2020: first WfCW dates, Poems on a Sunday Afternoon, @Down_Arts Courses and more local writing activities! #downpatrick #lecale #ballynahinch #countydown

A new year and a new decade – much inspiration for the writing activities and some forthcoming diary dates.

New dates for Words for Castle Ward

For your diary, our next dates are:

All saturdays, 11am to 12.30pm (with a tendency to run on a bit..)

– 11 January (feedback)
– 8 February (New writing)
– 14 March (feedback)
– 18 April (feedback – please note 3rd Saturday as the previous falls on Easter weekend).

Venue: The Education Suite, National Trust Castle Ward.

Further information about the group HERE. If you are on social media like our FB page HERE.


Date for your diary: Next Poems on a Sunday Afternoon (Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick) is on 02/02/2020 – World of Equals Theme (more info to follow). Followed by 26 April 2020 featuring Linda McKenna on the occasion of the publication of her first collection (Doire Press, 2020). Further details on Down Arts Centre’s website.


Winter/Spring Writing Courses at Down Arts Centre

Wednesday is writing day at Down Arts Centre. The first 2020 instalment of two great creative writing classes begin in late January (22 January) for ten weeks. Creative Writing, 7-9pm, facilitated by Dr Catherine Kelly, is a workshop-based class for all with an interest or a practice of writing, whether poetry, prose or playwriting. ‘I have a story in me…’ (1.30-3.30pm) is for those with an interest in writing for children. Author/artist/illustrator Kieron Black will help you get your story from daydream to workable plot! Info/booking on 028 4461 0747 or in person at the during Centre opening hours. Find further details on Down Arts Centre’s website.


Ballynahinch Library Group

A monthly group has started up in Ballynahinch Library. Facilitated by author Kerry Buchanan, the group is open to all levels and abilities and meets the second Monday of each month from 12noon-13.30pm. Enquire at the library for further details.



The River Mill Writers’ Retreat

Need some time out to progress your writing or background research but can’t go too far? The ultimate Couty Down writers’ staycation, The River Mill is on the Ballyclander Road (between DPK and Killough) and offers both retreat opportunities and one-day or longer workshops. Check out the website for details of what’s available and what’s coming up in terms of courses. Details HERE.



WfCW dates, Poems on a Sunday Afternoon, @Down_Arts Courses and more local writing activities! #downpatrick #lecale #ballynahinch #countydown

Autumn Season round up of development opportunities for writers in the area as has become my custom! Here are a selection of activities welcoming participation.

New dates for Words for Castle Ward

For your diary, our next dates are:

All saturdays, 11am to 12.30pm (with a tendency to run on a bit..)

14 Sept (Feedback) 14 Sept (Feedback), 12 October (new writing), 16 November (feedback – please note not 2nd Saturday), 14 December (feedback) 11 May (Feedback), 8 June (New Writing), 10 Aug (Feedback), 14 Sept (Feedback)

Venue: The Education Suite, National Trust Castle Ward.

Further information about the group HERE. If you are on social media like our FB page HERE.


Poems on a Sunday Afternoon

Our next Poems on a Sunday Afternoon is on 29 May, 2.30-4.30pm at Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick with the usual warm invitation to share your own work. In our featured spot is Gerry McCullough whose first novel, Belfast Girls, (Night Publishing, 2010), was a #1 bestseller on paid UK Kindle. It was republished in 2012 by Precious Oil Publications, who went on to publish 14 other books by Gerry, including 4 collections of her popular stories of the lovable rogue Old Seamus (available in Amazon paperback and Kindle editions). In addition to her prose work, Gerry is an award-winning and widely published short story author and poet. She lives just outside Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, is married to singer-songwriter, writer, radio presenter and publisher Raymond McCullough, and has four children.. All welcome. The event is free to attend and no booking is required. More information: http://www.downartscentre.com

Date for your diary: Poems on a Sunday Afternoon is on the move for our November session. Put a hold on November 17 for a second celebration of all things CS Lewis at Kilbroney. Times and further details tbc.


