Beginner’s Pluck


Ronan Ryan

When Ronan was 19, a close friend of his died – and a year later he started writing about her. “The words came out like a torrent. I accidentally wrote a 200 page memoir. Writing electrified…

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Rory Gleeson

Rory’s parents made sure that he became a reader. “They insisted on it. It was all Roald Dahl. Then, at 13, I discovered Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown trilogy. I found it accessible, fun and empathetic.’ After college…

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Emily Barr

As a child, Emily listened to the sound of the type-writer, as her father, a professor of film studies, wrote books on the subject. “I always wanted to write, and wrote terrible poetry as a teen,…

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Katherine Arden

It took Katherine a long time to decide to become a writer. “I wrote a lot in high school,” she says, “but when I went to college I wanted to be a diplomat and travel the…

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Writer Helena Mulkerns, photograph by Conor Horgan

Helena Mulkerns

Daughter of an independent film maker, and niece of an author, Helena has always been encouraged to read and write. “I wrote stories in copy books, and even had a table of contents.” After college, Helena…

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Karl Geary

A dyslexic, who was terrified of books, Karl left school without exams. Leaving Dublin for New York at 16, he started reading, loving the vibrant arts scene in East Village. “When you need to fill gaps…

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Seán Ó Súilleabháin

  Seán has written plays since he was a teenager. “I was greatly encouraged at my school, and I wrote plays in college too.” Originally keen to become a journalist, Seán soon realised the job was…

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Max Dickins

Max got into writing at university. “My confidence to write came through other things,” he says. “I got into performing sketch and stand-up comedy. I loved that idea of taking something and performing it, and getting…

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Lesley Allen

Visits to the library were once the highlight of Lesley Allen’s life. She loved writing too. “I always penned stories. I wrote plays, and my dolls acted them out.” Lesley worked, unhappily, in PR before sidestepping…

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Erik Beck Rubin

Erik got into writing through his passion for reading. “I wrote for the university newspaper, then started writing the stories that weren’t there for me to read.” An amateur pianist, Erik gained his love of classical…

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Fiona Harrison

A prolific reader, as a child Fiona Harrison  wrote stories about Roland Rat who would help Margaret Thatcher run the government. She has worked as a journalist for 15 years. “I did my NCTJ training, then cut…

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Jess Kidd

When she was a child, Jess wrote plays, and roped her friends into performing them. She  started writing it earnest when she attended college. Dropping out, when she became pregnant with her daughter, Jess worked in…

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