Beginner’s Pluck

Laura McKenna

An avid reader, Laura loved poetry as a child. “I was always writing, and I entered a few competitions,” she says. Early in her career as a doctor, Laura worked in a Dublin drug treatment centre….

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Charlotte McConaghy

As a child, Charlotte lived in 21 different houses – moving constantly, around Australia. “Reading became my anchor. My mum suggested I should write a book. I started at 14, and three years later the book…

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Kerri Ni Dochartaigh.

Kerri started writing a journal, aged 5, and she has been writing one ever since. After a trauma filled childhood in Derry, (Kerri’s family was burnt out, then hounded out,) followed by University in Dublin, Kerri…

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Sharon Dempsey

Sharon started her writing career in journalism. “I took an MA in London, then I Moved to Cardiff, stayed for 10 years, and had my first two children.” She freelanced in journalism and also in PR….

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Una Mannion

Although Una has always been a prolific reader, it wasn’t until she was an adult that she felt a hunger to write. “That came at 20,” she says. “But I took another 20 years to actually…

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Allie Reynolds

An outdoor child, Allie started snowboarding when she was 20. “I went to a dry slope.” Afterwards university, Allie took a TEFAL course in Barcelona. “I went to Andorra to snowboard every weekend, and I spent…

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Rachel Ryan

Rachel has always wanted to be a novelist. She wrote her first book, running to 16 chapters, when she was at primary school. “I was always into imaginary worlds,” she says. After University, Rachel hopped from…

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Eleanor Hooker

Eleanor has been a secret writer all her life. After School she trained as a general nurse in Jervis street, where she met her husband, and became a staff nurse in intensive care. She trained as…

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Helen Corcoran

Helen decided to become a writer at eight years old. “I read an Amelia Jane book by Enid Blyton, and realised it was what I wanted to do. I wrote my first book at 11. It…

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Eoin Lane

Eoin won his first art competition aged six. And at seventeen, following his father’s death, he won a Francis McManus inaugural award for a short story. Spending childhood holidays in Connemara, he loved painting the landscape….

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Susan Farrell

A prolific reader, Susan had read her way through most of Conan Doyle’s books by the age of 11. But her passion, as a child, was cooking. “My school didn’t encourage it, so I took my…

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Elaine Feeney

From a farming background of five children, Elaine was a quiet, observant child – a watcher. “I read a Kavanagh poem in secondary school and felt his isolation. I read Dylan Thomas aloud to myself at…

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