Beginner’s Pluck

Alan McMonagle

As a child Alan penned epic adventure and science fiction stories, but he stopped writing for many years. After school, he took a diploma, then he drifted through his twenties. “I spent time in London and…

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Ally Bunbury

Ally was brought up in a beautiful but basic rambling house in Monaghan, with three sisters and 56 varieties of animals including ponies, a pig, and a goat. Between school and college  she spent a year…

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Andrew Tierney

An architectural historian, Andrew has taught in various places, including UCD – where he specialised in The Irish Country House, and Liverpool, where he taught Irish Studies. He works for the Buildings of Ireland charitable trust,…

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Stephan Abarbanell

Stephan always liked writing, and especially loved telling his children stories. “I was always starting books – I   was the king of great beginnings – but I could never finish a one. There was always the…

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Joan Brady

After school Joan worked in various jobs, as a secretary, and a barmaid, then, taking a course in journalism, she scooped a job with Independent Newspapers. “I wrote features in The Irish Independent and The Evening…

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Ali Land

A voracious reader, Ali always had the ability to use language and tell stories. She worked as a children’s mental health nurse for 10 years – in Scotland and Australia, before moving to London at 33….

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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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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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