The Happiness of Getting it Down Right
10th September at 2.45pm
Firkin Crane Theatre, Shandon
"In an interview in The Paris Review, [Frank] O'Connor was asked the question "How do you start a story?" and his answer was "Get black on white, used to be Maupassant's advice -- that's what I always do. I don't give a hoot what the writing's like." Though in fact he did. Opposed to this belief in spontaneity and the importance of form over finicky detail was The New Yorker's insistence that a given piece of writing be as nearly perfect as humanly possible, down to the last semi-colon and comma. Sitting at a table in Maxwell's office with pages of manuscript scattered before them or galleys with dozens of queries -- some helpful, some exasperating -- from the proofreader, the two men would work their way deeper and deeper into the material." -- Michael Steinman
The relationship between editor and author in the United States is generally more intense and collaborative than on this side of the Atlantic. Is this a good thing? How much of the text can the author own after an extensive rewrite directed by an editor? Is there a danger editorial intervention can stray into the territory of co-authorship? Is the author who does not receive this level of attention at a disadvantage? We'll be discussing these questions and others with a panel of writers and editors, experienced on one side or other of the Atlantic or on both.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1970, Nuala O'Connor is a fiction writer and poet. Writing as Nuala Ní Chonchúir she has published two novels, four collections of short fiction, a chapbook of flash fiction and three full poetry collections – one in an anthology. Nuala's third novel, Miss Emily was short-listed for the Eason Book Club Novel of the Year 2015 and is on the long-list for the M.M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016. Nuala holds a BA in Irish from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Translation Studies (Irish/English) from Dublin City University. Nuala teaches occasional creative writing courses. For the last five years she has been fiction mentor to third year students on the BA in Writing at NUI Galway. She lives in County Galway with her husband and three children.
Declan Meade is the founding editor and publisher of The Stinging Fly magazine. In 2005 he set up The Stinging Fly Press. He has edited two anthologies of short stories for the imprint: These Are Our Lives (2006) and Let’s Be Alone Together (2008). He teaches a module on the business of publishing at the American College Dublin as part of their MFA in Creative Writing. http://www.stingingfly.org/
Danielle McLaughlin's stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, The South Circular, Southword, The Penny Dreadful, Long Story,Short and The New Yorker. She has won various awards for her short fiction, including the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition 2012, The From the Well short story competition 2012, The Willesden Short Story Prize 2013, The Merriman Short Story Competition 2013 in memory of Maeve Binchy, and the Dromineer Literary Festival Short Story Competition 2013. She was shortlisted for the Writing.ie Irish Short Story of the Year category in the Irish Book Awards in 2013 and 2014, and her story ‘The Dinosaurs on Other Planets’ was shortlisted for the Davy Byrnes Award 2014. Her debut collection of short stories Dinosaurs on Other Planets will be published in Ireland by The Stinging Fly Press in autumn 2015, and in the UK (John Murray), US (Random House) and Germany (Luchterhand) in 2016. http://www.stingingfly.org/book/dinosaurs-other-planets
When she was young, Sara Majka's family moved along the New England coast, living in Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Maine, and even for a time in a lighthouse. She received graduate degrees from Umass-Amherst and Bennington College and was awarded a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She now lives in Queens with her young son. Cities I've Never Lived In is her first book. http://saramajka.com/