Beginner’s Pluck

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…

Read more

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,…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

Maeve Galvin

Maeve loved writing as a young child and teenager, but after college she was so focused on her career that her creativity took a back seat. “I studied journalism at college. I edited the college magazine,…

Read more

Austin Donnelly

Brought up on a farm, Austin has always wanted to be a vet. “My dad was a big storyteller. I loved hanging out with him in farmer’s markets and in the pub after mass.” After university,…

Read more

Alice Lyons

Alice’s artistic talent showed early. “I was an artist as a child, and I was encouraged. I wrote little bits, but wanted to become a visual artist.” At university, the art course was too conceptual, and…

Read more

Frances Macken

Frances always believed that a writing career was unrealistic, and after studying film at college, she worked in advertising, and then was employed by an NGO as a Manager of Social Media. Meanwhile, she wrote two…

Read more

Marianne Lee

Marianne has always been creative. Her first love was painting, and after studying design she worked for advertising agencies. In 2000, she took a break and studied writing. “I enjoyed that. It freed my mind, and…

Read more

Richard Hogan

As a small child, Richard Hogan’s ambition was to become a journalist, but his father, who worked for The Irish Times turned him off the idea. Then, as a member of a band, he wanted to…

Read more

Cathy Sweeney

Cathy Sweeney has always loved reading. “I loved English. I studied it and taught it until my late thirties.” She taught up to Leaving Certificate in various schools including St Killian’s Community School, Bray, schools in…

Read more

David Diebold

A hyperactive, over-imaginative child, David haunted the Exchange Bookshop in Dalkey as a kid. “I particularly loved anthologies of horror.” Brought up by his grandparents – believing, at first, that his mother was his sister, David…

Read more