**Sold Out**Mick Donnellan’s New Writing Course opens January 28th…

Mick Donnellan’s New Creative Writing Course


AIT Athlone

January 28th + Wednesday 30th

7.30 -9.30pm.

Duration 10 weeks. 

Cost: €160

**Guaranteed publication at the end of the year.**


Mobile: (087) 9422942. 

E-Mail: mickdonnellan@hotmail.com

**Limited Places Left. Early Booking Strongly Advised.**

About Mick Donnellan:

Mick Donnellan has been running the highly successful Creative Writing Programme at AIT since September 2017. Many of his previous students have had their writing published locally and nationally and some have gone on to be accepted into prestigious university writing programmes such as the Masters in Trinity College, Dublin and NUI Galway. Three previous students have had novels published since taking up the course. 

More on Mick Donnellan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Donnellan

About the Course:

* Attend one night only. This will be the same course running on two different nights to accommodate demand. Students can sign up for the Monday or Wednesday – but not both.

Mick Donnellan’s new Creative Writing Course opens this January 28th and 30th at AIT – Athlone. Building on the creative momentum gathered in recent classes, the course will concentrate on Fiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction and Publishing. Each student will get a chance to work on a creative project of their choice and use the class as a safe environment to get feedback, ask questions, and learn new techniques and approaches to their craft. 

The Fiction Module will explore the art of the Short Story, different genres of the modern novel as well as how to plot and develop your story or book. This will be an incisive and educational exploration of the writing process and will enlighten students in ways that help them make substantial leaps forward in their creative careers. 

The Poetry Module will examine Poets past and present as well as dive into the poetic mind and process. We will pull back the veil on conventional poetry and examine the difference between sincere verse and commercial rhyme. Aspiring poets will share work and get constructive feedback on their voice, themes and style. 

Non-Fiction will cover a myriad of writing styles such as Biography, Memoir, Journalism, Review, Writing Features and Online Media. Students often find this aspect of the course the most educational and discover talents they never knew they had. For instance, Fiction writers often find they are better at Memoir and poets find passion for Blogging or Journalism.  Some Short Story writers have found they prefer writing Biography. This module will help students realise their full potential and ensure they are not locked  into one specific style or type of writing. 

Publishing: The course will end with a publication based on work covered during the class. This means each student can choose a project/piece of writing of their choice and submit it for publication. We will then go through the entire publishing process from editing, to format, designing the cover, marketing and getting the collection published.  This will be an insightful and exciting process for everyone involved. Not only will each student come away with a keen knowledge of the Publishing Industry but he/she will also be guaranteed to see their work in print. Once the collection is complete, we will be having a launch at the AIT and all contributors family, friends and colleagues will be welcome to come and celebrate the achievement. 

Course Intended for:

This course is ideal for writers at all levels of their career. It suits beginners and those who need a channel to express themselves creatively. No experience is required as the course will cover the basics of writing and gradually move through the different stages towards publishing success. It will be an enjoyable, stress free course with opportunity to be published at the end. It will also help those writers working in isolation and looking for a constructive environment to share and develop their work. 

*The course will differ in content from previous courses so don’t worry if you have taken Mick’s course before.* 

More about Mick:

Mick completed the MA in Writing at NUIG in 2004. Since then he has worked as a novelist, journalist, travel writer, teacher and Playwright. He completed his first novel, El Niño, in 2005 and immediately secured a literary agent. He left Ireland soon after and went on to live in Spain, Australia and Canada. While traveling he worked as a travel writer and Journalist and co-founded the Arts Paper – Urban Pie – in Vancouver. Upon returning to Ireland he went on to work with Druid (2009) and RTE (2010).

More recently, he established his own theatre company, Truman Town Theatre. All Truman Town Plays are written, directed, and produced by Mick. The company exploded on to the theatrical circuit in 2011 with their hit Play – Sunday Morning Coming Down. Following a national tour, they went on to produce (and tour) two more hugely successful Plays Shortcut to Hallelujah and Gun Metal Grey. These dramas eventually became known as the “Ballinrobe Trilogy”. More recently, the company toured a fourth Play Velvet Revolution and in 2014, Radio Luxembourg, his fifth Play, was bought by a London Film Company (Dixon/Baxi/Evans) and has been adapted for the screen.

