Fail Better: Writing Fiction with Conor Montague

Thu Apr 25 2019 at 06:30 pm to Thu Jul 11 2019 at 08:30 pm
YMCA Club, 112 Great Russell Street, London, United Kingdom

YMCA Club, 112 Great Russell Street, London, United Kingdom

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Fail Better is a 12 week (including break for half-term) workshop-based course with an emphasis on writers producing quality fiction in a supportive and inspiring collaborative environment. Classes are on Thursday evenings from 18:30 to 20:30.

Through analysis of published work and the work of fellow writers in the group we will develop our understanding of what it takes to produce publishable fiction. Explorations of technique, process and motivation form a large part of the course. As does reading. ‘If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.’ (Stephen King: On Writing). With this in mind we look at examples of strong fiction and learn how to read like a writer. What is being done here? How is it done?

Writing will of course be central, and every student will have their own work read by the other writers in the group, and will have regular opportunities to have their work critiqued in class, gaining confidence, skill and insight into the writing process as we go. The group will work towards a strategic approach to getting published through research and analysis of relevant publications/competitions.

Writers will also have an opportunity to perform their work at one of the monthly spoken word events hosted by London Writers’ Eclective. Participants will be invited to submit to an anthology of short fiction to be published by London Writers’ Eclective.

Course Facilitator: Conor Montague

Conor Montague is an Irish writer/performer working in London. A graduate of the MA in Writing at the National University of Ireland (Galway), he has published widely in short fiction and creative non-fiction, including pieces in Galway Stories (Doire Press), Watching My Hands at Work (Salmon), Noir by Noir West (Arlen House), Shooter Literary Magazineand Sixteen. His short fiction has been placed/listed in numerous competitions, most recently in Flash 500, Casket of Fictional Delights, Reflex Fiction, TSS 400 Flash Fiction Competition, Ad Hoc Fiction and the London Indepemdent Short Story Prize. Conor’s debut collection of short fiction, The Integrity of Cockroaches, will be published by Arlen House in 2019.

Conor also writes and performs for stage and screen. Recent theatre/screen work includes Who Needs Enemies, a series of comic plays since adapted for television, and The Butcher Molloy, which premiered at the 2012 Galway Theatre Festival and enjoyed its London premiere at the ICC Theatre Hammersmith in December 2017. Conor's one-man show, 'Cursed by Good Intentions' premiered at the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, Galway in Oct 2017. 'Straight Outta Connemara' a collaboration with Irish comedian, Páraic Breathnach, premiered at the ICC Theatre, Hammersmith on 29 Nov 2018. His play, Killing Donald, will be staged as part of the Lost Theatre One-Act Festival at the Stockwell Playhouse in June 2019.  

A TV drama series, Rising, is currently in development with a London-based production company.

Conor was coordinator for creative writing at the City Literary Institute (City Lit), Covent Garden, from 2013-2017 and was founder and artistic director of the City Lit Page to Stage programme at the Lyric, Hammersmith. He compiled and co-edited three collections of short fiction for the Atlantis Collective, Galway; co-edited George Moore: Dublin, Paris, Hollywood for Irish Academic Press; and compiled and edited Between the Lines – an annual anthology of student work for City Lit – from 2013-2016.

Conor has been facilitating writing workshops/retreats for the past seven years. He is co-director of London Writers’ Eclective and hosts monthly performance events for up and coming writers at Waterstones and other London venues.
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