Autumn Writing Courses at Down Arts Centre

Wednesday is writing day at Down Arts Centre. The autumn instalment of two great creative writing classes begin in late September (25 May) for ten weeks. Creative Writing, 7-9pm, facilitated by Dr Catherine Kelly, is a workshop-based class for all with an interest or a practice of writing, whether poetry, prose or playwriting. ‘I have a story in me…’ (1.30-3.30pm) is particulary for those with an interest in writing for children. Author/artist/illustrator Kieron Black will help you get your story from daydream to workable plot! Info/booking on 028 4461 0747 or in person at the during Centre opening hours. Find further details on Down Arts Centre’s website.


New Group in Ballynahinch Library

A new monthly group has started up in Ballynahinch Library. Facilitated by author Kerry Buchanan, the group is open to all levels and abilities and meets the second Monday of each month from 12noon-13.30pm. Enquire at the library for further details.



The River Mill Writers’ Retreat

Need some time out to progress your writing or background research but can’t go too far? The ultimate Couty Down writers’ staycation, The River Mill is on the Ballyclander Road (between DPK and Killough) and offers both retreat opportunities and one-day or longer workshops. Check out the website for details of what’s available and what’s coming up in terms of courses. Details HERE.


Not the queue for Words for Castle Ward 🙂 – Antiques Roadshow being filmed here in July.


WfCW dates, Poems on a Sunday Afternoon, @Down_Arts Courses & more local writing activities! #downpatrick #lecale #ballynahinch #countydown

Loads happening around here for those developing their writing skills. It’s great to see all that’s on. Here are a selection of activities welcoming participation.

New dates for Words for Castle Ward

For your diary, our next dates are:

All saturdays, 11am to 12.30pm (with a tendency to run on a bit..)

11 May (Feedback), 8 June (New Writing), 10 Aug (Feedback), 14 Sept (Feedback)

Venue: The Education Suite, National Trust Castle Ward.

Further information about the group HERE.


Poems on a Sunday Afternoon

Our next Poems on a Sunday Afternoon is on 12 May, 2.30-4.30pm at Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick with the usual warm invitation to share your own work. In our featured spot are selected readers from the flagship Queens Writers’ Group, including John McAlister, Mary Montague, Ray Givens, Martha McGonagle. All welcome. The event is free to attend and no booking is required. More information: http://www.downartscentre.com


Summer Writing Courses at Down Arts Centre

Wednesday is writing day at Down Arts Centre. The summer instalment of two great creative writing classes begin this week (1 May) for six weeks. Creative Writing, 7-9pm, facilitated by Dr Catherine Kelly, is a workshop-based class for all with an interest or a practice of writing, whether poetry, prose or playwriting. ‘I have a story in me…’ (1.30-3.30pm) is particulary for those with an interest in writing for children. Author/artist/illustrator Kieron Black will help you get your story from daydream to workable plot! Info/booking on 028 4461 0747 or in person at the during Centre opening hours.


New Group in Ballynahinch Library

A new monthly group has started up in Ballynahinch Library. Facilitated by author Kerry Buchanan, the group is open to all levels and abilities and meets the second Monday of each month from 12noon-13.30pm. Enquire at the library for further details.


Deep Down Arts and Wellbeing: Lived Experience Arts Festival (11-19 May)


From 11-19th May 2019, County Down based ‘Deep Down Arts and Wellbeing’ celebrate the mental health benefits of creativity with partners Voluntary Arts, Get Creative and The Ivy Bar. The theme for the festival is Keep Holding On. The programme includes Poetry NI, Natalie Smith, Kate Smeltzer, Leigh Stirrup, Kev Hatton, Rebecca Magee, Eve Williams, Beverley Healey and other wonderful artists for a programme of music, poetry, creative writing, visual arts, comedy and film beginning on 11th May with a Darkness into Light walk and finishing on the 19th May. There will be a group participating in the Get Creative Createathon at the Ulster Museum on 18th May, when they will provide creativity for children of all ages. All this at a low cost and with the added bonus of a chance to raise funds for Ards Suicide Awareness Group. Programme details HERE.


The River Mill Writers’ Retreat

Need some time out to progress your writing or background research but can’t go too far? The ultimate Couty Down writers’ staycation, The River Mill is on the Ballyclander Road (between DPK and Killough) and offers both retreat opportunities and one-day or longer workshops. Check out the website for details of what’s available and what’s coming up in terms of courses. Details HERE.