WIS Database of Writers
- Helena Close
- Novelist, Short-Story writer
- Reading and Q&A, Creative Writing Workshop, Master Class
- Age Group
- 10 - 18
- Primary, Post Primary
- Works in English ONLY
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
productions & background experience
Novels: The Clever One (Hachette Ireland, 2011); The Cut of Love (Hachette Ireland, 2009); and Pinhead Duffy (Blackstaff Press, 2005). Collaborative novels with Trisha Rainsford under the pseudonym Sarah O'Brien: A Girl Thing (2006); Love Happens (2005); Gazumped (2004); and Hot Property (2003), all published by Hodder Headline Ireland. Currently working on a collection of short stories, and a novel. Writer in Residence Limerick County Council 2012.
Creative writing workshops for primary and secondary school pupils. Sessions for primary schools are generally 1.5 hours in duration and suitable for 4th/5th/6th classes. Ideally numbers should be kept to 20 but 30 is workable. The workshops focuses on Story: what is a story and how to you write one? It's very much a hands on workshop where everyone writes. It's also fun and current.
Workshops for secondary school pupils are again based on participation and current material. We look at writing in this technology mad world. Pupils write stories and scenarios, often using social media (eg write a short story using facebook statuses, write a book review in a tweet etc) We also look at blogging, e-publishing and the whole e-revolution. All the workshops are flexible with regard to time and content. Check out writenow2k12.com for a sample of some of the flash fiction I did with County Limerick teenagers as part of our creative writing workshops.
It's better for the class dynamic - particularly with teenagers, if the setting is informal - small groups work best and lend themselves to writing as a group as well as individually. However this may not always be possible.
I am very flexible and adapt to any situation. I think when you work in this capacity with children then it's important to be flexible and to constantly update material and ways of delivering it. A child gets so much out of a class if he or she enjoys doing it.
- Cedars, Parkroe, Ardnacrusha, Co Clare