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Writing Workshops Dublin 2023

Writing Workshops Dublin with Stewart O'Nan and Diana Spechler brings together fiction and nonfiction writers for an intensive four days of workshops, craft seminars, one-on-one conferences, and in-depth discussions on the craft and business of writing. Our program is intentionally small and will take place in the heart of literary Dublin.


Each fiction and nonfiction workshop will have no more than 9 participants each. All writers will submit two completed pieces of writing. One submission will be workshopped by your cohort and instructor and a second piece will be submitted for your one-on-one meeting with your workshop leader. Daily craft talks are open to all participants and led by program staff or faculty.


Our workshops are open to writers who want to strengthen their voice, develop a greater understanding of craft, and forge a path to publication along the way. We take your writing seriously and place the highest importance on teaching the craft of writing so that students can produce meaningful and memorable work that has the opportunity to find a readership beyond the workshop.


Our mission is to bring your writing out of the wilderness and into community, and for a week every April we think there is no better place for our workshop retreat than on Ireland’s east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey. Scroll down for more details!


Fáilte! Applications for our April 2023 Dublin workshops close on October 15th, 2022.


2023 Workshop Dates:


April 23 - 28th, 2023



Though our admissions process is competitive and the quality of writing high, all interested writers are encouraged to apply.


Dublin Workshop Faculty:


Fiction Instructor Stewart O’Nan was born and raised and lives in Pittsburgh. He’s the author of twenty books, including the novels Snow Angels, A Prayer for the Dying, Last Night at the Lobster, and Emily, Alone, as well as the nonfiction bestsellers The Circus Fire and (with Stephen King) Faithful.

Nonfiction Instructor Diana Spechler is the author of the novels Who By Fire and Skinny (both Harper Perennial), and of the New York Times Opinion series Going Off. She has written for The Guardian, GQ, Washington Post, Esquire, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Electric Literature, New York, Paris Review Daily, The Wall Street Journal, Glimmer Train Stories, Texas Monthly, The Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Harper’s, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Boston Globe, National Geographic Traveler, Harper’s Bazaar, Tin House Open Bar, BBC Travel, Saveur, Bon Appetit, Ploughshares, and many other publications. Her work has been included in a number of anthologies, including Indelible In The Hippocampus (McSweeney’s, 2019). Spechler is also an eight-time Moth StorySLAM winner and has been featured on The Moth Radio Hour, The Moth podcast, and NPR. Her awards and honors include the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize, the Orlando Nonfiction Prize from A Room of Her Own Foundation, a Yaddo residency, a Hawthornden Castle residency, a Steinbeck Fellowship at San Jose State University, the writer-in-residence position at Portsmouth Abbey School, a LABA Fellowship, a fellowship from the Sozopol Fiction Seminars in Bulgaria, a Visiting Artist residency at The Betsy Hotel, and a Willapa Bay AiR residency. Her fiction has been featured on Selected Shorts and her nonfiction was a Best American Essays Notable selection. She teaches writing in the MFA program at Cedar Crest College. Check out her newsletter about the travel writing life.

Lodging at Iveagh Garden Hotel

Immerse yourself in both comfort and inspiration for 6 days, 5 nights at Iveagh Garden Hotel. This 4-star hotel is an urban oasis just steps from Grafton Street and Iveagh Gardens. Opened in February 2018, it is one of the lowest carbon footprints of any Irish Hotel and is Europe's first fully sustainable hotel. Located in the heart of this vibrant city, the Iveagh Garden Hotel is one of the best Dublin hotels near all major attractions. Your own room and breakfast are included in your workshop tuition.

Class Size

Each fiction and nonfiction workshops will have no more than 9 participants each. All writers will submit two completed pieces of writing. One submission will be workshopped by your cohort and instructor and a second piece will be submitted for your one-on-one meeting with your workshop leader. Daily craft talks are open to all participants and led by program staff or faculty.

Schedule Overview


Sunday, April 23rd, 2023

3:00PM: Hotel check-in begins.

5:00PM: Meet & Greet Happy Hour

6:30PM: Dinner


Monday, April 24th - Thursday, April 27th

Mornings: Breakfast served. Workshops and one-on-one instructor meetings.

Afternoons/Evenings: Lunch Break followed by optional craft seminar, led by faculty or staff. Optional mid-afternoon activity followed by dinner.


Friday, April 28th

8:00AM-9:00AM: Goodbye breakfast.

11:00AM: Final check-out.


Optional Afternoon Activities will be included throughout the week. Full schedule detailed below.


