Writing Retreat on the
Wild Atlantic Way
By Sean Hillen, Contributor
May 15, 2015
A creative writing retreat with a difference takes place this summer on Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way.
Golf outings, Irish dancing, Celtic legend hikes, live traditional music, classes in Gaeilge language and practical training workshops hosted by published authors – Ireland’s most innovative and multi-faceted creative writing retreat offers something for every taste.
Located amid the beautiful necklace of islands, mountains and lakes on the inspiring Wild Atlantic Way in west Donegal, one of the most beautiful regions in the entire country, the Ireland Writing Retreat boasts among its writing trainers John DeDakis, long-time senior editor on CNN’s “The Situation Room” hosted by Wolf Blitzer and author of three novels in the thriller genre, “Fast Track,” “Bluff” and “Troubled Water.”
John, who once interviewed the man nicknamed the “Master of Suspense,” Alfred Hitchcock, director of such movies as The Birds, Dial M for Murder, and Psycho, will fly directly from Washington DC to host workshops at the retreat.
Other published authors who will be writing guides and trainers at the writing retreat include:
Crime writer Anthony Quinn, whose debut novel Disappeared was this month long listed for the 2015 Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year alongside Lee Child, Ian Rankin and 15 others. The novel was also selected as one of the five best debut novels by book critics from The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and The San Francisco Chronicle, among other daily newspapers.
Rachel Kelly, who’s non-fiction book, Mark Antony and Popular Culture: Masculinity and the Construction of an Icon, with emphasis on the historical figure’s relationship with Cleopatra, was published last year. Kelly’s novel, The Edge of Heaven, also won the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair Competition 2014.
Kenneth Gregory, fantasy novelist and mythologist, perhaps Ireland’s answer to the R.A. Salvatore/Robert Jordan/ Marion Zimmer Bradley combo, whose novel, The Polaris Whisper, the first in a trilogy, was published by Blackstaff Press and featured an inspiring, theatrical-style launch.
John Sean Hillen, international journalist and author who worked for The Irish Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Sunday Times, as well as the BBC and the United Nations Media Center in New York. Aside from Digging for Dracula, – which has been described as “an informative, light-hearted intra-country travelogue” – Sean has written several books on media. His travel and entertainment articles have appeared in a wide range of print and digital publications including JustLuxe and Examiner.com.
The retreat is structured as an all-inclusive cultural experience, so boat rides and tours, special Celtic legend hikes, ceilidhe dancing, and live traditional music concerts are included in the week-long package. Participants and their partners stay at the boutique hotel Teac Jack, which offers panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged northwestern Irish coastline – perfect for staring into for inspiration. And fans of golfing have four courses to choose from: Gweedore Golf Club, Dunfanaghy Golf Club, Cloughaneely Golf Club, and Cruit Island Golf Club.
This means partners can each pursue their own interests, one taking up the pen and the other the golf club, then share their thoughts in the evenings over a wonderful dinner at Teac Jack. Who knows? Perhaps a best-selling romance, thriller, or sci-fi novel (perhaps even centering on golf?) could emerge from such a union of minds.
So, sign up, and bring your partner along. ♦
The Ireland Writing Retreat takes place between Sunday, June 28 and Saturday, July 4, with a weekend option.