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Irish Writers Centre Partners with Train Lines to Put Writer on the Rails

26 February 2018

On Wednesday 14 February, writer Jan Carson took her inaugural journey from Belfast to Derry as the Irish Writers Centre’s first Roaming Writer-in-Residence, in partnership with rail companies Translink NI Railways and Irish Rail. 

The Roaming Writer-in-Residence is supported by the Arts Council Northern as part of the IWC strategy to further connect writers from North and South. The first project of its kind in Ireland, the project aims to capture of the imagination of the public and build relationships between creative writing students across the country. Between February and May 2018, Jan will travel across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, collecting stories and inspiration from conversations with her fellow passengers. She’ll also conduct workshops with students in MIC (Mary Immaculate College), UU (University of Ulster), DCU (Dublin City University) and QUB (Queens University Belfast). 

Jan will document her travels on social media (Instagram: @Roamingwriterstories Twitter: #IWCRoamingWriter) as well as through her Postcard Stories, pieces of micro-fiction written on postcards. The Postcard Stories, developed with the university students, will be sent between the universities across the island and to the members of the public who she meets on her train journeys. Jan’s first postcard story was posted to Instagram on Wednesday 14 in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Read the full story over on her Instagram @Roamingwriterstories.

“Valentine’s Day”

Today is Patricia and John’s forty seventh Valentine’s Day together. They’re long since past the romantic stage. They wouldn’t have known today any different from the next if it weren’t for the television adverts reminding them to buy each other flowers and cards and dine in for two deals from Marks and Spencer’s. Patricia and John are on their way to Derry. When they get there they’ll have a coffee and a slice of cake between them, a dander round the shops and be back on the train before rush hour. It’s not Valentine’s Day that’s brought them out. They often go up to Derry for the afternoon. 

Sure, why wouldn’t they, now the train’s free? 

Notes for the Editor: 

The Irish Writers Centre is the national resource centre for Irish literature. The IWC supports and promotes writers at all stages of their development, and runs a diverse programme of writing courses and workshops led by established writers across a range of forms and genres. The Irish Writers Centre’s Northern Ireland programme has rolled out its courses and professional development programme with an aim to bring our services to the north and to connect together writers from across the island.

Jan Carson is based in Belfast. She currently has one novel, “Malcolm Orange Disappears” (Liberties Press, 2014), a short story collection, “Children’s Children” (Liberties Press, 2016), a microfiction collection, “Postcard Stories” (Emma Press, 2017), and commissioned stories included in the following anthologies, “Settling” in “The Glass Shore” (New Island, 2016) and “Egg” in “The Female Line” (New Island, 2017). Jan’s stories have aired on BBC Radio 4 and most recently, read by Liam Neeson, on Radio 3. Her next novel will be published in spring 2019. 

CONTACT: Kate Cunningham, COMMUNICATION & EVENTS OFFICER        t: +353 0872598026  e: [email protected]


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