Tuition

Tuition is $3,395 and includes the following:

  • Lodging in your own room at Iveagh Garden Hotel for 6 days, 5 nights
  • Free Breakfast
  • 4-day writing workshops in small groups of no more than 9 writers
  • Critical feedback on two writing submissions
  • Several craft of writing and/or business of writing seminars
  • One-on-one conference with faculty
  • Optional afternoon activities
  • The time of your life
  • Payment Plans: accepted writers will have the option to pay their tuition in full or opt for a payment plan divided into equal monthly payments by selecting Affirm (for U.S. & Canadian residents) at checkout.
  • FAQ at the bottom of this page.


Tentative Schedule Detail

(exact start times of events may change slightly, a finalized schedule will be sent out a few weeks before the workshop)


Testimonials For Our Destination Retreats

"Do this if you are serious about writing." -Jeannette B.

"It was amazing. I am so so grateful that I was chosen to be a part of such a special space and rich experience." --Dakotah J.

"This Writing Workshop is a fabulous blend of literary endeavor and sightseeing in the City of Light." -Michael W.

"A serious writers' workshop in one of the most beautiful cities in the world." -Lori F.

"The workshop exceeded my expectations. The communication was excellent leading up to it, and Writing Workshops was on top of every detail. The nonfiction workshops was incredibly instructive and helpful, and I feel I learned a lot. The hotel was in a wonderful section of Paris, and the evening activities brought us closer as a group. The whole experience was life-changing (without sounding overly dramatic) and gratifying." -Ethan J.

"Hands down the best workshop feedback I’ve ever received. I felt so lucky to be a part of this workshop and really enjoy the friendships I forged." - Ben H.

"Writing Workshops Paris absolutely made my summer! Both the staff and the participants were lovely, and all of the workshops, seminars, and optional activities were well-planned and well-executed.It was the perfect Parisian vacation, but with a slew of great suggestions on how to improve my writing for publication, and the added take away of what I feel will be lifelong friends and professional connections. I cannot overstate how much fun I had, and I'm returning home inspired and eager to apply all of the feedback I received to my work". - Becky R.

"For me, as a yet-unpublished writer, it was a great introduction to the world of workshopping. I felt comfortable sharing my stories with this helpful, diverse and dedicated group. And even though I'm daunted by the amount of work I have ahead of me, I'm inspired to start combining my stories into a memoir--something I hadn't considered before." -Sue P.

"Immersion into the artistic Parisian culture with a small community of like-minded aspiring writers was nothing short of inspirational. How wonderful it was to escape the ordinary, explore the extraordinary, and revel in the craft of writing --for the sheer joy of it--in the heart of beautiful Paris." -Estee C.

"This workshop exceeded my expectations. The classroom critiques and instructor one-on-ones were extremely helpful, the people were wonderful, and the atmosphere was inviting. It was an experience I'm so glad I didn't miss." - Carissa C.

"WWP was the first workshop I attended. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on my book-in-progress from both Diana and my new writing community! Merci, merci." -Christina K.

"Writing Workshops Paris was my first professional workshop,and it won't be my last! Aside from the magic of being in Paris, which cannot be understated, the amazing people I met were the best part of the week. I left with unexpected friendships that I will have for life,and a fresh motivation to finish my novel. My approach to my writing has been invigorated and my motivation renewed, and I feel connected to this amazing community of writers in a way I never expected. What an amazing week of inspiration and history, great writing and incredible people. Thank you so much for a life-changing week!" -Kerrin S.

"The Workshop in Hawaii exceeded my expectations. I loved connecting with other writers in such a beautiful and inspiring place. I also reconnected with myself. Thank you to the organizers, instructors, and guides. It was a magical experience that I'll never forget. The trip was so refreshing, and helped me reconnect with myself and connect with other writers. The space was also amazing. The combination of both made for the best time I've had in years. Diana is great and definitely helps me think about things in a whole new way. I loved the authenticity of the place and the owner. It felt like a true Hawaiian experience - spiritual and peaceful. The instructors. The guides. People make the experience, and there were some wonderful folks on this trip." -Sam H.

"The communication leading up to the workshop was excellent. Diana was a wonderful workshop leader and I would gladly take a class from her again. As organizers, Blake and Mike cover all the bases so attendees can totally relax in the environment and focus on writing and group connections. The overall experience, the inclusion of food and housing, the community that was built, the work we did -- thumbs up on everything!" -Catherine V.

