My Writing Masterclass for BBC Radio

Writing Masterclass

‘Belfast writer Paul McVeigh tells us how to write a good story’

This is a short video I made for BBC Radio to help budding writers out there. It includes my advice on best writing books and where to begin. I hope you enjoy it.

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“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

West Cork Literature Festival

The first batch of world-famous West Cork Literary Festival writing workshops are now on sale. I’m honoured to say I’ll be teaching the novel week long workshops (July 13-17) alongside the incredible Paul Muldoon for poetry and Cynan Jones for short story. 

This year the festival will also host Anne Enright, Roxane Gay and Eimear McBride among many others.

The last time I was a West Cork it was wonderful and I met so many amazing writers and did events with Eoin McNamee, Glenn Patterson and Liz Nugent.

Here’s the blurb for my week-long novel course – click here for more info. 

“Over the five days you will look at how to grow your story idea into a novel that grips your reader from start to finish. You will look at that crucial opening that hooks the reader, how to keep the narrative momentum going through that difficult middle and lead to a satisfying ‘inevitable surprise’ of an ending. You will look at creating believable complex characters that stand out and stay with your reader, the many uses of dialogue and how to find your voice. You will explore world building, the importance of setting and how it can become another character in your story. If you are happy to you can share your work-in-progress and get constructive problem-solving focused feedback. The course will finish with advice on what every debut novelist needs to know, covering agents, building a readership and an online presence, making industry connections and a behind-the-scenes look at those coveted literary prizes.”

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Teaching in Spain 2020

Teaching at the Literary Adventure writing retreat in Spain 2020

I’ll be teaching for the wonderful TLC. Here’s the info from their site…

TLC is thrilled to announce the tutor for its Guardian-recommended Literary Adventure writing retreat 2020 is the award-winning novelist Paul McVeigh. Paul will be joining us September 5th-12th 2020 at the beautiful Casa Ana in the Alpujarra region of Spain. Groups are limited to a maximum of 12 writers, to allow writers the creative space and freedom to help develop their projects in a focussed and supportive environment. The retreat is open to writers of fiction and memoir with works in progress.

The Study at Casa Ana

TLC Literary Adventures offers an environment where inspiration and improvisation meet. You will have access to world-class teaching, get a chance to work, read, listen, learn and relax in a stunning setting which will open the mind and senses. The retreat will include morning workshops, free writing time, readings, and optional afternoon sessions including a poetry workshop, a talk about the publishing industry, and a trip to a nearby village offering artisanal products. The week will end with a series of short, focussed one-on-one sessions, and a chance to share work written during the week with your fellow writers. Daily breakfasts, lunches, three 3-course chef cooked dinners at Casa Ana, and accommodation are included in the ticket price. A full programme including details on accommodation, location and booking can be found here, or you can email us directly: aki@literaryconsultancy.co.uk.”

TLC Literary Adventure 2020 Programme
TLC Literary Adventure 2020 Rooms and Fees

Hope to see you there.

16th International Conference On The Short Story In English

I’m attending the 16th International Conference On The Short Story In English in Calabria, Italy, 24-27 June 2020. This will be my third conference (following Vienna and Lisbon) and this time around I’m honored to be asked to teach a class. The details are below.

That Killer First Page

Paul will share what editors, first readers and judges look for in a short story. He will discuss how to get your story published, onto that shortlist and how to avoid the rejection pile. Paul will take you behind the scenes of anthologies, competitions and journals, explaining the psychology of the decision-making process and the importance of ‘That Killer First Page’. He will highlight the essential ingredients to create that crucial story opening. In a form and genre where every word counts, you will get tips on staying focused on your story and where to start the action; you will also get clues on when to stop. For the workshop, you write an opening and get feedback on that. We will look at submission opportunities; how to find them and where you should be sending your stories.

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Teaching at Seamus Heaney HomePlace

That Killer First Chapter with Paul McVeigh – July 6th

Have an idea for a novel and don’t know where to start? Have you finished your novel and want to make sure you get the attention of agents, editors and publishers? This course will help you write a gripping first chapter that avoids the rejection pile.

With lots of no-nonsense advice and practical exercises, this course sold out in London and internationally. Felicity Yap came to the class and her novel Yesterday sold for six figures just two weeks later.

Paul’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 de Roman Cezam in France. The novel was chosen for Brighton’s City Reads and given out around the UK as part of World Book Day. He has written for radio, stage, and television and regularly for The Irish Times. His writing has been translated into seven languages.

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“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.”
Bailey’s Prize-winner Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.”
Donal Ryan

Teaching for Faber Academy

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I’m honoured to be teaching at the excellent Faber Academy from June. Here’s a little bit about the course…

“Wherever you are, whenever suits you, start your novel the right way with six months of structured learning and constructive feedback on your first 15,000 words

28 Weeks – Spend time on your novel, and get it done

Two-Week Sessions – Fit your writing around your other commitments

Small Group – Get to know your fellow writers and their novels

Virtual Classroom – A private space designed specifically for teaching and learning writing skills

One-to-one Feedback – Detailed personal critiques from our tutors, on Skype or over the phone

Regular, Frequent Peer Review – Honest responses from people you trust on your work-in-progress

Focus On Your Novel – No academic essays, no stylistic exercises, just your book

Application Process – To make sure you get the highest quality peer group

24-Hour Tech Support – So you never need to worry that you can’t log in

Find out more today:

Click here to find out what you can expect from your tutor;

Contact us to find out if it’s right for you.”

“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more. ”
Bailey’s Prize-winner Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.”
Donal Ryan