Midleton College Art Students are helping a team of local writers realise their literary dream to publish a book, marking a significant milestone in their history. Almost fifty years after its formation, the Midleton Writers club has become a stalwart of writing in the community.
Recognised as one of the oldest writing groups in the country, the students are helping to illustrate anthology of short stories and poems due to be released next April. Up to 60 students are involved in the project ‘Midleton Miscellany’, which marks the forty fourth anniversary of the Group.
The second and fifth year pupils were provided with a descriptive piece for each story and poem from which they formed their illustrations with the help of professional illustrator, Fiona Bomiwell.
Art teacher Ms Ciara Wall said “the project challenged the student’s creativity and offered them some real life experience in working to deadlines.”
Established in 1975 by Cobh native, Noreen Wrynn, a shorthand and typing teacher at Midleton Community College (now St Colman’s Community College), the Midleton writers today boast a membership of almost 20. Over the years their writers have had works published in both national and local publications, including the East Cork Journal and Ireland’s Own, with three of the group’s writers currently working on novels. Emma Clohessy, Group Spokesperson, said key to the Guild’s success is its relaxed nature.
“Feedback might be positive or negative, but never discouraging. We meet only once a month. When people come in they bring their sample with them, and a copy for everyone. We do an honest critique, and you can feel the relaxation in it, but people take the honest critique quite well.”
The group, supported by the Cork County Council Arts Department, meet on the first Thursday of the month at My Place Community Centre between 7:30pm and 10:30pm.
Mrs Clohessy said the group is more a “community” that creates an “electricity and drive” among its aspiring writers to have their creations published. For Emma Clohessy it’s been essential to her success. “When you are under pressure and sometimes stress there is no better way than having a room, a pen and paper.” “When you have those stressful days and then eventually you go into a meeting, you get an adrenaline that’s not stress, but it’s actually an enjoyment. That’s the whole thing coming together.”
In an effort to encourage publishing the Guild organises a series of workshops, facilitated by accomplished authors, which are open to the general public. In 2019 Matthew Guiden, Afric Mclynchie and Billy O’Callaghan will impart some of their knowledge.