It must be the chiller winds and browning leaves, not to mention the crab apples ripening on the tree outside my window, but thoughts turn to the new academic year, and the various courses I’ll be teaching.

As I write, there are still some spaces available on the 10-week Finding the Story Course which I facilitate at the Irish Writers Centre in Parnell Square. It’s a day-time course, running from 11am to 1pm and starting on Wednesday 24th September.

I look at all aspects of narrative – structure, characterisation, use of imagery, setting as well as the various genre and forms available. There’ll be a follow on course in the Spring but Finding the Story is also pretty self-contained. You’ll get more details, and booking forms etc, on

There’s also still time to book a slot in the Open University’s Advanced Creative Writing Course A363. This course focusses on dramatic techniques and how they can be adapted to all forms of writing and is a follow on from the OU’s Creative Writing A215 course. This is a substantial commitment, as it takes place over a full academic year, from October to May, and it involves a number of assignments that require you to write, adapt, critique, but by the end of the course you are guaranteed to have produced a body of work, and will have got significant one to one feedback from me as course tutor. This course is a mixture of face to face tutorials (2) and online tutorials, as well as ongoing forum discussion via Moodle. More details are to be found on