Workshop #


Drawing From The Well: Making A Fiction Of Our Lives


Billy O’Callaghan

Every life, everybody's past and present, is brimming with material that can be crafted into a short story. In this workshop there will be an examination of stories that have mined 'the personal' particularly well and how they transcend the limitations of 'fact'. We will discuss how to recognize those situations that have the greatest dramatic adaptability, and ask what it takes to elevate specific life events so that they will work as a story. We will also consider how 'life moments' can inspire us in a thematic or metaphorical sense to create stories unrecognizable as factual to anyone but us.



Billy O’Callaghan, from Cork, is the author of four short story collections, most recently The Boatman and Other Stories, and three novels, including the internationally acclaimed My Coney Island Baby which was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature’s Encore Award, and Life Sentences, a top 10 Irish fiction bestseller. He has won a Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award for the Short Story and been a finalist for the Costa Short Story Award among numerous honors, and his books have been translated into a dozen languages. More than 100 of his short stories have appeared in journals such as: Agni, the Chattahoochee Review, the Kenyon Review, Narrative, Ploughshares, Salamander and the Saturday Evening Post, and a new novel will be published by Jonathan Cape in 2023.