A letter written by our treasurer, Peter Byrne, started us off on an exciting journey. Earlier this year Pete wrote to President McAleese and told her that he’d often played in the Phoenix Park as a child but had never been inside Aras an Uachtarain. He said that, since several of our members are not native to this island, he’d love to bring our group to Aras to introduce us to Ireland’s history and culture.
As a result of Pete’s letter our writers’ group was invited to a garden party to honour volunteers at Aras an Uachtarain. So several members of the group travelled to Dublin to attend the event yesterday. We had a wonderful afternoon and the President and Senator McAleese, staff and other guests couldn’t have been friendlier. We felt very much at ease and enjoyed every second of our time at Aras.
FCWG with President and Senator McAleese
During the afternoon we had the privilege to meet President McAleese and Senator McAleese and to present the President with a copy of our first publication, Stories From Charlie’s Bar
. As they say, that was the icing on the cake! We hope she and her husband, who has Fermanagh family ties, will enjoy our stories and poems.
FCWG at Aras an Uachtarain
The Fermanagh Herald also has photos of us at Aras an Uachtarain. In the Wednesday, 13th July issue of the paper they included a photo and write-up about our trip to Dublin to meet President McAleese.
We’d like to share some of our memories of our day at Aras an Uachtarain with you.
We were excited to be at Aras as we queued to meet President McAleese.
Waiting to meet the President
We were each introduced to President and Senator McAleese and Peter Byrne presented the President with a copy of Stories From Charlie’s Bar.
Marie and Diane with the President and Senator McAleesePete presenting 'Stories' to President McAleese
Pete presenting 'Stories' to President McAleese
After we met President and Senator McAleese we headed into the garden to enjoy the hospitality and entertainment. Later in the afternoon President McAleese addressed the guests.
The Impartial Reporter noted our visit to Aras an Uachtarain with an article and photo of our group in their Thursday, 28th July edition of the paper.
The Fermanagh Herald has featured our writing group in this week’s edition of the paper. Even though we meet weekly in Enniskillen many local people are not aware of our group. So the Herald’s article will give them a taste of who we are and what we do. Several members of our group submitted stories and poems to the paper and they chose Diane Jardel’s poem, The Mirror to include with the article.
FCWG group photo after the AGM.
On Tuesday night Fermanagh Creative Writers Group held our second AGM. We’re 2 years old and celebrated with some wonderful fadge bread smeared with butter and jam.
On behalf of our members, we wish to thank last year’s committee, led for most of the year by Chair, Diane Jardel, and for the last 3 months by Vice-chair, Ian Butler, for the hard work they did.
We would also like to welcome our new committee: Chair, Tony Viney; Vice-chair, Ian Butler; Treasurer, Peter Byrne; Secretary, Dianne Trimble and member without portfolio (with responsibility for co-ordinating fundraising), Marie Connor.
Here’s some more photos from the evening:
Diane Jardel cutting the fadge bread.
Ian Butler addressing the group.
Dianne Trimble and Ian Butler enjoying the fadge bread.
Wayne Hardmane and Pete Byrne engaged in serious conversation.
Our Vice-chair, Ian Butler trying out the latest replacement for a gavel.
Ted and Annie Deppe led our Short Story Workshop at Westville Hotel in Enniskillen today.
‘Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I’ll tell you a story.’
With the above quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald for inspiration writers attending the workshop were challenged to be daring and push the boundaries in our writing. The Deppes encouraged us to find new ways to express our thoughts on paper.
On Saturday, 29th January we hosted an information workshop for local writers. Fred Johnston, a writer with many years experience in journalism, creative writing and tutoring writing courses, led our Getting Published workshop at Fermanagh House in Enniskillen. He provided information about opportunities in many areas of publishing and participants asked questions about the specific topics that interested them. The half day workshop flew by and participants were still asking questions as we left the building.
Congratulations to our member, Mariette Connor who won the Federation of Women’s Institutes’ Dorman Award for the best article of the year in their magazine, Irish Country Woman.
She can also be found in Ireland’s Own this winter. Her reminiscence, Christmas Eve, 1940 is printed in Ireland’s Own Christmas Annual 2010.
Marie with her trophy
Damian reading at Charlie's Pub recently
We’ve just heard the news and want to share it with you – our member, Damian McGirr is a finalist in this year’s Bard of Armagh Humorous Verse competition. He will be reading his poem, Not Another Summons, at the contest. The Finals are in Armagh on 19th November and we wish Damian the best of luck – we’re rooting for him!