"I highly recommend Writing Workshops Paris for any serious writer. It was absolutely magic: the people, the workshops, the lectures, and all the great activities Blake and Mike have thoughtfully planned for the week. I already see my poetic craft evolving in a fresh direction. Also, just being in Paris is so creatively rejuvenating. The hotel is as centrally located as it could be, which allows access to the many great cafes where one could scribble away while sipping espresso and smoking a cigarette or two. It felt like a surrealist dream written by the likes of Baudelaire or Rimbaud. So much wine! So much cheese! So much joy and inspiration! The energy and vibes were on high. I gained so much in such a short amount of time and wish I could do it all again. This program might have started my life long love affair with Paris and the beauty it exudes." -Justin G.

"Writing Workshops Paris afforded me a once-in-a-lifetime experience to learn and hone my craft with an accomplished author I personally admire, along with a cohort of talented, interesting, engaged writers—all there for the same reason: to get better at writing and see more of the world in the process. What could be better than that?" -Kyle S.

"This was a tremendous experience! I learned so much, had a once in a lifetime first experience of Paris, and left feeling inspired and supported by a whole new writing community. Highly recommend!" -Fiona R.

"Best experience I've had as a writer. I have done writing workshops before, but nothing like this one. I received genuinely transformative feedback, knowledge, and social support around my writing and novel. I will always be grateful for all I gained, learned, and experienced in this workshop. I can wholeheartedly say that the amateur writer who came into this workshop is now a tremendously evolved amateur writer with a new lens on transferring thought into text. I learned so much about my own craft, and how to tailor the style, and plot points to better suit the story I want to tell. The adventures, authors, experiences, feedback, people, places and workshops were gratifyingly high quality. It felt safe being an amateur. I received transformative feedback on my current WIP which has greatly shifted the ways I write." -Enrique E.

"The workshop exceeded my expectations. The support from my group members was so helpful, but group cohesion was much better than I could have predicted. I looked at the week as a personal retreat, so the money was worth the time alone. And then being able to enjoy the grounds of the retreat and the company of other writers made it even better. I appreciated Brandon Hobson's generous feedback and the way he structured the workshops to allow specific and focused feedback. It was a lovely hotel with beautiful grounds and a great staff." -Margie D.

"I loved my first experience with Writing Workshops Hawaii. The teachers were amazing, the location was beautiful, and the community of writers were inspiring to be around. The entire trip was well thought out and organized, from the shuttles to the planned activities. For me it's not the destination, it's the workshop itself. I'll probably follow you anywhere." -Diane F.

"Brandon Hobson was very helpful and I’m returning home feeling inspired and re-invigorated. The week overall provided a great balance of structured group time and individual time. It was a fantastic experience and I’m glad I did it. I would 100% recommend Writing Workshops Hawaii!" - Aubrey M.

"Writing Workshops Hawaii was one of the most amazing gifts that I have ever given myself. I did not have to think of anything but writing and taking in the beauty and wisdom that Hawaii offers because everything was already done and thought of for me. All you have to do is show up. A truly magical and rejuvenating experience where you get to create, travel, and hangout with like-minded people. I will never be able to travel to Hawaii and do the touristy thing because I've been spoiled by Writing Workshops. And Diana Spechler made me feel like I have a seasoned writer on my side for life. I gained so much knowledge about the writing and publishing process on this trip. I also learned from Brandon Hobson and would recommend taking a course or at a retreat with either of them. I received an invaluable one-on-one with Diana. She had thorough feedback regarding my writing and also about publishing. Diana's time did not feel rushed and she tailored a plan for me based on my unique writing style and my desires as a writer. Diana is like the friend who succeeded and is willing to share all her secrets. I found the afternoon seminars extremely valuable. There were a lot of questions asked by other writers that I found helpful. If you're thinking about applying, you should!" -Corrie C.

"Writing Workshops Hawaii was an incredible experience. Everyone was so supportive and the energy from not only the retreat itself but the people as well, was an amazing opportunity and experience, one that you can’t recreate. Brandon Hobson has a very calm and genuine way of helping you better your writing. The support of the entire group was really great and appreciated. I liked that the retreat is secluded. It’s very relaxing and has an authentic feel to it. The staff was amazing. It’s a once in a lifetime experience." -Samantha B.



Program Faculty

Program Staff

Executive Director Blake Kimzey worked as a bicycle tour guide in Paris in his 20s. He is the founder of WritingWorkshops.com and has an MFA from UC Irvine. Blake sits on the Board of the Elizabeth George Foundation and his fiction has been broadcast on NPR and published by Tin House, McSweeney’s, VICE, Longform, Redivider, Short Fiction, Smokelong Quarterly, Hobart, The Los Angeles Review, The Masters Review, and The Best Small Fictions. Blake’s collection of short tales, Families Among Us, was published by Black Lawrence Press.
Operations Director Mike Franz was General Manager and Tour Guide at Fat Tire Bike Tours, Paris, for seven years. His tours were featured on Rick Steves-Paris, The Independent-UK, and the television show 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Mike taught government, economics, and public speaking for ten years at Headwaters High School in Austin, Texas, where he won teacher-of-the-year award after his first year of teaching.


