The Leonardo da Vinci programme

Eleven writers visit Arvon Lumbank as the first placement flow under Developing Creative Practise Across Borders gets under way.

Aspiring Cavan writers travel to Arvon, West Yorkshire

Sunday morning was wet and blustery but the weather did not dampen the enthusiasm of the aspiring Cavan writers on their way to Arvon Lumbank Centre, West Yorkshire for a fortnight of character analysis, plots and critical analysis.   The group participating include: Bee Smith, West Cavan Haiku poet and Geo Park Guide, Kay Carmichael, former member of Arts and Heritage CE scheme, Ita Madden, Extern Facilitator, songwriter, Brian Mc Dermott, Chair of Belturbet Drama Group and Kate Ennals who has recently completed an MA in Creative Writing from University College Galway.  Members from the National Learning Network include: Joseph Reilly, Gerard Corry, Carena Cosgrove and Kelan Braiden, who developed their passion for creative writing while taking part in the 2013 Susie Minto workshops as part of the Culture Cavan project.   They are accompanied by Derbhla O Toole and Patricia Blackwell from the NLN.     


Miriam Mc Quaid, Manager at the National Learning Network comments “Reports from our four students and staff currently in the Ted Hughes Arvon Centre are that they are getting on great. They are all relishing every minute of this unique opportunity and I’ve no doubt that the experience will be invaluable to them as they develop their writing skills. We were delighted when Cavan County Council first approached us regarding collaborating on the project as we knew that our students would value both the creative and social inclusion aspects of the experience. We look forward to seeing how the two week placement enhances our student’s creative writing skills.”


Social Inclusion Officer Emer Coveney who along with Cavan arts office secured this funding is delighted that “our first flow of placements have travelled to the UK to engage in an intensive creative writing experience as part of Developing Creative Practice Across Borders, an EU funded initiative through Leargas.   The Arvon, Lumbank Centre was once the home of poet Ted Hughes and no doubt this place along with the excellent programme of tutors will inspire our Cavan group”.  


Tutors include Clare Shaw, poet whose first poetry collection, Straight Ahead, was described by Jackie Kay as “an emotional blast of a book”.   Her second collection Head On was equally well received.   Tutor Mark Illis writes novels, short stories, radio plays and TV drama.   He is the author of four novels, A CHINESE SUMMER, THE ALCHEMIST, THE FEATHER REPORT and a collection of connected short stories, TENDER.   He has been described by Anne Enright as ‘a great stylist: eloquent, graceful, quiet…..his work has wonderful subtlety and surprising strength. ‘

The two week placements are funded by Leargas under the Leonardo Da Vince People in the Labour Market programme.   The aim is to support Life Long Learning by supporting trans - national mobility of workers, self employed or people available for employment (including graduates) undergoing a training period abroad.   The programme also aims to support the acquisition and the use of knowledge, skills and qualifications to facilitate personal development, employability and participation in the European Labour Market.    The funding was secured by Cavan County Council arts office and social inclusion unit.

 The next placement will involve a group of actors, a writer and director performing a new play at Coatbridge College, Scotland in May.    Visual artists and administrators will travel to Belfast and three arts centres in Estonia this summer as part of this project.


For further details contact Catriona or Emer on 049 4378546 or 049 4378581 at Cavan County Council.

This is an EU Partnership Project offering a European Work Experience opportunity for artists, called Developing Creative Practice Across Borders

'Developing Creative Practice Across Borders'

Cavan County Council invites applications from artists to take part in a two week work experience placement programme during 2014 where you will be based with one of six European host partners.

Paper Museum in TartuThe placements are relevant to artists in print, creative writing, sound, animation, multimedia, film, theatre, performance and visual arts.  Transport, accommodation and subsistence costs are provided.

Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 6th December 2013.

There will be a selection process including shortlist for interview.

This opportunity is open to Cavan artists and to other artists resident in Ireland. Eligibility conditions apply. Applicants must be aged 18 or over.

Download an application form here

See more project information

Read more about the host partners

The programme, called Developing Creative Practice Across Borders, is funded by the EU Leonardo da Vinci Programme (Lifelong Learning) through Leargas.

 Cavan Arts Logo     Cavan County Council Logo     Lifelong Learning Logo


Date and time:

28 Oct 2013 - 30 Dec 2014

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