See & Do
Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat is a tranquil spot set apart to nurture and to provide sanctuary for novice as well as experienced people working in the creative arts. Whether you retreat to work on your own project or as part of a workshop retreat group, you will find support, creature comforts, and peace – all you need to do your best work.
An all-inclusive, year-round residential retreat, Anam Cara offers private as well as common working rooms and five acres of walking paths, quiet nooks and crannies, gardens, a labyrinth meadow, cascades and a river island.
To help fulfil Anam Cara’s purpose and to let the breezes off Coulagh Bay clear your creative path, we recommend a stay of at least a week. Your hostess, Sue Booth-Forbes, an experienced writer and editor creates an ambience and a daily schedule for you to focus your energies on your artistic endeavours.
In the evenings you may wish to share your work in conversation with others in front of a turf fire or simply watch the sun set in the magical west of Ireland sky.
Contact us for more information about Anam Cara and our creative workshop retreats.
Proprioceptive Writing: Led by Kaitlin Briggs
6th - 13th April 2019
This year marks the third time that Kaitlin has conducted this invaluable writing workshop. In this workshop. you will learn the basics of Proprioceptive Writing* (PW) while in a dynamic community of others doing the same. This method is accessible, healing—and transformative. Learn how to voice your own experience and interact with thought flow. Learn how to follow your felt sense and make your writing—your own. Unearth new images, content, ideas, and stories; Unravel thinking knots—all through writing. You may be searching for a place to begin, or you may want to bring your work to a deeper level. In both cases, PW lays a foundation for creative work and gives you a process to return to. Artists, poets, aspiring and accomplished writers, non-writers alike find a PW workshop to be an uncommon event.
▪ Proprioceptive Writing (PW) is not formal writing, nor stream-of-consciousness writing but a regular, disciplined practice that can deepen attention and free us to think, write, and speak with strength and clarity. We write together to music and candlelight in 25-minute sessions taking the emphasis off writing, and focusing on the experience of inner hearing. (See Writing the Mind Alive, http://pwriting.org/)
18th - 25th May 2019
The goal of Evelyn's workshops is to share her painting knowledge and experience with each student in the way that will best help them to further their own personal development. The small group size means lots of personal attention. You will have as much of Evelyn’s time as you wish and require! There are demonstrations at the beginning of each day and one on one demonstrations go on throughout the day.
To view Evelyn’s work and read recommendations from students, please visit her website: https://www.evelyndunphy.com.
An Artistic Journey, Sketchbook Retreat: Explore Your Creative Artist with Beara Artist Ida Mitrani
8th - 15th June 2019
This workshop is ideal for total beginners as well as more advanced artists. Participants will capture the beautiful surroundings of Beara and the grounds of Anam Cara in a sketchbook using a variety of techniques including sketching, colour mixing, painting, mixed media and collage while finding new ways of developing ideas in an imaginative way. The sketchbook will reflect the participant’s personal journey and will be a memento of the time spent in Beara. Ida will be a personal guide for each student through this memorable and creative journey discovering the beautiful region and its flora. Note: Some materials will be provided during the course, however a list of required materials will be sent before the course starts.
https://www.facebook.com/IdaMitraniArtist.ArtTeacher/; www.idamitrani.org; Instagram: idamitraniartist
Fact into Fiction: Using Your Own Factual Stories as Inspiration for Fictional and Poetic Narratives
22nd - 29th June 2019
In this week-long creative writing workshop, writers Nessa O’Mahony and Peter Salisbury will use a variety of techniques drawn from creative writing, drama and film to explore the creation of fictional narratives drawn from factual and real-life sources. Topics to be covered include:
• Exploring our own family histories creatively
• Looking at the sources, and how to use them
• Ethical issues
• Creative issues
• Participants’ own stories
Nessa O’Mahony is a poet and novelist who teaches creative writing for the Open University and the American College. Her novel, The Branchman, based on her grandfather’s exploits in post Civil War Ireland, was published in 2018. Peter Salisbury is an award-winning film-maker and writer working in both factual and fictional moving images.
It’s Never Too Late to Write! Led by Vanessa Gebbie
1st - 7th September 2019
Writing, including learning to write well and then finding ways to share your work with readers is not restricted to those with youth on their side. Writing is for us all – but sometimes, you’d be forgiven for thinking it isn’t.
Maybe you’ve tried to write, and life has got in the way. You are not alone – many of us make a real effort to fit our creative endeavours around lives already busy with jobs, family, other responsibilities.
This is an invitation to give yourself a gift – the gift of time at Anam Cara, for yourself.
Remind yourself that you can do this, and give yourself an opportunity to kick start those wonderful ideas that keep popping up, supported by an experienced tutor who didn’t start writing herself until … well, you’ll find out!
Now, with her tenth book on the shelves, Vanessa Gebbie will support you, sharing her experience and her love of writing – whether you want to focus on short fiction, novel-length fiction, poetry, memoir.
Who knows, this busy week, in the company of like-minded creatives, might be a life-changer.
Vanessa Gebbie’s first book, Words from a Glass Bubble (Salt Modern Fiction), containing many of her prize-winning short stories, was published in 2008. Her books since include The Coward’s Tale (a novel, Bloomsbury UK/USA 2011) which became a Financial Times Novel of the Year and won her a Gladstone’s Library Residency; two further collections of short stories (2010 and 2017); and two collections of poetry, the first of which, a pamphlet entitled The Half-Life of Fathers (Pighog Publishing), was chosen by the TLS as one of the best of 2012. She was also commissioned to create a textbook on writing - the result, Short Circuit: Guide to the Art of the Short Story, including craft chapters by 26 acclaimed writers of the form, is recommended reading on many Creative Writing courses in the UK and beyond. Her 10th book, a collection of short, short fictions entitled Nothing to Worry About, is forthcoming in 2018 from Flash International at Chester University.
She particularly enjoys where her writing has taken her: into teaching and mentoring widely, passing on her love of writing to both young people and adults, to different places both in the UK and abroad, and into creative collaborations with other artists. A particular interest is the Great War and she organises visits to the Western Front every year. Her collection Memorandum: Poems for the Fallen (Cultured Llama Books, 2016) inspired three visual artists to create artworks in response in painted glass, photography and letter-cutting on Welsh slate. The resulting exhibition: Reflections, the response of four women artists to the Great War centenary, has been touring venues in Sussex, where she lives.
She is hugely grateful that her work has been supported by The Arts Council Grants for the Arts, residencies at both Gladstone’s Library and Anam Cara Writers And Artists’ Retreat in Ireland, and a Hawthornden Fellowship.
The road winds ahead toward another destination, another adventure. Through rock and rush, from sea to sky, let Beara take you on a voyage of discovery.