Catskill Irish Arts Week Logo
July 14-20 2024


Deirdre Cronin


Find your voice, tell your story, or, develop the idea you’ve been working on for a while. See your name in print!

Calling all writers or would-be -writers – beginners, intermediate & advanced – no matter what your experience level – here’s what we can offer as part of Catskills Irish Arts Week: 

Daily workshops led by a qualified writing teacher – working with close focus on your chosen genre of writing –  memoir, fiction or poetry. 


Both morning and afternoon classes will cater to beginners, intermediate and advanced students.


You will learn how to take your work from rough first draft to polished work ready for publication.

We will study extracts from the very best of literature and  memoir writing publications out there, to help illuminate your own journey in writing. And we’ll have great fun in the process! 


Deirdre Cronin:  Bio, Qualifications & Catskills Course Description:


  • Graduate of the MA Masters Degree in Creative Writing at University College Dublin. In UCD I was blest to be taught by some of Ireland’s leading writers – playwright Frank McGuinness, poet Paul Perry & acclaimed folklorist and short story writer Eilís Ní Dhuibhne – warm generous teachers all of them, and they continue to mentor and inspire.
  • June 2019: Extract from my recently completed novel “Songs & Shadows” has just been published in the Literary Journal Cyphersone of Ireland’s longest established quarterly publications, (edited by Ireland’s Chair of Poetry Eiléan Ní Chuilleaneán). The honour of having my work included in such a highly-regarded publication has been a huge boost on the path to novel publication.   I will bring copies of Cyphers along to Arts Week, and speak in class about the process of taking your work from first to final draft.
  • May 2019: Strokestown Poetry Festival. I was invited to read from my novel as part of the festival.
  • Miscellaneous: Prose, poetry and short fiction published in various magazines; my work has also been placed in the winning categories of different Irish competitions. Poetry featured on RTE Irish radio, and a poem dedicated to Mick Moloney No Strings Attached is published in the poetry anthology book Fermata from Artisan House Publishers.

Example of one class module: Traditional Song History:


Interactive course taught by music journalist, writer, and teacher, Deirdre Cronin – we wil

l link the old with the new – how the songs can inspire our writing today. 

“Those in power write the history, those who suffer write the songs”

This beautiful phrase was coined by the late and much-loved Irish song collector and singer Frank Harte.  Frank was one of Ireland’s most significant traditional song historians:  custodian of song, master of authenticity, passionate upholder of tradition, The Keeper of the Songs as singer-songwriter Robbie O’Connell wrote.

In a very real sense, this new study module is inspired by Frank and song-collectors like him.

Song, and the history of song as a trigger and inspiration for contemporary writing.

  • We will discuss how beautiful song lyrics can trigger the kind of writing themes which might inspire new writing and are deeply relevant to our lives today.
  • Also, we will learn about the history of traditional song, explore the power of song to hold so much in terms of emotional depth, historical significance, and also political and social context.
  • We will explore the endurance, power, and beauty of song, which carries so much relevance today.
  • In our group discussions, guest singer performances, and our own writings, we will illuminate the legacy of music and song in a freshly contemporary setting.


I look forward immensely to working with you.  At one time, I was shy to share my writing in a workshop environment.  But here’s to the joy of the collective environment! The power of community gives a writer perspective on their own work.  

Once I commit to this notion, publication invariably follows. Feel free to email me with any workshop queries:

“together we can do what I alone can not”  – traditional quote anonymous


Deirdre Cronin: Writing Bio: 

As a Dublin based writer, I look forward tremendously to working with you in such an inspirational place – the magical back-drop of the Catskills Irish Arts Week – music pouring out of every doorway, dances to be had, tune-makers, tune listeners, tune learners – and stories to be written around it all.  

You might relate to this – writing has always been my way to make sense of the world around me, but it’s only in recent years that I’ve had time to take it seriously.  At first, I felt more than a bit shy about sharing my work in a group context, but it has made all the difference to my work. Once I committed to this, publication followed.   As my Dublin mother Ann might say – “there’s no stopping ya now.”    I come from four generations of teachers  in Ireland – so I love passing on what was so freely given to me during my studies.  I teach active retirement groups, but am also deeply inspired by volunteer work, along with other writers and artists, with young Irish women emerging from challenging situations like homelessness, finding their voices through the written word.  It feels powerful and enriching to be linked with such positive people.”


Day Job:  I work as a music journalist, mainly writing for Irish Music Magazine.  Another favourite day-job – when the solitary nature of writing feels too much – I work with my first cousin, musician and teacher,  Dr Mick Moloney, organising Mick’s music and cultural tours of Ireland – I meet great people and come home full of inspiration and music which somehow makes its way into my work!

Educational Qualifications & Keynotes: 

  • As a recent 1st Class Honours Graduate of the MA Masters Degree in Creative Writing at University College Dublin, I have recently finished my first novel, “Songs & Shadows” – currently I’m submitting the story to agents and publishers. The bones of this novel formed the basis of my UCD MA Final Thesis.
  • In 2015, my story called Rupture was placed in the top 10 award winners for the Doolin Short Story Competition, where the total submission count surpassed 500 entries.
  • My poetry has featured on RTE Radio.
  • I’ve had short stories and memoir based prose pieces published in Ireland’s Own magazine and various literary journals.
  • My late father passed on his love of literature – Seamus was an English, Greek and Latin teacher (his books of translation were used in Leaving Cert Latin curriculums for many years.) Dad came from the Sliabh Luachra region in Kerry. I’m a mother of two adult daughters, and I live between Dublin and West Clare.
  • I was blest to be taught by some of Ireland’s leading writers – playwright Frank McGuinness & acclaimed folklorist and short story writer Eilís Ní Dhuibhne, among others – warm generous teachers all of them.


  • I was recently invited to submit to a poetry anthology from Artisan House Publishers called Fermatapoems about music – edited by poets Eva Bourke and Vincent Woods . It feels like the deepest honour to have my work included in this beautiful publication among such esteemed and established writers.