WOWO Thursday 16 May 2024, 7-9pmGMT

Our session this Thursday opens with a discussion about the new ChatGPT4o and the opportunities, inspiration and creative processes it offers writers. Once again our Write-On Zoom meeting allows our members to experience revolutionary new technology and techniques which they might not encounter at first hand otherwise.

In our third last session for this Write-On season, Deirdre Anne Gialamas shows her prolific creativity with four short stories. Laced with humour and mystery, they are all sure to captivate and entertain her listeners; nonetheless, she can also expect constructive comments and helpful feedback, an essential component of our Write-On community.

Frank Fahy‘s beautifully crafted stories are always a pleasure to read. Human nature, its weaknesses and strengths are what moves his characters, allowing us all to identify with them. Not to be missed.

Kathleen Phelan‘s and Elizabeth Hannon‘s poems this evening are characterised by special sensitivity to the passing of time and how this affects us and our memories.

Seamus Keogh‘s poem opens our eyes and senses to a wider view of war in Palestine as contrasted with the tranquility of life in Ireland, a poignant reminder of what it means to lose one’s home.

Finally, by careful proofreading all members can participate in the shaping of our Anthology 2025, the collection of the past writing season’s best offerings. Hints and help will again be offered in this session.

For all our members and guests: have an enjoyable, entertaining and instructive two hours in our Write-On zoom meeting this Thursday!

Programme

Discussion Launch of ChatGPT4o All Members

Short Story Breaking Altitude Frank Fahy

Short Story Mrs O’Donovan’s Dublin Delight Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Short Story The Shiny Red Couch Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Short Story Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Short Story A Long Hot Summer Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Poem Marine Blue Sky Seamus Keogh

Poem Blessing Kathleen Phelan

Poem The Stolen Kiss Elizabeth Hannon

Discussion Proofreading Write-On Anthology 2025 All Members

WOWO Thursday, 9 May 2024, 7-9pm GMT

Deirdre Anne Gialamas has provided no fewer than three short stories as well as a poem!

‘Millicent’s Dilemma’ and ‘Mrs O’Donovan’s Dublin Delight’ are centred around individual characters who prove their resilience and daring in very different settings: one in a city morgue, the other in a Dublin deli.

By contrast, Deirdre’s short story ‘The Shiny Red Couch’ harks back to childhood memories of the excitement of Christmas mornings, something everyone can relate to.

Deirdre’s poems often depict an unusual perspective on individuals, and are usually highly poetic. ‘What IF?’ playfully examines alternate realities and whimsical possibilities of life’s different choices and their impact on familiy and society.

Anne McManus is a master of subtle psychological portrayal. In ‘New Girls’, the unexpected reunion of two former schoolmates with very different careers and life experiences opens the set for revelations of shared secrets and past grievances.

‘New Jerusalem’ by Kathleen Greaney tells the tale of Isaac, a Jewish butcher in Dublin, whose tranquillity is shattered by the invasion of Poland, where his daughter lives, at the outbreak of World War 2. The poem reflects on themes of family, fear, and hope.

Very different is Póilín Brennan’s ‘Beith Geal’. Here, a birch tree serves as a symbol of love and connectedness between the poet and the natural world.

A further poem by Póilín, ‘Hearth’, focusses on the hearth as the centre of traditional Irish family life and as a keeper of folklore.

Last but not least, Seamus Keogh‘s poem, ‘Marine Blue Sky’, carries the poet on a journey between the beauty of Ireland’s landscapes and the sorrow of brutal conflict in the world.

Programme

Short Story New Girls Anne McManus

Short Story New Jerusalem Kathleen Greaney

Short Story Mrs O’Donovan’s Dublin Delight Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Short Story The Shiny Red Couch Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Short Story Millicent’s Dilemma Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Poem Marine Blue Sky Seamus Keogh

Poem Beith Geal Póilín Brennan

Poem Hearth Póilín Brennan

Poem What IF? Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Discussion Proofreading Write-On Anthology 2025 All Members

Instructions for Video and Audio Submissions for Culture Night 2024

Instructions:

2. Video Recording

3. Audio Recording

   – Environment: Record your audio separately in a quiet, indoor environment to avoid background noise such as wind or waves.

   – Content: The audio can be a reading of the selected poem or story, or a reflection on the themes, recorded clearly without background interference.

4. Combining Video and Audio

5. Submission Guidelines

WOWO Thursday, 2 May 2024, 7 – 9pm GMT

Join us for an enriching session filled with important discussion, evocative stories and cretive exchanges. An essential gathering for all members to discuss and select pieces for our pre-recorded presentation at Culture Night in September 2024.

New Girls by Anne McManus is a story about the complicated reconnection between Tracey and her former schoolmate, Emily, now a successful actress in London. This tale explores the nuances of old friendships revisited under new circumstances.

