The Full Story
Under normal circumstances, the postgraduate Creative Writing students at University College Cork participate in Ireland’s literary industry. Students get the opportunity to work for a variety of industry-related programmes and opportunities that include book festivals, literary magazines, and independent publishing houses across the country. With the unique challenges posed by a global pandemic, however, these traditional avenues of work experience were out of the question.
UCC Creative Writing alumna, Lauren O’Donovan, explains, “Typically, Creative Writing students at UCC complete work experience in literary fields throughout the program… But because of social distancing and lockdown, this type of work experience was completely unavailable to us in 2020. We talked together as a group and thought, why not make our own work experience opportunity?”
And so, in the spirit of adaptability, this year’s students decided to launch their own publishing press and anthology, The Same Page. Throughout the year they learned the ropes of the publishing industry under the supervision of such leaders in the field as Danny Denton (Editor of The Stinging Fly), Eimear Ryan (Editor of Banshee), and Eibhear Walshe (Head of Creative Writing at UCC). The result? An anthology of some of the best creative writing you will ever read.
The Same Page Anthology is the newest literary publication out of Cork, Ireland, joining the ranks of many fine journals and anthologies produced in the county each year.
To create the anthology, the students from UCC’s MA in Creative Writing issued a call for submissions that requested poetry and prose. They received almost 400 submissions from around the world. Working as a team, the class of 11 students curated a selection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. 43 writers, from Ireland and abroad, were included in the anthology. After ten months of hard work, the book was typeset, proofread, and sent to the local printer City Print Ltd, Cork. Spill, an original abstract painting by Róisín Leggett Bohan, was generously donated for the cover of the book. Printing costs were funded by the UCC Boole Library and the UCC School of English.
In addition to being a fabulous read, the anthology supports the community. All profits from the sale of The Same Page Anthology are donated to The Sexual Violence Centre, Cork.
In Cork, the anthology is currently available at Vibes & Scribes, Waterstones, Carrigaline Bookshop, Kinsale Bookshop, and Kerr's Clonakilty. In Galway, it is available in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop and Bell Book & Candle, in Kildare you can get your copy at Woodbine Books, and in Dublin you can find your copy at Books Upstairs.
An in-person launch party with live readings is planned for the new year, when restrictions are relaxed. We hope to see you there!