Love Comes In at the Eye


Welcome to our writers' workshop




"Love Comes in at the Eye" is a line from William Butler Yeats "The Drinking Song Poem." A century ago, Yeats himself wrote and honeymooned at Renvyle House, Connemara Ireland, where we work. 

We're looking for serious writers: memoirists, novelists, poets and creative nonfiction writers. We're open to narrative storytelling in all forms, and have hosted podcasters, dramatists, and journalists. The goal is to make progress on your current writing project in workshop review, whether you're writing in the first person voice or writing historical fiction or poetry.

“Love Comes in at the Eye” is now in its fourth year and takes place in some of the most beautiful country in the world. Our writers tell us this workshop is unlike any other.

Your workshop leaders are  founder Jacki Lyden,  a longtime former NPR host and author of the memoir "Daughter of the Queen of Sheba," and in 2020,  Alice McDermott,  whose eighth novel, The Ninth Hour, was a finalist for the National Book Award. 

The workshop is  limited to ten writers, so that everyone gets ample guidance and feedback. We welcome men, women and all persons inclusively. Please write to us to tell us what you’d like to work on.

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How does this work?

Once we've established that you're attending, we'll ask for  a non-refundable down payment of $500 out of total cost $3350 for eight nights, seven days.  Please note: registration in the form of an email from you does not open until Oct. 1. 

You should arrive in Ireland no later than the morning of the workshop, May 28 (your travel to Ireland is not part of our fee-- and if you are coming from the West Coast, we recommend arriving May 27.)    We'll send a van for everyone arriving that morning to Shannon International Airport--and send a van back on the last day.     We stay in the gorgeous Renvyle Hotel, which is on the Renvyle Peninusla.  It's a  four-star hotel,  featuring rooms with thrilling water, moutain or peaceful garden views,  and common areas that are inviting and relaxing. There's usually a turf fire in the evenings in the grate.  (The  Nobel-prize winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney and the former President of Ireland--also a poet!--  have both stayed here -- Heaney even planted a tree.) 

Every afternoon,   we gather in the libraries  to review new work, usually two-five pages, and you read to the group for peer review. This will be co-led by Alice McDermott and Jacki Lyden.  We have a short break for tea and coffee.  We're usually done at 5pm.  However, since the light is out so late in Ireland that time of year, there is still ample time for an activity like a walk, yoga, etc.   Some people have taken a morning off to go riding on the beach.  On one day,  because it is, after all spectacularly beautiful and the far West of Ireland is the land of Bronze Age sites, we get a hiking tour  from Michael Gibbons's  of  "Walking Ireland."  Gibbons is considered to be one of the best archaeologists in Europe.

The "Love Comes in at the Eye" fee  includes tuition and lodging, all buffet breakfasts, two lunches, and two amazing dinners at the hotel.  The other nights, we organize transportation to wonderful local restaurants, and we have had some superb meals.   All your local group transport is included in the fee, so that no one has to rent a car or drive on the wrong side of the road.  

We do a reading in public, as we want to introduce our writers to Connemara, and Connemara to our writers.  We are taped, and the reading becomes a program and podcast on Connemara FM.

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