Nicholas McLachlan

Poet, Short-Story Writer
Reading and Q&A, Discussion with Writer, Creative Writing Workshop, Master Class
Age Group
7 - 10, 11-15, 16 - 18
Primary, Post Primary
Works in English ONLY
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Mornings, Afternoons

Publications/Repertoire/Productions & Background Experience

Nicholas McLachlan is a writer and teacher of poetry and fiction. His first collection of poetry, The Rain Barrel, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2015. His second collection is due in 2020. He received the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship for 2016. He mentors individual writers and teaches creative writing, poetry and fiction to university, school and community groups.

For fifteen years from 1995-2010 he was director of Dingle Writing Courses which delivered an annual programme of residential creative writing courses in Irish and English. Many well-known Irish, UK and American writers tutored on the programme.

He has produced and edited Ildána, a bi-lingual book of west Kerry art and writing (2008) and 80 MPH, A Festschrift for Leland Bardwell (2002).

His poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies, as well as in broadsheets, artist catalogues and festschrifts. His short stories have been published in The Irish Times, the Cork Literary Review, Force 10 and Cyphers.

He is an experienced facilitator and trainer, has worked with adults, early-school leavers and transition year students in a variety of settings for organisations such as Fás, Fás External Training, Foróige and Comhairle le Leas Óige, the youth section of the City of Dublin VEC and the Presentation Girls Secondary School, Dingle.

He is an approved tutor with the Kerry Further Education and Training Board and teaches Creative Writing and Poetry courses for the Adult Education programme in Dingle. He is Garda vetted and has completed the Introduction to Children First elearning programme.

He also mentors on the Casa Ana spring writers’ retreat in the Alpujarras, Andalucia, Spain and on the West Virginia Wesleyan College MFA Ireland programme.

Writing is in his blood. His mother is the poet and novelist, Leland Bardwell.

Session Details

My teaching philosophy is a practical one and involves writing and reading. Many of the principles and practices of writing are common to fiction and poetry and can only be fully understood by engaging in the process of writing. Whether it’s a workshop on fiction or poetry or a combination of both I like to get students writing so they can experience this for themselves.

At primary level the techniques I use to generate work can include templates and scaffolding, acrostics, synonym poems, alphabet poems, etc., as well as exercises that encourage the use of the senses. This is work that can be done individually, in pairs or in small groups.

At second level I like to expose the group to the work of contemporary writers, particularly writers and themes they can identify with. A typical session at this level will generally include a more subtle analysis of sensory detail, imagery, concrete nouns, particulars and texture. I will use dramatic monologues, advice and what I know poems, as well as fiction writing techniques such as scene setting, character, voice and descriptive writing to get students writing.

For image of The Rain Barrel go to:

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