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Guy Barriscale

Arvon and after thumb

Arvon and after

At the beginning of March 2012, 15 OCA creative writing students spent six days at The Arvon Foundation’s Lumb Bank in West Yorkshire, the former home of poet Ted Hughes. There, they found the time, space and inspiration to write. Arvon and OCA are both keen to continue their partnership so that OCA students can combine the ongoing structure of open learning with the intense experience of a residential writing retreat.

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Non-writing thumb


It’s not always the case that writers have to produce draft after draft of a short story, as OCA creative writing student Guy Barriscale found when he wrote his prize-winning story ‘Jamesy’ in just one sitting. Prompted by an incident in this childhood, the story came to him fully formed when he saw an old man pushing his bicycle up a hill in a rural part of County Leitrim, with additional ideas for the life of gthe central character being inspired by his speculations about the lives of three farmer brothers. Commended in the Seán Ó Faoláin competition in 2011, the story was published in the Munster Festival’s ‘Southword’ at the beginning of 2012.

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