Literary Workshops 2019

Essays, Life-Writing and Memoir with Sinéad Gleeson

Brid O'Donovan

Essays, Life-Writing and Memoir with Sinéad Gleeson

Sinéad Gleeson

Colaiste Pobail Bheanntraí

Mon 15 July to Fri 19 July 2019

09:30 AM


Age Range


There are many ways to tell a story, and the essay is one of the most elastic forms in contemporary writing. Many of literature’s most daring writers of the self have used auto-fiction, memoir and personal essays to write about their lives and the world, from James Baldwin and Joan Didion, to John Jeremiah Sullivan and Maggie Nelson. Sinéad Gleeson explores the art of the essay, past and present, focusing on the skills required for life-writing and first-person non-fiction. This workshop will discuss how to put ideas into practice, beginnings and structure, making the personal universal and learning how to extract the key elements of your own story.


Sinéad Gleeson’s essays have appeared in Granta, Winter Papers, Gorse, Banshee and Elsewhere Journal. In 2019 her debut essay collection, Constellations is published by Picador (April); she has a short story in Being Various: New Irish Writing (Faber, May 2019) and is the 2019 Writer in Residence in UCD. She is the editor of three short story anthologies, including The Long Gaze Back: an Anthology of Irish Women Writers (2015) and The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland, both of which won Best Irish Published Book at the Irish Book Awards. She has contributed poems and short stories to various anthologies and is currently working on a novel.