Belleek to Ballyjamesduff: Words and Worlds

Culture Cavan Creative Writing Workshops took place with Dr. Anne F O'Reilly during April and May 2012 at Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff. The work created in these workshops resulted in the beautiful publication - 'Belleek to Ballyjamesduff: Words and Worlds'.

Proposal by Creative Writing Facilitator, Dr Anne F O'Reilly:
Creative writing is an opportunity for people to discover their own voice, and their original and unique mode of self expression. Participants will be encouraged to look at the way their culture, its narratives and myths has shaped them, and to discover how they have a choice in creating the stories that will shape their future. To be heard and witnessed by others allows each person to develop confidence in their own voice, and to come home to themselves.

To have a mix of experienced writers and beginners makes for a very lively group and encourages everyone to remember what the Zen Buddhists call beginner’s mind. Short writing exercises, improvisation, drama, poetry, movement and sound will all be used to kick start the creative process. Selected extracts from published writers in poetry, prose and drama will also be used to expand the participant’s horizons and encourage critical and creative reflection on what makes a gifted writer.
The workshops will emerge organically from the group’s needs and experience, and will build from week to week. Along with writing in the workshops, participants will be encouraged to do homework.

Creative Writing Workshop at Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff


"Dear Savina
I have been meaning to send an email to congratulate you for organising and hosting last month's writers' workshop at the museum. The animator, Anne O'Reilly was an excellent and inspirational tutor and succeeded in getting a small group to think creatively and work together in a friendly atmosphere.
I hope that there will be future occasions to bring similar groups together and with Anne's expertise to help.
Yours sincerely
Celia McClements"


Press Release
At 12:30 pm on Saturday morning 22nd September an excited group of ladies gathered outside the Cavan Courthouse to embark on a journey which would lead them to the launch and readings of their first publication ‘Belleek to Ballyjamesduff: Words & Worlds’.

This book came about as a result of the Creative Writing Workshops which were held by Culture Cavan during the months of April and May 2012. The Belleek element in the title came about as a group of enthusiastic ladies travelled each Thursday from Belleek to Cavan County Museum in Ballyjamesduff to share their creativity and stories. This true series of recollections and creative work is complimented by an illustration by group member and ceramicist Julie Shiels.

Culture Cavan is a project which is funded by the International Fund for Ireland together with Cavan County Council to promote participation among groups in the border regions. These Workshops gave this group of ladies the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings and put these thoughts and feelings on paper. There are four sections to the book which are Memories and Musings, Haiku, Poetry and Short Fiction. Each section is made up of stories, imagination and feelings which ignite memories for those who listen to or read the stories themselves. The workshop was facilitated by Dr Anne F O Reilly.

This book is available for purchase in Cavan Genealogy and Crannóg Book Shop.

Geraldine McCauley reads her work in Belleek at the launch of the publication
People gather in Belleek to support the writers at the launch of 'Belleek to Ballyjamesduff: Words and Worlds'
Sue Ellen Smith reads from Belleek to Ballyjamesduff: Words and Worlds
Workshop participant, Maura Patterson shares her work in Belleek
Ita Madden reads to the audience at the launch
Picture of Creative Writing Workshop participants together with facilitator Anne F O’Reilly

Front row: Ita Madden, Charlotte Browne, Dr Anne F O’Reilly Facilitator, Kate Ennals, Sue Ellen Smith, Julie Shiels, Patricia King.
Back row: Margaret Mortimer, Pauline McGovern, Marie Rogers, Geraldine McCauley, Patricia Doole, Wendy Swan, Leila Beattie, Maura Patterson, Brid Gormley and Culture Cavan Co-ordinator Ann O'Reilly.
Belleek to Ballyjamesduff publication

See Dr. Anne F O'Reilly's Creative Writing website
Extracts from Publication