The title for the movie version is “Tiger Raid”. Starring Brian Gleeson, Damian Molony and Sofia Boutella, it had its world premiere at the Tribeca film festival (2016) and was also seen at Cannes and Edinburgh and the Irish Premiere was screened at the Galway Film Fleadh.

El Niño is now published and Mick is currently in negotiations to sell the screen rights. Between that, he teaches writing while promoting his second novel “Fisherman’s Blues” and keeping Truman Town on the go.

Most of 2018 has been working on the exciting screen adaptation of “Shortcut to Hallelujah” with Florence Films. Hot off the press, the screenplay is titled “Sam” and is based around the gypsy curse supposedly set on the Mayo Football team as they returned home as All Ireland Champions in 1951. “Sam” is set in the present day and deals with themes of Mayo life and the hope of bringing the Sam Maguire home. Drenched in Irish lyricism and modern day dark humour, the script has been been met with keen interest by film producers and actors throughout the industry.

More on Mick Donnellan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Donnellan

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El Nino Cover-1

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Buy Fisherman’s Blues direct from Amazon now!



Mick Donnellan to attend event for Mayo Writers on Dec 1st.


Mayo Arts Service, Mayo County Council
Write Now 2018 – a speed dating writing event for Mayo writers.

Write Now 2018 is an initiative of Mayo Art Service. This event affords Mayo Writers the opportunity of 20-minute speed dating type mentoring slots with a Poet, a Playwright, aScreenwriter, a Short story writer, a Novelist and a Publisher. Write Now 2018 takes place in Castlebar on Saturday 1st of December.

There are three elements to the event. The day starts off at 11.30 with the writers’ speed dating event, which is followed by a networking opportunity and the day concludes with an open mic.

This is an opportunity for established or budding Mayo writers to come along and gain the expertise of our mentor panel of writers. Each writer/mentor has various writing requirements for their session which are outlined in this document. Those wishing to attend the mentoring slots can avail of mentoring from two of the writers/mentors.

This is a free event, but booking is required to avail of the mentoring speed dating slots. Spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, with limited availability so please book your slot as soon as possible


• •

Saturday 1st of December, Castlebar. 20-mins Mentoring slots: 11.30 -3pm Networking Opportunity: 3-4pm Open Mic (for participants): 4 -6pm

The line-up of professional writers/mentors are;

  • Poet Geraldine Mitchell;
  • Playwright Mick Donnellan,
  • Screenwriter Pierce Ryan,
  • Short Story Writer Geraldine Mills,
  • Publisher Mariel Deegan (New Island Books)
  • Novelist Mia Gallagher.

Date: Venue: Time:

Saturday 1st December 2018
Lough Lannagh Holiday Village, Castlebar.
Mentoring Speed dating slots run for 20 mins segments from 11:30 – 3pm
Followed by a Networking opportunity over finger food 3-4pm
Followed by an Open Mic –4 -6pm
Those attending mentoring slots can book a 5 mins segment to read (limited availability). All welcome to attend Open mic but performance is reserved for those who availed of the mentoring slots and the Writing Mentors.

Booking Information:

Please contact the Arts Service to book places via:
Email mayoarts@mayococo.ie Tel: 094 90 64367/094 90 643


Poet Geraldine Mitchell is a Mayo-based writer whose most recent collection of poetry, Mountains for Breakfast, was published by Arlen House in 2017. She is a Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award winner and the recipient of Arts Council and Mayo Arts Office awards. Her previous collections are World Without Maps (2011) and Of Birds and Bones (2014).

Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Poet Geraldine Mitchell should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit three poems to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November and Geraldine will select one to work on during the mentoring session.

Playwright Mick Donnellan is from Ballinrobe. His Theatre Company is Truman Town Theatre. He has written and produced six Plays which sold out nationally and to great acclaim. His most recent Play Radio Luxembourg was bought by a London film company (Dixon/Baxi/Evans) and adapted for the screen.

Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Playwright Mick Donnellan should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit a max of 10 pages from your play. Playwrights should have a synopsis ready to discuss during the mentoring slot. Work to be submitted to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November.

Screenwriter Pierce Ryan has written two feature films and several award winning short films. His latest film is Black ’47, a revenge western set during the Irish famine. Pierce’s previous feature film was the romantic comedy, Standby, released in 2014. Amongst the awards won by the short films written by him are the 2010 IFTA and 2006 Celtic Film and Television awards for best short film.

Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Screenwriter Pierce Ryan should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit the first 30 pages of a feature screenplay. Work to be submitted to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November.


Short Story Writer Geraldine Mills is an award-winning short story writer published nationally and internationally. She has published three short story collections. She has been the recipient of many awards and prizes to include: The Hennessy Sunday/Tribune Emerging Fiction Award and the overall New Irish Writers Award.

Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Short Story Writer Geraldine Mills should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit a short story you are working on to a maximum of 2000 words (not a synopsis). Work to be submitted to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November.

Publisher Mariel Deegan is General Manager of New Island Books. New Island commissions in the areas of both crime and literary fiction, and general interest non-fiction, particularly history, biography and memoir, and humour. They aim to give a platform to promising debut writers like June Caldwell and Oisín Fagan, as well as providing a stable home for established authors such as Dermot Bolger, Julie Parsons and Carlo Gébler.

Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Publisher Mariel Deegan should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit 15 pages of your work to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November.

Novelist Mia Gallagher is the critically acclaimed author of two novels: HellFire (Penguin Ireland, 2006), awarded the Irish Tatler Literature Award 2007, and Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland(New Island, 2016), longlisted for the 2016 Republic of Consciousness Award. She is a contributing editor to the Stinging Fly and in 2018 was elected as a member of Aosdána.

Those wishing to avail of a 20 mins mentoring slot with Novelist Mia Gallagher should contact Mayo Arts Service to book their place. You will need to submit 15 pages of a novel in progress to Mayo Arts Service by Thursday 22nd of November.




Joe Ninety – Part three #31


The phone rang with: ‘Hey, Mick, you know that guy you hired….?’


‘The Joe guy….is his name Minty?’

‘Joe Ninety – but I’m not sure that’s his real name….’

‘Yeah, anyway. We checked up some of his references.’


‘We really need to get better feedback before we hire people.’

‘We do.’

‘So can you be sure you’re sure before you recommend someone…?.’

‘I didn’t recommend him.’

‘It says here you did.’

‘That was a mistake….’

‘But he has the job now?’

‘He does.’


‘He got a call from the office.’

‘On your recommendation.’

‘No. See….’

‘Did you know there’s a court case coming up against him?’

‘No. He didn’t mention it.’

‘His old boss told me.’

‘What’s he up for?’

‘He tried to run over a customer.’


‘He had an argument with a customer and afterwards he tried to run him over.’

‘That doesn’t sound good.’

‘It doesn’t.’

‘Why’d he try to run him over?’

‘The customer thought Joe had stolen his daughter’s iPad.’

‘Right…and did he?’

‘We don’t know. That’s why there’s a court case coming I guess…’

‘So we can fire him now?’



‘No. See he hasn’t done anything wrong.’

‘Did he not try to run someone over?’

‘He did.’

‘And that’s….ok?’

‘We have to be careful.’


‘Unfair Dismissal. He hasn’t done anything wrong with us, yet.’

‘But his references are bad.’

‘We usually check them prior to giving  someone the position but in this case he was given the job before we had the opportunity.’

‘So what’ll we do?’

‘We’ll need you to shadow him for the first while, make sure he’s being compliant.’


Later with Joe. He was dressed in black pants, dirty runners, black shirt, white tie. Three day stubble. He said: ‘Great day.’


‘Will you be helping me for the first while, Micky?’

‘I will. Did you try run someone over in your last job?’

‘Who told you that?’

‘One of your references.’

‘I didn’t try run him over, I just nearly hit him as I was leaving the house.’

