INSIDE THE WRITERS HOUSE - SPRING 2023 - ZOOM EDITION Ireland is a magic realist country, rich in standing stones and megalithic forts, ancient abbey

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Ireland is a magic realist country, rich in standing stones and megalithic forts, ancient abbeys and crumbling churches. Everybody knows someone who has seen a faerie or a ghost, even if they haven't seen one themselves.

Join us at 3:30 PM, Fri. Sept 28 (on the second floor of the Rutgers Barnes & Noble) for the LIVE! kickoff of the Fall 2023 sequence of Inside the Writers House, when Writers House instructor Alex Dawson talks with acclaimed Irish author Deirdre Sullivan, Irish Children's Laureate Patricia Forde, and Man Booker Prize longlisted author Sam Thompson, all over from the Emerald Island, about the ways in which legends and landscape influence their work. Plus talking foxes, a witch who turns kids into swans, and what if the world only knew five hundred words? Books on sale at the event.

Recently named the Children's Laureate of Ireland, PATRICIA FORDE lives in Galway, where she writes for all ages in Irish and in English. She has published more than 20 titles, including her award-winning first novel, The Wordsmith (The List in the US), which Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl) called "the fantasy book of the year." In another life, she was the artistic director of Galway’s famous International Arts Festival. .

DEIRDRE SULLIVAN has written seven acclaimed books for young adults, including Savage Her Reply and Tangleweed and Brine, a collection of feminist retellings of classic fairytales which won the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award in 2018 (and Young Adult Book of the Year in 2017). She lives in Galway.

SAM THOMPSON's debut, Communion Town, was longlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. His third book Wolfstongue was chosen as a 2023 Outstanding International Book by the US Board on Books for Young People, and the Times called it the "best animal adventure since Watership Down." Wolfstongue's new sequel, The Fox’s Tower, was recently longlisted for the British Science Fiction Association Award. Piers Torday, author of the Last Wild trilogy called him "a visionary genius." He grew up in the south of England, but now lives in Belfast, where he teaches creative writing at Queen’s University.


Full calendar available soon.

Most sessions are virtual. Click HERE for the Zoom link; pass code: IWH. Free and open to the public.


Be a part of the conversation! Get candid access to working writers from all over the country as Writers House instructor (and former bookstore owner) Alex Dawson talks craft (via video chat) with some of the year's hottest pen pushers.

"Inside the Writers House" invites you into the homes, offices, and writing rooms of acclaimed authors, providing an inside eye on their working life and a level of intimacy often lacking in more formal settings. An obvious reference to the televised Actor's Studio seminar, "Writers House" interviews are likewise craft focused, but strive for an earthy spontaneity unencumbered by prepared queries and index card cues. Visits are conversational and plastic, largely molded by (and dependent on) audience questions. In addition to the conversation, most visits include short readings, writing prompts, show-and-tell sessions, and house/apt tours. Chances are you'll meet their pets.

In the last six years, students have visited with over 200 authors in dozens of different cities. Internationally, they've talked with Eoin Colfer in Dublin, Mariana Enriquez in Buenos Aires, Yewande Omotoso in Johannesburg, Garth Greenwell in Sofia, Karin Tidbeck in Stockholm, Kevin Barry in Montevideo, Salah Abdoh in Tehran and R.F. Kuang in Oxford. Stateside, they've talked with Maurice Ruffin in New Orleans, Jesse Walters in Spokane, Karen Russell in Portland, Chigozie Obioma in Lincoln, Tommy Orange in Oakland, Samuel Delany in Philadelphia, Susan Orlean in Los Angeles, Tom Perrotta in Belmont, Ken Liu in Boston, Jeff VanderMeer in Tallahassee, Darcie Little Badger in North Texas, and Eowyn Ivey in Palmer, Alaska (as well as more local NYC luminaries like Jennifer Egan, André Aciman, and N.K. Jemisin).

Click HERE to read my open letter to Writers House instructors. Click HERE to read series feedback from the students.