In Edward by Kathleen Greaney, we find a heart-warming narrative of Sheila, a retiree who discovers new purpose and companionship in Edward, a dog whose unexpected entry into her life brings about change and new friendships.

Home by Joanne Dowling brings us back to Galway, where Jamie, after returning from London, navigates the complexities of belonging and identity as he catches up with old friends and confronts the notion of home.

In New Jerusalem, also by Kathleen Greaney, we are set against the backdrop of WWII as Isaac, a Jewish butcher in Dublin, faces the dire implications of the war on his family in Poland. This gripping story captures fear, hope, and the desperate measures taken in times of crisis.

Vertical Ridges by Jutta Rosen takes us through Connemara’s haunting landscapes where the narrator encounters remnants of famine-era potato ridges, weaving a connnection between Ireland’s tragic past and the present’s transient abundance.

Marine Blue Sky by Seamus Keogh offers a stirring poem where vivid images of Ireland’s landscapes contrast with the brutal realities of conflict, reflecting the poet’s journey through a world marked by beauty and sorrow.

The essay Flowers of the Rarest explores the significant cultural and communal role of the song performed by Canon Sydney McEwan in Ireland, particularly as a herald of
summer. Traditionally played on RTE Radio by legendary broadcaster Gay Byrne on
the 1st of May, this song united households across Ireland, from bustling
Dublin streets to remote Atlantic edges. The essay delves into the era before
digital fragmentation, highlighting how this tradition was more than a song—it
was a communal ritual that marked the start of summer, resonating deeply in
rural areas and symbolizing the transition from spring to the lushness of
summer. The piece reflects on the changing landscape of media and the enduring
need for shared experiences and rituals in society.

All members are also requested to carefully review the page proofs of their entries for our upcoming Write-On Anthology 2025. It’s crucial to provide corrections to ensure our collective work is error-free and polished for publication. Instructions and help on how best to accomplish this are posted on a separate page of the NEWS section on this website.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Thursday, 2 May, for a session full of lively discussions and enriching literary contributions. Be sure to bring your ideas and enthusiasm to help make our upcoming events a success!

Programme

Discussion Preparing for Culture Night 2024 All Members

Short Story New Girls Anne McManus

Short Story Edward Kathleen Greaney

Short Story Home Joanne Dowling

Short Story New Jerusalem Kathleen Greaney

Essay Vertical Ridges Jutta Rosen

Essay Flowers of the Rarest Inky

Poem Marine Blue Sky Seamus Keogh

Discussion Proofreading Write-On Anthology 2025 All Members

WOWO 25 April 2024, 7-9pm

Our session this evening will open with the popular and enjoyable Mug of the Month competition, for which members have produced texts of no more than fifty words containing the keywords LIE and WALK. We can expect a wide variety of themes around these two words, a compact example of our group’s creativity. The winner of the contest will have the honour of housing Mugsy until the end of May, which will be our last Zoom session before the summer break.

Deirdre Anne Gialamas puts her knowledge of Athens to good use in her contribution, ‘Circles‘. We are introduced to Dimitris, a former CEO turned street-dweller, whose sharp descent from opulence to destitution lets us reflect on the twists of fate that can befall all of us.

A special welcome of Anne McManus, one of our original members, who is presenting two short stories this evening. In ‘No Regrets’, we follow the thoughts of a woman at the bedside of her dying ex-husband – life choices, regrets, and promises fulfilled and unfulfilled pass through her mind. In a different vein, Anne’s story ‘New Girls’ reconnects us with Tracy, who is drawn back into her schooldays by a phone call, reviving memories of past friendships and unresolved conflicts.

Old age and the onset of Alzheimer’s are the themes of Eileen Miller‘s story: as Christy’s vibrant past, his identity and memory gradually fade, we are confronted with the complexities of aging and the deep connection to one’s roots.

Jutta Rosen‘s ‘Vertical Ridges’ takes us on a contemplative journey through Connemara, contrasting today’s opulence with the stark hardships of the Famine era, which is captured in the enduring scars of the landscape.

Our Editor and Publisher Frank Fahy will shortly be sending members page proofs of the Write-On Anthology 2025. The deadline for submissions to this fascinating collection of works from the past year is Friday, 31 May 2024. Any members who have not yet entered written examples of their talent should not miss this opportunity to have their work published in a professional volume containing writing of the highest standard. Happy writing and good luck to all our participants!