Application & General FAQ

What is the application deadline?

Applications for our April 2023 Dublin Workshops close on October 15th, 2022. Early applications are encouraged. Click here to apply now.

What is your COVID policy?

It is the responsibility of attendees of Writing Workshops Dublin to make sure they are vaccinated and have the appropriate documentation required to enter Ireland if/when their state COVID Vaccination entry policy is in place.

If Ireland or the United States government forbids entry Ireland for the dates of April 23 - 28, 2023, Writing Workshops will offer a full refund for program fees. Writing Workshops will not reimburse for any airline tickets or additional trip-related expenses incurred. If the Dublin writing workshop takes place on the dates planned, no program fees will be reimbursed, regardless of attendance.

What will my application include? 

  • Brief bio  informing us of your involvement in the writing and literary community,  as well as any prior or forthcoming publications. (250 words max)
  • Purpose statement  explaining why you would like to participate in Writing Workshops Hawaii. You can also discuss current manuscripts or writing projects that  you might choose to workshop. (500 words max.)
  • Writing sample excerpt in fiction or nonfiction. This does not have to be  published work, though that is acceptable, nor does it have to be a piece you plan  to workshop. Complete works under the word count are not required;  excerpts are acceptable. (Fiction/nonfiction: 2500 words max).
  • Applications are open. Click here to apply now.

When will I know if I've been accepted to the workshop?

We anticipate notifying all applicants of their status no later than October 22nd, 2022. We  cap our workshop participation at 9 writers in each genre cohort (fiction and nonfiction) for the week. Our goal is to provide  an intimate, rigorous workshop environment so that participants can come to Dublin and find meaningful connections and excellent feedback on their work. We will accept applicants on a rolling basis until each cohort is full and then begin waitlists. Due to the volume of  applications and competitive acceptance, writers are encouraged to apply early. We employ a reading committee of professional writers and  editors, and applicants will be notified after the application window closes.

How much does it cost?

Tuition is $3,395.

Are Payment Plans Available?

Yes. Accepted writers will have the option to pay their tuition in full or  opt for a payment plan divided into equal monthly payments by selecting  Affirm (for U.S. & Canadian residents) or Lay-Buy (for applicants  inside or outside of North America) at checkout.

Are Scholarships Available?

Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to offer scholarships for this workshop. However, we do have payment plans available.

What does tuition include? 

  • Lodging in your own room at Iveagh Garden Hotel for 6 days, 5 nights
  • Free Breakfast
  • 4-day  writing workshops in small groups of no more than 9 writers, led by workshop faculty.
  • Critical feedback on two writing submissions
  • Several craft of writing and/or business of writing seminars
  • One-on-one conference with faculty
  • Optional afternoon activities
  • The time of your life
  • Note: accepted writers will have the option to pay their tuition in full or  opt for a payment plan divided into equal monthly payments by selecting  Affirm (for U.S. & Canadian residents) at checkout.

What is tuition payment schedule? 

If your application is accepted, full tuition is due by November 1st, 2022. You can pay your tuition in full or opt for a payment plan by selecting Affirm at checkout. There will be no refunds after November 7th, 2022. If a refund is requested prior to November 7th, 2022, all but a $500 deposit will be refunded. We have this refund policy because the balance of our Dublin hotel deposit and all group expenses are due and are nonrefundable.

Where is the hotel and workshop venue?

Immerse yourself in both comfort and inspiration for 6 days, 5 nights at Iveagh Garden Hotel. This 4-star hotel is an urban oasis just steps from Grafton Street and Iveagh Gardens. Opened in February 2018, it is one of the lowest carbon footprints of any Irish Hotel and is Europe's first fully sustainable hotel. Located in the heart of this vibrant city, the Iveagh Garden Hotel is one of the best Dublin hotels near all major attractions. Your own room and breakfast are included in your workshop tuition.

How late can I apply? 

We will accept applications through October 15th, 2022.

What will you do with my email?

We respect your privacy. We will only use your email to send you  information about Writing Workshops. We won't sell or rent your  email to other organizations.

I have a question not answered here.

Please contact us and we’ll reply promptly. You can also Chat with us (lower left of your screen).

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