Workshop: Place Writing with Cal Flyn

Time and date

Monday 10 July 2023

3 days

9:30 am

2:30 pm


Whiddy Island

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The ticket price includes the daily ferry to and from Whiddy Island. This workshop will run from Monday 10 to Wednesday 12 July, from 9.30am to 2.30pm each day with two breaks built in to each day.

In this three-day course on place writing, which encompasses travel, landscape, and nature, we will discuss the basic techniques required to capture 'the spirit of a place'. The workshop will combine timed writing exercises, close reading, and group discussion.

Max: 15 participants

Admission: €245 including ferry


The Act of Noticing: the basic element of writing

In which we practice specificity in description, and discuss how to balance descriptive writing with pace/action. We also discuss what we enjoy in other people’s writing, trying to identify what it is that we are trying to achieve when we write about place.


Feel your way: writing sensory descriptions

We are often advised to write using all our senses. But do you really know what that means? We experiment with writing descriptively about sound, taste, and smell. Do people have the language to do so? We look at examples where writers use unusual levels of specificity in sensory description.


Animal to Animal: writing encounters with other species

In nature writing, particularly, we relate times when we come face to face with other animals. How can we get across this sensation without resorting to anthropomorphizing or ‘othering’?


Time travel: taking control of pace

In a series of timed exercises we examine how we might take control of the experience of time passing in our work. Can you speed up and slow down? Can you write a narrative that unfolds more slowly than ‘real time’?


‘People and place: other voices and other lives’

In writing about place, it’s often necessary to write about the people who move through it and live in it. We discuss ethics, approaches, and pick apart some excellent examples from the travel genre which seek to capture the collective personality of a place


Time to share

Participants are asked to share some new writing they have produced over the course, and to reflect on what they have learned. We discuss goals going forward and recommend writers.


Cal Flyn

Cal Flyn is an author and journalist from the Highlands of Scotland. Previously she has been a reporter for both The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph, and a contributing...

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