FW Carlo classBack row L-R:  Mary McElroy, Dianne Trimble (Sec.), Dermot Maguire, Gordon Williams, Frankie McPhillips, John Monaghan (Vice Chair)

Front row L-R: John Kelly, John Llewellyn James, Marie Treacy, Ken Ramsey, Carlo Gebler, Teresa Kane, Jennie Brien, Tony Brady (Chair)

This photo, taken by Bob Baird on the last evening of our classes with Carlo Gebler, captures the members who attended the final critiquing class – of the six led by Carlo Gebler – bridging the last three weeks of September and the first three weeks of October 2014.

Our Chair, Tony Brady, tells us a little more about the classes:

Tony  Brady
Tony Brady

This autumn Fermanagh Writers received tuition, in a series of six classes, by esteemed writer, Carlo Gebler. Carlo fostered an atmosphere of collective participation in the classes. A measure of his challenging and attractive approach to critiquing prose fiction, prose poetry drama and poems was the consistent attendance of most Fermanagh Writers members who commenced and completed the six week  course Carlo conducted in Blakes.

In total, eighteen written contributions were considered and the criteria Carlo applied were broadly based on their content, interest, readability, imagination and presentation. More specifically, the contributions were subjected to analysis for their originality, inspiration, meaning, structure, reader stimulation, comprehension, style and publishing potential.

Areas for improvement were suggested: Carlo compared and contrasted the examples members presented, with the work of established writers and poets, citing specific reference to their published titles. He demonstrated principal writing techniques by his own reading from a selection of personally chosen authors. Notes of the content of each class were taken and they were circulated weekly to those members unable to attend: they will be collated and made available as a Fermanagh Writers’ resource to members. Expressions of appreciation and plaudits, received in messages from participants during the series, will be included.

Thank you Carlo, on behalf of everyone involved: you conducted your assignments with energy, enthusiasm and wholesale commitment. It does not end there, as your guidance and insights will continue to influence our own weekly practice and application to critiquing.  It is fitting to complete this brief Appreciation with you own words from your final class:

When you read, it’s private, it alters you. At the end you are not the same as when you started. There are two distinct experiences: the personal and awareness of the other. They are united in a relationship of the writer and the reader.”

As a token of Fermanagh Writers’ appreciation, John Monaghan presented Carlo with a book: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.