‘Did he not see you coming?’

‘He did, but he wouldn’t get out of the way.’

‘He was trying to stop you leaving?’

‘I think so.’


‘Dunno, Micky. I was busy. Had sales to do. Was in a hurry.’

‘Is there a court case coming up?’

‘Yeah, next month. I might need a day off for that.’

‘We’ll see what we can do.’


‘We better go and do a bit here anyway.’

‘I meant to ask you the last day – when do we get paid?’

‘Monthly, usually.’

‘That’s a dose.’

‘Tis. Are ye stuck?’

‘Eh…I’m not too bad. I’ve a few things lined up. What time do ye take breaks?’

‘Like lunch and all that?’


‘Whenever we can – there’s no set time. Have you something on?’

‘Nah. Just supposed to meet a fella in town.’

‘For lunch?’

‘Just for a chat. He’s going buying an iPad off me.’







El Nino Cover-1

Click here to buy El Niño Direct from Amazon

Buy Fisherman’s Blues direct from Amazon now!








Joe Ninety – Part Deux. #30

Was working in Sydney a week later when the phone rang with: ‘Hey, Mick, what do you think of Joe, should we give him the job?’

‘Who’s this? Dave?’

”No, it’s Tyler. Dave’s on Annual Leave. So what do you think?’

‘About Joe? Hmm…I don’t think he’s the right fit.’

‘No? That’s disappointing.’

‘It is, but I think long term it’s better to wait for the right….candidate.’

‘Ok, I’ll feed that that back, thanks. You knows there’s a meeting Friday?’

‘Really Where?’

‘At the office. Aloysius is making a speech. So dress smart, right?’

‘Will do.’

‘Too easy, mate. Ta.’

Aloysius was the CEO and he didn’t like:

Bad Shoes.



Loose ties.


Which is precisely why I didn’t recommend Joe for the job.

Friday came around. Everyone turned up, shook hands, talked shite, the managers ate all the profiteroles while everyone waited for Aloysius.

There was a hush when he arrived. Dear shoes, scarf, ted baker glasses. Well trimmed beard.

A girl with a clipboard tried to get his attention but he brushed her aside with a practiced hand.

I was in the corner, trying to make the best of a soggy ham sandwich in a red napkin, when I noticed him coming for me.


I left down the food, said: ‘Aloysius.’

‘Can you tell me something?’

‘Of course.’

‘What’s that?’


He was pointing out the window. There was a BMW, an emaciated tree, a parkbench. Hard to know which one to go for until he said: ‘Him.’


I focused again, there was a fella standing at the wall. Took me a second to recognise Joe. Leather jacket, blue jeans, no tie. Cigarette in one hand, picking his nose with the other.

‘Oh.’ I said. ‘That looks like Joe.’



‘And why is he here?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘He told them at the desk you gave him a job.’

‘I said not to hire him. I had him for an observation – but that was it. Talk to Tyler.’

The girl with the clipboard arrived, her name was Hannah and she said: ‘Tyler’s gone. Dave’s back.’

‘Then there must have been some confusion.’

‘I think there must.’

Hannah said: ‘Dave offered him the job.’

‘Christ.’ Said Aloysius.

I looked out the window again but he was gone. Thank fuck.

But next thing I heard: ‘Howya, Micky….’

There was Joe beside me. ‘Joe! Howya….’

‘Thanks for giving me the job….’


‘Your man Dermot rang me.’


‘Him ya. Starting tomorrow, am I out with you?’

Hannah said: ‘Joe, can I talk to you for second…?’

‘Howya, darlin….them are nice legs.’

Aloyisus said: ‘Excuse me, where the hell do you think you are?!’

‘Howya gettin on, sir. I’m Joe. I was told to start here today. Dick rang me yesterday.’

‘You mean Dave?’

‘Him yeah. Said to come early. Something important happening.’

‘Oh he did, did he?’

‘Said there’s some fella going making an important speech….’

‘And who might that be?’

‘I don’t know. I can’t think. Some beardy fella with a quare name…..where’s the jacks in this place, Micky? I’m dying for shite.’


