Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Workshop Schedule for 2010 -- So Far!

Creating Compelling Characters
Workshop Guide: Susan Hubbard

One-week Residential Retreat, arriving Saturday, 5 June and departing Saturday, 12 June

"Building three-dimensional characters out of words is an essential part of a writer's craft. Creating characters who are plausible, yet not stereotypical, is central to writing poetry, fiction, essays, plays, and memoirs alike. We aspire to create not merely realistic characters, but fascinating ones who will go on to haunt our readers.

"This intensive workshop invites you to construct a character who will inhabit your next poem, novel, story, or nonfiction piece. Mornings are devoted to discussions, writing exercises, and workshops. Afternoons allow time to write, complete assignments, explore the countryside, or schedule one-on-one conferences with Susan. Evenings are for dining, socializing, dreaming, or writing on your own. Whether you are an aspiring or an experienced writer, this week offers you insights into your character and guidance in finishing your next creative project. We also discuss a range of topics important to the creative writer, including how to get published, find an agent, build a writing discipline, and secure a creative support system.

"Anam Cara is an ideal setting for writers to come together, work hard, savor Sue's excellent cooking, and find sustained inspiration. By the week's end, you'll be refreshed, renewed, and inspired, and you'll return home in the company of a character ready to propel your next work to completion."

Susan Hubbard ( is the award-winning author of six internationally published books, including The Society of S (Simon & Schuster, 2007) and The Year of Disappearances (Simon & Schuster, 2008). Her seventh, The Season of Risks, will be published in 2010. Hubbard's short story collection, Blue Money, won the Janet Heidinger Kakfa Prize for best book of prose by an American woman published in 1999. Her first book, Walking on Ice, received the AWP Short Fiction Prize. Hubbard co-edited 100% Pure Florida Fiction, an anthology. Her short fiction has appeared in TriQuarterly, The Mississippi Review, Ploughshares, and other journals. Her fiction has been translated and published in more than fifteen countries.

Hubbard is Professor of English at the University of Central Florida, and she's taught summer workshops for Cornell University, Stonecoast Writers Workshop, and Split Rock Arts Program. She has received teaching awards from Syracuse University, Cornell University, the University of Central Florida, and the South Atlantic Administrators of Departments of English. Her writers' residencies include Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Djerassi Resident Artists' Project, and Cill Rialaig. In 2002-03, she served as President of Associated Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

The Poem and the Dream
Leaders: Paula Meehan and Juliet Clancy
One-week residential retreat, arriving Saturday, 19 June and departing Saturday, 26 June

Following on from the success of this workshop at Anam Cara in 2008 and 2009, The Poem and the Dream is a midsummer poetry workshop using dreamwork as a tool for poets to make connections to their poetry and as a guide to reading and understanding the poems of self and others. The focus will be poetry, making it and making it better. This workshop is suitable for those starting out and those already writing poetry.

Paula Meehan is an award-winning Irish poet and playwright and a member of Aosdána (established to honour those artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland), and Juliet Clancy is a dreamworker whose mentor is internationally-known dreamworker Jeremy Taylor.

Finding the Story
Leaders: Nessa O'Mahony and Peter Salisbury
Three-day Residential Retreat, arriving 1 July and departing 4 July

Narrative is one of humankind's most ingrained instincts. From the beginnings of time, we have sought ways to tell our story, and that of the world around us. Even in this brave new world of technology, we remain captured by good storytellers, whatever the medium. This workshop will lead participants on a journey to discover narrative technique, using a variety of creative writing and drama practices. The workshop will focus on story outlining, finding and building conflict, plot development and resolution, with individual sessions on how we generate story ideas, how characters generate plot and vice versa, and how we build plot and make it credible and enticing. Participants will be asked to respond to a variety of stimulus and will come to understand the narrative structure inherent in all forms of writing.

Led by Dublin-based writer Nessa O'Mahony and drama facilitator Peter Salisbury, the workshop is aimed at writers of all genres who wish to develop their skills in narrative. Nessa O'Mahony is an award-winning poet who has published two collections of poetry and a verse novel (In Sight of Home, Salmon Poetry, May 2009), and has a PhD in Creative Writing. Peter Salisbury is a writer, director, and drama facilitator, whose clients include The Gaiety School of Acting and the National Learning Network.

