On Saturday the 14th February NUI Galway hosted a day-long public writing event organised by the NUI Galway Writers’ Society. The day focused around different activities for the keen writing community to enjoy which included performances, talks and writing workshops – all organised and run by the students of the society themselves. There was a committee of sixteen members involved in organising the event and they had been working on the planning of the day since early January. The day was agreed to have been a success with everyone who attended having enjoyed themselves thoroughly.
The auditor of Writers’ society Richard Brown, the main organiser of the event, told me “the aim of the event was to show the prominence of writing on campus and that was indeed shown by the interest of people in the speakers and performances”. He was happy with the event overall as it was the first time an event like this was run. He said “with the standard being very high and everyone who attended wanting to be there, it was easily enjoyed”. The highlight of the day for Richard was the performance by Elaine Warde, a drama student of Jackdaw Theatre group, as this “captured the whole point of showing off our colleges talents”.
The first performance of the day was the exclusive premier of a one act play by the playwright Declan Jones “Maggie May Went Flying” with actors Bethany Langham who played the principle character ‘Maggie’ and Shane Egan who played the loveless side-kick presence ‘Gregory’. Following the performance, a question and answer session occurred with the writer and cast allowing the audience could get more personally involved. The second play “In The Shadow Of A Hero”, written by Rory O’Sullivan, gripped the audience in telling the story of young inner-city sisters and their dealings during the time of the heroic Katie Taylor Olympic gold medal win. The contrast of the joyous time of national victory with the hardships of the girls’ lives was beautifully recorded in performance by actress Elaine Warde.
Galway’s own Dr. Andrew O’Baoill did a talk on ‘Exploring Journalism’ which was well received as was the talk on the ‘Power of the Pen’ by NUI Galway Societies Officer Riona Hughes. The NUI Galway Society dedicated to Harry Potter did a talk on defining ‘Fan-Faction’ which gave some valuable insights to this growing genre of writing. Special guest speakers included author Laura-Jane Cassidy and popular bloggers from ‘Into the West’ network Saibh & Sinéad. Ms. Cassidy told the crowd about the steps she takes when writing a novel and gave a full picture of the process of having a book published. The bloggers gave some helpful tips in the art of blogging and were open to giving the listeners the opportunity to join them in their network.
Vice auditor Jesse O’Donovan of Writers’ Society ran and organised a Poetry Slam that saw competitors dramatically perform their poetry to a crowd. All competitors were very well received but the winner was Camille Fafin who performed a poem entirely in French. An open mic was also available for writers to read out their pieces of writing to the listeners. Workshops took place in the areas of playwriting, poetry and journalism which gave people the opportunity to try out a new style of writing. As well a performance by dancer Lévana Eckert incorporated crafted music and written poetry specifically for this expression of combined creativity.
Darragh Waters who attended the event said “I enjoyed it, I was kept busy with plenty of options there for things to do”. He admitted he had no experience of events like this and did not know what to expect. He said it “was well structured and organised as it had everything and it wasn’t hard to find your way around”. His favourite parts of the day were the poetry being read at the open mic because he had never seen anything like that before and he liked “the workshops being so interactive”.
After a much needed rest from the organisational pressure, there is hope that the society will return and organise this type of event again next year. But overall everyone is very happy with how the day went and how the day was enjoyed which incorporated the many talents of both students and staff of NUI Galway.
Were you at the event? Let us know what you thought of it, survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WRZ35HB
All photographs, taken by Colm McElliogtt, can be found on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.897459230305794.1073741830.372719359446453&type=1