One To One Mentoring

I have a couple of places opening up for my One To One Mentoring Programme, tailored specifically for you. I’ll pass on all the craft, tips and techniques I’ve learned as an award winning writer and BBC script editor, and I’ll help you to take your writing to a deeper level.

Whether you’re writing a screenplay, poetry, novel, short stories, non-fiction or a play, I’ll get you writing and keep you writing. The mentoring can be done via Skype or in person.

I was touched by a recent client’s comment: “She had the rare talent of making you feel everything was possible and that you deserved that everything too.”

If you want to open up to your own limitless possibilities, email me on to find out more.


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Filed under Poetry, Poetry Readings, screenwriting, writing, Writing Poetry

Mindshift: Breaking Into Television

I’m delighted to be part of the Irish Writers Centre Mindshift: Breaking Into Television day on Saturday 6th October at the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin.

My session on Writing Drama runs from 11.50am-1.00pm

In this session find out what all drama commissioners are looking for and how to write a script that stands out. We’ll also look at the importance of story and what a script is NOT. I’ll share my experiences of writing for both the BBC and RTE. I worked as a script editor with the BBC for 8 years and I’ll also share my insights from the script editor’s point of view. I’ll detail what’s required in a submission, and how to build a relationship with an editor. There’ll also be some short writing exercises to get you thinking more deeply about your writing.

The day also includes Writing Comedy with James Phelan and a Panel session with Heather Browning and James Phelan chaired by David Kavanagh.

Date: Sat 6 Oct 2018
Time: 10.30am – 4.00pm
Duration: 1 Day
Cost: €50/€40 Members

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Writer In Residence & An Inspiring 2018

It’s been an inspiring few months. Writing has helped me to heal and find my voice, and I love helping others do the same. I’m really enjoying my time as the Irish Writers Centre Writer In Residence with Womens Aid. The work coming out is heart-warming and eye opening.

I was delighted to be part of the second curation of the Poetry Jukebox, alongside Maria McManus. There are many powerful poems on here looking both directly and indirectly at the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Have a listen outside the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. This curation runs until 10th June.

Poetry Jukebox Curation 2 Image

I’ve really enjoyed some mini residencies with schools in the north as part of Poetry Ireland’s Writers In Schools scheme. I was moved to tears by some beautiful feedback from one school where every pupil sent me a personal note. One said she always thought poetry was boring but now she knows it is beautiful. Another said she’s now keeping a poetry notebook and writes in it every day.

spiritual book

I’m looking forward to the next few months when I’ll be working with people who have eating disorders. I love helping people to find their voice again.

I’ll also be running another Heartfelt Writing Weekend. Here’s a lovely comment from a previous weekend: “This was the first workshop where I was ‘given permission’ to be myself, to write from my spirit – my heartbeat. I feel free.”

It’s a real joy to see some of my mentoring clients getting published and being shortlisted for awards.

And I’m working away on a new sequence of poems, thanks to a SIAP Award from the Arts Council. Here’s hoping the rest of 2018 is just as inspirational.

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What’s The Story? Screenwriting In Armagh

I’m delighted to be teaching the screenwriting course at this year’s John O’Connor Writing School in Armagh, from 3rd-5th November.

During these practical and inspiring sessions you’ll learn how to create characters that leap off the page, how to structure a story for the screen, how to write a great scene, explore the common mistakes writers make and more. This is suitable for beginners and emerging screenwriters who want to take their scripts to a deeper level. We’ll focus primarily on TV and film, but many of the tools and insights can be adapted for radio and stage.

film strip reuse

I’ll be passing on all all of my tips and insider knowledge gained as an award winning writer for TV, short film, radio and theatre, and during my 8 years as a BBC script editor

The wonderful Barry Devlin is teaching the screenwriting masterclass on the Saturday.

The festival last year was  friendly, intimate and great crack  – so many writers mingling in such a small city.


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Free Your Creative Voice – Heartfelt Writing Weekend – 21st-22nd October

Take time out to focus on your creativity, get inspired, feed your soul, and pick up some new tips and tools to take your writing to the next level.

This inspiring weekend empowers you to get writing and stay writing.

book rose

We’ll be covering new material, so this is suitable whether you’ve been on a previous weekend or if this is your first time coming along.

