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Temporarily closed due to the pandemic

Hello and thank you for your interest in retreating to Anam Cara. From where I sit in my cocoon, it seems that the best we can do at the moment is wait each day to see what the latest developments and instructions are. Because of that, I think we will have to postpone booking retreats until we can find a time that will work safely for everybody. Right now, it sounds like none of us should be going too far from home as well as we should still be spending as little time as possible in close proximity to others. Please let me know how best to reach you, and I'll be in touch as soon as it will be safe to open the retreat for residencies and workshops. In the meantime, I send my best wishes for your safety and good health, Sue

Sue Booth-Forbes, Director
Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat

Narrative Empathy: Creating Complex Characters in Our Fiction

"Art is the nearest thing to life; it is a mode of amplifying experience and extending our contact with our fellow-men beyond the bounds of our personal lot." George Eliot

We are all complex characters, but our day-to-day interactions often prevent us from saying and acting how we truly feel. The complexity of human nature can be illuminated and explored in our writing. It can be difficult to access and understand certain parts of our behavior and personality. This can make writing about them very challenging.

This workshop will focus on how we can develop a fluency at listening to voices that are not our own and how this benefits our self-listening skills. We will consider the elastic, destructive and transformative nature of human character. This course will be beneficial for fiction writers and non-fiction writers of all genres, particularly writers interested in commencing work on difficult subject matter.

Retreat Dates and Registration

Arrival: 25th July 2020
Departure: 1st August 2020

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Booking & Information

For more information or to book your place on this workshop retreat, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sarah Byrne

Sarah Byrne

Sarah Byrne was born in Co. Cork and has lived in the U.K. and Germany. She studied psychology, criminology, German literature, forensic medicine and creative writing. She worked for ten years in psychiatric and criminal justice settings. She is the founding editor of The Well Review and has published work by leading voices in Irish and international literature such as Anne Carson, Ishion Hutchinson, Sinead Morrissey, Paul Muldoon and Matthew Sweeney.

Her own work has been published in The Irish TimesThe New Statesman and elsewhere. Sarah has taught creative writing workshops in prisons, hospitals, universities and high schools in Ireland and England for the past five years. She is currently completing a PhD in Medical Humanities at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. Her research focuses on empathy and sorrow in contemporary fiction.

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