Read the original “Joe Ninety” post here.


El Nino Cover-1

Click here to buy El Niño Direct from Amazon

Buy Fisherman’s Blues direct from Amazon now!

Social Media – #29

When writing my first two novels the country was changing so fast that by the time they were ready the material could feel almost obsolete. Your characters go to book a flight in a travel agents but when your story is finished, everyone gets their flights online. People don’t call each other on landlines anymore because they all have mobiles and when they get lost, the reader wonders why they don’t just use Google Maps; except nobody had smartphones when you were writing it.

Smart people at the time were incorporating technology and trends into their writing. Their stories centred around MySpace, Bebo, Nokia 3310s, Digital Cameras and The Walkman. Then along comes Facebook, Smartphones, iPods and iPhones and now everyone’s shaping their works in progress to incorporate the modern trends – as if that’s what’s important.

The other problem is that everyone suddenly thinks they’re a marketing specialist.  Jane’s got 5000 subscribers on her e-mail list. Gathered them up using her Facebook page, setting up a Social Media Company. Waste of time, says John, Instagram’s where it’s at. Use ads and Hashtags and grow your followers. Fuck that, says Paddy, you need Twitter. More professional. You want profession, says Mary, you need LinkedIn, that’s where the real business happens. The rest is all juvenile. I hear Snapchat’s good now, says Tom, lots of influencers using it. You want influencers, says Jerry, you need Youtube, only way to go. Everyone’s making videos and setting up Adsense with Google. Get yourself enough hits and your start making money. Real money. No hard work needed, just watch the dollars grow. Simple really, don’t know why everyone’s not doing it. What about blogging? No way, says Joe, not professional. Too much work. Write every day? Are you mad? Much simpler just to use my phone here to connect with people. Here, let’s take a Selfie. We’ll put that up on Messenger now. Everyone can look at it then, see. Like it if they like it. Exposure’s what it’s all about.  Try get something viral. Especially videos. People making big money at that. Just need to be funny and original. Did you hear they have a course now – on Social Media. How to use it. How to utilise it. Thinking about doing one of them. But what are you going to promote? I don’t know. Stuff. It’s easy. Just share and like. And connect. Big money in it.

Big money in what? You end up with 50,000 social connections and not one customer for your book, or CD, or Film or whatever you’re trying to promote. It’s a crowded space, made worse by ease of access. Every lunatic is doing it and there is no unique selling point. An e-mail blast to 2,000 people is worthless if you’ve never met any of them, or if you don’t bother to respond when they ask you a question. Worse, when you do respond you simply send a link and say: ‘Here, read this it should answer all your questions.’

You’re much better off with a mailing list of 100 people that are interested in your work and whom you can connect with on a meaningful level. That’s your unique selling point. Human interaction. And there’s no point at all if you’ve got nothing to talk about. No book finished, no Poetry written, your film’s been in development for the last five years. Where has all that time gone? Taking Selfies? Sharing links? Retweeting? Connecting? Building your Client Base? Reaching out? Establishing a presence? Vloggng?

 Have you tried writing yet?




El Nino Cover-1


Click here to buy El Niño Direct from Amazon




Buy Fisherman’s Blues direct from Amazon now!





Applying for Funding – #27.


Good few years ago, was looking for funding. Couldn’t find the application forms. There was a contact address for the Arts Officer on the site. Figured that was a good place to start. 

Sent him an e-mail and two weeks later he hadn’t replied. Called the number and he didn’t answer. Left a voicemail. 

Another two weeks and no return call. 

I went to his office and asked: ‘Is he here?’

They looked at me sorta strange, and went: ‘Eh…what time is it?’


‘Hmm…yeah. He wouldn’t usually be in until after lunch, depends on where he was last night…’

‘Was he workin last night?’

‘Well, he might have been launching something….’

‘Like a Spaceship?’

‘Like a new local project or something…’

‘So you think he’ll be in later?’

‘I don’t see why not. What did you need him for?’

‘There’s no applications forms on your site. Is there any physical ones here?’

‘Oh, you’ll have to talk to him about that.’

