Beginner’s Pluck

Stephanie Hickey

Stephanie enjoyed a wonderful carefree childhood in the Irish tradition, with lots of music in the house; but when her sister married, her brother-in-law started to abuse her. Leaving school in 5th year she took a…

Read more

Francine Toon

As a young child Francine lived in Canterbury, London and Portugal, but at nine, she moved to the Scottish Highlands, before finally settling in Fife. “I loved the highlands and found it inspiring. Friends at school…

Read more

Jeanine Cummins

Jeanine lived in Belfast after college, “bar tending and writing terrible poetry.” After two years she moved to New York and worked at Penguin books for ten years. “I was there when I published my memoir…

Read more

Pat O’Connor

Pat has always written, but he also loved fishing, boating and sports as a child. “When I read swallows and amazons I felt I should have a go at writing about my own life. I started…

Read more

Caelainn Hogan

Caelainn had a wonderful English teacher, and has always been interested in writing, but for years she assumed she’d become a fiction writer. “I won a Hotpress Music Journalism competition in my Leaving certificate year,” she…

Read more

Eoghan Egan

A lifelong reader, Eoghan has been writing since he was ten years old. “My father was a farmer and a rent collector. My earliest memory is of sitting his knee and him reading stories to me.”…

Read more

Beth Morrey

Beth has always wanted to write. Aged 5, she wrote a long story about Icarus. And though she tried to write during her twenties, she wasn’t ready. And besides she hadn’t the time. “After university, I…

Read more

Ronan Hession

Rónán discovered books when he read his way through the Intercert list. He wrote poetry, and articles for the school magazine, but from his mid-teens became immersed in music. “I released three albums as Mumblin’ Deaf…

Read more

Helen Cox

Helen has always wanted to write, but her parents encouraged her to study something more practical, so she settled on psychology, but followed it with an MA in Creative Writing. After college she moved to London…

Read more

Vera Twomey

An only child who grew up on a farm, Vera loved the outdoors. “I was interested in camogie, and I’d read anything. I loved writing too, and had two short stories published when I was at…

Read more

Úna-Minh Kavanagh

Úna-Minh was born creative. “I’ve always loved the radio, and I used to create my own plays and stories.” Brought up in an Irish heritage, Úna-Minh is passionate about the Irish language. Graduating from DCU, she…

Read more

Catherine Chung

Catherine always wanted to be a poet. But, with no creative writing programmes on offer at her university, she studied mathematics instead. “I fell in love with maths. It’s so poetic. But literature felt like my…

Read more