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Creative Writing Seminar

A four-week, 3 credit immersive creative writing course, the Creative Writing Seminar takes place in Galway City and at the Kylemore Abbey Global Centre in Connemara. The course features creative writing instruction including discussion of published works, site-specific writing exercises, and workshopping of student work led by Notre Dame and Irish faculty. The course also features literary events as well as seminars and masterclasses led by renowned Irish writers. During the 2016 course, Alice McDermott and Kevin Barry provided master classes to students over the course of the program. The master class instructors during the 2017 course were Niall Williams and Seamus Deane. The master class instructors for the 2018 course were Booker Prize winner John Bainville, world renown playwright Marina Carr and a return visit of acclaimed Irish writer Kevin Barry. The 2021 masterclasses will be led by Irish authors Kevin Barry and Colm Tóibín.

During the programme, students will have time for their own writing and will be able to explore the dynamic small city life of Galway and the stunning countryside surrounding Kylemore Abbey. While at Kylemore, students are taken on excursions to complement their coursework and inspire them in their ideas for their final writing assignments. Students engage with the physical settings that inspired the works of W.B. Yeats through their visit to the Yeats and Lady Gregory Heritage Trail, walk the steps of J.M. Synge during their trip to the Aran Islands, and more.

2021 Creative Writing Seminar


July 3 (arrival) to July 31, 2021 (departure). Please note that these dates are subject to change.


During the seminar, Notre Dame Professor and PEN/Faulkner award-winning author Azareen Van der Vliet Olooomi will be offering an intensive masterclass on "Style, Intimacy & Setting" followed by a two week session with world-renowned Irish playwright and professor Marina Carr. The seminar will also include masterclasses with award-winning Irish authors Kevin Barry and Colm Tóibín.

Application Information

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The closing date for all applications is February 27, 2021 with an expected decision date of mid-April.

To apply:

  1. Fill out the application form
  2. Email the required documents listed below to

a) one letter of recommendation,
b) one 10-20 page writing sample, and
c) transcript of grades

If you have any questions about the application process or would like more information about the Creative Writing Seminar, please contact us.