‘Can I leave a note on his desk?’

She frowned. Pulled out a contact form, said: ‘Try this. He might be in after lunch.’

I filled it out and left. Lunch came and went. 

No call. No contact. Rang the office again. No answer. Left another voicemail. No reply.

Went back the next day. There was a fella at the counter with a Bluetooth headset on his left ear. It looked like there was something growing out the side of his head. He kept touching it to make sure it was still there, like it was somehow responsible for his balance. 

He looked up and saw me coming, then pretended he hadn’t, and got busy shuffling some papers. There was a bell that said: RING FOR ASSISTANCE. 

So I rang it. 

He looked up all surprised, touched the Bluetooth and asked: ‘Are you alright?’

‘Fine thanks. Is the Arts Officer here?’

‘Hmmm…I don’t think so, I haven’t seen him for a couple of weeks actually…he’s usually here in the afternoons there, but….let me check.’

He looked into the distance and said: ‘No, see, the light in his office is off…he’s not in.’

‘Do you’ve any idea when he might be?’

‘I wouldn’t know.’

‘He works here, doesn’t he?’

‘Yeah….but, depends on the head from the night before, you know yourself. What did you want him for?’

‘Application forms, for funding.’

‘Are they not on the site?’


‘Well you’ll need to talk him about that so.’

‘Can I leave a note for when he gets back?’

He frowned then. Whistled through his teeth. Looked at the wall, went: ‘Note, note….note…I suppose you can leave a contact form?’


Filled it out again. Left my name and number and why I called.


Days and weeks passed and heard nothing. Started to think he was dead or sick or didn’t exist. I asked around and got his mobile number. Rang that and he didn’t answer. Left a voicemail and he didn’t respond. 

So I moved on without funding. Produced the Plays myself. 

One night, about a year later, I met him in the pub, surrounded by funded Artists and said: ‘You never got back to me.’

‘Who are you again?’

‘I left contact forms on your desk. And e-mails. And voicemails and…’

‘What were you looking for?’


‘Oh, of course. Of course. I remember now. Call in to me on Monday.’

‘What time?’

‘Say around 11….or make it 12 just in case. Are you having a drink?’


‘See you Monday so.’

Monday came. He wasn’t there. Rang him and left a voicemail. E-mailed and he didn’t respond. Filled out a contact form and left it on his desk and never heard anything. 





Fisherman’s Blues (Paperback)

Fisherman’s Blues is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?





Novel – El Niño (in Paperback).

El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough girl ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps them up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.


Truman Town Founded, First Play, Sunday Morning Coming Down – #26

It was raining in Galway. Imagine that. The light rain of morning welcome, caffeine from the clouds. Monday coming fast. Car in Tonery’s car park since Friday evening. Was on the way back from some party in some house, some couch, some estate somewhere. The plan was to go back to Ballinrobe and it was sketchy after that. I’d need to get the car but I’d have to pay to get it out of the car park. Worse still, there was no petrol in it. Sailed her up on fumes and save the money for drink. Great plan at the time.

Now I had €1.80 and a dead phone and no way home. Walked over the Salmon Weir bridge towards town. Some fella asked me for money and I gave him a euro and kept going. Probably thumb down the Headford Road til something happened. Walk out through Woodquay and hitch from Tirellan. Might get lucky. Someone going straight down. Howya, Micky, late one? All that.

Came around the corner and spotted the Town Hall. Wheels turned, cogs spun. Play in my hard drive, been working on it lately, had it up to scratch. Had sent it somewhere, to someone, been waiting months for word back, word back from who, couldn’t even remember. Dublin maybe, or Belfast, or Cork? Was it London? Didn’t matter because I knew in my heart and soul it wasn’t being read. It was a coffee coaster somewhere, another door jamb, another bitter intern’s early lunch on an unread slushpile. And how are ya passing the time waiting, Micky? Talking to the rain?

Walked up the steps of the Town Hall, pulled back the door. Enquired about putting on a production. Just so happens, man that can help is here today, maybe have a chat, see if there’s some dates.

