From now until June 2017 I have the great privilege of being the dlr Writer in Residence. I have a lovely room on the top floor of the Lexicon Library in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin and I’m hosting lots of book clubs, writing clubs and book events. October has been such a fun month.
Teen Creatives with Dave Rudden
We kicked off our Teen Creatives series with a writing workshop with the wonderful Dave Rudden. Dave’s first book, Knights of the Borrowed Dark came out in March this year and is a stunning piece of work – a fantasy-adventure with lots of twists.
Dave explained that his book is basically a ‘Kid Discovers Magic’ story – but he made it different to all the other books based on a similar premise (including a certain young wizard) by asking himself questions about the plot and the main character.
Who is the kid? Denizen Hardwick
When does his discover his magic? In an orphanage on the day he turns 13
What happens next?
‘On a particularly dark night, the gates of Crosscaper Orphanage open to a car that almost growls with power. The car and the man in it retrieve Denizen with the promise of introducing him to a long-lost aunt. But on the ride into the city, they are attacked. Denizen soon learns that monsters can grow out of the shadows. And there is an ancient order of knights who keep them at bay. Denizen has a unique connection to these knights, but everything they tell him feels like a half-truth. If Denizen joins the order, is he fulfilling his destiny, or turning his back on everything his family did to keep him alive?’
He gave a fantastic workshop – thanks, Dave!
The Book Club gave Boy by Roald Dahl the thumbs up and also loved Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan. Everyone agreed that the artwork was amazing.
Next month’s books are Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers and Beyond the Stars, edited by me!
The young writers visited the Municipal Gallery in the Lexicon and wrote short pieces about some of the art works. We talked about the art and how it made us feel. It’s a wonderful exhibition called Lines of Negotiation and is all about our relationship with the landscape.
Have you ever written a short story inspired by the landscape? I’d be interested to know.
St Michan’s Crypt
I also visited our family crypt under St Michan’s Church in Dublin. It was quite the experience. If you’ve never been down there, do go – it’s fascinating and full of history.
Dalkey Library Baby Book Club
I was back in Dalkey for Baby Book Club and we made these spooky ghosts with cotton wool. Our theme: Hallowe’en of course!
Writer in Residence Podcasts
I made some podcasts, interviewing writers and recommending books. Here is one of the videos and there are more here:
More about my Writer in Residence year next month! Until then, happy reading and writing, everyone!