Date(s) - Mon 29th Jul - Sat 3rd Aug, 2024
Moniack Mhor, Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire , IV4 7HT
Blood and Milk and Manna: Writing Motherhood
‘Mother’ is one of the oldest words in existence. A word so ancient, now more than ever it is begging us to let it grow; to be part of the vast transformation we are witnessing in the realm of caregiving. What does it mean to give care; to mother; to parent? How might we widen it all out; speak the truths of collective caregiving? How to give voice to the whole chorus of people that make up the song of motherhood? Those who have given birth, those who have not, those who ache and grieve, those mothering through grief, those caregiving without support, those mothering in ways that cannot and should not be neatly boxed: every single one of our stories matter if we are to create a real ecology of care.
‘We are all mothers here’ (Irene Solà)
In this course, led by Lucy Caldwell and Kerri ní Dochartaigh, we will explore what it means to write contemporary motherhood, in fiction and non-fiction, in all of its blood, guts, despair, sublimity, and soul, and we’ll share what the practice of creative motherhood might look like today, combusting old templates, finding ways that mothering can enrich and nourish a writing life. On a more radical level, we will also look at our connections with Mother Earth, how we might best write and serve these. A course designed to deeply nourish, inspire and fill your well to brimming.
+++ This is a pilot project and may run with childcare, please see below for more information +++
Born in Belfast in 1981, Lucy Caldwell is the author of four novels, several stage plays and radio dramas, and two collections of short stories, with a third, Openings, forthcoming in 2024. Her most recent novel, These Days (Faber, 2022), won the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. She is also the editor of Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2019). Awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the George Devine Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize, a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the BBC National Short Story Award and the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.
Kerri ní Dochartaigh is a mother, writer and grower. She writes about place, nature and motherhood for The Guardian, BBC, RTE, The Irish Times and others. She teaches and mentors worldwide. Her first book, Thin Places, was published by Canongate in Spring 2021, for which she was awarded the Butler Literary Award 2022, and highly commended for the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2021. Cacophony of Bone was published by Canongate in May 2023 and was longlisted for the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2023. She is working on a book about mothering through emergency, whilst rewilding a native Irish meadow.
This is a pilot project in which we are gauging interest in running the course with childcare on a residential and non residential basis. Please register your interest in the options below and we will be in contact after the 12th February when our registration period closes. Many thanks for supporting this new initiative.
There are options for attending this course, as below, and availability of options will depend on interest. Places will be prioritised in order of date of registered interest in this course.
- Option 1: Attend the course residentially as an individual booking.
- Option 2: Attend the course residentially at Moniack Mhor with up to 2 children, who will also stay on site with you and attend childcare at Abriachan Forest School during the day.
- Option 3: Attend the course non-residentially (i.e. arranging your own accommodation) with children attending childcare at Abriachan Forest School during the day.
- Option 4: Attend the course non-residentially as an individual booking.
OPTION 1: This includes your accommodation in a single room with shared bathroom, all meals, hot drinks and snacks from Monday afternoon until Saturday morning, and your tuition. Due to the arrangements of this course we are unable to reserve en-suite rooms at this time, but please add a note to your register of interest if you require an en-suite for medical reasons.
OPTION 2: This includes four full days of childcare at Abriachan Forest School, mini-bus travel between Abriachan Forest School and Moniack Mhor, your accommodation (either twin room, or single room with full single-sized trundle mattress) with shared bathroom, all meals, hot drinks and snacks from Monday afternoon until Saturday morning, and your tuition. Due to the arrangements of this course we are unable to reserve en-suite rooms at this time, but please add a note to your register of interest if you require an en-suite for medical reasons.
OPTION 3: This includes your tuition; welcome dinner at Moniack Mhor on Monday evening; lunch, hot drinks and snacks Tuesday-Friday; 4 full days of childcare at Abriachan Forest School, and mini-bus travel between Abriachan Forest School and Moniack Mhor.
OPTION 3: This includes your tuition; welcome dinner at Moniack Mhor on Monday evening; lunch, hot drinks and snacks Tuesday-Friday.
For more information about the general practicalities of our courses and retreats, please visit our About the Courses page. More detailed information will be sent out on the specifics of this course when booking.
Please click here to register your interest. We will accept responses until the 12th February, 5pm.
Please contact us on email@example.com if you have any questions.
We will confirm offered places once register of interest period is complete. At that point, a deposit is required to secure your place, which is non-refundable after a 14-day cooling-off period. The balance payment is due six weeks before the course begins. Refunds are not always available – please read our Terms & Conditions for full details about our cancellation policy. If you would like to pay the full amount in advance, please call our booking office on 01463 592 828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bursaries are always available, and you also have the option to pay in instalments. If you have any problems paying online, or wish to discuss paying in instalments or applying for financial help, or would simply like assistance, please contact us by emailing email@example.com or phoning us on 01463 592828.
Please let us know in your register of interest if you have any access requirements, for example a ground floor bedroom and / or access to a step-free accessible shower room. We also reserve one en-suite bedroom per course for anyone who may need this due to a medical condition. For more information about access to our courses, please visit our Access page.
Terms and Conditions
Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking.