Her published books include The Bones of It (San Diego Book Review’s 2015 Novel of the Year) and Bank Holiday Hurricane (shortlisted in the Saboteur Award’s Best Short Story Collection category and longlisted for the 2017 Edge Hill Prize). She is currently writing the third book in her series of detective novels set in East Belfast. Book 1, The Sleeping Season, is out now. Book 2 will be released in November.




@OrlaMcAWrites Orla McAlinden #WritersWise on 20th Sept talks Swapping Genres Successfully. 9-10pm GMT. #TheFlightoftheWren.

20th Sept 9-10pm GMT. 

Topic: Swapping genres successfully from book to book.

T1: Do you have a favorite author who frequently swaps genre?

T2: Have you ever picked up a book by an author, whose work you know well, and been disappointed by an unexpected genre-switch?

T3: Have you ever decided not to read a book based on genre-specific cover art? Why? Did you ever change your mind, give it a try, and then love the book?

T4: Do you think prolific, genre-swapping writers should use pseudonyms or slightly different names/initals etc to distinguish their different types of books?

T5 : Do you think it’s more sensible to write what your established audience knows and enjoys, or to write the story that your heart desires to tell?


Orla McAlinden is a Pushcart Prize nominee, the Cecil Day Lewis emerging writer 2016, the winner of the BGEIBA Irish Short Story of the Year 2016 award, and other awards. Her debut collection The Accidental Wife won the 2014 Eludia Award from Sowilo Press in Philadelphia, and was published in July 2016.

Orla’s debut novel The Flight of the Wren and a second story collection Full of Grace will be published by Mentor Press, Dublin in Sep 2018 and January 2019 respectively.

 The Flight of the Wren

Ireland, 1848. Orphaned Sally Mahon has a choice to make. Lie down and die on the graves of her parents, or join the throngs of the dispossessed on the highways of Ireland. She turns her steps to the nearby town of Newbridge in Kildare, where she will carve a future for herself or die trying.

Tasmania, 1919. Spanish Flu sweeps through Hobart, travelling across the oceans with the soldiers returning from the war in Europe. Saoirse Gordon sits by her Grandmother’s sickbed. As the old woman cries out in her delirium, will the secrets Saoirse learns bring her peace, or destroy her forever? Have her Grandmother, her great-aunt and her mother been lying to her all her life? Saoirse races against time, and her grandmother’s illness, to unravel the secrets of her family.

Inspired by true events, the tales of real Irish women and girls weave throughout this poignant blend of fact and fiction. The Flight of the Wren explores the impact of the Irish famine of 1845-1849 on the women of Ireland. Acts of desperation, betrayal, courage and love illuminate this dark chapter of Ireland’s history in a complex and beautiful novel. Winner of the Cecil Day Lewis award 2016 and joint winner of the Greenbean Novel Fair 2016 at the Irish Writers Centre.

The Flight of the Wren purchase link here.

Our next #Writerswise tweet-chat is on Oct 11th with Sarah Webb. Children’s and YA author. @sarahwebbishere.



Writing Compelling Characters with Maria Hoey, Thurs 6th Sept 9pm GMT.


Topic for 6th September is, ‘How to write compelling characters.’

Format for the chat from 9-10pm GMT;

Introductions and hullos. 

T1 What is a compelling character?

T2 How can a writer create flawed but sympathetic characters?

T3 How can we keep our characters compelling throughout the course of the story?

T4 Is it possible to hate the main character in a book but still not be able to put it down?

Closing thoughts. 

Radio Interview with Maria Hoey.

Maria’s books are below.

Our guest-host is Maria Hoey, author of On Bone Bridge and The Lost Girl. Maria Hoey has been writing since she was eight years old. Her poetry has appeared in Ireland’s foremost poetry publication, Poetry Ireland, and her poems and short stories have also appeared in various magazines. In 1999, Maria won first prize in the Swords Festival Short Story Competition. In 2010, she was runner-up in the Mslexia International Short Story Competition and was also shortlisted for the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award. Her debut novel, The Last Lost Girl, was published in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Annie McHale Debut Novel Award 2017 and the Kate O’Brien Award 2018. On Bone Bridge being published in July 2018. Maria was raised in Swords, County Dublin, and has one daughter, Rebecca. She lives in Portmarnock with her husband Dr Garrett O’Boyle.

Our next #WritersWise chat is on Thursday 13th Sept with Jenni Ensor on Writing Fiction on difficult and sensitive topics. 



Vivian Conroy back with us Talking Surviving being published & beyond.’ 9th August. 9-10pm GMT.

@Vivwrites. Vivian Conroy will celebrate the release of her new book with us.

Here is the transcript of the chat – Surviving Publishing and Beyond.

The Butterfly Conspiracy.  Her 10th book!!!! YES 10th. 

The Butterfly Conspiracy

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Perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell mysteries comes the enchanting series debut from Vivian Conroy, The Butterfly Conspiracy.

In late Victorian times, when new inventions cause both excitement and terror, a mysterious death at a zoological lecture brings together two unlikely allies in a quest through London’s upper crust and underbelly to unravel the ingenious murder method and killer behind it.

Miss Merula Merriweather is not like other women her age: instead of hunting for a husband at balls and soirees she spends her time in a conservatory hatching exotic creatures. As the Royal Zoological Society won’t accept a woman’s accomplishments, she has her uncle Rupert take credit for her achievements. But at a zoological lecture, the guest of honor dies after contact with one of Merula’s butterflies, and Merula’s uncle is arrested for murder.

In an attempt to safeguard evidence to prove his innocence, Merula almost gets killed but for the timely interference of enigmatic Lord Raven Royston. Viewing natural history as a last resort to regain respectability lost by too many dubious business investments, Raven didn’t expect his first lecture to take a murderous turn. Feeling partially responsible because he encouraged Merula to release the gigantic butterfly from the glass case in which it was kept, Raven suggests they solve the puzzle of Lady Sophia’s sudden death together by looking closer at her relations with estranged friends, long suffering staff and the man groomed to be her heir, so close to her money and yet unable to touch any of it.

With the police looking for them, and every new discovery raising more questions than answers, especially about the murder method which left no traces of foul play on the body, Merula will have to risk her own life to get at the truth and save her uncle from the gallows in The Butterfly Conspiracy, Vivian Conroy’s enchanting series debut.


We are taking the topic ‘Surviving being published and beyond.’

T1. How do you know what idea to run with?

T2. Who do you listen to?

T3. Where can you find opportunities?

T4. How do you celebrate milestones?

T5. What makes publishing nerves easier and how to survive the stress?

Closing Thoughts. Next #WritersWise coming soon. 


Viv has planned her responses in this lovely graphic. 

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Bernie McGill talks ‘Historical fiction and short story writing.’ Thurs 28th June.

Topic is; Historical fiction and short story writing.
introductions and hullos.
T1 Do you write short stories or longer fiction? Both? Why?
T2. Tips for writing short stories? Have we any?
T3 What draws you to historical fiction?
T4 What draws you to a particular location?
T5 What are you working on now?
CT – Closing thoughts.
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Guest-host is Bernie McGill.

Bernie McGill is the author of Sleepwalkers, a collection of stories short-listed in 2014 for the Edge Hill short story prize, and of The Butterfly Cabinet (named in 2012 by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes as his novel of the year). Her latest novel, The Watch House, is set on Rathlin Island in 1898 at the time of the Marconi wireless experiments. She has been published in the UK, the US and in translation in Italy and the Netherlands. Her work has been placed in the Seán Ó Faoláin, the Bridport, and the Michael McLaverty short story prizes and she won the Zoetrope: All-Story award in the US in 2008. Her short fiction has appeared in acclaimed anthologies The Long Gaze Back, The Glass Shore and Female Lines, all by New Island Books, and for the theatre she has written The Haunting of Helena Blunden and The Weather Watchers. She works as a Creative Writing facilitator, as a Writer in Schools with Poetry Ireland, and as a Professional Mentor with the Irish Writers’ Centre. In September 2018 she takes up a Fellowship with the Royal Literary Fund at Queen’s University, Belfast.



‘How to write strong characters,’ with Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin @inkwell_HQ/@Samblakebooks on 14th June 9-10pm GMT.

Topic for Thursday 14th June is, ‘How to write strong characters.’
Introductions and if you have a protagonist tell us their name (or just gender and age)
T1. What are their (3) strengths and (3) weaknesses?
T2. In fiction, which characters have you loved, or hated?
T3. As a reader, what makes a well-rounded character?
T4. What are your tips for developing strong characters?
Closing thoughts.
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Our guest-host is Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, who is founder of The Inkwell Group, a publishing consultancy and also of the hugely popular national writing resources website, Writing.ie.
Vanessa is also Ireland’s leading literary scout who has assisted many award winning authors and best-selling authors to publication. 

Vanessa is also #1 Best-selling author under her pseudonym Sam Blake. www.samblakebooks.com The third in her trilogy, ‘No Turning Back’, came out on May 17th and is available HERE