Beginner’s Pluck

Dara McAnulty

Dara has always been passionate about the natural world. “I remember, when I was very small, watching pigeons for hours. My interest developed from there.” At just 16, Dara has long been recognised for his knowledge…

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Laura Imai Messina

As a child, Laura read Fairy Tales and books by the Bronte’s; “And my mother introduced us to the Famous Five and the Secret Seven by Enid Blyton. I loved them!” Laura kept a diary, and…

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Susannah Dickie

A voracious reader, Susannah got her love of books from her grandmother; but as a child she wanted to be an artist with celebrity status. “I started writing prose poetry at university,” she says. “The poems…

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Liadan Hynes.

Liadán has always wanted to write – English was her best subject, but being shy, she hated it when her work was read out in front of the class. She wanted to be a journalist, but…

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Giles Dawnay

During university holidays Giles worked for an adventure company. He taught in Kenya, before setting up a division in Peru. He returned often, leading mountaineering expeditions. And after graduation, he worked in Ghana, then Fiji, as…

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Niamh Campbell

At 7, Niamh asked for a real typewriter for Christmas. “I paid for my own ribbons and had to conserve ink. I’ve always known I’d be a writer, but it’s hard to write well. It took…

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Finbar Lennon

The eldest of five, Finbar spent the first two years of his life in England. “But in 1950 my father worked as a dispensary doctor in County Meath. Then we moved to Edenderry.”  He met Kate…

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Stephanie Scott

A lifelong book lover, Stephanie started writing poetry at University. Studying for a PhD, and needing funds, she secured a job with Lehmann Brothers on a graduate programme. “But I was headhunted before the bank fell….

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John O’Donnell

A prize-winning poet who was published from the time he was at school, John O’Donnell has four poetry collections to his name. But having enjoyed writing stories as a kid, he then stopped penning them for…

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Leaf Arbuthnot

As a teenager, Leaf set herself writing exercises for fun, but reading has always been more central for her. “It still is. Reading feeds into me. It’s crucial.” Writing for newspapers throughout university, and her fellowship,…

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Abbie Greaves

Always mad into books, Abbie used to think that reading was a barrier to writing. “I enjoyed creative writing at school, but at university I just stopped,” she says. After graduating from university, Abbie did TEFAL…

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Naoise Dolan

Surrounded by books as a child, Naoise loved reading, but didn’t feel the urge to write until she arrived at university. “When I left Trinity, I lived in Singapore, and then Hong-Kong, teaching English as a…

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