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Writer-in-Residence

Individual Manuscript Consultation 

Ferdia Mac Anna

Saturday 30th November, From 10am 
Venue: Thai House, Railway Road

Submit Your Manuscript

Are you writing a book but feel stuck, and don’t know which way to go next? Perhaps you're nearly there with it, but feel that something isn’t quite working?

 

Or often, as a writer, you are so involved in your book it's difficult to know what needs work, or how to move forward.  

 

This is where Ferdia's professional advice will save you hours of needless frustration and help you reap the dividends. Wherever you are on your journey of writing a book, and whatever your genre, he will read your work in advance and provide the constructive, helpful, encouraging feedback you need.

 

Writers are required to submit 2000-5000 words beforehand. Please do NOT send in excess of 5000 words. You will be able to upload your work via the form on this page. We will then email you to advise you of your time slot.

 

Places are limited, so early booking is advised.

We Like
  • Individual attention to the writer’s work in progress

  • A supportive voice on what can feel like a lonely road

  • Feeling like ‘I can do this!’

 

Praise for Ferdia

"Is there a better Tutor in the world of Creative Writing than Ferdia Mac Anna?  I very much doubt if there is. He has an outstanding ability and aptitude to assimilate the various writings put before him, and at the same time, the perspicacity to get into the mind of the Author. A boring treatise is given life, a nondescript character a face, the world around us, a smell. Above all there is the Author’s voice. He is the Professional’s Professional. I regard it as a great privilege to write under his caring guidance. He has enriched my life."

Brendan Flood, Author 'The Coup and other stories.'

 

"He creates a safe atmosphere in which to learn, is generous with his time and never hesitates to share his wealth of experience.  Ferdia ensures that each writer is given an opportunity to share what they have written and provides on the spot constructive feedback and suggestions for improving or developing our work. 

 

Ferdia has so much experience in what he does, he expertly guides without being in any way intrusive."

Caroline Bale, Amazon Best-Selling Author 'I Will Make You Pay'

An Inspiring Quote

To paraphrase my hero Ray Bradbury, ‘Writers must jump off a cliff and make their own wings on the way down.’

Ferdia's Story

‘When I was a kid, my father gave me a copy of The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. I became obsessed with Bradbury's books of short stories, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine and The Martian Chronicles as well as my fave, the novel, Fahrenheit 451. My dad was a distant type - we didn't have too much to say to each other and he gave me no advice. For nearly all of my life, I felt I never knew him at all. He seemed to have a better relationship with actors in the plays he directed at the Abbey Theatre, than with his own kids. Though that didn't apply to my mom. He was crazy about her and she about him.

 

Books were one of the few channels of communication between us. We could talk about stories and characters and discuss beguiling, vivid, and sometimes bonkers visions of life created by Bradbury and others like Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Flann O'Brien, Spike Milligan, Raymond Chandler, Flannery O'Connor, JD Salinger, Ian Fleming and Angela Carter.

 

Then one day, when we were talking about a writer whose work we both liked, Dad made a casual comment, something like, 'It's just a story but it was well told. You could do that.' I froze. It was the nearest thing to a hug I ever got from him.

 

That afternoon I bought a cheap red notebook and began to write. Words poured out. Spy stories, cowboy tales, sci-fi extravaganzas, dramas, comedies.

 

I needed an audience. So in school, I formed an Author's Club (writer was too plain a word for what I had in mind). Five thirteen-year old boys at the back of the class swapping self-penned stories and novels, critiquing each other's work during biology. That lasted a few months until critiques turned savage, sparking accusations of plagiarism and ineptitude. The Author's Club dissolved. I learned that hanging out with writers can be a bit fraught.

 

One day, my English teacher read one of my stories to the class. The story clicked. For the first time, I felt like a writer.

 

As an adult, I wrote a novel that featured a character inspired by my dad, who read the book. We never discussed it but after he passed away I heard from a friend of my Dad’s that he felt the novel had been 'well told'. That was possibly the best review I ever received.'

 

Ferdia Mac Anna was born in Dublin in 1955 and grew up in Howth, North County Dublin. He is a director of Film and TV drama, novelist, screenwriter, lecturer, creative writing tutor and rock and roller. For some years he toured Ireland as lead singer and songwriter with first Rocky De Valera and the Gravediggers (1977-79/2005-2009) and then The Rhythm Kings (1980-83).

 

He was producer and script editor on the acclaimed award-winning BBC/RTE children’s drama series, Custer’s Last Stand-Up (2000-2002) which won the BAFTA for best drama series.

 

He has written three novels, The Last of the High Kings (made into a Hollywood movie starring Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Rea and Christina Ricci in 1996), The Ship Inspector and Cartoon City. A memoir, The Rocky Years (Hodder Headline) was published in 2007 and his play Big Mom  was produced at the Project Arts Centre. The Last of the High Kings was recently published by New Island Books as part of their Modern Irish Classics series.

 

For over twenty years, he has taught Creative Writing, Screenwriting, Scriptwriting and TV broadcasting at DCU, Trinty College, NUI Maynooth, IADT, American College Dublin and The Open University. He has directed and produced Short Film Dramas, Sitcoms, Documentaries, and Soaps (including Fair City and Ros na Rún).

 

His first feature film, All About Eva, an old school Film Noir revenge thriller set in the horse-racing community of Kildare, was selected for the Dublin International Film Festival (2015).