The March Back to Class – Martin Keaveney Creative Writing Launch New Courses

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Martin Keaveney Creative Writing is growing from strength to strength and continues to inspire writers to achieve their creative goals. Below Martin talks to on the eve of launching 31 online and In-Person courses 

12th March 2020, 11am – I am working in my office. I get a call from one of my student writers in Galway city. He asks me is class going ahead tonight in the Galway Arts Centre. Yes, I know there is something going on. But no, I can’t see the class being called over this…thing. 

I tell him I will see him later. Half an hour I am thinking about it. I ring the Galway Arts Centre where I teach a weekly creative writing course. I talk to Andy in the office. Is everything going ahead today? You are still open?  No, all is good, Andy says. In his relaxed accent, he tells me nothing changed as far as he knows. He will see me at half seven before class. 

Two minutes later, Andy rings. There is a bit more edge to his voice. “Sorry Martin. Actually, we will be closed this evening. And we don’t know for how long.”


And so begins  the new world of teaching for me. I download Zoom a few days later. I contact my class list. Some are interested in continuing the course online. Some won’t hear of it. I don’t know, I wouldn’t have heard of it myself a month before. I’ve never taught online.


 Two weeks later, we start with one class of three.


Martin Keaveney Creative Writing Launch New Courses


Fast forward  two-and-a-half years. This Autumn, Martin Keaveney Creative Writing will launch 31 online and In-Person  courses. Hundreds of writers have completed MKCW courses from every corner of Ireland, several European countries, and as far as Sydney, Canada and South Africa. Writers have attended via Zoom, Phone, email and even post.

Writers come back to MKCW. 70% of the school are repeat writers. Writers complement the classroom, the weekly podcasts and videos, the several support readings, the attention to detail, the relentless teaching energy, the availability of courses (courses are on early to late)  and the level of content which provides clear objectives for writers and measurable results. 

In 2021, MKCW launched the highly innovative Superflex system – a gym for writers, where members can attend between 5 and 10 writing classes every week, covering everything from sci, horror, crime, romance to internet literature, from playwriting, screenwriting and comics to video game scripting and music. The cost? At entry level it works out at €16 per week. 

The same year Livewrite was introduced. Writers come together on Zoom early each morning and write  their novels, stories, poet, plays and movies.

In July 2022, MKCW launched their first boutique conference in the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin. This was  a weekend of publishing clinics and author interviews but most importantly, several key writing craft seminars. There was a space for writers to work in silence each morning. ‘Our Boutique conferences are not literary events, they are for writers and writing,’ Dr Keaveney told Nightcourses. ‘They are designed to really help writers get progress on their project, while enjoying seminars, meeting authors and publishers, producers and of course each other. In-Person events are very enjoyable after the restrictions of the pandemic era. It was really great to see all our Zoom classes come together at the conference.’  The next event is on this Friday, 2nd September until Sunday 4th in the Clayton Hotel in Sligo, with several more on the way. 

But who is MKCW? Martin Keaveney is a scholar of Narratology – he understands story. And he is a scholar of literature, specialising in the great Irish writer John McGahern – he understands fine literature.  Now Dr Keaveney has enlisted some support with playwright and editor Simon Thomas; Huffington Post columnist, editor and fiction writer Mark Kelleher; poet and writer Iva Yates; novelist and screenwriter Roger Cottrell and fiction writer and poet Suzzanna Matthews joining the team with significant expansion plans underway for 2023 and beyond.

MKCW provide several Irish literature courses as well, stretching from George Moore to Sally Rooney and even more recent novelists and poets.  Plans are advanced  to introduce courses on literature and authors from other regions and periods very soon. 

‘We work with all levels, mediums and genres. We want to provide writers and literature enthusiasts with the very best of courses they can find anywhere,’ Dr Keaveney said. ‘But we really want to see course participants progress in writing and literature. We are keen to help writers achieve their objectives, whether it is to enjoy a rewarding hobby, see their blockbuster movie on the big screen or Netflix,  or simply launch the next literary classic. And we  want to give literature enthusiasts a university-level experience. We love to see readers of literature  increase their knowledge and enjoyment of fine works. It’s really wonderful to see some participants move into research and express their views in a way that is heard clearly.’

Who can attend ? Complete beginners to published authors. ‘We have welcomed people who have never written a word (as far as they are concerned) to multiple-published authors, screenwriters, playwrights and poets.’ What type of people attend MKCW courses? ‘We actually have had a wide range, including doctors, nurses, accountants, students, stonemasons, gardai, psychotherapists, novelists, sheep-shearers,  celebrities, politicians, teachers, sales agents, singers, artists, persons in temporary accommodation, gardeners, civil servants, refugees, homemakers, historians, retired persons, and many others,’ Dr Keaveney said. ‘Everyone has a story to tell. We want to hear it. And then we want others to hear it too.’


Dr Keaveney understands writers and readers. He is a writer and reader himself.  His 4th book Caravan will be published shortly by Penniless Press. 


Check out all of MKCW’s  Autumn 2022 courses here.

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