Writing from Within: Haiku and the Spiritual Dimension
Leaders: Maeve O'Sullivan and Kim Richardson
A One-week Residential Retreat, arriving Saturday, 17 July and departing Saturday, 24 July

Following on from the success of their "Writing from Within" workshops held at Anam Cara in July 2007, 2008, and 2009, this workshop is designed to help you develop paths to your inner inspiration -- the path within. Toward this goal, the group will work with the ancient medium of haiku poetry and its related forms, with their links to Zen and its emphasis on mindfulness. Combining the haiku work with meditation, breath and light practices, the outstanding natural beauty of the Béara Peninsula, and the peace and quiet of Anam Cara, the aim is to heighten levels of awareness and to open creative channels.

Maeve O'Sullivan is a leading Irish haiku poet, a founding member of Haiku Ireland, and an experienced haiku workshop leader, and Kim Richardson is a published haiku poet and experienced leader of meditation retreats. Maeve and Kim are joint authors of the haiku collection Double Rainbow, which was launched by Alba Publishing in 2005 and received a number of favourable reviews (see

The Art of Seeing in Ireland: A Workshop for Photographers, Writers, and Visual Artists
Leader: Patrick Keough
One-week Residential Retreat, arriving Saturday, 31 July and departing Saturday, 7 August 2010

The Art of Seeing workshop will give participants creative techniques and exercises for developing heightened awareness (hypersensitivity) to the world, to look beyond mundane and commonplace subject matter, and to break external visual references down into basic lines, forms, colors, values, and textures -- to abstract (frame) these commonplace external references into new and visually interesting compositions in both words and pictures. It's all about learning to see as an artist. These techniques can be applied to any art form; however, we will be focusing on writing (journaling), photography, and sketching during the retreat.

Patrick Keough has taught art, photography, journalism and graphic design for the Community College System of North Carolina for 25 years. He was the Chairman of the Society for Photographic Education Southeast Region from 1996-1999, won First Place for his digital photograph Eyeries Village at the 2002 Carteret Arts Council Art from the Heart Juried Exhibit, and exhibited his Ireland photographs at the Secret Garden Gallery on Ocracoke, North Carolina in 2003. He also showed is Ireland images at Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat and Gallery in Southwest Ireland in the Fall of 2003. He had a One-Man Show of his Ireland photographs at the Jacksonville Arts Council's Gallery during June and July of 2005. Keough published his first book Einstein Place and other Stories in 2006 and has been publishing a series of "blurb" books on his family, travels and journals since 2007. Images from Patrick's, and his daughter Andei's, last trip to Ireland can be seen at: . For more of his work, see:

Visual Storytelling
Leader: Selia Honig
One-week Residential Retreat, arriving Saturday, 14 August and departing Saturday, 21 August

Art making, is, at its best, a communication medium. The story it tells transcends the experience of the maker and speaks more broadly about the experience of being human. The task of the artist, for the most part, is to find a story and the exact materials necessary to do that story justice.

This workshop will allow you to explore visual art making in a variety of media using the landscape of the Beara Peninsula, and the peaceful setting of Anam Cara, as inspiration. Through guided visual journaling and flexible time to explore media and content interests, this week will help you examine and focus on the relationship between narrative, material, and meaning to develop a richer vocabulary in both the craft of visual art making and its function relative to storytelling.

In the mornings, there will be exercises and prompts to both inspire and demonstrate different approaches to visual art making. In the afternoon, these activities can be more fully developed into more finished pieces, or may provide the seed for a series of images done individually or collaboratively, that focus on the narrative. There will be ample opportunities for both peer feedback and as well as individual feedback by the instructor.

This workshop is appropriate for both novices wishing to explore visual art making as well as more experienced artists, and will provide a supportive and rich environment for personal growth in visual art making.

Selila Honig is a visual artist and an award-winning short story writer. She is also an instructor at the Corcoran College of Art in Design, teaching courses in both digital media design, fine art studio, and teacher education. She is studying for a doctorate in teacher education and the arts and frequently writes and speaks on the issues facing the art education field.

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