Tuesday 17 September 2019

Author Billy teaches Bridgetown students

BUDDING AUTHORS at Bridgetown Vocational College have been taking some tips from Wexford writer Billy Roche who spent a two-month residency in the school.

The programme enjoyed by a Leaving Cert 1 class, was funded by Poetry Ireland and the Arts Council.

Billy worked on short story development with the participants for an hour and a half each week over eight weeks, helping them to produce a booklet of their own stories.

At a reading in the school last week which was attended by Moira Cardiff of Poetry Ireland, Billy read some of the short stories, bringing them to life in front of a small audience of students and staff.

The residency was an 'amazing success', according to English teacher Emma Bolger who applied for the funding.

'It's amazing how successful something like this can be. When it started, the students were inhibited about having personal work read out in front of the others but those barriers broke down in week three and it really took off '.

'Billy has a fabulous temperament for working with young people. And he was really impressed by the writing of some of the students', she said.

A small prize of a book voucher was presented to the student who, in Billy's opinion, had made the biggest advancement during the programme. It went to Jenny McBride who was unfortunately unable to attend the reading.

Another English teacher Aileen McNamara accompanied Billy in the reading of students' work while some students also read the stories of others.

Emma Bolger is now hoping to get funding for another residency next year so that the school's other higher level Leaving Cert English class can avail of the programme.

Over the past two years, another author John Sexton from Kerry has held writing workshops for younger students in Bridgetown Vocational College, also part-funded by Poetry Ireland.

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