Waterford Writers’ Weekend 2013 – a look back


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Phew! Another Waterford Writers’ Weekend has been and gone.

I was delighted to make it to five events over the weekend. Here’s an overview in pictures.

soc media panel

Event: Making Social Media Work for You

Speakers (l-r): Orla Shanaghy, Catherine Ryan-Howard, Derbhile Graham (chair), Derek Flynn

Venue: Greyfriars Gallery

self pub panel

Event: Self-Publishing

Speakers (l-r): Hazel Gaynor, Catherine Ryan-Howard (chair), Sheena Lambert

Venue: Sabai restaurant

blogging panel

Event: To Blog or Not to Blog

Speakers (l-r): Hazel Gaynor, Mark Graham, Anna Carey, Mona Wise

Venue: Waterford Medieval Museum

short stories panel

Event: Writing Winning Short Stories

Speakers (l-r): Vanessa O’Loughlin (chair and festival curator), Declan Meade, Clem Cairns

Venue: Greyfriars Gallery

m grehan launch

Event: “Love is the Easy Bit” by Mary Grehan book launch

Speakers (l-r): Caroline Senior, Managing Director of Garter Lane Arts Centre, author Mary Grehan

Venue: Garter Lane Arts Centre

The festival organisers really hit it out of the park this year. One of them told me that their aim with the programme was to focus on the writers. They certainly achieved this aim with a line-up of events that covered a huge range of the skills that today’s writers need, or at least need to be aware of: social media, self-publishing, blogging, how to approach writing competitions, breaking into journalism, and more.

The panel discussion format was used for most of the events I attended. This worked very well. With the best intentions in the world, the audience can start to get a bit glassy-eyed at events where a single person speaks for an hour or more. With panel discussions, on the other hand, there is a variety of faces and voices to sustain your attention, the discussion is naturally more varied and dynamic, and there is a chairperson to keep it all together, move things along when required, field audience questions, and make sure everyone gets their say.

A highlight for me was the final event of the weekend, which was held last night in Garter Lane Arts Centre. It was the launch of Mary Grehan‘s novel, Love is the Easy Bit. Mary is a huge success story: she is the only new author to be signed by Penguin Ireland in the last 18 months. We are very proud of her here in Waterford and delighted to bask in her reflected glory.

The format of the launch was interesting. We all took our seats in the theatre auditorium and Mary gave an excellent reading. She was then interviewed on stage, which was highly entertaining and interesting. Lastly, there were questions from the audience by means of a roving microphone.

The organisers of Waterford Writers’ Weekend have set the bar very high for themselves if they are to make next year’s festival as good as or better than this one. But they are a bunch of highly motivated, organised and ambitious folk. I’m looking forward to WWW14 already!

PS. Needless to say, there were lots of other events over the weekend that I didn’t make it to. If anyone out there wants to contribute something about any of those other events, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Posted on March 25, 2013, in Waterford, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. trishhannon111

    Sounds fantastic, I’m definitely making plans to attend next year. Dreaming of it already!

    Like

  2. Anthony Costine

    Nice post, Orla.

    Like

  3. Thanks Orla. Petra Kindler’s one woman show in Garter Lane on Friday evening was a highlight for me. Petra’s wit, insight and comic timing was impeccable. She says she had never spoken in public before which I find hard to believe!!,

    Like

  4. Thanks for letting me know what I missed, pics make me feel like I was there.

    Like

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