Programme

Competition Mug of the Month April 2024 All Members

Short Story Circles Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Short Story Gone the Heather, Gone the Hawthorn Eileen Miller

Short Story No Regrets Anne McManus

Short Story New Girls Anne McManus

Essay Vertical Ridges Jutta Rosen

Discussion Proofreading Anthology 2025 All Members

WOWO Thursday, 19 April 2024 7-9pm GMT

This Thursday’s session of the Write-On Group offers three short stories and three poems. Our two-hour meetings take place every seven days, and usually there are more items on our programme than can be presented in the limited time – praise-worthy evidence of the productivity and creativity of our members! Congratulations to all active writers, and to those who are still ruminating!

Deirdre Anne Gialamas features twice tonight. Her short story, ‘Circles’, is set in Athens and introduces us to Dimitris, a former CEO turned street-dweller, a plot which promises strong emotional developments.

Ireland’s peat bogs are the setting for Anne’s poem, ‘Burdened Bog’. In it, she explores this hauntingly beautiful landscape, which is bound up with the history of those who worked in it and the struggles they endured.

Kathleen Greaney’s short story, ‘Spanish Doll’, also brings us to sunny foreign parts. A mysterious doll dressed in flamenco attire leads Maria to Madrid, and ultimately reveals secrets about her ancestry. We can expect an intriguing tale!

‘Breaking Altitude’, by Frank Fahy, promises daring and adventure as he transports us to higher spheres!

Mary Hawkshaw’s poem ‘A Broken Dove’, paints a vivid picture of despair and hopelessness driven by global indifference to suffering, a topic very much of our time.

Josephine McCann’s verses on ‘If the Prom Could Talk’ explore the conversations witnessed by the Salthill prom over the years, where the locals unwind, sharing their woes and joys, hopes and failures. The prom’s therapeutic values are celebrated here in Joephine’s sensitive words.

Finally, preparation of this year’s Anthology 2025 is well under way, and has reached the stage where members are being encouraged to proofread their contributions. This will be the subject of a discussion this evening.

We wish all member and guest participants an enjoyable and fruitful session!

Programme

Short Story Circles Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Short Story The Spanish Doll Kathleen Greaney

Short Story Breaking Altitude Frank Fahy

Poem A Broken Dove Mary Hawkshaw

Poem Burdened Bog Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Poem If the Prom Could Talk Josephine McCann

Discussion Proofreading Write-On Anthology 2025 All Members

WOWO Thursday, 28 March 2024 7-9pm GMT

It’s that time of the month once again: all our members are eagerly anticipating the announcement of the new holder of the coveted ‘Mug Of The Month‘ title. No fewer than eleven authors have crafted texts featuring the words GROUND and PITCH, showcasing a wide variety of themes and styles.

Our evening’s trio of short stories is as diverse as ever. Deirdre Anne Gialamas’ ‘Perfect Passage‘ explores how every ending paves the way for a new beginning, a universal theme. ‘Tobernault‘ by Mary Hodson delves into the sacred and mystical traditions of Holy Wells. ‘Migrant‘ by Molly Fogarty also tackles the themes of endings and new beginnings, with hope as the catalyst for those seeking new opportunities.

In our poetry section, Mary Hawkshaw presents two pieces: ‘The River‘, which uses nature’s relentless flow as a metaphor for life’s ups and downs, and ‘A Broken Dove‘, reflecting on the fragility of peace and the quest for solace amidst turmoil. Thomas MacMahon’s ‘A New Home‘ celebrates the joy and security of finding a place to call one’s own. Anne McManus’ ‘Emptiness‘ delves into the voids left behind and the eloquence of silence.

The Write-On Group is eagerly awaiting April 6th for the launch of Olga Peters’ novel ‘A Perfect Couple‘. Having already been read by most members, we anticipate a spirited discussion on its literary and narrative qualities, which will shed light on both the challenges and achievements in writing, offering valuable insights for everyone’s work.

Please note: There will be no Write-On Zoom Meeting in the week following Easter. We wish all our members and guests a Happy Holiday and look forward to welcoming you to our next session on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

Programme

Competition Mug of the Month March 2024 Eleven Entries

Short Story Perfect Passings Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Short Story Tobernalt Mary Hodson

Short Story Migrant Molly Fogarty

Poem The River Mary Hawkshaw

Poem A New Home Thomas MacMahon

Poem A Broken Dove Mary Hawkshaw

Poem Emptiness Anne MacManus

Discussion Book Launch – A Normal Couple All Members

WOWO 21 March 2024, Thursday 7-9pm GMT

Our contributions this week include the traditional genres of short stories and poems. All members of the Write-On Group learn from reading and hearing other members’ works; we derive inspiration and encouragement by comparing, analysing, and enjoying the results of our co-members’ talents. Each writer has their own voice, yet there are often parallels which touch on our own aspirations and help us to move forward with our own work. A Write-On Session on a Thursday is thus not just an entertaining evening of consumption, but also a creative hub from which all participants can benefit.

