Beginner’s Pluck

Sarah Franklin

Before attending university, Sarah spent a year in Austria working as an au pair. Gaining her degree at 23, she worked in London for a high-school exchange programme, but at 29, she switched to publishing. “I…

Read more

Donnacha Clifford

Donnacha has always had two passions in life; cycling and reading. “As a child I’d read everything,” he says. “I’d get lost in the adventures of Enid Blyton.  I’ve always journaled too – and scribbled things…

Read more

Orlagh Collins

After college in Dublin, Orlagh worked in the production department for various films, then she left for London and worked in the city in IT recruitment. “I stayed there for 18 months to earn some money,…

Read more

S. A. Dunphy

A voracious reader, Shane always liked crime. He was first published aged 11, getting a story in a collection by children for children, but he was so badly teased for writing it, that he didn’t try…

Read more

Meg Grehan

A keen writer as a child, Meg stopped at college because she was too busy. When she left she was feeling a bit down, and she moved, with her girlfriend, to Donegal. “It was a snap…

Read more

Maria Hoey

Maria left school at 16 and took an office job in Swords. “I always hated school. I took my Leaving Certificate myself,  in 1979.” She married at 20, had a daughter at 21, but two years…

Read more

Faith Hogan

Faith wrote poems as a teenager, but as an adult got diverted. She has worked as a model, and in Penneys, and whilst taking her degree did a stint in arts administration, but since graduating, has…

Read more

Eithne Shortall

Eithne has always wanted to achieve things young. She was first published aged 11, receiving £20 for a poem. At 21, she joined The Sunday Times, but took a break after a year to live in…

Read more

Phil Harrison

Brought up in the Presbyterian background in Belfast, Phil wanted to be a footballer – he played at a high amateur level throughout his twenties. Meanwhile, he worked for a consultancy, leaving after two years in…

Read more

Andrea Mara

Andrea’s family moved around a lot; from Mallow to Tullamore; to Carrigaline, and finally, to Dublin. Andrea has always believed in the power of words. She debated at school, but went on to work as a…

Read more

Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney has always written fiction, but she concentrated on poetry in her teens. When she took her Masters at Trinity, she was working in two different jobs. “I worked in a restaurant, and at Trinity,…

Read more

Arja Kajermo

Arja’s early childhood in Finland was mired in poverty. Her father had been damaged after fighting in the second world war. “Finland had to fight the Russians twice under different circumstances.” When she was six, the…

Read more