Teaching at John Hewitt Summer School

Short Story Workshop: Write Short Stories that Stand Out

3 x two-hour workshop sessions

Workshop Description

In this course you will find out what competition judges, anthology and journal editors look for in a short story. You will get tips on where to start the action and how to grab the reader. You will also look at submission opportunities, how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

Workshop Dates

This workshop will be hosted in the Marketplace Theatre, Armagh on the following dates. Your £66 fee covers all three workshop sessions.

  • Monday 26th July 2021, 1430hrs to 1630hrs
  • Tuesday 27th July 2021, 1430hrs to 1630hrs
  • Thursday 29th July 2021, 1430hrs to 1630hrs

The Good Son: Won The Polari Prize & The McCrea Literary Award

“The Good Son is a work of genius from a splendid writer.”

Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler

“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.” Donal Ryan

Three LGBT Events For Pride Month

On Saturday I chaired a very special event for Belfast Book Festival with Colm Toibin and Mary Dorcey about the Queer Love anthology – it was such a warm conversation about the growing up LGBT in Ireland.

This Saturday coming, June 19th, I’m doing my first event in the USA for Carlow University (sadly online) with Mary Dorcey again. This time however I’m a guest writer and will be reading from my work.

The third event is with Jamie O’Connell who has also has a story in Queer Love. We’ll be talking about that and our novels.

Do come along – the two upcoming are free!

The 32 Anthology goes to UCD Festival

The @FestivalUCD has over 100 *free* online events across science, arts, performance, wellbeing and more.

The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working-Class Voices

Sat 29 May at 5:00 pm – Sat 29 May at 6:00 pm 


Paul McVeigh is the editor of The 32 – an upcoming collection of essays and memoir, bringing together sixteen well-known writers from working class backgrounds with an equal number of new and emerging writers from all over the island of Ireland. He’ll be in conversation with two of the featured authors Lisa McInerney and Michael Nolan.

Pre-Order here in UK

Talking to Colm Toibin & Shannon Yee about Love

Queer Love: Colm Toibin, Shannon Yee & Paul McVeigh at Belfast Book Festival

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Date Saturday 12 June 2021

Time 8:00 PM

Queer Love seeks to go some way to redress the lack of acknowledgement of the LGBTQI+ community in Irish literary anthologies. The Anthology features a mixture of established writers of international standing, writers who have been making a splash in recent years and new emerging writers. 

Join Anthology Editor Paul McVeigh who will be in conversation with contributors Colm Toibin and Shannon Ye to discuss the book.

Colm Toibin is an Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic, and poet. He is the author of nine novels, including The Master and Brooklyn, and two collections of stories. His play The Testament of Mary was nominated for the Tony Awards for Best Play. He is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books and Chancellor of the University of Liverpool. 

Shannon Ye is an award-winning writer and creative producer. Her perspectives as an immigrant, biracial ethnic minority (Chinese/Caucasian), queer artist-mother with a disability living in Northern Ireland are deeply embedded in her work. Her award-winning, self-produced, Reassembled, Slightly Askew sonically immerses audiences in her autobiographical experience of her acquired brain injury and since it premiered in 2015 has toured locally, nationally and internationally. Her current projects include her first short story collection, a dance film about pandemic parenting, a children’s book about the impact of lockdown on young children’s mental health, and a radio commission. Her short story, The Brightening Up Side,was published in Belfast Stories (Doire Press, 2019), and Thumbnails was published in Queer Love: An Irish Anthology (Southward Editions, 2020), alongside Colm ToíbinEmma Donaghue, and John Boyne. 

Paul McVeigh‘s debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award and was shortlisted for many others including the Prix du Roman Cezam in France. His short stories have appeared in Faber’s Being Various, Kit de Waal’s Common People, The Art of the Glimpse and have been read on Radio 4 and Sky Arts. He is associate director of Word Factory ‘the national organisation for excellence in the short story’ – The Guardian, and he co-founded London Short Story Festival. Paul has edited Belfast StoriesQueer Love: Anthology of Irish Fiction and The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices.

21 Artists for the 21st Century

I’m part of the advisory panel of this mentoring programme for young Northern Irish artists.

A mentor programme designed for 21 outstanding young artists across the full creative spectrum (painters and photographers, film-makers, poets, playwrights and short-story writers, composers and musicians, actors, directors, producers, singers and song-writers) to develop their artistic skills and creative expertise. A host of Northern Ireland’s most talented creatives will nurture and guide young participants, providing crucial career and business guidance to set them on their way to a successful career. 

Check out more information here.

Are you a passionate young artist from Northern Ireland with a story to tell, a song to sing or a picture to share?

We are looking for 21 outstanding young artists across the full creative spectrum (painters and photographers, film-makers, animators, designers, poets, playwrights and short-story writers, composers and musicians, actors, directors, producers, singers and song-writers) who are willing to spend time in the summer of 2021 on developing their artistic skills and creative work.

The successful candidates will each be assigned an experienced mentor (carefully matched to their own needs) to help them bring a creative project to fruition. Some of these will be individual efforts e.g. paintings, photographs, songs, poems or plays. Other artists will work together towards the production of a short play, a dance piece, or an ensemble musical performance etc. Everyone will be encouraged to share their work together at the end of the programme and to find a wider platform through recordings and publication. Where appropriate, successful applicants will be encouraged and supported to make connections through the mentor groups (e.g. composers and musicians, writers and actors, choreographers and dancers etc.).

Each of the 21 successful artists will receive:

– A bursary of £350 a week for the duration of their agreed project

– The support of a designated mentor

– Residential or travel costs and other resources as appropriate for their project

– Access to seminars on career development

– The opportunity to have their work showcased in a high profile cultural event

Please note that during the application process you will be asked to give:

1. An outline of your artistic achievements to date and ambitions for the future (which may include a specific artistic proposal)

2. An example of your work (an artwork or audition piece according to discipline) – this can be uploaded if under 10mb, or you can link to a corresponding Dropbox or Google Drive

3. A reference from a teacher or arts professional

In your application you need to demonstrate that for your stage of creative development you have:

1. An outstanding track record of creativity 

2. An outstanding level of technique 

3. An outstanding level of motivation 

4. Clear potential for further development

Please do apply or share with anyone you think will be interested.