Got there, he asked: Got any experience? Yeah, worked with some companies, big companies, small companies, courses done, and Masters too. Just cut ties with a fiction agent. Hmmm….there’s a date here. Studio Space. Upstairs. About eight weeks from now. We’ll give ya five nights and a decent split. It goes well, maybe we can do more. What’s the name of the Play?

Sunday Morning Coming Down.

What’s the name of the company?

Thought fast, said: Truman Town. Truman Town Theatre.

Got a cast?


Yeah, you need a cast.

Yeah, Cast. No problem. I can find a cast.

Ok. Go find a cast and get back to me.

Back outside, the sky showed mercy. Small mercy, ready to rain again, Needed to find a cast, small cast, six person cast, then maybe a set and try learn some directing. Eight weeks, I’ll have a show on stage. Like that – no more waiting, no more rejection letters, just a date in the future and the will to actualize. Fuck me, I’m going to light to place.



Buy Mick Donnellan’s novels in Paperback now! – “El Niño” and “Fisherman’s Blues” available here.

Mick Donnellan’s Novels available on Amazon here.

Fisherman’s Blues, Writing Block, Pissed off Parking Meters….#25

People often say – “…I read Fisherman’s Blues and it goes fuckin’ mad in the middle….”

And it does. Initially it had been built around the telesales scam in England but then I came home and said fuck it and went cracked altogether.

I’d been wanting to explore stuff like modern Irish life, West of Ireland madness, nihilist boom time existentialism. This was going great until about page 70. Then it slowed down. Don’t know why. Wasn’t too sure how to proceed. The voice felt like it was getting whiny and indulgent and who wants to read that?

I was driving an Opel Astra at the time. 1995. Great car. Never let me down. Bought it off a couple from Lithuania in Ballinrobe for €650. They were moving to England. Taxed and NCT’d and twenty euro petrol in the tank. Couldn’t go wrong.

Drove a lot. Thought a lot. Drank in between but still no way forward for the book. Amateurs and shite talkers would call this a Writing Block. Say there’s no point continuing until the block unblocks. They wouldn’t write anything at all.

But I always think it’s important to keep the mind going until the moment comes.

So I wrote short stories, had them published here and there. Won a Poetry competition worth 25 English Pounds and spent it on a round of Jaggerbombs. Big Shtuff.

Also worked on some journalism and taught some writing classes. And drove some more.

The break came one evening about 6pm. I’d been editing all day, working on a Play. The voices echoed in my head. The conversations, the nuances, the inflections. Poetic lyricism of the language. The vast ocean of meaning; roaring in the silence of all the unsaid.

Not too sure how I ended up going the wrong way round the roundabout. One minute I was listening to the radio, cruising along, next thing there was flashing lights, lunatics running out on to the road to flag me down. A foreign lad on a bike, paused in disbelief. It was hard to know whether to keep going or try and turn around. Trucks were grunting somewhere to my right and I was starting to get a premonition of cops. I did the sensible thing and hit the brakes but that didn’t help. The roaring and flashing and beeping just got louder. Then I put it into reverse and there was a big tin bang. Shtiop, probably hit something. Hope it wasn’t that foreign fella’s bike. Checked out the rearview and saw the pissed off face of a parking meter. Not too bad. Hope I made shite of the fuckin thing.

Put her in first again and inched forward, trying to avoid the white Mazda that was after braking six inches from my headlight. Your man inside was looking out the window pure thick, like I was doing this on purpose, or his ignorance was going to help.

I played it cool, gave him the one finger salute off the steering wheel and moved forward. Behind the Mazda was a queue of incredulous cars parked in a zig zag dramatic fashion. Worse still, it was raining and it was dark. People were rolling down their windows and shouting things like: ‘You’re going the wrong way!’ And: ‘This is a fuckin roundabout ya clown!’ Can’t bate Irish people for sound advice in a crisis. It took a few minutes but eventually we all got unjammed and the cops didn’t come and I got home.

And I knew how to continue Fisherman’s Blues


Fisherman’s Blues (Paperback)

Fisherman’s Blues is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?


Buy Fisherman’s Blues directly from Amazon here.