Participants provide their experiences of the courses and consultancy service.
I enjoyed the course thoroughly. It was a game changer over the Covid lockdown. It has instilled the importance of the writing practice and I am keen to keep going [Creative Writing: Intermediate – REMOTE].
Writer from Dublin city centre
I thoroughly enjoyed this course [Creative Writing: Intermediate – REMOTE]. It was so good to be able to present my work in a relaxed atmosphere where I did not ever feel intimidated or undermined. The course content was interesting and varied. The feedback from the tutor was delivered very promptly and was insightful and helpful. I learned loads about different genres and other styles of writing from the sharing of others’ work. It was good fun too!!
Galway City suburbs
[Martin] demystifies being ‘A Writer’ and makes it accessible to anyone, even people with no experience. It’s a very daunting prospect, to start the writing process and you get to dig deep into that topic and everything that surrounds it, without fear. You’re safe to field any and every issue or insecurity that you have about your struggles in beginning to write, and seldom times all the answers are not provided for you, because Martin simply doesn’t know, and he’ll tell you as much, and you get to have a two way discussion about an issue, and that’s one of the most relieving, refreshing and empowering parts about taking this course. It’s completely personal, and it’s completely human. You are speaking, and have time with a true writer that cares and not someone who’s doing it on the side to pay the bills.
I liked the atmosphere of the course. I liked Martin’s approach in way of sharing his wisdom of writing with us, while at the same time, making it clear that this is his experience and that there are many many ways to do this thing. He encourages you and empowers you to find your way. He did this through showing us examples of other writer’s writings and casually telling us stories of other writer’s habits (which was such a cool part of the course, I loved that so much). I loved how Martin really let us into his world, he talked to us as equals, and we discussed anything and everything and that allowed us to get to know each other, get to trust each other and brought us into very honest areas that I’m not used to getting into with other teachers. He was able to dissolve that student teacher barrier, while still maintaining the integrity and respect of the role. I like to think of Martin, not as a teacher but as a mentor, to me there’s a big difference. He’s also a friend – that’s the atmosphere he creates in the room. I found his approach extremely honest and egoless, and that allowed everyone in the class, the freedom to express themselves truthfully, take risks and most importantly, to be comfortable in making mistakes.
I would recommend this course to anyone and everyone, and have done [Creative Writing: Introduction – REMOTE].
Kilkenny & Dublin
I very much appreciated the online weekly feedback on my work. I found it very specific and helpful. Doing the course by Zoom worked very well. Martin was very generous with his time and knowledge (Creative Writing: Intermediate – REMOTE – FLEXI).
Writer from Galway
Very engaging and stimulating course. I don’t think the format suffered from virtual setting.
The introduction and theory each week followed by workshop with writing tasks from the previous week was effective and the topics covered each week were well balanced between practical tips and theory (Creative Writing: Introduction – REMOTE)
I thoroughly enjoyed this course. The group were helpful and encouraging. The feedback was honest. The standard was high. Martin is a very experienced teacher, and the group had an excellent atmosphere because it was well managed. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in writing (Creative Writing: Advanced – REMOTE).
Writer from France
A fun and enjoyable course with a helpful tutor and good feedback from him, as well as other students.(Creative Writing: Advanced – REMOTE)
Enjoyed the varied choice of novels, great to be able to discuss them with a group of like-minded participants. Many enjoyable and sometimes lively debates on aspects of the novels and writers. reading one book a week was a bit of a challenge but very worthwhile. Would recommend course to anyone interested in expanding their literary knowledge [Irish Literature].
From the outset I felt I was being guided and encouraged in a very practical and accessible way in how to be a writer, rather than an observer. I liked the structure of the course, especially the time within the class to write a short piece, often on a theme or in a genre I didn’t think I could attempt. Knowing this was not going to be viewed or discussed in class [before revising later] provided the freedom to do this [Creative Writing: Introduction – REMOTE].
Great fun. Great discussions [Creative Writing: Intermediate – REMOTE].
I like the course, it’s a lot different to other courses I have done [Creative Writing: Introduction – REMOTE].
Writer from Galway
The intermediate course provided the opportunity to further develop skills learnt in the introductory course and the ability to develop a story over the two courses, getting feedback along the way [Creative Writing: Intermediate – REMOTE].
Writer from Mayo.
In an age when it is difficult to find readers–and more specifically, good readers–Martin’s treatment of my novel was a godsend. He delivered spot-on insight with clarity and respect, identifying the strong points of the narrative and those that could use more development or transparency. By viewing my work through his eyes I was able to get around my pre-conceived notions of it and see it as the reader would, allowing me to address it more honestly. Frankly, Martin helped me make it a much better novel. I am indebted to his services.
Author of The Beasts They Turned Away, Epoque Press, 2021
This course [Creative Writing: Introduction] gave me the confidence to take the time to write and be less critical of myself and my writing. Everything you write is not going to be a masterpiece but it is a stepping stone to the finished project. Martin is a wealth of knowledge on writing and encouraged us to experiment and gave us advisements for improvement.
This course [Creative Writing: Introduction] re-ignited my love for writing , and gave me confidence in my abilities. I gained knowledge about different types of writing and skills needed to become a great writer. I looked forward to the class every week, each week I became more and more inspired to go home and work on my projects. This course unlocked writing skills I never knew I had.
Very enjoyable and engaging. A good balance of theory, writing exercises and practical advice.
Lynne O’ Keefe
Very absorbing content from beginning to end. As an amateur, learning the concept of writing, I did not feel overwhelmed by others more professional in the group .
We have worked with Martin on a number of projects, often from project inception. Martin has a great sense of a script and we found his insight into story invaluable in identifying what was working and what wasn’t in various projects. His keen sense of story structure helped enormously in projects that were quite disparate in terms of genre and style. I would advise any script writer to get in touch with Martin early in their process.
Well structured, interactive, informative, fun.
Enjoyed group discussion, different views, enlightening [Irish Literature Course].
Martin has a keen eye for style and substance when it comes to writing. He is an experienced tutor and an accomplished writer. Recently, I sought his feedback for both a fictional piece and a short play I wrote. His critique was constructive, useful and accurate. I would recommend his input into any creative writing project.
Martin and I have worked also together on a number of projects. I directed a play of his, Coathanger, as part of NUIG Theatre Week. I really enjoy his unique style and find his writing to be intriguing and compelling.
Niamh Nic Aodha Bhui
Martin provides an excellent introduction to the History writing process [Write the Good Old Days Workshop].
Excellent support from tutor. Tutor very willing to share his knowledge with novice writers. His guidance is excellent. Wonderful variety of texts for analysis in class.
Writer from Galway
Excellent opportunity to learn about writing with the intention of getting published. Practical course [Creative Writing: Introduction] for those who are serious about getting published for the first time.
An engaging speaker who listens and answers questions in a useful way. Takes a genuine interest in his students.
Writer at Turlough Park workshop