A class of creative writing students have written and published an anthology of prose, poetry and non-fiction entitled ‘Tales of the Heart’. The work is the culmination of a 10 week Creative Writing workshop delivered on behalf of the Athlone Institute of Technology’s Department of Lifelong Learning by celebrated screenwriter, playwright and novelist, Mick Donnellan.
At the recent launch, former Minister Mary O’Rourke told the audience it was an engrossing read, one that she couldn’t put down: “I read it twice and tried to envisage the writers as they wrote these wonderfully creative works.” Addressing the 19 writers directly she said: “Each of you is wonderfully articulate; you communicated clearly what you wanted to say and then you said it. That is a wonderful gift, one that has been honed throughout your time studying at Athlone Institute of Technology – well done all round.
“I’d like to commend the Department of Lifelong Learning for conceptualising and delivering these creative writing classes, and writer in residence, Mick Donnellan, who has driven this project from the beginning,” she said. “It is a credit to the college who place such an important emphasis on lifelong learning. We are forever learning; every day we wake up and experience new and joyful things that spark our imagination and creativity.”
Mrs O’Rourke also said how wonderful it was that since the programme’s inception in January, they hadn’t lost a single student. “You lost no student along the way. They turned up every Monday evening encouraged and enthused to work on their ideas and create something of value.”
Commenting on the success of the Creative Writing course, Seadna Ryan, Head of Department of Lifelong Learning, said: “We delighted to see such a positive output from one of our part-time, evening programmes. The immensely talented Mick Donnellan has imbued students with the skills and knowledge, and perhaps, most important of all – the confidence – to write in a variety of genres, successfully. This has culminated in the publication of their work in a very special anthology of poems, prose and non-fiction. Congratulations to each of the students and to Mick Donnellan for helping oversee this project from conception to completion.”
An educational powerhouse defined by a commitment to academic excellence, rigour and applied education, Athlone Institute of Technology has enjoyed considerable successes in the academic arena this year, most notably being named ‘best in class’ for research across the technological higher education sector. Further solidifying its reputational prowess, the institute was recently awarded ‘Best Academic Partnership’ at the prestigious national Education Awards for its part in developing SURE, Ireland’s first academic network dedicated to promoting undergraduate STEM research across the technological higher education sector. These accolades build upon the institute’s success in winning the Sunday Times Good University Guide ‘Institute of Technology of the Year’ award in 2018 for its unwavering commitment to academic excellence and innovations in applied learning.