Previous guests: Matt Ruff (Lovecraft Country), David Gran (The Wager), Stephen Graham Jones (My Heart is a Chainsaw), Lily King (Five Tuesdays in Winter), Tom Lin (The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu), Richard Chizmar (Chasing the Bogeyman), Nghi Vo (The Chosen and the Beautiful), Grady Hendrix (Final Girl Support Group), Daniel Kraus(The Shape of Water w. Guillermo Del Toro and The Living Dead w. George Romero), Kieron Gillen (Immoral X-Men, The Wicked + the Divine), Lincoln Michel (The Body Scout), Meg Wolitzer (The Wife), Samuel Delany (Dhalgren), Ellen Kushner (Swordspoint), Arkady Martine (A Memory Called Empire), Fonda Lee (Green Bone Saga), Allegra Hyde (Eleutheria), Joshua Henkin (Morningside Heights), Ram V. (Blue in Green, Swamp Thing).Victor LaValle (The Changeling), Garth Greenwell (What Belongs to You), Hari Kunzru (White Tears), Tom Perotta (Mrs. Fletcher, The Leftovers), Alexander Chee (The Queen of the Night), Karan Mahajan (The Association of Small Bombs), Chandler Klang Smith (The Sky is Yours), John Wray (Gone to the Wolves), Leni Zumas (Red Clocks), Terese Mailhot (Heart Berries), Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl), Pitchaya Sudbanthad (Bangkok Wakes to Rain), Gerardo Sámano Córdova (Monstrilio), Ben Winters (Golden State), Chigozie Obioma (An Orchestra of Minorities), Erica Berry (Wolfish), Mark Mayer (Aerialists), Sarah Moss (Ghost Wall), Kristen Roupenian (You Know You Want This), T.J. Martinson (The Reign of the Kingfisher), Namwali Serpell (The Old Drift), Jennifer Acker (The Limits of the World), Lauren Wilkinson (American Spy), Jade Song (Chlorine), Karen Thompson Walker (The Dreamers) & Glen David Gold (I Will Be Complete), Mesha Maren (Sugar Run), Maurice Ruffin (We Cast a Shadow), Kate Hope Day (If, Then), Anjali Sachdeva (All the Names They Use for God), Akwaeke Emezi (Freshwater), Christopher Yates (Grist Mill Road), Colin Winnette (The Job of the Wasp), Hala Alyan (Salt Houses), Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels), Joseph Cassara (The House of Impossible Beauties), Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists), Robert Olen Butler (Perfume River), Joe McGinniss, Jr. (Carousel Court), Lara Vapnyar (Still Here), Nathan Hill (The Nix), Arthur Phillips (The Tragedy of Arthur, Prague), Tom Holland (Fright Night, Childsplay), Justin Cronin (The Passage), Bill Broun (Night of the Animals), Maryse Meijer (Heartbreaker), Sara Majka (Cities I’ve Never Lived In), Jonathan Evison (The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving), Gina Chung (Sea Change), Michael Swanwick (The Iron Dragon’s Daughter), Scott Snyder (Batman, American Vampire), N.K Jemison (The Fifth Season), Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Ann Packer (The Dive From Clausen’s Pier), Stewart O'Nan (Snow Angels, West of Here), Hannah Tennant-Moore (Wreck and Order), Andrew Smith (Grasshopper Jungle), Charles Bock (Beautiful Children, Alice & Oliver), Julia Elliot (The New and Improved Romie Futch), Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (The Nest), David Gates (Jernigan), James Hannaham (Delicious Foods), Austin Grossman (Crooked, Dishonored), Erika Swyler (The Book of Speculation), Elissa Schappell (Tin House, Blueprints for Building Better Girls), Daniel Torday (The Last Flight of Poxl West), Laura van den Berg (Find Me), Annie Liontas (Let Me Explain You), Sung Woo (Everything Asian, Love, Love), Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief), Benjamin Percy (The Dark Net, Wolverine: The Long Night), Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper), Clay McLeod Chapman (Rest Area, Lazaretto), Megan Mayhew Bergman (Almost Famous Women), Lev Grossman (The Magicians Trilogy), Mark Jacobson (American Gangster, The Lampshade), Bret Anthony Johnston (Remember Me Like This), Thomas Pierce (Hall of Small Mammals), Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall, Panic), Edwin Frank (New York Review Books), Jeff VanderMeer (Borne, The Southern Reach Trilogy), Jason Rekulak (The Impossible Fortress), Achy Obejas (Ruins), William Giraldi (Hold the Dark), Dave Rudden (Knights of the Borrowed Dark), Porochista Khakpour (The Last Illusion), Jess Row (Your Face in Mine), Rolf Potts (Vagabonding), Alethea Black (I Knew You’d Be Lovely), Emma Straub (The Vacationers), Max Winter (Exes), Kathleen Rooney (Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk), Jess Arndt (Large Animals), Deb Olen Unferth (Wait Till You See Me Dance), Paul Lynch (Grace), Daisy Johnson (Fen), Rebecca Schiff (The Bed Moved), Gene Ha (Mae), Stephen Graham Jones (Mongrels, Mapping the Interior), Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties), Annie Hartnett (Rabbit Cake), Gin Phillips (Fierce Kingdom), Eugene Lim (Dear Cyborgs), Julie Buntin (Marlena), Yewande Omotoso (The Woman Next Door), Anne Raeff (The Jungle Around Us), Tim Murphy (Christadora), Nicole Denniss-Benn (Here Comes the Sun), Marianna Enriquez (Things We Lost in the Fire), Rahul Mehta (No Other World), Paul LaFarge (The Night Ocean), Shanthi Sekaran (Lucky Boy, Esme Weijun Wang (The Border of Paradise), Kristin Radtke (Imagine Wanting Only This), Leslie Nneka Arimah (What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky), and Hannah Tinti (The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley).

Click HERE to read the New Brunswick Today article about "Inside the Writers House."

alex sword

Alex Dawson teaches creative writing courses that lean toward Fantasy & Weird Fiction. He also helms a fantasy fiction winter workshop/retreat in Ireland and Scotland with authors Dave Rudden (12 Angels Weeping) and Lev Grossman (The Magicians). Until 2012, Dawson was the owner of The Raconteur, a now-defunct bookshop and performance venue hailed by The New York Times, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and The Star Ledger. The Rac-On-Tour, a mobile version of the bookstore built on the back of a '53 International flatbed, hit the road this past spring. Dawson's forthcoming memoir, Room to Swing an Axe, about growing up in 80's Alabama, has been called "a Johnny Cash song directed by Steven Spielberg," and his novel, Welcome to White Hart, has been called "Charlotte's Web meets Winter's Bone." Both books are due out this year. Dawson has been a bouncer and a bartender in some of the roughest joints in NJ and has ridden a motorcycle for almost forty years.

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