Alice Sheridan is really finding her feet with her pithy, intriguing story ‘Mystery at Grange Hall’ (which is clearly heading towards book length). The speed with which she is producing new chapters is evidence of the joy that writing can bring, and how this joy is the impetus which drives us to keep going!

As we noted last week, when Mary Hodson’s text ‘Tubernalt’ was originally scheduled, Mary is assembling a wonderful collection of memories of country life and traditions that she herself experienced, but which are now fast disappearing in the highly technological New Ireland. We are grateful that Mary is recording these customs in her unmistakable style before they disappear completely.

Frances Dermody’s short story is a humorous account of misunderstandings due to homophones – words that sound the same but have different meanings. When these complications occur in a courtroom, we can expect developments with far-reaching results.

The themes covered in our four poems this evening are quite varied: from the flow of nature’s arteries to the anguish of being homeless, the poignancy of hiding a fatal illness in an otherwise joyous environment, and finally a whimsical exploration of the afterlife! Topics which evoke a wide range of emotional reaction in the listeners.

REMINDER: The closing date for entries to this month’s Mug of the Month competition is looming: send your 50-word text to annemurraypost@yahoo.ie by Sunday 24 March at the latest, and don’t forget the two key words: GROUND and PITCH.

And last but not least, the launch of ‘A Normal Couple’ by Olga Peters will take place in the Clybaun Hotel, Galway, on Saturday, 6 april, from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. All are welcome!

Programme

Short Story Mystery at Grange Hall 6,7,8 Alice Sheridan

Short Story Tubernalt Mary Hodson

Short Story Keeping the Piece Frances Dermody

Poem The River Mary Hawkshaw

Poem A New Home Thomas McMahon

Poem Constant Companions Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Poem Poker in Heaven (Frank Fahy) Mary Hawkshaw

Discussion The Write-On Anthology 2025 All Members

WOWO Thursday, 14 March 2024, 7-9pm GMT

And don’t forget the next MOTM competition for the coveted title ‘Mug Of The Month’: a 50-word text of any genre containing the keywords GROUND and PITCH. Closing date for entries to annemurray@yahoo.ie is Sunday, 24 March.

Programme

Short Story Mystery at Grange Hall 4 Alice Sheridan

Short Story Tubernalt Mary Hodson

Short Story When They Were In Their Prime James Conway

Drama A Fish Out Of Water Jim Keary

Poem The River Mary Hawkshaw

Poem What Words Can Do Mary Hawkshaw

Poem Obsolete Kathleen Phelan

Poem ABC and Nursery Rhymes Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Poem Nobody Told Me Geraldine Warren

Discussion The Write-On Anthology 2025 All Members

WOWO Thursday, 7 March 2024, 7-9pmGMT

Our session this Thursday opens with a continuation of Alice Sheridan’s lively novel, a social drama of the Jane Austen type set in modern times. A new family has moved into Grange Hall, and the locals are agog to know who they are and how they can engage with them. But all efforts at finding out are firmly and even mysteriously thwarted. To find out how this tug-of-war between the nosy villagers and the reclusive newcomers evolves, don’t miss the next episode on the evening of the 7th!

The short story is very much Mary Rose Tobin’s sphere, and she is a master of this genre, producing tales that are sensitive, empathetic, lively, poignant, often with a twist at the end. Who is the Piano Man? What can we learn from him? Prepare to be bemused by this presentation by Mary Rose.

Our newest member, Jim Keary, is a successful playwright of long standing. He has been presenting excerpts from his plays, and demonstrating how dialogue can be used to portray character, situation, setting, atmosphere, and all the other elements that go to make a written work of art alive and well-rounded. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our members to see great examples of ‘show, don’t tell’. Welcome, Jim, and thank you for sharing your expertise with us.

‘Intriguing, intelligent, highly poetic, with a clear physical context’ – these words well describe the poems of both Mary Hawkshaw and Deirdre Anne Gialamas. We look forward to hearing two works of the very first order.

Finally, Frank Fahy is engrossed in preparing this year’s anthology, and on Thursday our members will be encouraged to assist him in this mammoth and difficult task of assembling, selecting, rejecting, and ensuring that all details are correct. If your name is not among the authors, it is not yet too late to provide a text for inclusion in this impressive and entertaining work.

Once again we invite you – whether member or guest – to join us in what promises to be another outstanding meeting of our talented group. You can expect an enjoyable and profitable evening!

Programme

Short Story Mystery at Grange Hall 3 Alice Sheridan

Short Story Piano Man Mary Rose Tobin

Drama The Other Man’s Grass Jim Keary

Poem The River Mary Hawkshaw

Poem Miriam Deirdre Anne Gialamas

Discussion Write-On Anthology 2025 All Members