Writing C & M - 7-14 July 2019

Writing Craft and Marketing
Before this conference and tour week begins, you will be invited to submit a number of manuscript pages for the author/editor and agent to review. Each will edit your pages ahead of time and, during the conference, offer advice in one-on-one sessions. They’ll also offer group classes, lead activities and discussions, and teach necessary marketing skills. You'll have opportunities to brainstorm, network with professionals, and meet potential beta and critique partners. A unique feature of this conference is the individual attention, which ensures that the week is flexible enough to engage and challenge writers of all levels—from the novice to the advanced, published author.

If you want one-on-one time with dynamite professionals while experiencing the beguiling splendor of Ireland, read further to find out more.

7 through 14 July 2019
Writers' Conference with Tours of Counties Galway, Mayo & Clare


multi-published author & contest mentor,

Julie C. Dao is the author of FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS, which earned two starred reviews and was named a 2017 Junior Library Guild Selection, one of New York Public Library's 2017 Best Books For Teens, and one of ALA Booklist's Top Fantasy Books For Youth. She also wrote KINGDOM OF THE BLAZING PHOENIX, which became a 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection and was deemed “a grand adventure for fans of fairy tales, fables, and legends” by Kirkus Reviews.

Julie has served as faculty member at the Highlights Foundation and final round judge for the long-running WRiTE Club contest. A former Pitch Wars contestant, she became a mentor for the contest in 2015 and 2016, coaching two writers who both went on to sign with respected agents and acquire multi-book deals. Julie's wheelhouse is YA and MG fiction, with her favorite genre being fantasy, but she also has a keen appreciation for mystery/suspense and action/adventure stories.

Find out more about Julie, here: https://www.juliedao.com/


successful agent with Sandra Dijkstra & Associates,

Thao Le has been a literary agent at the Dijkstra Agency since 2011. In addition to acquiring her own list of clients, she also handles the agency’s royalties and select contracts, demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry business. She is a hands-on, editorial agent who works closely with her clients. Thao has taught at various SCBWI conferences, as well as Writer’s Digest Publishing boot camps and WritingPad workshops on a myriad of publishing topics such as query letters, revisions, and the author-agent partnership.

Thao is looking for: Young Adult and Middle Grade of all genres, Adult romantic-leaning Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, and Light Sci-Fi, and select Picture Books by author-illustrators. In general, she loves beautiful literary writing with a commercial hook and tight plotting. She is actively seeking underrepresented voices (including, but not limited to, all ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental and physical health, and socioeconomic status) to her client list.

Thao’s client list includes: New York Times bestselling fantasy author Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling YA contemporary author Sandhya Menon, Indie Bestselling picture book author-illustrator Jessie Sima, Junior Library Guild Selected sci-fi author Emily Skrutskie, and many more…

To find out more about Thao, visit: http://www.dijkstraagency.com/agent-page.php?agent_id=Le

In the summer of 2015, Julie Dao was a participant during Ireland Writer Tours. A short while later, she scored a major three-book publishing deal that many writers only dream about. As an agent who has represented best-selling fiction, Thao Le has a keen instinct about what makes a book sell. Between them, Julie and Thao have mentored a multitude of writers who are enjoying their own successes. These ladies can help you make your manuscript the best it can be.

During the conference week, Julie and Thao will teach a variety of topics like, how to make a premise more compelling, a plot more concise, and create characters that are lifelike enough to walk off the page. Thao will teach a query workshop, offer tips about navigating 'The Call,' and you'll even get a chance to pitch your manuscript. You’ll experience in-depth workshops applicable to your current work in progress, and also find out about these ladies' personal editing techniques while receiving individualized professional feedback from them. At the end of the week, you'll leave the Emerald Isle with memories of faerie forests and castles, and ammunition to make your story stand out.

If you’re ready to take your writing seriously, and make long range career plans, join us for this conference and tour in the beautiful west of Ireland.

Your conference and tour base will be a tiny village in the west of Ireland. This tranquil setting is home to quite a few artists, musicians and writers because of its inspiring atmosphere. The peace and dramatic beauty of the area can have a profound effect on your writing. At the same time, you'll be touring throughout the western half of the country to the varied sights listed below. 

Our Tour begins at 2:00pm with a shuttle pick up in Galway City
Participants are whisked away to the hotel where they can freshen up before -
  • A tour of a 14th Century Abbey, the best-preserved ruin of its type 
  • Evening - Back to your hotel for a brief rest before the welcoming banquet and a talk from our featured guest teachers.
A tour of –
  • 12th Century Castle 
  • Ancient Stone Circle 
  • Stop for lunch in a Quaint Old Village with loads of history and legend, followed by:
    • Opening workshop with Julie and Thao
On the tour trail again to - 
  • A 7th Century Abbey 
  • Largest lake in the Republic of Ireland 
  • A hike through a faire forest to a cave with eerie true stories 
  • Dinner at your leisure in the village
A full day of writers conference, exercises, and individual editing, with a break for lunch
Drinks with an agent while you pitch your story

A tour of -
  • The tallest round tower in existence, circa 7th century
  • Beautiful bay with picturesque sailboats and currachs 
  • A castle featured in so many photos, you’re sure to recognize it! 
  • The Burren
  • The most famous dolmen in Ireland, a burial site of ancient king 
  • Charming seaside town with excellent homemade Irish fudge
  • Cliffs of Moher – possibly the most photographed and breath-taking scenery in Ireland 
A full day of writers conference, exercises, and editing, and workshopping your manuscript, with a break for lunch
Visit to the 16th century castle home of a pirate queen
Dinner in Galway and a pub crawl

The day begins with a ferry ride to Inis Mór, the largest Aran Island off the coast of Galway.
Once there, you may choose a bike or van tour of the island, including Dún Aengus, the prehistoric ring fort perched on cliffs high above the ocean, an ancient holy well, a seal colony, and, of course, the famous Aran handknit sweaters (available on the island at a greatly reduced price).
A half day of writers conference, exercises, and editing.
A tour into the heart of Connemara, including yet another castle.
We say our good-byes and the shuttle returns you to Galway station

*This tour involves walking and possibly a bit of low climbing 

 This conference/tour will be limited to twelve to fifteen participants to ensure individual attention, and will be tailored to the needs of the writers who enroll.