Writer In Residence Project in conjunction with Creative Ireland and Monaghan County Libraries

Hi, I’m Deirdre Cartmill. I’m an award-winning poet, writer and screenwriter based in Belfast, and I’m delighted to be the Monaghan County Libraries Writer in Residence.

As we can’t get together in libraries and school at the moment, I’m bringing my Residency online.

Over the coming months I’ll share some videos on writing tools and techniques. I’ll give you an insight into what it’s like to be a professional writer and I’ll show you what it’s like in my writer’s room. I’ll also answer some of your questions about writing.

Some of you will get the chance to work with me one to one. Keep an eye on this page for details of how to apply and who is eligible.

I’m also looking forward to working with primary school kids over the summer months, as part of the libraries’ The Summer Reading Challenge. Each week I’ll be giving you a writing prompt. You can send your writing in and I’ll pick one young writer each week to work with me one to one.

I’m looking forward to connecting and getting you writing.



Week 1:  Facing a Blank Page

In the first of the series I debunk some myths about writing and show you how to invite inspiration into your daily life.

Week 2 – Using the 5 Senses

In this video I show you how to make your writing resonate emotionally with a reader by: 

– using the 5 senses.

– showing only via things.

– show don’t tell.

 This will make your written visceral, immediate and alive. There’s also a powerful writing prompt at the end to get you writing.

Week 3 – How to create Characters that resonate

How do you make your reader remember your writing long after they’ve read it? An essential step is to create a fully rounded human being.

In this video I talk about how important it is to explore the inner life of your character so the reader will resonate with their emotional journey.

If you’re inspired by this week’s video, don’t forget you can submit up to 10 pages of prose or script, or two poems to writing@monaghancoco.ie and each week I’ll pick a selection to review and give feedback on.

Watch out for next week’s Monday Musings video on How to Structure Your Story.

Week 4 – How to structure your story

Find out what the 5 elements are in every story and how you can use these to write a story that will keep your reader hooked.

I also talk about how the deeper, emotional journey works within a story.

Next week I’m starting a new series of videos called The Writer’s Room which take you behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a writer and will inspire you on your own writing journey.

I’ll also be answering some of your questions on writing in these videos so do email them to me and I’ll help where I can.