Several members of FCWG (photo courtesy of Impartial Reporter)

Welcome to Loughside Literature, the Fermanagh Creative Writing Group’s blog. We are a small but active writers’ group with a core of eleven or twelve members who meet regularly in Enniskillen. It’s difficult to define our group. ‘Diverse’ best describes us.

We are a multicultural group with members from England, Canada and Germany as well as Ireland, north and south. We also have a good mix of men and women from both Northern Ireland’s predominant communities. The interaction between both genders, locals and ‘blow-ins’ who have a wide range of viewpoints ensures that the group is a stimulating one.

We work in a variety of occupations ranging from professionals in the medical and social work fields to clerical and maintenance personnel. One of our members is a fulltime sports journalist and another is a further education tutor. One member is taking a break from full time work to recover from a stroke while others are retired.  

The founding members initially met at writing classes facilitated by Seamas Mac Annaidh and run by Fermanagh District Council’s Art of Regeneration programme. When the classes ended we did not want the opportunity to meet with fellow writers to share our writing and receive constructive criticism to end. So we formed the group in March 2009. 

Some of us were new to writing when we joined Seamas Mac Annaidh’s class, never penning anything before. Others have regularly had material published in newspapers, magazines and anthologies. One member self-published a novel prior to joining the group. Besides the professional sports journalist, several other members write as part of their work, contributing non-fiction articles to professional publications.

Like everything else about out group, our reasons for writing are as diverse as our members. Some members want to explore their memories of experiences in their lives, some simply enjoy telling a good story while others write primarily with the aim of getting published.

During our first year we stepped into the limelight at several public events. In October 2009 we hosted the Enniskillen Literature Weekend in conjunction with the Fermanagh Arts Festival. Visiting poets Miriam Gamble and Kevin Quinn were featured at a Poetry Reading in the Clinton Centre on the Saturday and Readings By Writers featured our own members at Russell & Donnelly Café on the Sunday. The same weekend we participated in Voluntary Arts Ireland’s Up 4 Arts afternoon, reading our work to often bemused passers by in The Diamond, Enniskillen.

Several of our members attended a writing workshop facilitated by Ted Deppe in Rossnowlagh the same month. Afterwards we participated in their Readings Evening at the Sandhouse Hotel.

We read from our work at the Enniskillen Castle Museum during the Fermanagh Arts Festival mini-fest in February 2010.

In Loughside Literature we’ll share some of our writing and what we are learning along our writing journey. We’ll also keep you up to date with news about our group and its members. We hope you’ll pop back often to see what we’re up to.