Magic Realism for Beginners with Jan Carson

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This short, interactive writing programme will equip you to write magic realist prose fiction. Facilitated by Northern Irish novelist and short story writer, Jan Carson, the sessions will explore what magic realism is, the history behind the genre, contemporary and much-celebrated magic realist writers and how to write your own magic realist short story. Carson will deliver an easy-to-follow talk, guiding participants through the development and writing of their own piece of magic realism. She will also be available to give structured feedback and guidance to all the writers involved in the programme. The sessions will be informative, engaging and a lot of fun. This is a writing course for people with big imaginations, plenty of creativity and a desire to write the world around them in a slightly unusual way. It is suitable for all writers including those who are just beginning to explore their writing style.

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in East Belfast. Her debut novel Malcolm Orange Disappears and short story collection, Children’s Children, were published by Liberties Press, Dublin. A micro-fiction collection, Postcard Stories was published by the Emma Press in 2017. Jan’s novel The Fire Starters was published by Doubleday in April 2019 and subsequently won the EU Prize for Literature for Ireland 2019. She has been shortlisted for the Sean O’Faolain Short Story Prize and in 2016 won the Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize.

Her work has appeared in journals such as Banshee, The Tangerine, Winter Papers and Harper’s Bazaar and on BBC Radio 3 and 4. She is currently working on her first television screenplay for BBC3 and has recently presented a radio documentary for BBC Radio 4. In 2018 Jan was the Irish Writers Centre’s inaugural Roaming Writer in Residence on the trains of Ireland. She is the 2019 recipient of the Jack Harte Bursary. Jan has curated the CS Lewis Festival, the Hillsborough Festival of Literature and Ideas and the inaugural Belfast Lit Crawl. She specialises in arts engagement with older and people living with Dementia and has received funding through Queen’s University Belfast to carry out a research project into the representation of Dementia in literature. She has facilitated creative writing workshops for the University of Ulster, Irish Writers Centre, Dublin, John Hewitt Summer School, West Cork Literary Festival and many other universities, festivals and organisations.