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Culture News May 2020



Soar - Children’s Online Creative Writing Workshop

Let your imagination and creativity soar as you take part in our FREE online workshop that begins with a story about adventure. Create your own characters, flying machine and more with creative tasks and hands on activities that embrace wild imaginations. For more details visit the Alley website or email l[email protected]


On Saturday 23 May, don't miss the BYMTalk with bestselling author Tony Macaulay. He will be giving us some great writing tips on how to find your voice. Places are limited, register NOW! Tony is a celebrated writer, leadership consultant, peacebuilder and broadcaster from Northern Ireland. Tony has written three ‘coming of age’ memoirs, Paperboy (2011), Breadboy (2013), All Growed Up (2014), and Little House on the Peace Line (2017). In 2012 the W.B. Yeats Society of New York invited Tony to present a reading of Paperboy in the National Arts Club as part of the 1st Irish Festival. He is now a regular speaker on Northern Ireland, peace building and creative writing at universities and colleges in the USA.  Register here.

Northern Ireland  Mental Health Festival 18th to 24th May

Check out Beyond Skins website to join the celebration of multicultural online workshops running through this week!Check the times for songwriting,dance ,South Indian Cuisine, singing , radio production, broadcasting ,street art,music therapy, digital sound-mindtrap and so much to explore!  See more here.

The New Normal: Creative Writing for Teenagers

Waterside ​Theatre have announced an exciting new online writing community which is focused on helping young people to explore the new world that they are living in and put this into words.  The weekly workshops will take place through a Private Facebook Group Page with top up sessions on Zoom. The New Normal will be delivered by Anne McMaster. Anne is a writer, poet, dramatist, editor, creative facilitator and project designer with over 30 years experience teaching and lecturing in English, Drama and Performing arts. The weekly sessions will build each young person’s confidence, provide them with writing prompts and they will be given feedback as they build their writing and editing skills.  They will end up with a polished piece of writing which will then be made into a digital collection of stories and recorded readings. This project is also open to schools and Anne will devise bespoke workshops to fit in with specific aspects of each school’s curriculum. For further information or to register, please contact A.J. at [email protected]

Tokyo Tales​

Bring Japan into your home with O-Bon on the Foyle's workshops: ‘An introduction to Japan’, ‘Taiko Drumming’, ‘Japanese food and festivals’ and “Our Japanese festival in Northern Ireland’ with interactive warm up, themed videos, a Q&A interaction, Japanese language prompts and games.  Contact Fiona Umetsu on 07726611862​ or email  [email protected].  Find out more here.   


Join artists Stephanie Gaumond and Sinead Crumlish for a series of fun drawing activities. Sinead will encourage younger kids doodling while Stephanie has devised drawing meditations and drawing technique videos to get all ages putting pencil to paper! Individual or group activities. Contact Maeve Butler on 07990069768 or by email [email protected]Find out more here.   

Millennium Forum - A message to Patrons and ticket holders

The Millennium Forum has released details of rescheduled performances and would like to thank customers for their patience and support during this unprecedented time. For details please visit their website. You can also see the most up to date information on Millennium Forum’s Facebook & Twitter pages.

Tourism NI COVID-19 skills impact & recovery survey: Results

Tourism NI have been working in partnership with the industry-led Hospitality and Tourism Skills network [HATS] to understand the impact on the sector from a workforce and skills perspective and to look at how best we to prepare our workforce for the recovery. To help inform an industry skills strategy, Tourism NI developed a short survey  to gather information from those at the forefront of dealing with skills and workforce challenges. The results of this survey will feed directly into a collaborative approach to industry skills - as well as providing critical intelligence to government as part of the tourism recovery plan on the support and measures that are required for businesses to not just survive, but to prosper long term. You can find the survey results here 

The NCH Jerome Hynes Young Composers’ Competition 2020

The National Concert Hall is inviting young composers – aged 30 years or under on or before 29 May 2020 – to apply for The NCH Jerome Hynes Young Composers’ Competition 2020. The winner of the award will receive a cash prize of €2,500 and will have their new commission premiered at the National Concert Hall. All entry material must be received by 5pm on Friday 29 May 2020. For full details and an application form, click here

Covid-19 'After the Interval' National Audience Survey

Thrive is partnering with  Associate Katy Raines at Indigo-Ltd to create a FREE national online survey designed to capture audience views on returning to arts events, booking tickets now and in future, and missing out on live events during lockdown.  here

For charitable organisations there are also questions on the types of fundraising audiences think are appropriate for them to be considering. The results captured will be available to individual organisations for their own analysis, but also aggregated into a national pool and published online for the benefit of the sector. Organisations are encouraged to share this survey with their customers and patrons. Access survey here

Join an “Army Of Readers” Volunteering Opportunity​

Verbal are looking for volunteers to join in becoming an ‘ARMY OF READERS’. Readers will use mywellread, a specifically created digital platform, to read aloud to children aged 8-12 on a smart phone or tablet. The Project will provide on-line training to over 18s who are self-isolating who wish to make an impact remotely and is designed to build positive mental health and wellbeing during this challenging time of COVID-19.

The initiative is part of Listen Share Change, a partnership between Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Verbal supported by EU Peace IV-funding If you are interested in becoming one of our Readers, or would like further information, please click here: Alternatively, you can visit the website call Holly on 07900525353 or Christine on 07486093470.

Call for Paid Submissions to Christmas themed short story anthology

Sesheta are inviting writers living in NI to send a festive short story to be considered for a new anthology, publishing later in the year by Sesheta: a community organisation set up by local writers Kelly Creighton and Claire Savage.

This is a paying opportunity, thanks to the generous support of Arts Council NI. Sesheta is keen to showcase Christmas stories from any genre, but particularly within the following:

  • Gothic fiction
  • Ghost stories
  • Fantasy and fairytale-inspired stories
  • Sci-fi/speculative fiction
  • Crime fiction

All submitted stories must be original work that is previously unpublished. Submissions are open to all writers living in Northern Ireland, at any level of experience. Entrants must be aged 18 years+ Submission period closes Monday 8th June 2020.  Find out more