Throughout the weekend we’ll look at:

  • Getting your creativity flowing again
  • Building your inner confidence.
  • Reconnecting with the joy of writing.
  • Inspirational writing exercises.
  • Tips for deepening your writing.
  • Dealing with self-doubt and blocks.
  • Finding a writing routine that works and stays fun.

As always, this weekend will focus on how to write in a way that connects with other people, reaching into the deepest level of their being. This heartfelt writing has the power to change people’s lives. We will explore practical writing techniques from this deeper perspective.

Beautiful words and an understanding of craft are not enough – the substance under the words is what matters.

Here is some of the lovely feedback from previous Heartfelt Writing Weekends:

“It has been a hugely uplifting experience – funny, poignant and immensely enjoyable 2 days – and it has gone in a flash!” Laura Graham

“New ideas presented clearly and with humour and intelligence, and soul. Brilliant way to spend two days soaking up the inspiration.”

“Very inspiring exercises taught with tact, humour and grace.”

“Packed with helpful, practical tips and info. Uplifting and confidence inspiring.”

“Totally eye opening and lots of tips and tricks to writing that I didn’t know. Wonderful workshop, the right amount of learning and love!”

spiritual book

For those who don’t know me, I’m a poet with two published collections and an award winning screenwriter and playwright. I won the Claddagh Film Script Award, the BBC Writersroom Undercover competition and I’ve had two plays and a short film produced. I was a writer for two years on RTE’s flagship drama, Fair City, and the award winning teen drama Seacht. I also spent eight years working as a BBC script editor, five years as a freelance journalist and I have a Masters in Creative Writing. I’m currently one of this year’s Artists-in-Residence at the Belfast International Arts Festival. I’ve been mentoring and facilitating writing workshops for twelve years.

I wrote my first poem at the age of eight but stopped writing when a teacher praised my poem but said I could never have written something so good and it must have been copied. I stood at the front of the class in tears. The humiliation and criticism stopped me writing for the next fifteen years. Self doubt and fear of ridicule can block all writers, often for years, and I’m passionate about helping writers get their work into the world and not waste precious time.

Whether you’re writing a novel, screenplay, poetry, short stories or play, this weekend will help you approach your work in a fresh and deeper way.

Booking is essential as places are limited. Email to book your place.

£30 deposit secures your place.

Venue:  Donegall St Pl, Belfast BT1 2FN

Dates: Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October.

Time: 11am-5pm

Cost: £125 –  early bird price of £100 if you book by Monday 9th October.

You can pay the deposit (£32) or full amount (£127) via Paypal at the link below, or message me if you want to pay by cheque or bank transfer.


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Writer-in-Residence & Poetry Jukebox

I’m delighted to be writer-in-residence alongside Maria McManus at this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival. As part of our residency we’re curating Ireland’s first Poetry Jukebox, which is installed outside the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast and goes live on 12th October.


The Poetry Jukebox is an on-street sound installation providing an exciting new platform for poetry. This will be a permanent installation, but we will change the content three or four times a year. We see this as an innovative new ‘journal’ of poetry for the island of Ireland. Its on-street presence can capture the imagination and has at its core the ability, as Heaney wrote, to “catch the heart off-guard and blow it open”. The first jukebox has poems form world renowned Irish poets, rising stars and new voices.

Artists In Residence

We want to open minds and hearts with the power and intensity and gentleness of poetry.  Hearing poetry unexpectedly in the street can inspire people, make an ordinary moment sacred, and change how people see the city and themselves.


The Poetry Jukebox will be launched as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival on 12th October 2017. This is a free event and everyone is welcome.


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Poetry Jukebox – Call For Submissions

POESIOMAT – the Poetry Jukebox, is an on-street sound installation that provides an innovative new platform for poetry. It is curated by poets Maria McManus and Deirdre Cartmill.

We are calling for submissions for the first Poetry Jukebox in Ireland which will be launched as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival in October 2017. It will be located outside the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast.

Poesiomat photo official

Read the full submission criteria here. The deadline for submissions is midnight on Sunday 20th August.

Don’t forget to download, sign and return this Permissions Consent Form with your submission. Good luck everyone.

Arts Council Logo.jpg

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